Extract from an interview with Claire Hall, 17 March 2011

Reproduced with permission of Bryan Lichtwark

Just the normal bare essentials a platoon would use in an everyday setting.

And were they keen students?

I don't know whether you've ever seen Asians, but Asians can be so dead-pan faced when you're talking to them that sometimes it's very hard to know what they're thinking. There was an occasion when I first got there [Chi Lang] and was instructing some officers and my interpreter, Sergeant Su, asked me if I could smile a little bit more because I looked a little bit too grim-faced and that the students thought that I was angry with them. And I said to Sergeant Su that I was certainly not angry with the students and that my grim face was trying to convey the seriousness of what I was teaching. In other words, if you didn't listen to me you're going to be bloody killed. However, I took on board what he said, bearing in mind the differences in cultures of people, and in future I worked on the assumption that if I smiled broadly and told them that if they didn't do this they'd blow themselves to bloody smithereens. It went down well and they would applaud the lesson.

Reference: 

Vietnam War Oral History Project, Manatu Taonga Ministry for Culture & Heritage

How to cite this page: 'Training the South Vietnamese - Bryan Lichtwark', URL: http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz/video/training-south-vietnamese-interview-with-bryan-lichtwark, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 15-Oct-2013