Office of Civil Operations and Rural Development Support, Military Region 2
The Office of Civil Operations and Rural Development Support, Military Region 2 (CORDS MR2), 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 II Corps Tactical Zone/Military Region 2 (IICTZ/MR2). Military Region II, located in central South Vietnam, contained the following provinces: Kontum, Binh Dinh, Pleiku, Phu Bon, Phu Yen, Darlac, Khanh Hoa, Quang Duc, Tuyen Duc, Ninh Thuan, Lam Dong, and Binh Thuan.
CORDS MR2 was organized from various separate offices of the defunct Office of Civil Operations (OCO) Region II, and from Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) II Corps Tactical Zone (IICTZ) advisory assets. CORDS MR2 was a subordinate component of the senior U.S. military command in IICTZ/MR2 (I Field Force Vietnam [IFFV] during May 1967-April 1971, and the Second Regional assistance Command [SRAC] during May 1971-March 1973), with policy guidance and administrative support provided by MACCORDS Headquarters in Saigon. In carrying out its mission, CORDS MR2 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. Additionally, due to the large population of highland ethnic minorities (commonly known as Montagnards) in IICTZ/MR2, CORDS MR2 managed a number of programs in support of the highland population, eventually organizing an office that specialized in highland affairs.
CORDS MR2 was organized with the Deputy for CORDS (DEPCORDS) as the head of the agency, supported by the Assistant Deputy for CORDS (ADEPCORDS), and an immediate staff known as the Office of the Executive Secretary (ExSec). Supporting this structure were two offices providing management and planning support, the Office of Management Support (OMS) and the Office of Plans, Reports, and Evaluations (OPRE).
The OMS had the mission of providing administrative, technical, and logistical support to CORDS MR2 offices and staff and included the following offices (National Archives Identifier: 10458334):
The OPRE had the mission of formulating and integrating pacification planning in II CTZ/MR2, performing evaluations of IICTZ/MR2 pacification operations to determine effectiveness, and maintaining staff coordination and liaison with all U.S. advisory elements in IICTZ/MR2 regarding pacification. Subordinate to this hierarchy were the functional field program units. These units initially operated as divisions with subordinate branches, but as the nature of the war in IICTZ/MR2 changed and evolved, these field divisions were eventually upgraded to full field offices with subordinate divisions and branches managing sub-programs and activities. By 1972, these field offices had evolved into the following:
- The Office of Public Health (OPubH)
- The OPubH 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 IICTZ/MR2.
- The Office of Territorial Forces (OTF)
- The OTF had the mission of providing advisory and assistance support in the organization, training, employment, operation, and maintenance of South Vietnamese Territorial Forces. These included:
- The Office of Phung Hoang (OPH)
- The OPH had the mission of advising and assisting South Vietnamese authorities with its anti-Viet Cong Infrastructure program.
- The Office of Highland Affairs (OHA)
- The OHA had the mission of managing and overseeing programs that assisted the Central Highlands ethnic minority (Montagnard) population in IICTZ/MR2.
- The Office of Public Safety (OPS)
- The OPS 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 IICTZ/MR2. (National Archives Identifier: 10458488)
- The Office of Psychological Operations and Chieu Hoi (OPC)
- The OPC had the dual missions of providing advisory assistance to South Vietnamese psychological warfare and public information programs and campaigns and advising and assisting South Vietnamese authorities in its administration of the Chieu Hoi ("Open Arms") program for Viet Cong and North Vietnamese defectors. Prior to 1972 the OPC functions had been divided between two separate field divisions:
- The Office of Regional Development (ORD)
- The ORD was known as the Office of Development Operations (ODO) prior to 1972. The ORD had the mission of coordinating advisory efforts in development programs such as agriculture, public administration, education, public works, war victims assistance, and commodities distribution. The ODO absorbed the functions and missions of two deactivated divisions:
CORDS MR2 continued with its missions until early 1973, when it was deactivated as part of the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam.