Lieutenant Colonel W.C. Floyd, USMC
(ret.) “served 13 years in Reconnaissance and Special Operations billets. In Vietnam 1967-68, he served in every capacity
from Platoon to Battalion Commander of Recon Marines. Later he served as the Ground Reconnaissance and Special Operations
Officer on the staff of the I Corps Commander/CG Third Marine Amphibious Force.” Lieutenant Colonel W.C. Floyd is the
author of Green Ghosts.
One reader said of Green
Ghosts, “This is a story, told in their own words, of the Marines and corpsmen of 3d Force reconnaissance
company; it's a story of valor, sacrifice and, above all, devotion to their fellow Marines and sailors. Other books (Alex
Lee's "Force Recon Command and Bruce Norton's "Force Recon Diary") have covered the company's latter
years in Vietnam. This book begins with the formation of the company in 1965 and its initial deployment to Vietnam in 1966.
I had the honor of serving as a platoon commander and intelligence officer in 1967/8. It was a highpoint of my life to serve
with the men in this book.
When 3d Force Recon Co. was formed
in October 1965 then Captain, W. C. Floyd was the initial executive officer. He took command of the company in June 1966 and
remained in that billet until November 1967. He oversaw the training and preparation prior to and then the deployment to Vietnam.
He has intertwined the accounts of the men in the company with historical notes from Ray Stubbe's Aarugha, the history
of Marine Corps force reconnaissance, and his own perspective as the commanding officer. It is a story well worth reading.
There are many descriptions of patrolling
in the field and enemy contacts. It's worth reading this book to benefit from the many "lessons learned" by
recon teams working in extreme conditions. It's also an excellent account of equipment, tactics and techniques used in
a war that is, for most of today's Marines, ancient history.
The book covers all aspects of company
operations, from patrolling to support activities. Some of these, like the road convoys (called "rough riders")
which inserted many teams and the communication network which kept the teams in contact with the rear, are important but little
known parts of the overall recon operation.
One chapter is devoted to the courageous
Navy corpsmen who were members of the company. These sailors were two time volunteers, first volunteering to serve with the
FMF and second, to serve in force recon. Anyone who has served with corpsmen, particularly in combat, has the highest respect
for these men.
I personally found the chapter titled
"Reflections" the most moving part of the book. In this chapter, as the title indicates, members of the company,
now all well into middle age, reflect back on what serving in 3d Force means to them. It, more than anything else, is a commentary
on what was, for most of us, one of the high points of our lives.
I think present day Marines will enjoy
this book, not only for the descriptions of combat in Vietnam but also for the deeper message of the bonding of men in war.
I'm sure that many Marines who have served in Iraq can and will relate to the experiences and feelings in this book.”