How Colin Powell’s Service in Vietnam Shaped His Leadership


On November 16, 1968, Major Colin Luther Powell was serving his second tour of duty in Vietnam, this time as the assistant Chief of Staff to the commander of the U.S. Army’s Americal Division (also called the 23rd Infantry Division). It was mostly a desk job, but that day Powell was traveling by helicopter with his commanding officer, Major General Charles M. Gettys, to inspect a captured North Vietnamese camp when their chopper clipped a tree during landing and crashed.


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