Robert Rheault

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Robert Rheault

West Point graduate Colonel Robert Rheault, who John Milius claims to have used as the inspiration for Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, commanded Green Berets seeking leaks from a CIA-directed espionage ring, Project Gamma. They captured and killed Thai Khac Chuyen, a Vietnamese double agent for the U.S. and Hanoi. The murder violated Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice for the treatment of prisoners of war. Rheault and five others were threatened with court-martials for murder. Since the Army and CIA officials refused to testify, the Secretary of the Army dropped all charges. Nonetheless, all involved had their careers ended. As an LTC, Rheault had had an earlier tour as Detachment XO of HQ US ARMY Special Forces (Provisional) - Vietnam in 1964-65. He was fluent in French and earned a master's degree in international relations at George Washington University. He was very active in Outward Bound and took Vietnam Veterans mountain climbing in the Soviet Union together with Afghansi (Soviet Afghan War vets). Before his death at 87 on Nov 2, 2013, he served on the board of The Warrior Connection, dedicated to the helping victims of PTSD.

This is a "stump" essay which will be revisited when time permits.

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