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Subject: LTC Tony Herbert
longrifle    2/2/2006 7:26:49 AM
I'm sure that many people here have read his book "Soldier," does anyone know whatever happened to him or where he is today. I thought Herbert's career and experiences had some amazing similarities to David Hackworth's. He never became as well known as Hackworth though, probably because his book came out in the 1970's when everyone just wanted to forget about Vietnam.
 
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S-2    RE:LTC Tony Herbert   2/2/2006 8:36:19 AM
I read it, I believe, as a new 2LT in 1979. Some years later I was trying to recall the author and mistook Hackworth for him, realizing this some way through Hack's first book. As I recall, he was a rifle bn. cdr. in a separate light infantry brigade who had numerous issues with his Dep. Bde. Cdr, a guy by the name of (I'm guessing)Franklin. Clearly he didn't become the media darling that Hackworth became. GREAT jog to the ol' memory banks.
 
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Carl S    RE:LTC Anthony Herbert   2/4/2006 9:01:57 PM
Herbert had a couple things going for him. Most highly decorated US soldier in the Korean war, fast enlisted promotions, recomended & accepted for officers commision, fast promotions therafter. A number of little thing went wrong when he joined the 173d Airbourne Brigade in Viet Nam. For one he was not a West Point Grad, he did not take his initial staff billet in the 173d in the right spirit & instead of making things run smoothly he (gasp) made them run correctly so egos were bruised and some poor officers had to work late. When he took command of a battalion he changed the tactics from company/platoon size patrols and ambushes to squad ops. The former had bee appropriate when the area was defended by a VC Main Force or field unit, but that had been run off long ago. What remained were political cadres, small special action teams, spys, mine setters, ect... That sort had no trouble avoiding the company size groups wandering the battalions area. Herberts method saturated the area and raked in frequent KIAs, prisoners, and bags of documents. This embarassed a number of senior people who had thought the area 'pacified'. All that and other minor friction would have been forgiven if Herber had not stepped into a serious s..t pile. He turned up solid evidence of a massacre. Not as large as Mai lai, but equally nasty. Franklyn & the others would have prefered not to know about it. Unfortunatly Herbert made an anoying ammount of noise about it for nearly a year. The Wrong Sort of Attention was drawn to it and the Careers of Good Officers were threatened. For that Herbert could not be forgiven. He retired ia few years later & imeadiatly published his auto biography. It was well read back in that day. A sort of anti hero for the young officers of the era. I suspect it was on everyones 'secret' reading list. I got slammed for admiting to liking it by some dork who thought it 'Shamed the Service'. Herbert was not the larger than life character that Hackworth came off as. He was a solid soldier who tried to do the right thing in resolving a very nasty problem.
 
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longrifle    RE:LTC Tony Herbert   2/4/2006 9:25:59 PM
I think he would have been better known if he had not written his book so soon. Few people wanted to read anything about Vietnam in the mid 70's. Hackworth's book came out in the late 80's. Herbert gets a few lines in "Once a Warrior King." I'd read, some years ago, that he got a PhD and practiced psycology in the Denver area, but he should be retired from that by now. I just wondered if anyone knew if he was still alive, where he was, and why he never chose jump on the commentator bandwagon. If he's still around I think he might have some interesting things to say about current affairs.
 
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frogg       5/15/2007 12:04:05 PM

I'm sure that many people here have read his book "Soldier," does anyone know whatever happened to him or where he is today. I thought Herbert's career and experiences had some amazing similarities to David Hackworth's. He never became as well known as Hackworth though, probably because his book came out in the 1970's when everyone just wanted to forget about Vietnam.


I don't know. I'd be interested in hearing about him also. He taught me ROTC in college in the late 60~s. He was already an LTC by that time, so his problems in Nam were already over.  I would estimate he'd have to be in his middle 70~s by now.
 
Frogg
 
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frogg    LTC Herbert   5/15/2007 12:22:31 PM
 
Longrifle,
 
Reading some more about LTC Herbert, it seems that he taught me ROTC in the early-middle 60~s in college. I remember he was an LTC already. Now I wondering if it's the same LTC Herbert we're talking about here.
 
Frogg
 
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WinsettZ       5/26/2007 6:59:59 PM
Some articles on the web lump him with John F. Kerry and call both liars for suggesting wartime atrocities.

Then I found a blurb about his past, but nothing about his present.

"

LTC Herbert Assumes Command of 2/503d

   BONG SON- Lieutenant Colonel Anthony B. Herbert assumed command of the 2nd Battalion, 503d Infantry during recent ceremonies at LZ English.
   Colonel Herbert takes over from LTC John W. Nicholson, who commanded the Battalion since August. Prior to his new assignment, Colonel Herbert served as the Brigade's Inspector General (IG). He came to Vietnam in August.
   Born in Herminie, Pa., Colonel Herbert joined the Army in 1947 and went on to distinguish himself heroically in the Korean War as a Master Sergeant, where he was wounded four times, he came out of the war as the U.S. Army's most decorated enlisted man. In addition to the Purple Heart with 3 Oak Leaf clusters, Colonel Herbert has been decorated with the Silver Star, two Oak Leaf clusters, the Bronze Star with V, Soldier's Medal, Army Commendation Medal with 2 Oak Leaf clusters and and he is the only non-Turk in the world to receive the coveted Turkish Ozanu. He has also earned the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Jump Wings from the German and British Armies, Pathfinder's Badge and Ranger Tab.
   Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1957, Colonel Herbert's colorful career has taken him to Japan,. Korea, Alaska, Iceland, the Azores, Canada, Saudi Arabia, 51 African Nations and across Europe. He is a qualified interpreter in Portuguese. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1956, the 38-year old Lieutenant Colonel went on to earn a Masters Degree and PHD from the University of Georgia in Psychology."

A commondreams article claims he lives in Colorado.

More links:

http://jollyroger.com/zz/ymilitaryd/VIETNAMWARhall/cas/203.html
 
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umranger    Still living and kicking   8/9/2007 6:18:32 PM
Well tony Herbert is still alive and well. I met up with a contemporary of his another battalion Commander from their active duty times.  I served in the 173d in Vietnam  some years later. If he taught someone ROTC he did it at University of Georgia along with Arnold Boykin a  celebrity in the annals of Ole Miss football. umranger
 
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Ciskoe       10/11/2007 3:14:41 PM
I was checking Wikipedia and then Google for inof on Tony Herbert and found this post from 2/2/2006. 
 
I still havn't been able to find out about his current status, beyond the last post in this thread.
 
I don't remember the source, but somewhere I heard that LTC Herbert won an appeal before the Supreme Court in a libel suit he made against CBS and 60 Minutes for the piece they did back in the early '70s on his charges against COL Ross Franklyn in his book Soldier.
 
I too was struck by the similarities to the carreer path of LTC Herbert, COL Hackworth, and also John Paul Vann.  Before Hack passed away in 2005, I emailed him the following, and recieved the reply below that. 
 
Thom (Ciskoe) Pike
Albuquerque, NM
 
I'm afraid he didn't provide much information, but here is what Hackworth said about Herbert:
 
From: "Hack" <teagles@hackworth.com>  Add to Address Book  Add Mobile Alert 
To: "Thom Pike" <ciskoepike@yahoo.com>
Subject: RE: Hackworth, Vann, . . . and Herbert?
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2003 15:18:56 -0400

Damn good man.
 
Thx u and pls have a look at SFTT.org for our weekly magazine and my site at hackworth.com for updates and my weekly column.
 
Warmest regards,
 
D. Hackworth
P.O. Box 11179
Greenwich, CT 06831
 
 
Here's my orginal inquiry to COL Hackworth:
 
 
From: Thom Pike [mailto:ciskoepike@yahoo.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 8:49 PM
To: teagles@hackworth.com
Subject: Hackworth, Vann, . . . and Herbert?

 Dear Hack,

I was an avid read of ‘About Face’ when it first came out back in the late 80's and I was a 40 year old junior at Montana State University in Bozeman.

I had recently read Neal Shehan’s bio of Col. J.P. Vann and I was intrigued by the parallels between his career, your career, and the author of a book I had read in the early ‘70s, LTC. Anthony Herbert’s ‘The Making of a Soldier.’

I’ve read the excerpts of your latest, which prompted me to re-read the ‘Hardcore’ Chapter in A. F. There is a particular correlation to your description of the hard luck 4/39 vs the Division and Brigade headquarters of the 9th Div in 1969, and Herbert’s description, based on his initial assessment as the Brigade I.G,. of the 173d Abn Bde. base camp and ‘forward position’ of An Khe and Camp English, in 1968, and the combat battalions.

Herbert, like you, was a poor kid who enlisted as a private just after WWII, fought in Korea, was a  highly decorated enlisted combat infantryman, went to college, got a commision, was in the Ranger program, commanded a battalion in Vietnam, and was forced out of the service when he embarrassed the high command, in his case when he made charges of atrocities he witnessed in the 173d's AO.

Her

 
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Ciskoe       10/11/2007 3:22:54 PM
I was checking Wikipedia and then Google for inof on Tony Herbert and found this post from 2/2/2006. 
 
I still havn't been able to find out about his current status, beyond the last post in this thread.
 
I don't remember the source, but somewhere I heard that LTC Herbert won an appeal before the Supreme Court in a libel suit he made against CBS and 60 Minutes for the piece they did back in the early '70s on his charges against COL Ross Franklyn in his book Soldier.
 
I too was struck by the similarities to the carreer path of LTC Herbert, COL Hackworth, and also John Paul Vann.  Before Hack passed away in 2005, I emailed him the following, and recieved the reply below that. 
 
Thom (Ciskoe) Pike
Albuquerque, NM
 
I'm afraid he didn't provide much information, but here is what Hackworth said about Herbert:
 
From: "Hack" <teagles@hackworth.com>  Add to Address Book  Add Mobile Alert 
To: "Thom Pike" <ciskoepike@yahoo.com>
Subject: RE: Hackworth, Vann, . . . and Herbert?
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2003 15:18:56 -0400

Damn good man.
 
Thx u and pls have a look at SFTT.org for our weekly magazine and my site at hackworth.com for updates and my weekly column.
 
Warmest regards,
 
D. Hackworth
P.O. Box 11179
Greenwich, CT 06831
 
 
Here's my orginal inquiry to COL Hackworth:
 
 
From: Thom Pike [mailto:ciskoepike@yahoo.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 8:49 PM
To: teagles@hackworth.com
Subject: Hackworth, Vann, . . . and Herbert?

 Dear Hack,

I was an avid read of ‘About Face’ when it first came out back in the late 80's and I was a 40 year old junior at Montana State University in Bozeman.

I had recently read Neal Shehan’s bio of Col. J.P. Vann and I was intrigued by the parallels between his career, your career, and the author of a book I had read in the early ‘70s, LTC. Anthony Herbert’s ‘The Making of a Soldier.’

I’ve read the excerpts of your latest, which prompted me to re-read the ‘Hardcore’ Chapter in A. F. There is a particular correlation to your description of the hard luck 4/39 vs the Division and Brigade headquarters of the 9th Div in 1969, and Herbert’s description, based on his initial assessment as the Brigade I.G,. of the 173d Abn Bde. base camp and ‘forward position’ of An Khe and Camp English, in 1968, and the combat battalions.

Herbert, like you, was a poor kid who enlisted as a private just after WWII, fought in Korea, was a  highly decorated enlisted combat infantryman, went to college, got a commision, was in the Ranger program, commanded a battalion in Vietnam, and was forced out of the service when he embarrassed the high command, in his case when he made charges of atrocities he witnessed in the 173d's AO.

Her

 
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forde       11/1/2007 7:09:22 PM
I never met LtCol Herbert but I did encounter LtCol Ross Franklin who is mentioned in Herbert's memoir "Soldier".  Franklin taught an International Relations course for Troy State University (Hurlburt Campus) in Ft Walton Beach FL in the late 1980's.  I can't speak to the accuracy of the rest of Herbert's recollections but his description of Franklin, both his appearance and his demeanor, were dead-on.  Franklin, by the way, was the officer in the memoir who took great pride in having sent ice cream by helicopter to soldiers on the front-lines in Vietam at a time when they desparately needed ammunition and rations.  I actually heard Franklin's accounting of the event prior to reading Soldier.  I was surprised when I read the book that both his version and Herbert's were in agreement as to the facts of the event, only the "value" of the exercise was disputed.  Franklin also related his experience with the 60 Minutes segment that was prompted by the release of Herbert's memoir.  According to Franklin, he was reluctant to participate in the interview and only acquiesed when the 60 Minutes people assured him that they would tailor what was aired so as to make him look like the hero and Herbert to look like just another disgruntled subordinate.  That was when I stopped watching 60 Minutes. 
 
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