The Rural Development Cadre (RDC) was formed in 1965 as a civilian auxiliary for the Republic of Vietnam. Over time, the scope of the activities of the RDC came to include tasks ranging from civic development projects (such as irrigation canal and housing construction) to conducting public education campaigns (including health awareness and political instruction) to auxiliary security operations in support of the Popular and Regional Forces as well as regular military.
The personnel of the RDC were mainly young men and women who worked for the RDC in rural areas. Some were from these areas, others were from larger cities and towns. At times, the RDC was also known as the "Revolutionary Development Cadre" - as opposed to "Rural" - as the actions and ideology of the RDC were often aimed at progressive development and education in the countryside.