Marching To The Sound Of The Guns: Leadership and Sacrifice in Vietnam

Michael A. Hood


Mike Hood graduated from West Point in 1967 and commissioned into the Infantry. Throughout his time at the Military Academy, he anticipated being deployed to Vietnam, and recalled a speech in which General Westmoreland told the Cadets to “march to the sound of the guns.” Upon graduating, Mike was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. When the 505th Infantry was selected to deploy to Vietnam in response to the Tet Offensive in 1968, he volunteered for reassignment to the 1st Battalion of the 505th. Following his first deployment to Vietnam, he returned home, but soon volunteered to go back, this time as an Advisor to the South Vietnamese Rangers. In this capacity, he was in Quang Tri when the North Vietnamese attacked in 1972. Upon returning from Vietnam, he joined the 7th Special Forces Group, and when the war in Vietnam ended, he left the Army to enter the business world. In this interview, Mike Hood talks about his time at West Point, his two deployments to Vietnam, and what West Point means to him. He describes the events surrounding the first combat death for the Class of 1967, James R. Adams, near Hue (Note: in the interview, it was reported as 21MAR68; in reality, James Adams died on 20MAR68). He discusses his experiences working with the South Vietnamese Rangers, all veterans of Operation Lam Son 719, and about the evacuation from Quang Tri in 1972. Finally, he examines his life after the military, and how he remains connected to the Army and lifelong friends.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Camaraderie Ethics Honor Leadership September 11 2001 Teamwork CASA Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army
interviewer Patrick Jennings
date 28 September 2007


name Michael A. Hood
institution USMA
graduation year 1967
service Infantry
unit 1/505 Infantry (RVN) / Advisor 1st Ranger Group (RVN)
service dates 1967 1974