“I Knew It Was Going To Be A Bad Year”: An OCS Officer With D/1-5 Cavalry In Vietnam

Leonard Edwards


Leonard Edwards was born in 1941 in Mars Hill, North Carolina, and grew up with his brother and sister on a family farm that produced tobacco, corn, and hay. His dad was a farmer and his mom worked at a local factory. As a boy, he was active in sports, playing football, basketball, and baseball. After high school he attended college in Mars Hill for two years, pursuing a business degree, before enlisting in 1966. He thought basic training was terrible and Advanced Infantry Training was tougher than basic. By the time he got to Officer Candidate School, he felt that he’d seen everything. He found OCS very challenging and he learned a lot, especially on night maneuvers. He then completed Jungle School and felt that that training prepared him well. He deployed in August 1967, and landed in Cam Ranh Bay on his 26th birthday. He joined his unit at Camp Evans and met the Company Commander before taking over his platoon. He describes his experiences as a platoon leader, explaining what typical patrols and missions were like. After returning from Vietnam, he worked as an accountant for 52 years. In this interview, he talks about his childhood, his experiences in high school and college, and his service in the Army. He shares stories of basic training, AIT, and OCS. He discusses his year in Vietnam and highlights several engagements he was in. Finally, he shares the importance of attending reunions, and explains what his service means to him.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Leadership Teamwork Camaraderie Courage Military Techniques Returning from War
interviewer David Siry
date 13 September 2021


name Leonard Edwards
service Infantry
unit 2nd Platoon, D Company, 1-5 Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division
specialty Officer Candidate School
service dates 1966 1969