Antiwar Resistance Within the Military During the Vietnam War
By David Cortright
By David Cortright
The GI Movement
Opposing the Air War
Two major incidents occurred in July 1972 that had significant impact on the Navy’s ability to carry out its mission. A fire aboard the carrier U.S.S. Forrestal based in Norfolk burned the admiral’s quarters and extensively damaged the ship’s radar communication system, resulting in more than $7 million in damage. It was the largest single act of sabotage in naval history. Later that month sabotage struck the carrier U.S.S. Ranger based in California. A few days before the ship’s scheduled departure for Vietnam, a paint scraper and two 12-inch bolts were dropped into one of the ship’s engine reduction gears. This caused major damage and a three and a half month delay in the ship’s sailing.
David Cortright is an Army veteran serving from 1968-71, and the author of the classic book, Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War. He is a professor and director of policy studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and is the author or editor of 20 books.
 Robert Heinl, “The Collapse of the Armed Forces,” Armed Forces Journal, June 1971.
 Morris Janowitz, "Volunteer Armed Forces and Military Purpose," Foreign Affairs, April 1972, 428.
 See the discussion of this distinction in David Cortright and Max Watts, Left Face: Soldier Unions and Resistance Movements in Modern Armies (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1991), 19-22.
 In my book Soldiers in Revolt I documented 250 GI papers and estimated the total number at more than 300. Further research by James Lewes found more than one hundred additional GI papers. All known GI papers are now archived in the GI Press Project, an online digital archive housed at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. See David Cortright, Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance during the Vietnam War (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 1975, 2005); and James Lewes, Protest and Survive: Underground GI Newspapers during the Vietnam War (Westport, CT: Praeger Press, 2003).
 Barbara L. Tischler, “Breaking Ranks: GI Antiwar Newspapers and the Culture of Protest,” Vietnam Generation, Special Issue: GI Resistance: Soldiers and Veterans Against the War, 2, No. 1 (1990), 20-50.
 “Some G.I.’s in Vietnam Join Protest,” New York Times, October 16, 1969, 22.
 Overseas Weekly (Pacific edition), October 30, 1971, and November 6, 1971.
 Richard Moser, The New Winter Soldiers: G.I. and Veteran Dissent during the Vietnam Era (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1996), 99.
 Howard C. Olson and R. William Rae, Determination of the Potential for Dissidence event in the U.S. Army, Technical Paper RAC-TP-410 (McLean, Va: Research Analysis Corporation, March 1971); R. William Rae, Stephen B. Forman and Howard C. Olson, Future Impact of Dissident Elements Within the Army, Technical Paper RAC-TP-441 (McLean, Va: Research Analysis Corporation, January 1972).
 Richard Moser, The New Winter Soldiers, 132.
 Lawrence M. Baskir and William A. Strauss, Chance and Circumstance: The Draft, the War, and the Vietnam Generation (New York: Random House, 1978), 122.
 All figures for desertion rates drawn from statistics provided to the author by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Magazine and Book Branch, 1973, as published in Cortright, Soldiers in Revolt, 11-15.
 Baskir and Strauss, Chance and Circumstance, 122.
 Moser, The New Winter Soldiers, 80.
 See the classic work by Wallace Terry, Bloods, Black Veterans of the Vietnam War: An Oral History(New York: Random House, 1984).
 Moser, The New Winter Soldiers, 51-52.
 Cecil Barr Currey, Long Binh Jail: An Oral History of Vietnam’s Most Notorious U.S. Military Prison(Washington DC: Potomac Books, 2001).
 Flora Lewis, “The Rumble at Camp Lejeune,” Atlantic, January 1970, 35-41.
 Senior Airman Nicole Leidholm, “Race Riots Shape Travis’ History, Travis Air Force Base, news story, updated 11/8/2013, at http://www.travis.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123370166
 See the account of John Darrell Sherwood, Black Sailor, White Navy: Racial Unrest in the Fleet During the Vietnam War Era (New York: New York University Press, 2007).
 Cortright, Soldiers in Revolt, 28-49.
 Moser, The New Winter Soldiers, 132.
 Christian Appy, Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1993), 242.
 The headline image is captured at http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/daily-news-front-page-august-26-headline-sir-my-men-refuse-news-photo/453339726
 The CBS incident was reported in Newsweek magazine, April 20, 1970, 51, and May 25, 1970, 45.
 See Cortright, Soldiers in Revolt, 36-38.
 Shelby L. Stanton, The Rise and Fall of an American Army: U.S. Ground Forces in Vietnam, 1965-1973 (Novato, Calif.: Presidio Press, 1985), 349.
 Congressional Quarterly, "Problems in the Ranks: Vietnam Disenchantment, Drug Addiction, Racism Contribute to Declining Morale," in The Power of the Pentagon (Washington DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1972), 22.
 Hearings Before the Defense Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, 92nd Congress, 1st Session, Part 9, 585.
 Michael Clodfelter, Vietnam in Military Statistics: A History of the Indochina Wars 1772-1991 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1995).
 Cortright, Soldiers in Revolt, Appendix B, 322-23.
 Ibid., 111-112.
 "Investigation of Attempts to Subvert the United States Armed Services," Hearings Before the Committee on Internal Security, House of Representatives, 92nd Congress, 1st and 2nd Sessions, 1972, II, 7051.
 Report by the Special Subcommittee on Disciplinary Problems in the U.S. Navy of the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, 92nd Congress, 2nd Session, 17670 and 17684.
 “Navy Says Sailor Confessed He Set Blaze on Carrier,” New York Times, November 28, 1972, p. 18; and “Seaman is Guilty in Carrier Blaze,” New York Times, December 8, 1972, p. 18.
 “Sailor is Freed by Navy Board in Trial on Sabotage of Carrier,” New York Times, June 13, 1973, p. 5; Village Voice, February 1, 1973, p. 16.
 Cortright, Soldiers in Revolt, 131.
 "Staff Analysis of Recent Trends in GI Movement Organizing Activities, December, 1971-April, 1972," in House Internal Security Files.
 “Air Force Takes 3 Officers Off Cambodia Runs,” New York Times, June 6, 1973, p. 10; “U.S. Judge Here Says Bombing of Cambodia is ‘Unauthorized,’” New York Times, July 26, 1973, p. 4.
 Stewart Alsop, Newsweek, December 7, 1970, p. 104.
 Time, January 25, 1971, p. 34; “Army in Anguish,” Washington Post, September 15, 1971, p. 8.
 San Francisco Examiner, January 17, 1971.