Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award


Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project


Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

John Rector

Honors Program Director

Gavin Keulks


From the Battle for the Ia-Drang Valley in 1965 to the final withdrawal from the American Embassy in Saigon in 1975, the helicopter was an integral part of American forces strategy in the Vietnam War. The focus of this study is to view the helicopter as a tool of military strategy, more than a piece of hardware. My thesis is that the helicopter enabled the search-and-destroy war waged by American forces against the North Vietnamese forces. This is part of the overarching theme which we see developing in American military history during the post-WWII era: an over reliance on technology to wage wars, often to the neglect of strategy. This article details the adoption of the helicopter by the US Army, explores how air-mobility played a role in the Vietnam War, and ultimately offers perspective on the relationship between technology and strategy in the modern era.

KeisterIsaac_2016_PPT.pptx (10036 kB)
Powerpoint presentation