Medical services and advancements played a critical role in the US military’s endeavors during the Vietnam War. Though a vast amount of research has been conducted on the motives behind US participation in the Vietnam War, medical advancements, research, and medicine as a political tool have been largely overlooked. This Independent Study draws heavily from primary source materials from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s to establish an understanding of the medical climate and conduct during the conflict. In order to fully grasp the contemporary issues discussed in primary sources, and individualize experiences, this study also relied on oral histories. Through study of government publications, articles, and journals, it has become clear that while substantial advancements were made for military medicine (trauma care and disease treatments), the US government used medical personnel to advance the political agenda and attempt to win the “hearts and minds” of the South Vietnamese people. This study discusses the rhetoric of the medical practices during the Vietnam War, adding to the greater military medical history, as previous studies have focused on one branch of the military only, and all have presented the US military in a positive manner.


Ng, Margaret




Military History | Other Medicine and Health Sciences | United States History | Virus Diseases


Vietnam War, Military Medicine, US Military

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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