The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » Donald L. Scott

"From that day on, I vowed that if ever I'm in authority or command, I will do whatever it takes to make sure that soldiers have the best chance to survive. (Video Interview, 33:05)

   Donald L. Scott
Collection image
Donald L. Scott [April 28, 1989]
War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Army
Unit: 4th Infantry Division
Service Location: Vietnam
Rank: Brigadier General
View Full Description

Coming out of a college ROTC program in 1960, Donald Scott's aspirations for a career in the army were modest, but he rose steadily in the ranks to become a Brigadier General. That steady climb was dogged by what he calls "the shadow of race," as he often found himself on a plateau or saddled with a questionable assignment. He learned valuable lessons at every stop, especially in his first tour of Vietnam, where he formulated his basic philosophy of command in a combat situation.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (10 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 
Download: video(1) | 
Download: video(2) | 
Download: video(3) (136 min.)
»Photo Album  (2 photos)
More like this
»AAHM: Next Generation
»Vietnam War: Looking Back, Part 2
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (10 items)
Early career; understanding the best path to promotion beyond lieutenant colonel lay in the infantry. (02:37) First impressions on arriving in Vietnam in June 1969. Early successes in the field, solving racial problems among the troops. (11:03) Tense times during the Cambodian incursion; lessons learned in combat situations. (08:54)
Dealing with "the shadow of race;" the absence of African American mentors; concentrating on a career in infantry. (02:43) Teaching ROTC at Tuskegee in the early 70s; dealing with resistance among black college students to the idea of serving in the Army. (03:30) Second tour of Vietnam; working with Vietnamese officers. (04:27)
His advocacy of the military draft. (01:43) Learning as a battalion commander from good generals like Norman Schwarzkopf and Richard Cavazos. (02:31) Reflections on his career as an officer. (02:15)
Paying tribute to his mentors, including General Andy Chambers; his proudest moment. (05:54)  

Home » Donald L. Scott
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us