Miller Center

The Wheeler Report

Following the Battle of Ap Bac in early January 1963, in which South Vietnamese troops and U.S. military advisers came under heavy attack, Army Chief of Staff General Earle G. Wheeler led a fact-finding mission to Vietnam to assess the situation. Three days after he returned to the United States, Wheeler briefed the president on the state of the U.S. advisory mission in Vietnam. In the process, he gave President Kennedy a series of recommendations for improving South Vietnam's military capabilities in its war against the Communist-dominated National Liberation Front, or Vietcong.

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President John F. Kennedy was the thirty-fifth President of the United States, 1961-1963.

Biographical sketch from American President.


General Earle Wheeler was Army Chief of Staff from 1962-1964. He was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1964-1970.

Biographical sketch from the Arlington Cemetery Website.

Dean Rusk was the Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969.

Biographical sketch from the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


Audio David Halberstam was an American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist known for his early work on the Vietnam War.

Biographical sketch and obituary from the New York Times.


Audio U.S. Army General Paul Harkins was the first Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) commander, 1962-1964.

Biographical sketch from the U.S. Army Pacific.


JFK Daily Diary, February 2, 1963.

AudioMeeting Tape 71.2, John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. Raw audio file available at the Miller Center's White House Tapes website.


AudioMichael V. Forrestal, "A Report on South Vietnam," February 1963. Source: The Pentagon Papers.

Report by a team headed by the Chief of Staff, United States Army (Wheeler) to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, January 1963 | Source: U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian.

DocumentBattle of Ap Bac, January 2, 1963. Source: ehistory @ OSU | United States Military Academy.