U.S. Army Psychiatry in the Vietnam War: New Challenges in Extended Counterinsurgency Warfare

U.S. Army Psychiatry in the Vietnam War: New Challenges in Extended Counterinsurgency Warfare
U.S. Army Psychiatry in the Vietnam War: New Challenges in Extended Counterinsurgency Warfare
USA Price: 
Display Foreign Price
In stock
GPO Stock Number:

During Vietnam War (1965-1973), the US Army suffered a severe breakdown in soldier morale and discipline in Vietnam -- matters that are not only at the heart of military leadership, but also ones that overlap with the mission of Army psychiatry.  The psychosocial strain on deployed soldiers and their leaders in Vietnam, especially during the second half of the war, produced a wide array of individual and group symptoms that thoroughly tested Army psychiatrists and mental health colleagues there. 

This book seeks to consolidate a history of the military psychiatric experience in Vietnam through assembling and synthesizing extant information from a wide variety of sources documenting the success and failure of the Army's psychiatry in responding to the psychiatric and behavioral problems that changed and expanded as the war became protracted and bitterly controversial.

Note to the readers. This volume utilizes some materials that are not available either in print or online.  Several colleagues gave me access to their personal journals kept during their tours in Vietnam. Other colleagues shared papers they had written either during their tours in Vietnam or after their return home, but had never published. Other unpublished sources of information include handouts or other materials I received at various times during my Army career: when I attended Officer Basic Course, when I completed my residency, when I deployed to Vietnam, and after my return. None of these materials are considered “sensitive” by the military. I have included some of these materials as exhibits in the chapters, attachments to the chapters, or appendices to the volume. They are also listed in the references for each chapter, followed by a note that the document is available as indicated in this volume.



Other related products:

Textbooks of Military Medicine, Pt. 1, Warfare, Weaponry, and the Casualty: Military Psychiatry, Preparing in Peace for War can be found here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/008-023-00112-0

Stories of Hope and Recovery: A Video Guide for Suicide Attempt Survivors (DVD format) can be found here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/stories-hope-and-recovery-video-guide-suicide-attempt-survivors-dvd

Rehabilitation of the Injured Combatant, V. 2 can be found here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/008-023-00109-0

A Shared Burden: The Military and Civilian Consequences of Army Pain Management Since 2001 is available here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/sku/008-000-01151-6

How to Talk to a Child About A Suicide Attempt in the Family (Multimedia format- Booklet and DVD Set Kit) is available here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/products/how-talk-child-about-suicide-attempt-family-booklet-and-dvd-set-kit

Vietnam War resources collection can be found here: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/catalog/us-military-history/battles-wars/vietn...

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

About the Author | v

Foreword | vii

Preface | ix

Acknowledgments | xi

Prologue A Psychiatrist’s Experience During the Drawdown in Vietnam:

Coping With Epidemic Demoralization, Dissent, and Dysfunction at the

Tipping Point | xiii

Chapter 1 Contexts of the Vietnam War and Army Psychiatry: A Debilitating

War Fought a Long Way From Home | 1

Chapter 2 Overview of the Army’s Accelerating Psychiatric and Behavioral

Challenges: From Halcyon to Heroin | 35

Chapter 3 Organization of Army Psychiatry, I: Psychiatric Services in the

Combat Divisions | 73

Chapter 4 Organization of Army Psychiatry, II: Hospital-Based Services and the

Theater Psychiatric Leadership | 101

Chapter 5 The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Survey of Army Psychiatrists

Who Served in Vietnam | 125

Chapter 6 Combat Stress and Its Effects: Combat’s Bloodless Casualties | 145

Chapter 7 Treatment of Combat Reaction Casualties: Providing Humanitarian Care

While “Protecting Peace in Southeast Asia” | 211

Chapter 8 Deployment Stress, Inverted Morale, and Psychiatric Attrition:

“We Are the Unwilling, Led by the Unqualified, Doing the Unnecessary,

for the Ungrateful” | 259

Chapter 9 Substance Abuse in the Theatre: The Big Story | 321


Vietnam veterans, historians, students and teachers studying the Vietnam War, military psychiatrists, civilian psychiatrists working with military members and veterans, and members of the general public interested in the Vietnam War will find this book a fascinating study.



Eric Walters rated this book with a four star rating on November 20, 2016

Frank rated this book with a three star rating on May 14, 2015


Sage Journals Book Reviews   -- Reviewed by Reuven Gal, Samual Neaman Institute for National Policy Research, Technician -- Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel   December 23, 2015  

"This is probably the first and certainly the most comprehensive review that was ever published on the subject.  Unlike former wars, such as World War I, World War II, and Korea, that generated vast amounts of literature on combat and war psychiatry, the parallel literature following the Vietnam War is limited, fragmented, and confused.  The source of this limitation is rooted in the unique nature and circumstances of that war."


DOI: 10.1177/0095327x15617451

Product Details

Availability Details:
In Stock
USA Price:
International Price:
Defense Dept., Army, Borden Institute
  • Camp, Norman M.
Key Phrases:
  • United States Army Psychiatry in the Vietnam War: New Challenges in Extended Counterinsurgency Warfare
  • Vietnam War
  • Psychiatry
  • Mental Illness
  • Medical History
  • Military History
Quantity Price:
Unit of Issue (US):
Unit of Issue (Non-US):
Record Creation Date:
Last Status Update:
Back to Top