McNamara's Morons - The Low Intelligence Soldiers Used as Guinea Pigs in the Vietnam War

McNamara's Morons - The Low Intelligence Soldiers Used as Guinea Pigs in the Vietnam War

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00:00
in this video we'll be moving our scope forward in time from the global catastrophe of world war 2 to the relatively localized plight of the Vietnam War or what many Vietnamese refer to as the American War no country is without sin especially in times of war though America's involvement in South Vietnam between 1955 and 1975 remains a topic of controversy and one particular military recruitment program stains the whole thing with pure folly
00:31
that's right we'll be discussing McNamara's fully known officially as project 100,000 in which the United States Department of Defense spearheaded by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara sent men that were well below the mental and physical military standards of the time off to fight and die in Vietnam in 1966 the US government was calling for more and more young Americans to go and spill their blood in the jungles of Vietnam drafting almost 50,000 each
01:26
month in this same year Robert McNamara announced project 100,000 not so much to meet the escalating requirements to keep America in Vietnam but to spare America's poor and otherwise disadvantaged from in his words our earnest ignorance and apathy by giving him a chance to earn their fair share of America's abundance and return to civilian life with skills and aptitudes basically McNamara claimed that one of the primary goals of Project 100,000 was
01:59
to solve societal issues in America the men recruited in Project 100,000 were known officially as new standards men and unofficially as morons though morons I think is a cruel and inaccurate generalization to make for men who previously fell short of mental or physical military standards in project 100,000 all but those scoring in the lowest 10% of the Armed Forces qualification test were accepted to put it in perspective more than 80% of NSM were high school
02:31
dropouts around 40% read below a sixth grade level and around 15% read below a fourth-grade level as for physical standards they were not directly lowered though the medically remedial enlistment program was implemented allowing those with minor and/or correctable conditions to be enlisted such conditions included but were not limited to being no more than 10% under the minimum weight being no more than 20% over the maximum weight having undescended testicles having hernias having hemorrhoids and having a
03:03
deviated nasal septum in a social context most came from economically unstable homes and non-traditional family structures with 70% of NSM coming from low-income backgrounds with 60% coming from single-parent families and with almost 10% sporting pre-service civil convictions considering these percentages robert macnell Maya's purported goal of giving America's poor and otherwise disadvantaged a chance to earn their fair share of their country's
03:34
abundance and return to civilian life with skills and aptitudes makes at least some sense on paper to put names on the numbers the project 100,000 recruit John Grant who boasted an IQ of 66 when a wall 15 times and another recruit Kenny Matz could not take notes nor spell words properly having suffered a brain injury in his youth he also enabled coming from a broken home an unemployment and with only an eighth grade education
04:05
Gus Peters felt basic training and tank driving courses before getting released with an undesirable discharge and going home no better for it Hamilton Gregory US Vietnam War veteran and author of McNeil Morris folly the use of low IQ troops in the Vietnam War said he was in an induction Center in 1967 when a sergeant entered and asked for a college graduate Gregory a military volunteer and a college graduate threw up his hand and the
04:35
sergeant put an N MS recruit in Gregory's charge telling Gregory that the NMS recruit could neither read nor write and would need help ending the conversation with make sure he doesn't get lost is one of McNamara's morons a Gregory then went on to describe babysitting the NMS recruit who he said was unhealthily thin and didn't understand what basic training was nor that America was at war Gregory even made the recruits bed and tied his shoes and also said that the recruit
05:07
couldn't tell left from right and became terrified and confused when shouted at by his superiors on the rifle range the NMS recruit was dangerous so dangerous that he was put on permanent kitchen patrol McNew mara intended for NSM to receive the same training as non MSM soldiers on top of any necessary special training and for them to have access to the best technology primarily in the form of educational videos and multimedia which he believed would almost counteract them into
05:38
handicaps McNew mara predicted that 150,000 NSM would be enlisted each year with 40,000 being enlisted in the first year of the program in reality project 100,000 enlisted 49,000 recruits in the first year and Meghna Maura announced to the public that it's exceeding beyond even our most hopeful expectations this was a very short-sighted deduction if not falsified deduction one ninety four point six percent of NSM completed basic
06:10
training compared to ninety seven point five percent of recruits in a control group many had difficulty after basic training particularly in remedial reading courses though also in other courses training NSM not only caused both time and money but also weighed down the other non NSM recruits were forced to wait while NSM recruits received extra attention while DoD reported that NSM were making satisfactory promotion progress and that 90% of them were receiving supervisor
06:42
evaluations ranging from good to excellent among other positive evaluations other reports note faulty and in accurate record-keeping and other means of cheating examples include recruiters and examiner's fudging tests and screenings and non MSM soldiers taking physical tests in place of NSM despite the costs of training in SM the US Army was forced to take 25% of its recruitment quota from Project 100,000 while the Marines were forced to take 18% and the Navy and
07:13
Air Force were each forced to take 15% the most common assignments for NSM included infantry and artillery foodservice supply motor transport administration equipment repair y communications seamanship combat engineering and military police these are all assignments which again giving Robert McNamara's some credit should develop skills translatable to civilian life with that said around 40% of NSM received combat assignments and 37% of that for percent afford his infantry in Vietnam
07:45
between October 1966 in December 1971 three hundred and fifty four thousand NSM served in the US military with more than ninety percent being accepted due to lower mentor standards and the remainder being accepted under the MRE P of these men whose average age was twenty around 55% volunteered the rest were drafted to the American military project one hundred thousand was an absolute disaster NSM struggled to absorb military training and were
08:17
outright incompetent in combat not only endangering other non NSM soldiers but also themselves boasting three times the fatality rate of non NSM soldiers in total just under five thousand five hundred NSM soldiers perished in the American War while some 20,000 were wounded and many deserted or when otherwise AWOL to say it in another way around 10% of NSM were killed wounded or dishonorably discharged in their first 18 months of service project 100,000 was
08:49
also a failure back on American soil as it failed to remedy the societal issue Makana Maura claimed it would NSM servicemen failed to learn and/or translate military skills into civilian society and/or find employment and for many circumstances became even worse than they were before military service many carried physical and emotional wounds which made civilian life impossible others were carried home in caskets war correspondent joe galloway wrote a commentary for McClatchy DC
09:21
after McNew Maura died in his sleep in 2009 a section of the commentary read the young men of project 100,000 could not be taught any more demanding job than trigger pulling so most went straight into combat these almost helpless young men died in action in the jungles at a rate three times higher than the average draftee the Good Book says we must forgive those who trespass against us but what about those who trespass against the most helpless among us those willing to conscripted
09:52
handicapped the most innocent and turned them into cannon fodder in her article project 100,000 the great societies answered to military manpower needs in Vietnam Lisa CR suggests the DoD used project 100000 to fight the war on poverty in America and the American war in Vietnam simultaneously she aligns with the view that the DoD was serving their own interests while operating under the guise of project 100,000 but what do you guys think was Robert McNamara sincere
10:22
with his intentions to spare America's poor and otherwise disadvantaged from idleness ignorance and apathy or was project 100,000 a ploy to bring more cannon fodder to the American war in Vietnam as always we're interested to hear your input in the comments section below just before you go make sure you check out all the links in the description below as well if you want to check out our discord where you can chat with other history buffs and if you want to support the channel more than your idea by watching this video please do check out the patreon as well if you do decide to
10:53
donate you will get access to a special behind-the-scenes discord where you can see all the inner workings of our team anyways guys as always thank you so much for watching and I hope you learned something new [Music] [Music]

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