I’ve been hearing stories about the ROKs all my life from Pops. All I gotta say is if they’re all as hard looking as those two senior cadre on the bottom, those stories have to be true.

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28 Responses to ROKs

  1. Lazarus Long says:


  2. skidmark says:

    One does not want to mess with them. And yet they are are more fun to be with on a bar crawl than three Navy Chiefs.

    stay safe.

  3. Unclezip says:

    Your Pops was right. They are NOT to be fucked with.

  4. Alemaster says:

    Your dad was right; damn fine soldiers! My unit, the 129th AHC (that’s where I got my callsign/nicname), had the primary mission of supporting The Capital ROK, Tiger, Division in RVN. I put down a lot of 2.75″ FFAR and 7.62 cal fire for them. Tough, tough guys who the VC and PAVN didn’t really care to screw with. Had a year tour as a C-12 driver in ROK in ’84 at Seoul AB. They hadn’t changed any then, still tough. Kind of figured that the Koreans and Israelis had the same outlook on defending their respective homelands. regards, Alemaster

    • Wirecutter says:

      Hey, shoot me an email, please. I’ve read damned near every book written about helicopters in Vietnam and both your callsign and the last name in your email sound real familiar.

  5. Rickvid in Seattle says:

    From what I hear, the Norks are generally very young little guys whose training is piss poor, equipment maintenance is crap, logistics are confused, and whose general level of capability is very low. The things they have going for them are a bejillion rounds of artillery for guns buried in mountain caves but within easy distance from Seoul, and that there are a lot of the little commie fuckers who don’t know anything but instant blind obedience to the little fat fuck. Well, I say let’s take off and nuke ’em from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure!

  6. Ian Restil says:

    Your dad is right about this.

    In fact, so far, he seems to be right about everything.

  7. Roger says:

    I spent 13 months in Korea, ’65 / ’66. the ROKs were WELL respected. I recall that some of them went to Vietnam at that time and their “work” there was extremely well respected, especially by the enemy.

  8. Kevin Noland says:

    They’re tougher! Saw them running PT one time in FULL gear an NCO carrying the end piece for an army cot brought up the rear! If someone fell out he had no problem lowering the boom on them!

  9. Lee says:

    They are harder. Flew them around some. They had a base south of Da Nang. 1968 or so. I don’t think we ever had to get much below 10 feet and all the ROC’s were just gone. Couple of times we hadn’t even lowered the back ramp. (CH-46)

  10. Old NFO says:

    They are. Just sayin…

  11. Dave in Indiana says:

    Yeah, that looks impressive at first glance, but keep in mind that a 20 foot long chunk of 6″ diameter sewer pipe weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 pounds.

    • singlestack says:

      I’m a commercial plumber and I just finished a rough in with a trunk line of about 400 feet of 6″ PVC. Your figure of 30#/20ft seemed way off so I checked my Charlotte fitting book. 6″ foam core (often used by bungalow plumbers) is 33#/20ft but Schedule 40 plain end (used in commercial work) is 70#/20ft.
      And the guys in the pics are carrying artillery shells, not PVC pipe.

  12. Dave in Indiana says:

    ^ 6″ diameter PVC sewer pie that is…..PVC is an important part that I thought about but forgot to mention…. propaganda is all about the art of deception.

  13. Dave in Indiana says:

    ^ pipe, dammit, not pie….flippin’ new bifocals don’t help me miss typos any better than the old ones…….

  14. Rob says:

    I’ve been there twice, those guys are hard core

  15. ColdSoldier says:

    My dad never had a high opinion of them. 24th Infantry “Heartbreak Ridge”, “Bloody Ridge”, and the “Punchbowl”. He never told me why….hell he never told me much. I wish he was still around to trade stories with, although mine in A-stan pale in comparison.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Whole different army. The ROKs in the Korean war were an embarrassment and got a lot of our GIs killed. After that, they re-trained and went to Vietnam to show the world they were the hardest, toughest motherfuckers around. And they were, too. They took fire from a village, that village ceased to exist.

      • ColdSoldier says:

        Thanks for clearing that up. I had a friend in my unit who served with 75th Ranger regiment in the past. One day he was ranting and raving on ROK’s he trained with once. I told my Dad they must have been bad-ass when he fought with them. He told me they had to “Train” them on the front lines and they were cowards.

  16. Hal. P. says:

    I trained with the ROKs in 1985, they were the toughest MoFos I ever trained with. Hard as well Rocs.. I was in the best shape of my life, as we’re the guys in my unit. The ROKs kicked our asses up and down the mtns for weeks. These guys did not quit, their little legs went up and down the Mnts all day and you never heard the bitch.

  17. martin says:

    no fucking with those guys

  18. Lord of the Fleas says:

    That’s what happens when you live your life under constant threat of invasion by a bunch of psychos a hundred miles away.

  19. Inbredredneck says:

    Never worked with ’em myself but saw lots of those guys in their tiger camo. Interesting thing was how their reputation preceded them. Had a buddy from junior high school days. Gary Louie and I were drafted the same day, went through Basic at Ft. Lewis and AIT at Ft. Jackson and ended up in the same platoon with the 9th InfDiv. Seems as though whenever we’d take break in a village, we’d be surrounded by the kids who’d always ask “GI, you got candy/cigarette/chocolate?” Next they’d want to sit on your lap, then take off runnin’ with your watch. Didn’t matter if I was sittin’ with one of the bloods, another honkey, whatever, but if I was with Gary (who was Chinese) the kids wouldn’t come near us. Finally got one of ’em to tells us they thought he was ROK and all the Vietnamese were scared to death of those guys.
    Then there was the time that one of the kids ran from a GI and was holding the pin from a grenade hangin’ on the guys webbing harness, but that’s a story for another time and a darker mood.

  20. Stretch says:

    Both Dad and Uncle Jim agree that you NEVER mess with ROKs.
    Uncle Jim, with 3 wars under his belt, rates the ROKs right up there with Royal Marines, Turks, and Gurkhas.

  21. D S Craft says:

    Yeah, Bro was in Vietnam in 1969. Spent time with the ROKs and said they were tough as nails. They did.not.fuck around and the NVA were seriously afraid of them.

  22. formwiz says:

    The story goes if the ROKs took a VC prisoner in ‘Nam, they’d lop off an ear, couple of fingers, maybe the nose.

    And that was BEFORE they even started questioning him, just to set the proper atmosphere.

    And, if I heard it once from guys who were there, I heard it a hundred times, “Glad they’re on our side”.

  23. pacman1776 says:

    ROKs are well respected by most if not all Vn vets, never saw them fight but good people disciplined well trained and proud. Yeah their problem will be, outnumbered by brain-washed hordes, will the US help or will our politicos at the time forget honor.

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