February 8

This Day in History

Vietnam War

Feb 8, 1962:

MACV established

The Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), headed by Gen. Paul D. Harkins, former U.S. Army Deputy Commander-in-Chief in the Pacific, is installed in Saigon as the United States reorganizes its military command in South Vietnam.

Before MACV, the senior U.S. military command in South Vietnam was the U.S. Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG-Vietnam), which was formed on November 1, 1955 to provide military assistance to South Vietnam. MAAG-Vietnam had U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps elements that provided advice and assistance to the South Vietnamese Ministry of Defense, Joint General Staff and corps and division commanders, as well as to training centers and province and district headquarters.

MAAG-Vietnam was disbanded in 1964 and its personnel and responsibilities absorbed by MACV. The establishment of MACV, which greatly enlarged and reorganized the advisory effort, represented a substantial increase in the U.S. commitment to the war in Vietnam, and American assistance to the South Vietnamese doubled between 1961 and 1962. Thereafter, the conduct of the war was directed by MACV and a major build-up of American advisers, support personnel, and eventually an escalation that included the commitment of U.S. combat troops began.

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