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Posted: 3/28/2006 4:15:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 4:16:52 PM EDT by quijanos]
In 1965 Vietnam seemed like just another foreign war,
but it wasn't.
It was different in many ways, as so were those that did the fighting.
In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26...
In Vietnam he was 19.
In Vietnam he was Nineteen.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:17:43 PM EDT
Yup. The 80's song called "19". I rememeber the lyrics but not the title so I had to Google it
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:19:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By quijanos:
In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26...
In Vietnam he was 19.



can anyone back up those stats? i'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the WWII figure includes all participating nations, while the vietnam figure is only for the US?
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:19:54 PM EDT
Na na na na nineteen, nineteen, nineteen.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:21:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DOW:
Na na na na nineteen, nineteen, nineteen.




Eighties kid for sure
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:21:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 4:23:39 PM EDT by sapper85]
wasn't it Alice Cooper who sang that? For some reason his name pops in my head.

Never mind

Paul Hardcastle


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A little something about Paul Hardcastle
Paul Hardcastle has put together an impressive career as a producer with his own Fast Forward record label, and as a composer scoring video and film works. He also enjoyed a brief period of pop fame, when in 1985 he had a surprise number 1 hit (UK) with "19." "19" was an interesting combination of preachy spoken word, testimonials, looping news reports, synths and heavy beats, concerning a subject that dominated music two decades earlier: the Vietnam War. The number nineteen was significant in the song as the reported "average age" of the combat soldier during the conflict. While those of us who were of high school age (or there-abouts) at the time were not terribly concerned with the political fallout that surrounded the Vietnam war, there was so little popular music with socio-political messages in 1985 that we really latched on to it. Plus for some reason it felt really cool to repeat the line "I wasn't really sure what was going on."
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:25:00 PM EDT
Nope, not Alice Cooper. And the average age of the soldier fighting in Vietman was not nineteen.

from Vietnam-war.info


Assuming KIAs accurately represented age groups serving in Vietnam, the average age of an infantryman serving in Vietnam to be 19 years old is a myth, it is actually 22.8. None of the enlisted grades have an average age of less than 20.


The song "19" was by Paul Hardcastle.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:27:57 PM EDT
'Hey Nineteen' Steely Dan - 1980
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:39:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:

Originally Posted By quijanos:
In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26...
In Vietnam he was 19.



can anyone back up those stats? i'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the WWII figure includes all participating nations, while the vietnam figure is only for the US?


AFAIK, in WW II the age of draftees went higher (and didn't go from 19-20), plus the age of volunteers was higher as well. Not so many volunteers for Viet Nam, and the Army basically ran down the list of 19 YO's until they hit their numbers. As the war wore on, you could be pretty sure if you'd get called for a physical by your draft number.

For example, when the draft started, if your number was say 220 (out of 365 days in a year that were matched with the dates), you may very well get drafted. In the later years, if your number was around 75, you knew you'd get called, but at around 100 you'd be home free. It all depended on how many soldiers and Marines were needed, and how many they were getting out of your local area to fulfill their recruitment figures. That's my take on it anyway, but I'll bet some military recruiter will read this thread and provide a better and more detailed explanation.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:43:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:

Originally Posted By quijanos:
In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26...
In Vietnam he was 19.



can anyone back up those stats? i'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the WWII figure includes all participating nations, while the vietnam figure is only for the US?



the actual average was 22

souce Capt. Marshal Hanson, U.S.N.R (Ret.)
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:43:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By geegee:

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:

Originally Posted By quijanos:
In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26...
In Vietnam he was 19.



can anyone back up those stats? i'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the WWII figure includes all participating nations, while the vietnam figure is only for the US?


AFAIK, in WW II the age of draftees went higher (and didn't go from 19-20), plus the age of volunteers was higher as well. Not so many volunteers for Viet Nam, and the Army basically ran down the list of 19 YO's until they hit their numbers. As the war wore on, you could be pretty sure if you'd get called for a physical by your draft number.

For example, when the draft started, if your number was say 220 (out of 365 days in a year that were matched with the dates), you may very well get drafted. In the later years, if your number was around 75, you knew you'd get called, but at around 100 you'd be home free. It all depended on how many soldiers and Marines were needed, and how many they were getting out of your local area to fulfill their recruitment figures. That's my take on it anyway, but I'll bet some military recruiter will read this thread and provide a better and more detailed explanation.



The percentage of vollunteers in the Vietnam war was around 60+% according to what I have read.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:50:46 PM EDT
WWII took a bigger slice out of the manpower pool in ages. the draft started in 39 or 40 and once in, you were in for the duration, not just 2 years.

I would also expect that the definition of "combat soldier "was such that it included a lot of job types that included older guys in WWII that just weren't around in Vietnam. Combat Aircrews (gunners, radio men, in the masses of bombers) ships and assault craft crews including all the guys involved in amphibious and logistics shipping. the Vietnam mix being heavily biased toward the average infantryman.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:54:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By quijanos:
In 1965 Vietnam seemed like just another foreign war,
but it wasn't.
It was different in many ways, as so were those that did the fighting.
In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26...
In Vietnam he was 19.
In Vietnam he was Nineteen.


Umm...1985 or so.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:55:47 PM EDT
Wow yall catch on quick
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 5:03:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2006 5:41:59 PM EDT by DienBienPhu54]
I still have the cassette
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 5:14:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dalesimpson:

Originally Posted By geegee:

Originally Posted By fossil_fuel:

Originally Posted By quijanos:
In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was 26...
In Vietnam he was 19.



can anyone back up those stats? i'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the WWII figure includes all participating nations, while the vietnam figure is only for the US?


AFAIK, in WW II the age of draftees went higher (and didn't go from 19-20), plus the age of volunteers was higher as well. Not so many volunteers for Viet Nam, and the Army basically ran down the list of 19 YO's until they hit their numbers. As the war wore on, you could be pretty sure if you'd get called for a physical by your draft number.

For example, when the draft started, if your number was say 220 (out of 365 days in a year that were matched with the dates), you may very well get drafted. In the later years, if your number was around 75, you knew you'd get called, but at around 100 you'd be home free. It all depended on how many soldiers and Marines were needed, and how many they were getting out of your local area to fulfill their recruitment figures. That's my take on it anyway, but I'll bet some military recruiter will read this thread and provide a better and more detailed explanation.



The percentage of vollunteers in the Vietnam war was around 60+% according to what I have read.


That surprises me, but you may be correct.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 6:42:29 PM EDT
Coolest Vietnam 80's song (in my humble opinion) would be Herbie Hancocks cover of Springsteins "Born In the USA" Got a Great beat and bite!

BIGGER_HAMMER
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 6:44:42 PM EDT
from Vietnam-war.info



Myth:

Most Vietnam veterans were drafted.

2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. Approximately 70% of those killed were volunteers.

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