About Face Summary & Study Guide

David Hackworth
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About Face Summary & Study Guide Description

About Face Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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About face is written by Colonel David H. Hackworth and Julie Sherman and is the story of Hackworth's year in the United States Army. Throughout his career, he had been concerned with the adequacy of the training of troops. During his Army career, he served in both Korea and Vietnam and he felt the United States never adequately adapted its training techniques to the jungles of Vietnam.

Hackworth grew up in the Santa Monica area of California. He lived in a series of foster homes before lying about his age and entering the Army at the age of fifteen. World War II had just ended and the teenage Hackworth felt that this would be a good way to meet girls. He was assigned to the Trieste area of Italy along the border with Yugoslavia.

Hackworth basically grew up in the Army. He found the family that he never had and he was conscious about the value of good training from the beginning. When the Korean conflict began, he requested and received assignment to Korea. He describes the various battles in which he fought, the mistakes he made and what he learned from those mistakes.

After Korea, Hackworth left the Army for two years. There was no place for him in the post-Korea army since he didn't have a college degree. He rejoined the Army in 1955, after two years of college. He missed the structure of the Army and the Army way of life. He was then assigned to Germany and became part of the forces that march through East Germany to Berlin during the Berlin crisis. Hackworth discusses the experience and how the American forces could have been annihilated by the Soviets at any point.

Hackworth watched as the Americans become involved in Vietnam. He considered himself a combat soldier and applied for a position as an advisor. His application was denied because he had too much experience. He was assigned to duty at the Pentagon and other places in the United States until he received a position with a combat unit in Vietnam. He discusses the different battles he was in and his life in Vietnam.

Hackworth is critical of the inadequate Army training procedures for Vietnam. The Army training procedures were geared to a ground war in Europe, not the jungle warfare of the jungles of Vietnam. He tried to do the best in training his men and all of his units became outstanding performance units.

In 1970, Hackworth participated in an Issues and Answers interview in which he stated his views about the shortcomings of the training and other issues. As a result, he submited his resignation. The Army delayed his discharge while it investigated him. Eventually, the case was dropped and his discharge was processed. He eventually settled in Australia.

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This section contains 467 words
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