The South Vietnamese government this week tightened and stepped up its armed forces recruitment in the face of heavy fighting throughout the country.
GV youths on motor-bike along Saigon street
GV youths along Saigon street
GV young man on street and zoom to long hair
GV recruitment centre sign pan to young recruits seated
CU long haired youth pan to new recruits seated
GV new recruits handing in application forms (3 shots)
GV new recruits seated zoom to recruiting officer
GV new recruits seated
MV new recruits onto truck (2 shots)
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Background: The South Vietnamese government this week tightened and stepped up its armed forces recruitment in the face of heavy fighting throughout the country.
Under new provisions issued from the Prime Minister's office, the government will intensify the search in Saigon and other parts of the country for draft-dodgers and deserters, and to reduce the number of exemptions from active military service.
The army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) has over a million men under arms -- outnumbering the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese by at least two to one.
But long queues have been forming daily at the armed forces recruitment centre in Saigon and Cholon.
The main reason behind the recruitment drive has been heavy casualties suffered by the ARVN in the past three months. By its own figures, the ARVN suffered between 1,500 and 2,000 dead, wounded and missing each week during January. Even during the lull over the Tet Lunar New Year in February, almost 1,200 casualties were reported.
At the same time, demobilisation has been extended from the age of 38 to 43.
By the Saigon government's account, they need a further 100,000 men, and with the current drive now under way, they are confident that they will exceed that figure.