“Fixing A Major Leadership Problem”: From OCS to ODU

Ramon Pulliam


Ray Pulliam grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and enlisted in the Army in October 1960. After Basic Training, he was stationed in Hawaii, becoming an E5 Squad Leader. Later he was the honor graduate at the NCO Academy, earning his E6 stripes. In January 1965, he attended OCS (Officer Candidate School), and graduated in June 1965. He deployed to Vietnam in 1966 and was assigned to C/2-35 Infantry, operating out of Pleiku and the Ia Drang Valley. His second tour to Vietnam was in 1967, and he was assigned to C/4-9 Infantry (Manchu) in the 25th Infantry Division. His new company had been the worst in the division, having suffered three major ambushes in five months. As the Company Commander, Ray focused on fixing the leadership problems in his unit, and the company became the best in the division. After returning from Vietnam, he served in Germany before being reassigned to the ROTC Detachment at Old Dominion University. In this interview, he talks about his Army experience from the perspective of a Mustang, an enlisted Soldier who transitioned to the Officer Corps. He describes his deployments to Vietnam, and the challenges of fixing the leadership in his company. Finally, he describes his experiences teaching ROTC at the end of his career.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Leadership Camaraderie Courage Military Techniques
interviewer David Siry
date 16 September 2016


name Ramon Pulliam
service Infantry
unit C/4-9 Infantry (Manchu), 25th Infantry Division
specialty OCS
service dates 1960