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A South Vietnamese soldier, a member of the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam), loads his M16 as he stands in a flooded rice field, where he was dropped by helicopter, 1965

This was the main way of deploying soldiers on "Search and Destroy" missions, these missions being the US operating strategy to win the war. It meant sending troops out to aggressively pursue the Vietcong guerillas in the countryside. They sought to initiate battles with the Vietcong and relied on their superior firepower to inflict large losses.

ARVN soldier