Korean President Park sent 312,853 South Korean soldiers to fight alongside Americans in Vietnam, during the period of September 1965 to March 1973. The Korean forces were commanded by Major General Chae Myung Shin, later Lieutenant General, for which South Korean Government was richly rewarded by the United Sates under presidency of Lyndon Baynes Johnson (1908-1973). The Korean primary area of operations was in II Corps along the central Vietnam coast from Phan Rang, South of Cam Ranh Bay, to Qui Nhom, further north. The ROK Marine Corps 2nd Blue Brigade Dragon landed in Vietnam in September 1965 and operated in Northern areas until February 1972. The Capital Tiger Division also arrived in September 1965 in Qui Nhon. The ROK 9th White Horse Division landed at Ninh Hoa near Cam Ranh Bay in September 1966 in the more southern area of their area operations. At any one time, there were about 50.000 Korean troops in Vietnam. Future Korean military dictators, Chun Doo Hwan, term (1980-1988) and Roh Tae Woo, term (1988-1993), served under Chae as Korean military officers in Vietnam, receiving much of their leadership training while there. A total of 5,083 Koreans were killed during the Vietnam war.
The efficacy of Taekwondo proved itself during the Vietnam War in battlefields by the Koreans soldiers. The Taekwondo techniques used in the military then were distinctly different from what we know as Taekwondo today. The life or death circumstances in the battlefield honed the techniques. The Guinness Book of Records in the 1970s defined Taekwondo as Korean Karate used for killing in Vietnam. As the war escalated, the number of instructors sent to Vietnam increased. By 1973, 647 Taekwondo instructors had been sent to Vietnam. The strength of Taekwondo training in Korean soldiers had a negative psychological affect on the Vietcong.
Through Taekwondo training, Korean soldiers had developed excellent physical conditioning, a strong mentality, and superior combat techniques; The leaders of the Vietcong advised their troops to retreat, rather than fight, if they came into contact with Korean soldiers.