Air Assault: Sharing Military Experience

Air Assault: Sharing Military Experience by William Crisp, ’63

AIR ASSAULT: SHARING MILITARY EXPERIENCE by William Crisp, VMI class of 1963, draws on the author’s experience as a rifle platoon leader with the 1st Battalion (Airborne) 8th Cavalry Regiment, First Cavalry Division (Airmobile), Vietnam. The writer discusses a broad range of military issues, not solely limited to the Vietnam era, but applicable to many current situations. Topics range from fighting, to the importance of chow; training; enlisted men and NCO’s; officers and tactics; “Shank Mechanics and Hospitals;” goin’ out; goin’ home. Considerable space is devoted to “influences,” including a discussion of the VMI Rat Line.

After military service, Crisp served as a U.S. Foreign Service officer in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, and worked for twenty-five years as an East European business specialist with the Economist Intelligence Unit, Vienna, Austria. With his wife and daughter he returned to his homes in Staunton and McDowell, Highland County. He then taught in VMI’s International Studies department, and served as head coach of the VMI Rugby Football Club. The book is available from bookstores and online orders from, and

Mr. Crisp kindly donated a copy of his book to Preston Library where it will find a welcome home.


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