Former Military Officials, Experts Set to Examine Army of the Republic of Vietnam

Written by Michael Castellon

Date: March 15, 2006
CONTACT: Michael Castellon,

LUBBOCK – Former military and government officials, alongside historians and experts on the Vietnam War, are set to converge on Lubbock for a special conference that examines the Armed Forces of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN). The event will take place March 17-18 at the Holiday Inn Park Plaza on South Loop 289.

The ARVN Conference, hosted by the Vietnam Center at Texas Tech University, will feature nearly 30 speakers who will help re-examine and reassess the role of the ARVN during the Vietnam War. This conference will attempt to refocus scholarly interest and debate on the military forces of South Vietnam and the key role they played in the war. These warriors are often overlooked as most American scholars focus on American forces who served in Vietnam, leaving future students and scholars with a lopsided view of historical events.

Speakers will include:

• LT. Gen. Lu Lan, former deputy chief of staff for operations and training of the ARVN Joint General Staff. In 1973, Lan became superintendent of the ARVN National Defense College in Saigon, the senior position in the ARVN. It was a post he held until 1975 when he was admitted to the United States as a refugee.

• Dr. Lewis Sorley, a former soldier and later a civilian official of the Central Intelligence Agency, is author of a book on foreign policy entitled Arms Transfers under Nixon and two biographies, Thunderbolt: General Creighton Abrams and the Army of His Times and Honorable Warrior: General Harold K. Johnson and the Ethics of Command. The Johnson biography received the Army Historical Foundation's Distinguished Book Award.

• Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Bich, a specialist on Vietnamese literature, taught the topic at George Mason University and Georgetown University. He is the author of several anthologies, including A Thousand Years of Vietnamese Poetry, and War and Exile.

• Geoff Connor, former Texas Secretary of State, will discuss his travels to Vietnam and his work with Texas businesses in expanding trade relations between Texas and Vietnam.

The Armed Forces of South Vietnam took over all fighting in 1973 and held off North Vietnamese attacks for two years. When Saigon fell in April 1975, South Vietnam and its military forces dissolved and hundreds of thousands of its citizens and former military personnel were sent to re-education camps by the communist government.

For more information, or to register for the event visit:

CONTACT: Stephen Maxner, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Center at Texas Tech, (806) 742-9010 or