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Frequently Asked Questions

Provided below are some of the most common questions and answers about the Buffgrunt website. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to email them to us. Questions asked more than a couple of times will be listed here as they come in.

Q. Where did the name 'buffgrunt' come from?
Q. What is a 'SITREP'?
Q. Why are daily staff journals important?
Q. Where can I get copies of the staff journals?
Q. How much do the journals cost?
Q. What is a 'dust-off'?
Q. Is there a grunt definition for the word 'dustoff'?

Q. Where did the name 'buffgrunt' come from?

A. Soon after deployment to Vietnam in 1967 the 4th Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Regiment, the Old Guard, built a landing zone called, 'LZ Buff'. The name Buff may have been a reference to a leather strap carried by members of the regiment during the civil war. These early Old Guard troops carried the strap on their shoulders and used the leather to polish brass. Others have speculated that Buff may be a reference to strong, handsome infantry soldiers. Still others suggest Buff means, 'big ugly fat fucker'. The name Buff was changed to Stinson in 1969 to honor a battalion commander from the 198th light infantry brigade who was killed in action approx 100 miles north of LZ Buff. The Old Guard battalion, who built and patrolled the LZ Buff area of operation in 1968, encountered 70 booby traps during the first six months of combat. These 70 booby traps resulted in 380 Old Guard dead and wounded. The word 'grunt' in Vietnam was a reference to infantry soldiers carrying large loads for great distances in humid tropical heat and twice a year monsoons. We had to grunt in order to strap the gear on and we grunted to pack it up hills and through rice paddies. I am proud to refer to myself as a grunt, it means I showed up.

Q. What is a 'SITREP'?

A. A 'sitrep' is a combination of two words. 'Sit' stands for 'situation', 'rep' stands for 'report'. Together the words stand for 'situation report', 'sitrep'. Units on ambush or patrol were required to issue 'sitreps' on a regular basis. Elements in a bunker on the wire, listening posts, observation posts and convoys all issued sitreps. These sitreps were recorded by a clerk at the battalion (TOC) or Tactical Operation Center. The TOC typed the reports on department of army, (DA) form number 1594. The DA form 1594 is also referred to as the S-2/S-3, Daily staff journal or duty officers log, (AR 220-346).

Q. Why are Daily staff journals important?

A. Daily staff journals provide us with the time, date, location and names of the dead and wounded. They tell us the nature and cause of the wounds/fatalities. Because of the sitreps I have been able to isolate all causality producing events for the 46 months the Old Guard’s fourth battalion was deployed in Vietnam. This is a unique aspect of the buffgrunt.com website and a rarity among units deployed in Vietnam.

Q. Where can I get copies of the staff journals?

A. Copies of the daily staff journals are available through the national archives. You can write them to request copies through the mail or visit the archives and collect your own copies. Each complete day of daily staff journals will consist of between eight and eleven pages. Bruce Flaherty, a Delta 4/3 combat veteran who was wounded in 1968, has made dozens of visits to the Archives. Bruce has collected and archived over 16,000 pages of documents for the Battalion and Division. Mr. Flaherty willingly distributes CD’s from his personal collection of daily staff journals.

Q. How much do the journals cost?

A. The national archives will charge you by the page. The rates vary. Mr. Flaherty distributes copies for free. Anyone requesting copies from Bruce might well consider making a donation to Mr. Flaherty’s personal flag project. Bruce will provide you with additional information at the time of your request.

Q. What is a 'dust-off'?

A. The phrase, 'dust-off', is slang for medical evacuation helicopter. We called for a dust-off when people were dead, wounded, and sick or freaked out. They were angles from the sky that provided sanity in the midst of confusion.

Q. Is there a grunt definition for the word 'dustoff'?

A. An infantry grunt lives on the ground, they walk on the ground, sleep on the ground and hide and die on the ground. After great sacrifice the grunt may receive wounds and when the helicopter comes to take them out of the bush the rotating blades fill the wounds with dust and debris. The grunt thanks the helicopter for the dust and the inconvenience.

Americal Division Unit Patch
The Americal Division is the only army infantry division to be formed outside the continental United States. The Americal division is also the only named army Division. All other army divisions have a number designation. The army later added the number designation of the 23rd Infantry Division to the Americal title. The four stars represent the constellation Crux. Crux is referred to as; 'The Southern Cross'. The Americal Division motto is 'Under the Southern cross'. The patch has been worn in combat by Americal Division veterans who served in the Pacific theatre during WWII and by veterans of the Vietnam War.

This patch (above) is symbolic of the 'Jungle Warriors' of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade. The 11th LIB consisted of the following units:

The 3/1, who declare themselves to be, 'Always First'
The 1/20, who carry the name, ‘Sykes Regulars'
The 4/3, who are 'The Old Guard'
The 4/21, are 'The Gimlets'

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