Marines Remember Robert Mueller In Combat in Vietnam (And Mueller Himself On Ranger School)

The Long March
Adam Weinstein

There’s long-winded story about Robert Mueller as a Marine in the June issue of  Wired, so as a public service I dug out the marginally interesting stuff for youse guys. Yes, I know the incandescent Adam Weinstein wrote about the same article the other day, but I just want here to dig out the specific commentary about Vietnam, plus a Mueller quote.


The author talked to two people who were in Mueller’s unit, the 2nd Battalion of the 4th Marines, and also dug out some quotes from an interview he did with Mueller years ago:

  • Joel Burgos, who served as a corporal under Mueller: “We fought regular, hard-core [North Vietnamese] army...There were so many of them—and they were really good.”
  • VJ Maranto, a corporal in H Company: “Word was out real fast—Ivy League guy from an affluent family. That set off alarms. The affluent guys didn’t go to Vietnam then—and they certainly didn’t end up in a rifle platoon There was so much talk about ‘Why’s a guy like that out here with us?’ We weren’t Ivy Leaguers.”
  • Maranto, later: “He wanted to know as much as he could as fast as he could about the terrain, what we did, the ambushes, everything ... He was all about the mission, the mission, the mission ... He was such a professional ... He’d been in-country less than a month—most of us had been in-country six, eight months. He had remarkable composure, directing fire. It was sheer terror. They had RPGs, machine gun, mortars ... The minute the shit hit the fan, he was there ... He performed remarkably. After that night, there were a lot of guys who would’ve walked through walls for him.”

Related: 7 Fascinating Facts About Robert Mueller’s Time As A Vietnam Marine »

And then there's Mueller himself: “Ranger School more than anything teaches you about how you react with no sleep and nothing to eat. You learn who you want on point, and who you don’t want anywhere near point.”

Robert Mueller is the literal opposite of Donald Trump.

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(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

We are women veterans who have served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Our service – as aviators, ship drivers, intelligence analysts, engineers, professors, and diplomats — spans decades. We have served in times of peace and war, separated from our families and loved ones. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly as many were earned while immersed in a military culture that often ignores and demeans women's contributions. We are veterans.

Yet we recognize that as we grew as leaders over time, we often failed to challenge or even question this culture. It took decades for us to recognize that our individual successes came despite this culture and the damage it caused us and the women who follow in our footsteps. The easier course has always been to tolerate insulting, discriminatory, and harmful behavior toward women veterans and service members and to cling to the idea that 'a few bad apples' do not reflect the attitudes of the whole.

Recent allegations that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie allegedly sought to intentionally discredit a female veteran who reported a sexual assault at a VA medical center allow no such pretense.

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