Early History of 99th Combat Support Bn


By COL George Berg, CO of 99th CSB


The 9th Infantry Division was one of the first US military units to be withdrawn from the Vietnam War. The 3rd Brigade of the 9th Infantry Division became a separate brigade as a result of the deactivation of the balance of the Division in July 1969. It remained a separate brigade until its deactivation in October 1970. Operational control of the "Go Devils" was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division.

The Commanding General of the 25th appeared to let the "Go Devils" operate as an autonomous unit within area sectors of responsibility. The 25th Division Staffs, Divarty and DISCOM commanders made several unsuccessful attempts to consolidate artillery and support battalions into their organization, and I do not know if like efforts were made to get separate companies consolidated into the 25th Division. I am thankful no consolidation was accomplished and attribute this to the strong conviction of the 3rd Brigade Commanders.

Upon the reorganization, the 3rd Brigade was reinforced by an additional Infantry battalion (4 total—3 Infantry and 1 Mechanized Infantry), one additional Artillery firing battery and a reinforced Combat Support Battalion made up of various elements of the 9th Infantry DISCOM. The support battalion was generally organized according to the TO&E of a support battalion for a Light Infantry Brigade.

LTC Ernie Vuley, the first CO of the 99th CSB, had the foresight to realize the basic TO&E was inadequate to support the "Go Devils’" mission and immediately submitted a modified TO&E to acquire sufficient additional personnel and equipment. Both the 3rd Brigade and 25th Division Commanders enthusiastically supported LTC Vuley. The end result was that adequate support was generally provided, but at times the supporting units had to be reminded by Brigade that "we’re doing the fighting you are doing the providing".

During the period of operation, approximately 1 July 1969 – 1 October 1970, the 99th CSB supported the approximate following units:

   Brigade HQ&HQ Company

   3 Infantry Battalions and 1 Mechanized Infantry Battalion

   Reinforced Artillery Battalion (105mm towed)

   Ranger Detachment

   Engineer Company

   MI Detachment (US and ARVN Integrated)

   Dog Platoon

   Non-brigade units of:

      Naval units at Ben Luc and operating in the sector

      Advisory teams in the 3rd and 4th Corps areas

      Philippine Medical unit in My Tho


Shortly after assuming command of the 99th CSB, LTC Vuley contracted a serious eye affliction and I assumed command on 15 November 1969. At that time, the 3rd Brigade CO Colonel Andrew Gatsis directed me to also assume administrative and logistics supervision and responsibility for all non-battalion units assigned to the Brigade.

Essentially, HQ Support Battalion was responsible for administration and logistics for the assigned personnel in the separate companies and detachments assigned or attached to HQ 3rd Bde. Operational control of these units and parts of the Support Battalion was basically through the Bde staff sections except for the supply and maintenance support activities located within the Support Battalion.

Basically, the Support Battalion Commander provided admin, logistical and inspection support to these units. The main emphasis was on admin procedures for support and records, and the care and maintenance of soldiers of these commands (legal, mess, unit supply, etc.).  Priority for the supported units continued to be their operational mission, while we generally provided logistical and admin support.

In summary, the 99th CSB soldiers enthusiastically and professionally provided "Active Support" to all units.


COL George A. Berg, (QM)



Thank You George  for helping the 709th Maint. Bn. & 99th Combat Support Bn


page started Oct. 7, 2010

Page updated  Oct. 7, 2010