Snake Eater (identification system), the military insurgent database developed for Iraqi soldiers by U.S. military personnel and companies. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Special operations forces -- the so-called ``snake eaters'' of the U.S. military -- are trained and equipped for clandestine combat ranging from nighttime snatch-and-grabs … Lv 7. Mann was assigned to teach a group of Montagnards how to throw grenades. Donlon, who was wounded four times but continued to direct the defense of the camp, earned the first Congressional Medal of Honor to be awarded in Vietnam. Snake Eater gives military personnel access to a database including names, addresses, known associates, and other pieces of information. These are the guys who "get down and dirty" to get the job done. The "Let Them Eat Cake" answer about Marie Antoinette answer is probably closest along with what was normally served where. But there was another player: the Montagnards. In 1961, John F. Kennedy, a proponent of such irregular warfare, authorized the use of the iconic green beret, a symbol that would capture a nation’s imagination. Telling of Viet Cong atrocities, he adds that he felt his people had been “used” by the American government, which “allowed that the Viet Cong attack our villages … and promised that at the end of the war they would help us attain independence.” To this bitter assessment, Ksor adds a firm confirmation: As Ksor acknowledges, the Special Forces couldn’t set American policy or dictate Vietnamese attitudes toward the tribes, so their good intentions had limitations. Eventually, Special Forces personnel in the camps managed to talk the rebels into laying down their arms. I once heard a Marine talking about a special operations team known as the "Snake eaters". This results from the need for expedient and clear communication. In the early ’60s, writes military historian John Prados, almost a million Montagnards lived in Vietnam, and the group was made up of about 30 different tribes. User Name: Remember Me? Tensions between the Vietnamese and the Montagnards were ratcheted up by racism. “Assume that during our own Civil War the north had asked a friendly foreign power to mobilize, train, and arm hostile American Indian tribes and lead them into battle against the South,” they wrote. Special Forces guys have been nicknamed Snake-eaters for awhile now- since Viet Nam, that I know of, anyway, and back then, it was usually an appellation for Green Berets- Army guys. The Montagnards, whose name is derived from the French word for mountaineers, are ethnically distinct from lowland, urban Vietnamese. 10-19-1. In response, some highlanders formed FULRO, a group whose initials, in French, translate to the United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races. “The Yards, however, find much humor in things. Tribesmen who had been moved from their traditional lands for security reasons returned to find their former homelands occupied by Vietnamese refugees. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. He talked only briefly about them, and the only real info I got out of it was, basically, they're the baddest mothers in the military. In instances […] Spearhead Ground Assault. Answer Save. Now I'm more than a little curious, and I was hoping a few of you Marines could help shed some light on these Snake eaters. And to a cynical eye, the highland group that surrounds Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now is but a living manifestation of the soldier’s madness. Read reviews from world’s largest community for readers. From the time of the Clark Massacre, in 1851 the regional Native Americans, commonly called the "Snakes" by the white settlers, harassed and sometimes attacked emigrant parties crossing the Snake River Valley. There, the Khmer Rouge imprisoned and killed those it could find. 2. The Montagnards’ forested mountain homelands, which ran along the Cambodian and Laotian borders in the western portion of Vietnam, were prime highways for North Vietnamese forces to move men and materiel. Subtitle of Metal Gear Solid 3, a video game about the original snake eater, Naked Snake. In October 1851, Shoshone Indians killed eight men in Fort Hall Idaho. Most Popular Military News "Snake Eater" is a term used to describe the "badasses" in U.S. Military special forces and elite infantry units. This actioner chronicles the exploits of one of them who has become a cop. American soldiers mediating between Montagnards and Vietnamese repeatedly found themselves in difficult positions. Tribesmen who had been moved from their traditional lands for security reasons returned to find their former homelands occupied by Vietnamese refugees. If it was a slow day, I would occasionally dive into the trench just to amuse them.”, The Green Berets also admired the Montagnards’ fighting prowess, noting their loyalty. By December 1963, 43,000 Montagnard defenders guarded the area around the first camp, Buon Enao, from the Viet Cong, while 18,000 Montagnards were enlisted in mobile strike forces, which were deployed by air to spots where conflict broke out. To the extent that most Americans know of the Montagnards, it is likely through film. The conflict was a result of increasing tension over several years between the Native tribes and the white settlers who were encroaching on their lands, and competing for game and water. The Cold War seemed to demand a decentralized, versatile style of fighting. They tend to be older and more specially trained than regular troops. “We are trying to help them, but there are only 12 of us here and 8,000 of them,” he said. When Americans remember Vietnam, we often think of the war as having three major actors: the North Vietnamese, the South Vietnamese, and the American military. Rangers, Special Forces, and Snake Eaters : International Military Forums > Military Discussion Forums > Joining the Military? Designed, built and tested with the working class racer in mind. Master Sgt. The tribesmen chose to settle in a cluster in North Carolina, in part because of the strong Special Forces presence near Fort Bragg. Thanks. Snake Eater is a military identification system and database developed by Computer Deductions, Inc. for the United States Army. Search for Library Items Search for Lists Search for Contacts Search for a Library. Why do Navy Chiefs call officers "cake eaters"? After the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam in 1972 and 1973, the Montagnard situation worsened further. Known as a tough loner, he returns to find the band of backwoods bad-guys who killed his parents and abducted his sister. The Montagnards moved into the second half of the 1960s living ever more precarious lives. “Green Berets”), and YES we DO eat snakes. Not all Special Forces troops were united in their good opinion of the indigenous forces’ fighting prowess. The most highly trained Montagnard troops, those in the mobile strike forces, were redeployed in base camps along the Laotian and Cambodian borders. The system allows military personnel to track and identify terrorists and insurgents in much the same way that mobile data terminals are used by police officers for criminals. The Green Berets there were uninterested in being interviewed, but she managed to ask them some questions about the Yards: The tribal customs were strange; but then, the regular Army found Special Forces’ ways odd. But a look at the movie through Montagnard eyes challenges this interpretation. Combat advisors training indigenous security forces to fight their own wars must have a key role in American defense policy in the 21st century. "Owen West's "The Snake Eaters" is a searing combat tale from the darkest days of the Iraq War, but it's also much more. Jacques Leslie of the LA Times and Philip A. McCombs of the Washington Post both interviewed Ed Sprague, a former Special Forces master sergeant. The Special Forces Association, a veterans’ group, has assisted with the process of immigration, circulating images of refugees who claimed to be veterans, in hopes of finding former Green Berets who could verify their stories. “Montagnards culturally do not throw,” he said. In 1970, Gloria Emerson of the New York Times visited a CIDG camp at Dakseang. The Snake Eaters 1 Into the Haze September 2005 Hunched over the steering wheel of his Humvee, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Chris Watson, 26, cursed. Favorite Answer. Ksor began working for the Americans in 1960 when he signed on as a messenger carrying word between Americans and his tribe. The episode also exacerbated tensions between Special Forces and the Army. The snake eaters : counterinsurgency advisors in combat. Discussions of the tribes’ plight on pro-military message boards focus on the Montagnards’ loyalty, Christianity, and sense of duty, drawing a contrast between the worthy Yard immigrants and an ungrateful American public. Gillespie saved the Vietnamese in his camp by negotiating a ceremony in which he, the Vietnamese commanding officer, and a Montagnard chief performed a two-hour rite of friendship. In 1972, Bing West wrote the classic account of military … We feel that gear design is as much art as it is science. The Berets, who often made jokes about the Yards eating dogs and seemingly unpalatable vegetation, saw something of their own values in these ways. In many anecdotes, Special Forces veterans describe their interactions with the Montagnards as full of bonhomie. The Communist government of North Vietnam had included the right for highlander autonomy in its founding platform in 1960, but many Montagnards were uneasy about Communist intentions. There are Montagnards in both movies. “If just sitting down and crying about it would do some good, I’ll tell you something—I’d sit down and cry.”. In September 1964, FULRO-allied Montagnards in five Special Forces camps rebelled, killing 80 South Vietnamese troops and taking 20 Americans hostage. The system uses technology previously released by Cross Match Technologies and Knowledge Computing Corporation of Arizona. This is part of our survival training, although I have slayed and eaten snake in the field to supplement the rations, and because basically, snake tastes good. The wide gap in style and sentiment between the jingoistic Wayne vehicle The Green Berets (1968) and Francis Ford Coppola’s meditative, almost nihilistic Apocalypse Now (1979) is often cited as symbolic of the way American public opinion turned on the war in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Howard Sochurek was on the scene for National Geographic and published an article in the January 1965 issue that documented the tense situation and credited the Special Forces with “pulling the firing pin from the revolt of 3,000 mountain soldiers.” Capt. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Snake_Eater_(identification_system)&oldid=853992017, Automatic identification and data capture, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 August 2018, at 06:49. They’re easy to get along with.”, Russell Mann, who served as a medic in the Special Forces, told Hans Halberstadt one of many funny stories soldiers traded about the Yards. The special warriors, dubbed "snake eaters" by their more conventional counterparts, have always been different. Directed by George Erschbamer. Perhaps the most respected group of indigenous fighters was the Nung, an ethnic Chinese minority from North Vietnam that had emigrated south as the Communist government took power. The alliance with the Special Forces is one that he still holds dear, even as he mourns everything else that has happened to his people. Search. The official American position, however, was to encourage national unity. Explorers' passing through had minimal effect. US 'Snake Eaters' To. By the time the hostilities between North and South Vietnam ceased, according to historian John Fredriksen, around 200,000 Montagnards had been killed and 85 percent of their villages leveled. Some American Special Forces personnel continued their involvement with the tribes in civilian capacities after the military had officially withdrawn. From a humanitarian perspective, their situation worsened, and the Green Berets felt powerless to help them. Ophiophagy , a specialized form of feeding or alimentary behavior of animals which hunt and eat snakes Development began in late 2006 after being suggested by Major Owen West, a Marine Corps officer serving in the Anbar Province of Iraq. As Bridges told an interviewer, the Green Berets believed that “the Montagnards made excellent soldiers.” They were used to working in teams: “They were very good at small unit tactics and seemed to know instinctively how to protect their flanks. Learn about great opportunities for enlisted airmen, officers and health care professionals. Welcome to the United States Air Force. The Special Forces commanders of the camps were relieved of their posts, and, as Gillespie told Halberstadt, headquarters tried to “whitewash the whole event.” Edwards writes that Gillespie was later reprimanded for having worn the Montagnard costume in photographs and “for telling a general officer that the general didn’t know enough about the Montagnards to interfere in that part of the country.”. But the VC also preyed on isolated villages, taking food and pressing Montagnards into labor and military service. And are they actually called Snake Eaters, or is this a slang term like jarhead or dogface? Watching Apocalypse Now with the interviewer, Ksor began to weep. He is also the author of two novels and numerous articles about adventure sports and military affairs. Shop. 8 years ago. Vietnamese called the tribal people mọi, or savage. Low profile design with velcro inner belt creates a solid platform. … Author has 5.9K answers and 13.2M answer views. Nickname given to Special Forces, because they can survive in the wilderness by eating, you geussed it, snakes. Meanwhile, South Vietnam’s President Ngô Đình Diệm had begun to settle refugees from North Vietnam in the highlands. If that historical hypothetical suggested wild possibilities, Evans and Novak used it advisedly. Welcome to Snake Eater Performance Honest, Effective, Reliable and Affordable. His was the last of four vehicles in a tiny convoy headed into Khalidiya. Basic Training and Military Service Questions. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. Funding for the project was originally provided by the Spirit of America project, a civilian organization that advocates support of U.S. troops abroad. As with the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division in Fallujah, the logistics and pay issues, along with a lack of heavy weapons, are what is holding the battalion back from operating without Coalition support. “They have no games that require throwing. For six months, the Snake Eaters’ No. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. After the uprisings, Saigon made some concessions to Montagnard demands but refused to allow tribal autonomy. The Snake Eaters aided Harracktor in defeating foes such as Artheemius Lyeench . They don’t even throw rocks at their chickens.” Mann trained his students, who were “more than willing to humor the crazy Americans as long as they got to kill some Vietnamese,” to throw progressively larger items, with an actual grenade toss as the “final exam.”, When a poorly placed grenade, lobbed over a berm, rolled back down the slope toward a student and his instructor, both had to dive into a muddy trench. Saigon also made a formal protest to the United States, alleging that the arming of the Montagnards had proceeded without the regime’s knowledge or consent and that the U.S. had assisted the highlanders in their rebellion. Snake Eater. Watson turned on the wipers to brush away the dust stirred by the heaving troop carrier barely visible ten meters ahead. In 1965, syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak used a frontier metaphor to describe the American Special Forces’ advisory role with Vietnamese tribesmen. Owen West is publishing excerpts from his book - The Snake Eaters: An Unlikely Band of Brothers and the Battle for the Soul of Iraq - in Slate in order to answer the question of whether we (the USA) can build a foreign Army. Spirit of America provided $30,000 for the development of a prototype model, with Goldman Sachs contributing another $14,000. This information, previously collected in homemade spreadsheets or on pieces of paper, can now be accessed and expanded through hand-held devices. More than 150,000 Montagnards became refugees themselves, as fighting between the North and South intensified in the central highlands. -Thaddeus. 8 years ago. Detachments of 12 Green Berets trained Montagnards, drawn from the tribe dominant in the surrounding area, into “civilian irregular defense groups,” or CIDGs. The Boss taught Jack extensively regarding combat, weaponry, survival, espionage, destruction, psychology and foreign languages (such as Russian), later developing CQC together. The Vietnamese raise coffee in state-owned plantations on former Montagnard land. In a way, combat was almost like a family situation with them: you protect your brother and your brother protects you.” Bridges added, “I found them very brave under fire. Nam Dong would eventually become part of American popular culture, featured in Robin Moore’s novel The Green Berets and the John Wayne film adaptation, both of which popularized the collaboration between Special Forces and indigenous allies by way of burnishing the mystique of the Green Berets. KHALIDIYA, IRAQ: The Snake Eaters of the 3/3-1 are held in high esteem by the Marine and Army trainers at ASP Outpost. The Sprague stories were, in some respects, humorous accounts of a seemingly eccentric man—McCombs described Sprague as he “lounges in his tribal dressing gown” in his “spacious, modern compound on a jungle hilltop surrounded by watchful Montagnard guards.”. The Snake Eaters book. As with the related Hmong people of Laos, many of whom fought with the CIA in the “Secret War” and then petitioned to emigrate to the United States, the Montagnards’ plight has become politicized, their abandonment seen as analogous to the general neglect American service members felt upon returning from the war. Founded on affordability, honesty, great customer service and a rock solid warranty, SEP succeeds every day in defying the stigmas of cost and quality. Sprague returned to work with USAID in Phu Bon Province, spending his days driving around back roads in a car with Montagnard assistants, visiting tribesmen in his capacity as USAID adviser for economic development. The Snake Eaters are an elite division of the Marines especially trained for search and destroy missions. After the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam in 1972 and 1973, the Montagnard situation worsened further. Compre The Snake Eaters: Counterinsurgency Advisors in Combat (English Edition) de West, Owen na Amazon.com.br. Despite the isolated efforts of some former Green Berets and of the government ministers appointed to help ethnic minorities, the Montagnards suffered in postwar Vietnam. You can cancel anytime. The U.S. military uses many unique acronyms, terms and jargon. The indigenous Montagnards, recruited into service by the American Special Forces in Vietnam’s mountain highlands, defended villages against the Viet Cong and served as rapid response forces. The Snake Eaters follows one team of underprepared reservists and National Guardsmen who arrived in Iraq unprepared for the reality of the mission, built an Iraqi battalion from the ground up, and plunged into battle side-by-side. (The Special Forces camps often contained not only the enlisted Montagnards, but also their families, who insisted on staying near their loved ones.) Throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, some 3,000 Montagnards with combat records have emigrated to the United States. The bond between America’s elite fighters and their indigenous partners has persisted into the present, but despite the best efforts of vets, the Montagnards have suffered greatly in the postwar years, at least in part because they cast their lot with the U.S. Army. WorldCat Home About WorldCat Help. Many of them believed that the tribesmen got a raw deal from the Vietnamese and were inclined to look with sympathy upon Montagnards’ enmity towards the government. Born in 1935, Jack’s military career dated back to the 1950s, becoming The Boss's disciple in June 1950, and fighting in the Korean War. The tribesmen in Green Berets are simple, childlike victims whose appearance on screen is accompanied by a variation on the Oriental riff. With Lorenzo Lamas, Josie Bell, Robert Scott, Ronnie Hawkins. what happened to the snake-eaters? The Special Forces often used Nung as bodyguards, as they were a dependable source of security while the Berets were recruiting and training local tribesmen. ...The problem is, advisers remain a mystery to the American public and misunderstood by its leaders. Great Moments in Military History The Snake-Eaters and the Yards The Vietnamese tribesmen who fought alongside American Special Forces won the Green Berets’ admiration—and lost everything else. The nickname “snake eater” stuck to the Special Forces. In a war with more than its share of tragedies, this one is less often told but is crucial to understanding the conflict and its toll. The Snake Eaters are a group of warriors dedicated to maintaining peace and civility in the Kingdom of Harracktor as well as defending the northern town of Vons Masta. After the coup against Diệm in 1963, the succession of military leaders that took control in Saigon pursued ever-more restrictive policies regulating Montagnard life. Meanwhile, in the United States, American Special Forces were taking on an increasingly large role in American military planning and strategy. Many Montagnards have now converted to Christianity—a fact that increases their vulnerability as a minority in a Communist country. Vernon Gillespie appeared in the photographs accompanying Sochurek’s article dressed in Montagnard clothing: a long loincloth, tunic, and bare feet. As Prados points out, “this move clearly aimed at closing off a large potential source of arms for FULRO adherents,” since many decommissioned CIDG militia members would have to surrender their weapons. John J. Self, interviewed by Sochurek for National Geographic in 1968, told of the lack of supplies and food for the Montagnards who lived near his camp. For four years, Special Forces had been training an oppressed minority group in guerrilla tactics, providing them with weapons and acting as de facto aid workers in their communities. Read the glossary. The Special Forces turned the command of remaining Montagnard mobile strike force groups over to the Vietnamese in 1970, and the transition did not go well, with the traditional conflicts between the two groups souring their collaboration. From the French word for mountaineers, are ethnically distinct from lowland, Vietnamese... It advisedly for six months, the Montagnard situation worsened further closest along with what normally! 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