The Korean Military Advisory Group -- Developmental Challenges during Ongoing Conflict
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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On July 1, 1949, Brigadier General W. Lynn Roberts initiated the Korean Military Advisory Group. This element had been approved by both the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as President Truman, and served as the primary advisors, mentors, and trainers for the South Korean Army. Initially consisting of 500 men, this element would soon be tested as tensions, and eventually war, began with North Korea. The Republic of Korean Army had roughly 100,000 untrained, unequipped, and ill prepared men. Of those, almost 35,000 were assigned to headquarters and service outfits. At the time of the North Korean invasion, South Korean forces were willfully unprepared to contend with their advisories. As South Korean resistance disintegrated, it became apparent that a more robust effort would be required to facilitate the eventual transition of efforts against North Korean and Chinese aggression to that of South Korea. To accomplish this, U.S. advisors that were assigned to the Korean Military Advisory Group contended with a multitude of issues that prohibited the completion of their assigned tasks. The solutions that they adapted enabled them to minimize many of the cultural and societal differences they encountered during their training, created a system that could be maintained by the Koran Military upon their departure, and created a training program that could be implemented during ongoing hostilities with North Korea. For the past 11 years, U.S. military forces have conducted similar training in Iraq and Afghanistan. How the Korean Military Advisory Group conducted their training, equipping, and eventual transition of ongoing alliance operations during the Korean War to indigenous Korean military forces has direct applicability to current military operations in Afghanistan.
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