Provincial Reconnaissance Unit

Republic of Vietnam

1966 - 1972




(UA)  Pocket Patch

1966 - 1972


1966 - 1972

Provincial Reconnaissance Unit

Counter Terror Teams

Phoenix Program  - 5th SFG

Republic of Vietnam

*Marine Force Recon - I Corps

*Special Forces - II Corps

*Special Forces - III Corps

*Navy SEALS - IV Corps

*Special Forces - I - II - III - IV  Corps

PRU had its original origins in the Counter Terror Teams (CTT) developed by The Agency in the mid 60s with the aim of putting the Vietcong political organization under pressure. 

Called the Intelligence Collection and Exploitation program (ICEX) this evolved into the elaborate Phung Hoang (Phoenix Program) when General Abrams took control of the program away from the CIA in 1968.

The objective of the Phoenix program was the neutralization of the Vietcong Infrastructure (VCI) through the collection of data on them which could lead to their identification and subsequent neutralization. 

PRU operated as the major enforcement arm of Phoenix and Neutralized the Targeted Viet Cong Cadre

PRU units often acted as light infantry, especially in area's where the infrastructure was protected by VC or NVA units. 

In populated districts PRU units would be covertly inserted into the VC area's by night in order to apprehend the targeted cadre.

A lot of PRU work was conducted with Special Forces Personnel that had been assigned to the PRU Program, although there were Army, Marine and  Navy SEALs personnel within the organization.

 When working with PRU, personnel would wear the familiar Viet Cong black pajamas. A lot of effort was put into learning to walk, move and think like Viet Cong , with the main objective being to become indigenous  with the environment, crawling about the Jungle and Delta marshes as the Viet Cong .

PRU units varied in size from a Battalion to a Platoon, with they're total strength never numbering more than 4000 throughout South Vietnam. 


Return To Index