A Minnesota PBS Initiative

Roundtable: Marine Reconnaissance Units

At the December 17th, 2018 Vietnam War Roundtable at at Concordia University, veterans of the 1st and 3rd Marine Reconnaissance Battalions discussed how when and why they entered the Marines, how and why they were assigned to these elite units, their training and preparation for combat, and their small unit missions deep within enemy controlled territory. What were their experiences, options, and attitudes when the time came to reenter the civilian world?

Some photo highlghlights and poignant thoughts shared at the event are below:

Group in a classroom
Man giving a presentation at a podium
Men speaking at a table

Within 6 hours of arriving I thought I was in hell. -Floyd Ruggles

Men sitting at a table with microphones

Veterans of the 1st and 3rd Marine Reconnaissance Battalions from left to right: 
L-R Floyd Nagler, 3rd Recon, Floyd Ruggles, 1st Recon, Doug Bekke- facilitator, Tom Boland, 3rd Recon, Bob Lake, 3rd Recon. Bn.

Vietnam veteran photo
Vietnam veteran mementos

My existence in Vietnam was immediate.

Cans of c-rations from the Vietnam War
Vietnam veteran mementos
Group of men talking
Vietnam veteran photo album

A display of personal Vietnam War photos, mementos, documents, C-rations, and clothing set up by the Marine veterans. 

Vietnam paperwork in a folder
Group of men talking
Marine Division flag
Vietnam veteran mementos

In the jungle, the North Vietnamese were looking right over me. Their eyes searching has been my nightmare for 30 years. -Floyd Ruggles

Vietnam veteran photo album

The Rock Apes could toss grenades back by '69.

Vietnam veteran jacket

Biographical Details

Story Subject: Military Service

Military Branch: U.S. Marine Corps

Veteran Organization: Concirdia University, Minnesota Military Museum, Twin Cities PBS

Unit: 1st and 3rd Marine Reconnaissance Battalions


Purple Heart Veteran cap
Group sitting in a classroom

Friendly fire ain't.

People standing in a crowd

Veterans in attendance were asked to stand to be recognized for their service

Vietnam War Roundtable 2018-2019

This new series at Concordia University is an opportunity for veterans, students, and those interested in the war and its legacy to gather the third Monday of each month to honor, remember and understand this tumultuous time.

Schedule & information

Vietnam War soldiers, and Concordia University, Minnesota Military Museum and Twin Cities PBS logos

Story Themes: Concordia University, Marine Reconnaissance Units, Minnesota Military Museum, TPT, Vietnam War Roundtable

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