Thursday, November 12, 2015
Thủ Đức Infantry School
Thủ Đức Academy honor guard, 1975.
The Thủ Đức Infantry School was initially established on October 1, 1951, under the State of Vietnam. The school was located in the Thủ Đức district of Saigon, but in 1974 was also located in Long Thành. The mainstay of the school was infantry officer training, but other specialized instruction was also offered. Throughout its twenty-four year history, the academy would produce roughly 40,000 officers for the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces.
The ceremonial shooting of an arrow accompanied official class graduations for Republic of Vietnam cadets at different academies, as seen here in this photo from the ceremony for class 10A, 1972, at the Dong De Academy in Nha Trang.
Graduates of the Thủ Đức Infantry School could be found in all branches of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. Many high ranking generals were among the school's alumni, and the connections formed between classmates remain strong in the veterans' community today.
Thủ Đức Academy cadet visor cap and period photo, circa 1960s-70s, RVNHS Archive.
Cadets at the school wore distinctive insignia. The basic emblem for the school was a sword through a flame surrounded by a wreath. This insignia could be seen on visor caps, berets, and shoulder patches of the academy. As with other Republic of Vietnam military officer schools, trainees were given the rank officer cadet, Sinh Viên Sĩ Quan (SVSQ). A single bar was added to the rank to denote each year's worth of training to completed. Formal khaki and white colored dress uniforms were worn on ceremonial occasions, such as graduation ceremonies, parades, and memorial services at the National Military Cemetery at nearby Bien Hoa.
Thu Duc Academy cadet headgear insignia: Top, visor cap badge - Bottom, beret badge, circa 1960s-70s, RVNHS Archive.
Thu Duc Academy cadet beret and period photo of cadet Nguyen Huu Thang, circa 1960s-70s, RVNHS Archive.
Thu Duc Academy cadet epaulettes with one bar denoting one-year's training completed with period photo of Tran Van Qui, circa 1960s-70s, RVNHS Archive.
Thu Duc Academy alumni honor guard at a veterans' reunion, 2012.