Office of Civil Operations and Rural Development Support, Military Region 1
The Office of Civil Operations and Rural Development Support, Military Region 1 (CORDS MR1), was activated on May 28, 1967, with the mission of coordinating and managing all pacification and rural development operations and activities in support of the Republic of Vietnam Government in I Corps Tactical Zone/Military Region 1 (ICTZ/MR1). Military Region I, located in northern South Vietnam, contained the following provinces: Quang Tri, Thua Thien, Quang Nam, Quang Tin, and Quang Ngai.
CORDS MR1 was organized from various separate offices of the defunct Office of Civil Operations (OCO) Region I, and from MACV I Corps Tactical Zone (CTZ) advisory assets. It was a subordinate component of the senior U.S. military command in ICTZ/MR1 (III Marine Amphibious Force [III MAF] during May 1967-March 1970; U.S. Army XXIV Corps during April 1970-March 1972; and First Regional Assistance Command [FRAC] during March 1972-March 1973), with policy guidance and administrative support provided by CORDS Headquarters in Saigon. In carrying out its mission, CORDS MR1 operated both at the regional level, through its subordinate divisions and branches; and at the provincial and local levels, through command and control of province and municipal advisory teams.
CORDS MR1 was organized with the Deputy for CORDS (DFC) as the head of the agency, supported by the Assistant Deputy for CORDS and Program Coordination (ADFC), and an immediate staff office. This staff office was initially organized as the Joint Staff in May 1967, was reorganized as the Program Coordination Staff (PCS) in May 1969, and was again reorganized as the Executive Secretariat in late 1970. Supporting this structure were two divisions providing management and planning support. These divisions were the Management Support Division (MSD) and the Plans, Programs, and Reports Division (PPR).
The Management Support Division (MSD)
The MSD had the mission of providing administrative, technical, and logistical support to CORDS MR1 offices and personnel.
The Plans, Programs, and Reports Division
The Plans, Programs, and Reports Division had the mission of formulating and coordinating short and long-range pacification and development plans for ICTZ/MR1, integrating CORDS planning with those of other ICTZ/MR1 commands, and preparing reports and data relating to CORDS activities in ICTZ/MR1. (National Archives Identifier: 10458644)
Subordinate to the MSD and the Plans, Programs, and Reports Divisions were the functional field program divisions, which changed designations and missions as the war progressed.
- The Phung Hoang Division
- The Phung Hoang Division was previously known as the Phoenix Division prior to 1971, and had the mission of advising and assisting South Vietnamese authorities with its anti-Viet Cong Infrastructure program. (National Archives Identifier: 10458486)
- The New Life Development Division (NLD)
- The NLD had the mission of coordinating advisory efforts in development programs such as agriculture, education, logistics, and public works. (The NLD was deactivated in mid-1969 and its missions assumed by the newly-activated Government Development Division and Economic Development Division.) (National Archives Identifier: 10496353)
- The Government Development Division
- The Government Development Division, activated in mid-1969, had the mission of coordinating advisory efforts in public administration, education, community development, and youth affairs. (National Archives Identifier: 10459587)
- The Revolutionary Development Cadre Division (RDC)
- The RDC had the mission of advising and assisting the South Vietnamese RD Cadre Program. (The RDC became a subordinate branch of the Government Development Division in 1970.) (National Archives Identifier: 10458798)
- The War Victims Division (WVD)
- The WVD(previously known as the Refugee Division prior to 1971) had the mission of coordinating advisory efforts in support of South Vietnamese Government programs to care for and assist displaced refugees, disabled veterans, and other war victims in ICTZ/MR1. (National Archives Identifier: 10459271)
- The Chieu Hoi Division (CHD)
- The CHD had the mission of advising and assisting South Vietnamese authorities in its administration of the Chieu Hoi ("Open Arms") Program, which was a program to encourage enemy personnel to defect to the Allied cause for eventual integration back into South Vietnamese society. (National Archives Identifier: 10458173)
- The Economic Development Division (EDD)
- The EDD was activated in mid-1969. The EDD had the mission of coordinating advisory efforts in agriculture, industries, engineering, and logistics.
- The Engineering Division (ENG)
- The ENG (previously a subordinate branch of Economic Development Division) had the mission of advising and assisting the South Vietnamese in such engineering matters as public works, construction activities, and infrastructure planning. (National Archives Identifier: 10459272)
- The Public Health Division (PHD)
- The PHD had the mission of advising and assisting South Vietnamese authorities on such matters as public health, medical support, and sanitation; and coordinating the activities of U.S. Military Provincial Health Assistance Program (MILPHAP) Teams and Free World Medical Teams in ICTZ/MR1.
(National Archives Identifier: 10496516)
- The Public Safety Division (PSD)
- The PSD had the mission of providing advisory support for and assistance to the South Vietnamese National Police, correctional facilities, and other civilian public safety agencies and programs in ICTZ/MR1.
(National Archives Identifier: 10458645)
- The Psychological Operations Division (PSYOPS)
- The PSYOPS had the mission of providing advisory assistance to South Vietnamese psychological warfare and public information programs and campaigns, supporting the PSYOPS activities of other CORDS MR1 offices, and coordinating CORDS PSYOPS operations with those of other Free World forces in ICTZ/MR1.
- The Territorial Forces Division (TFD)
- The TFD (previously known as the RF/PF Advisory Division up through mid-1969) had the mission of providing advisory and assistance support in the organization, training, employment, operation, and maintenance of South Vietnamese Regional Forces (RF), Popular Forces (PF), and People's Self Defense Forces (PSDF) in ICTZ/MR1.
(National Archives Identifier: 10458955)
CORDS MR1 continued with its missions until early 1973, when it was deactivated as part of the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam.