Submitted by: Robert Bogison
America’s largest logistics base in the Vietnam War was Long Binh Post, north of Saigon. A major target for enemy sappers, the sprawling facility was under constant siege. In order to maintain a 24/7 cordon of protection, a military police unit was assigned ground infantry duties and a flotilla of riverine PBR gunboats to guard against infiltration and rocket attacks. They called themselves the “Bushwhackers." The job switch is unique in U.S. Army annals. "Up-Close and Personal" is the uncompromising saga of a young Californian coming of age in a job of great responsibility, danger and stress under combat conditions. Setting ambushes. Close-in engagements with the enemy. Retrieving decomposed remains. Navigating treacherous rivers and tributaries. And when it was over, soldiers lucky enough to survive a tour in-country were met by a hostile civilian population on the home front.
About the author:
Robert Bogison was born in a working-class neighborhood in Pontiac, Michigan to an Austria immigrant, his mother, and a wine and beer salesman father (and first-generation Armenian) seldom home, who had served in the U. S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater in World War II. An uncle - Charlie - served with the 1st Marine Division at Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa. In early January, 1968 Bogison enlisted in the US Army to become a military policeman. Basic training followed at Fort Ord, California and Military Police School, Fort Gordon, Georgia. His first duty station was the Correctional Training Facility at Fort Riley, Kansas assigned to rehabilitate incorrigible soldiers, some of whom had circulated for many years in the military penal system since being drafted in the early 1960s. In July, 1969 he shipped out to the 284th Military Police Company headquartered in the infamous Long Binh Jail compound. Four months later - and by dint of unconventional personal initiative - he transferred to B Company, “Bushwhackers,” 720th Military Police Battalion to be a squad leader. B Company is the only combat infantry MP unit in Military Police Corps history. When B Company disbanded in July, 1970 for the final in-country 40 days he was sent to a US Marine Corps fire base near Da Nang.