Adrian Cronauer: Air Force Radio Announcer in Vietnam

Adrian Cronauer: Air Force Radio Announcer in Vietnam

6/12/2006 • Vietnam

Adrian Cronauer is the name many people associate with the movie Good Morning, Vietnam — the story of an Air Force radio announcer who used imagination and innovation to make more of a difference with his craft than his superiors felt they could tolerate. The real Adrian Cronauer, although he may not be as outrageous as the myth makes him, is a man whose talents and experience give him a unique perspective on the Vietnam War.

Cronauer’s involvement with communications and media began at a very early age. The only child of a machinist and a teacher, he got his first taste of television by playing piano on a locally produced children’s program in Pittsburgh. During his high school years, he volunteered at the local Public Broadcasting System station. He started out opening letters but ended up doing radio announcing by the time he was attending the University of Pittsburgh. He also played a major part in starting the school’s campus radio station. By 1962, he was a full-time student majoring in broadcasting at the American University in Washington, D.C.

Cronauer needed only 11 credit hours to graduate when the draft board pressed him to exercise his option to volunteer. Like many young men eligible for the draft in the 1960s, he decided to volunteer for the Air Force, hoping this would provide him with a wider choice of assignments than he otherwise would have had.

His first choice was for flight training, and he passed the battery of tests necessary to qualify. The time commitment for that option, however, was more than he wanted to make, so he withdrew the application in order to make another choice. The Air Force found his next selection more suitable to their needs: Cronauer entered training for broadcasting and me-dia operations.

In the mid-1960s, broadcasting was practiced in a fairly unimaginative and routine manner in the armed forces. It often included making training films and recording mind-numbing lectures. Things finally picked up a bit for Cronauer when he transferred from Stateside duty to an Armed Forces Radio station in Greece. There he found ways to add a little style and moxie to an otherwise pea-green military broadcasting universe.

With one year left of his enlistment and a change of assignment due, Cronauer had another choice to make. He could either go back to the States to make more training films, or he could sit behind the microphone and broadcast live to the American community in South Korea or South Vietnam. He chose Vietnam. But shortly before he arrived in-country, the Gulf of Tonkin incident changed the whole scope of the American effort there.

Cronauer’s broadcasting style was more like something a person could hear on Stateside radio than on the military radio and television service. In that day, military radio and television tended to follow its own rigid rules, procedures, regulations, codes and interests rather than focusing on its audience — frequently resulting in broadcasts that were tough to listen to or watch without falling asleep. It seemed as though its mission had very little to do with improving the morale of the American community in Vietnam.

Cronauer balanced innovation, imagination and enthusiasm with practicality and realism. He pushed as much as he could for reforms within the military broadcasting hierarchy, but there were times when he knew it would be senseless to push any harder. He met resistance from those who were deeply invested in military broadcast operations, from those who worked without incentive or motivation and from those who simply feared making waves. ‘Why go to all that effort?’ they would ask. ‘It’s going fine. Why change it?’

Cronauer did, however, swim against the current of the staid conventions of that time, risking the ire of his bosses on more than one occasion. With his friend Ben Moses, who had also served in Vietnam, he wrote a screenplay in 1979 based on his experiences more than 10 years earlier. They managed to sell the rights to the story to a Hollywood producer in 1982. After the release of Good Morning, Vietnam, Cronauer was the first to say that the film was largely a fictional account and was not intended to be a biography. It was rewritten, produced, directed and acted primarily for entertainment purposes. He has also said many times that if he had acted in real life as he was portrayed in the film, he still would be serving time in the military penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

After his tour of duty in the Air Force ended, Cronauer worked as a television news anchorman for a small station in Ohio and later became a program director for a small television station in Virginia. He moved to New York City 10 years later, doing commercials, working part-time for The New York Times’ FM radio station and teaching part-time at the New School for Social Research. He also worked in media management consulting and radio station management and operated his own advertising agency. While living in New York City, he also earned a master’s degree in media studies.

Cronauer recalled that by sharing his expertise and knowledge with others in the broadcasting business, he frequently worked himself out of different positions. He would hand over the torch of a job or professional expertise to those with whom he had contact or whom he had trained.

The handsome profit he made on Good Morning, Vietnam enabled Cronauer to consider a career change in 1987, from media and communications broadcasting to media and communications law. He attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School and was able to pay for his tuition and expenses out of the proceeds of the movie and his tour on the lecture circuit after its release.

Cronauer gained an unusual personal perspective on events in Vietnam that many may not appreciate. ‘The public was put into a difficult position knowing what the war effort was about in Vietnam,’ Cronauer said. ‘It was like the illustration about the elephant and four blindfolded men. One felt the elephant’s leg and said it was like a tree trunk, another felt its trunk and described the elephant as being like a fire hose, another felt its ear and said an elephant is like a tobacco leaf, and the last blindfolded man felt the tail and said the elephant is like a clothes line. They were all absolutely right, but none of them singly or together gave you an accurate picture of what an elephant was.

‘We have a very unfortunate accident of semantics in the Bill of Rights, where it mentions the freedom of the press. For a long time people have used that to imply that perhaps electronic communication is not entitled to full protection under the first amendment as is printed material. That’s sheer nonsense. The Bill of Rights doesn’t have anything to do with protecting the product of the printing press, but it has to do with protecting the whole process of gathering and disseminating information and news. I’ve maintained for a long time that if Benjamin Franklin had invented television rather than bifocals, the first amendment would have read freedom of media, because that’s what it really means.

‘You have to consider the way the news media were structured in those days. At that time it was possible to differentiate between news for the troops and news intended for consumption for the folks back home. A lot of the coverage in Vietnam was censored because it was stuff that could not be aired in a war zone without compromising the mission of the men who were involved. But there was a lot of bureaucratic nonsense, too.’

He also noted that much of the news was sensationalized for consumption on the home front. ‘For instance,’ he said,’someone was quoted as saying, ‘We have to destroy the village in order to save it.’ That was one individual idiot making a comment out of context. Many people, though, believed it really was the philosophy of the war.’ Cronauer also noted that much of the news coverage was skewed because many people in the military were going to Vietnam to get their tickets punched, make a name for themselves and then move on to bigger and better things, rather than staying there for three or four years to develop a full understanding of the war. ‘There were people with no geographical or geopolitical or historical context for all this, and so much of what was reported was isolated incidents and completely out of context,’ he said. ‘It allowed those who were opposed to the war to marshal public opinion against it. The fact that we were not fighting a war to win made their task that much easier.

‘Vietnam was fought as a no-win war,’ he observed, ‘and when you don’t have an objective to win, you’ve reduced the whole effort to waking up in the morning and seeing how many NVA and VC you can shoot — if you were allowed to shoot at all. It became a body-count game. But that was a political decision forced upon the troops. The troops never wanted to do that.

‘When I was stationed in Vietnam, I did interviews with the troops out in the field, and one of the reactions I got from them was one of frustration. They would be in hot pursuit of an enemy unit and then they would have to disengage because the unit would cross over some invisible barrier or border.’ He also cited another example: ‘They’d be sitting there receiving incoming fire, and not only were they not permitted to return the fire, but they weren’t even allowed to load their weapons without permission from headquarters.’

Cronauer also noted that, while during the Vietnam War it was possible to separate news for public consumption from battlefield events, today such separation is hardly possible. ‘We saw that in Desert Storm,’ he said. ‘Can you imagine an Iraqi artillery officer watching CNN as one of its reporters describes the location and blast of one of the Scud missiles in, say, Tel Aviv? That’s something that could easily be used to direct the fire of even more missiles to other targets in the city.’

Cronauer said he believes there must be some control of information taken out of a war zone. He also thinks the American people can make intelligent decisions about a war without having the minute details of every skirmish presented to them, no matter how sensational, in full and living color. On the other hand, he believes the military will try to clamp down on all the information it is allowed to. ‘We saw in Desert Storm that the military and media came to an uneasy truce,’ he said, ‘and that is about the best we are going to get, because the military is never going to trust the media with information, and the media isn’t going to trust the military with it either. I think that attitude helps to keep both sides a little more honest.’

Cronauer also believes that it would be ludicrous for the media to be able to influence the conduct of a battle. ‘Once during the Somalian conflict our troops came in, supposedly for a secret landing in the middle of the night,’ he said. ‘And when they hit the beaches, all the television lights lit up the beach so that it could be broadcast. That’s ridiculous.

‘We cannot be the policeman to the world,’ Cronauer commented. ‘A while back, during the Reagan administration, Casper Weinberger, then the secretary of defense, tried to outline the lessons we should have learned from Vietnam. It became known as the Weinberger Doctrine. It says, among other things, that there are certain criteria that should be met before involving our troops in a conflict: there must be a definable and significant U.S. interest to be served; there should be significant support for it on the home front; the goal should be definable and we should go in to win; and it should have a sound exit strategy after the first three objectives are obtained.’ He added, ‘We saw the results of that doctrine achieved in Desert Storm. In Bosnia we are seeing what happens when those principles are violated.’

Cronauer said he maintains that the military should not be an organization for social experimentation. The sole purpose of the military is to defend the country and to win wars: ‘Anything that contributes to that is good and anything that detracts from its ability to do that is bad.’

Although Cronauer said that he does not have a real desire to go back to Vietnam to visit, he knows of some veterans who have gone and others who are planning to go back. ‘I believe that American business interests would have the most positive effect there by moving that country more toward a market economy,’ he said. ‘That’s the best thing that can happen to them.’

This article was written by Gordon Zernich and originally published in the February 2001 issue of Vietnam Magazine.

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56 Responses to Adrian Cronauer: Air Force Radio Announcer in Vietnam

  1. RED DOG says:

    I had the pleasusre today to escourt Adrean from Indiana to Illinois line after a speaking last nite. What a pleasure to meet this man. :)

    • Michael Wilson says:

      Many years ago, I interviewed Adrean when I hosted a talk radio program…I do not have contatc info for him and would lik eto reach out to hime to discuss speaking at a veterans related event…he made an impression on me and would be a huge addition to our program.Please advise if you have any info on how I might write him please.
      Thank you
      Michael Wilson

      • Marc Emory says:

        Adrian is a friend of mine. I will pass this on to him, though the rest is up to him.

        Marc Emory

      • Becca says:

        So, I completely realize that this is a long shot, but I’m writing a term paper on Mr. Cronauer this semester, and interviewing him would be an entire world of magnificence! If there’s any way any of you would be able to put him in touch with me or me in touch with him, I would probably be willing to sacrifice my first born child to you… Just sayin. Anyway, I realize this post is a year an a half old, but maybe just maybe it’ll make it’s way to someone who can help me. I certainly don’t think it could hurt.
        If you can help, my email address is

  2. redog says:

    A few days ago I saw the movie “Goodmorning Vietnam” again. It had been many years since seeing it the first time. I’m only slightly younger than Adrian. I was re-struck by how the movie captured the poignancy and feeling of that era. The music was a big part of it. Much of the absurdities and contradictions of the time also seemed to be well depicted.

    • Jeanne Keating says:

      I agree with everything you said, except….having listened to Adrian’s recent speech at a veteran’s gala, I found him to be not the same man he was 25+ years ago. He seems arrogant and pompous. Perhaps he thinks he is much more important than he actually is…I listened to his interviews when the movie was first released, and he is quite a different guy today. I personally liked the ‘old’ Adrian much better. It is about war, not personalities, right??

      • Wanda Gilbert says:

        I watch good moneing viet nam every time it is on any channel I can find. I lost alot of my friends in viet nam and I lost alot more of them when they came home. No one can fix what happened there but there is no one to judge. I get angry but I’m 62 years old and I’m not really all that smart but things are worse know than now. One thing has changed our Viet Vet’s don’t have the same beneifits our NEW VIETS HAVE AND VIET VET’S HAVE BEEN FORGOTTEN. I lost alot of friends and I remember how there families suffered. I lost my best friend SPENCER WALDO LOVED HIM AT SIXTEEN AND STILL MISS HIM. GARDENA, CA..

  3. joel Kaminer says:

    i cant believe what a pompous foolish man you are,,,bush is a murderous stupid swine and your suppot of cromagnon concepts of war,that cripple the human race is just foolih

  4. Loritsn says:

    to Joel Kaminer,

    It is becuase men like Adrian and my uncles and father that you have a right to speak your mind. If you would like to change that and live in a sociolistic society, then I suggest you move to Russia or Cuba or Venezuela and try to expose your views and see who comes knocking on your door… Just be thankful for those that served and continue to serve so that you might have the freedom that you have

    • Robb Gillies says:

      NO ONE has fought for American freedom since WWII. We fight so that we can go and take things from other countries that we feel we need more than they do.
      BLINDLY kissing the asses of troops simply because they’re soldiers is NOT RIGHT, and is how we’ve ended up in the sh!t we’re in now.
      Brain-dead red neck is right…go back to the TV… your missing Fox News

      • S C Thompson says:

        Take several semesters of U.S. History, U.S. Music, Sociology, and Psychology and take some time to absorb it. Read the Bill of Rights, first hand accounts of servicemen, reporters and civilians of the Vietnam War, WWI and the Korean War. Or better yet, talk to survivors of all three wars about the three points Adrian Cronauer was speaking about:,
        ‘A while back, during the Reagan administration, Casper Weinberger, then the secretary of defense, tried to outline the lessons we should have learned from Vietnam. It became known as the Weinberger Doctrine. It says, among other things, that there are certain criteria that should be met before involving our troops in a conflict: there must be a definable and significant U.S. interest to be served; there should be significant support for it on the home front; the goal should be definable and we should go in to win; and it should have a sound exit strategy after the first three objectives are obtained.’ He added, ‘We saw the results of that doctrine achieved in Desert Storm. In Bosnia we are seeing what happens when those principles are violated.’

        Consider what we say before we say it…For instance, When the last boys came home from Vietnam, I remember they were spit on and as I was at the airport, I heard people screaming, “Baby Killers!” That was out of context, and so wounding and confusing to those who had risked their lives for so many years over there. They were the first group to be treated less than citizens when they returned. Many have never recovered.

        Compare and contrast with your first statement. Now what do you think?

        My point is, we each have a brain, we should be as informed as possible, with as much REAL TRUTH as attainable. This is our government, if we want it to run properly, do the above and vote the people you believe will get the job done right into office.

      • sarah caroline says:

        Why don’t you go learn something, quit blaming a 24- hour news channel for all of the world’s trouble, and then FREAKING LEARN TO SPELL YOU’RE! What were “we” taking from Korea, you ingrate? Or any of the other dozens of places the US has gone because we care about human life??

        It is so easy. Why can no one who uses the internet not know the difference in “you are” and “belonging to you”?

        It makes your comment look lie the load of crap it is. And really, oh thou Obama Follower… what have you done for your fellow man? Ever? I am going out on a limb here and say “a fat lot of nothing”. How DARE you disparage the brave men and women of my country?? You’re <— see how easy that was? not worthy to clean their boots.

  5. Nikki Cronauer says:

    I had never even heard of Adrian Cronauer untill my dad told me about the movie “good morning Vietnam” and it turns out that I’m related to Adrian:)

  6. Curtis says:

    To Loritsn

    Thank you! From a 67th Evac Hosp vet

  7. Ellen (Dowdy) Butler says:

    Although Adrian’s story skips the 10 years he spent in Roanoke, VA, I was working at the little TV station in 1968 when he was hired and we quickly became friends. Adrian is one of the most talented and interesting people I have ever had the pleasure to know. We worked together for 3 yrs when he had an advertising agency and he used to tell me about this great idea of his for a TV sit-com. A combination of MASH and WKRP – thus the idea of “Good Morning Vietman” was born. Adrian moved to NY in 1979 and pursured the series idea with his old Air Force buddy. Andrian was my mentor and friend – I still consider him my close friend even though we have lost contact over the last 20 years.

  8. Mike Lowe says:

    I will be meeting Adrian on November when he sails with a bunch of Veterans and their supporters on the Carnival Valor for a Veterans week cruise.. I can’t wait to meet the man..

  9. Harry Miller says:

    I hated to hear “Good Morning Vietnam” blasting on the radio all those years ago. But now 40 plus years later I think about all the many hours listening to Armed Forces Radio and Television stations around the World. I truely appreciate those hours of entertainment and those who provided it.
    The movie “Good Morning Vietnam” brought back many good an bad memories of my stay in Vietnam with the 1st Engineer Battalion of the 1st Infantry Division (June 1966 – September 1968. I wondered what happen to Sgt Cronauer. Now I know and I thank you and your associates for their support and efforts.

    Harry Miller
    USA Retired

  10. […] an international media blackout. This is one of the first large scale examples of the true power of Adrian Cronauer: Air Force Radio Announcer in Vietnam » HistoryNet 14 quotes and quotations by Adrian Cronauer.. Adrian Cronauer Giving people what they want […]

  11. A free American says:

    Joel Kaminer, life in Iran awaits you.
    Leftist Marxist and Communist are the roots of all evil.

  12. ED brittain says:

    um my dad served in vietnam from 1967 till 1969 whith 173rd airborne he told me before his death from his serives in vietnam that the movie good morning vietnam was very true um he rembers alot that music in the movie he also said that that music got him threw good times and bad times in vietnam gave them guyssomthing to party to i happend to listen to alot of the 60s and eraly 70s music and alot of classic country my parents raised us kids on it iam 27 years old so i grew up listening to alot of the doors ccr the beats rolling stones and so many others um i also served my country in afghanstan and iraq whith the 82nd airborne as a combat medic and i rember hearing armed forced radio it was out of europe

  13. P. Scheiner says:

    I think Ms. Dowdy should have looked at pages 2 and 3 of Adrian’s bio. There, it does mention his ten years in Roanoke, Va. I don’t know the man, but he must be quite a fellow. I served over in ‘Nam from Nov. 69 to Dec ’70.

  14. Don W says:

    Adrian has returned to the Roanoke, Va. area, having retired to the community of Troutville. I just saw him last night in The Showtimers community theater production of Miracle On 34th Street where he played the role of Kris Kringle. What a great talent.

  15. Bob says:

    I was in country USMC Marble Mt MAG-16 and we were sent to flush out viet cong gorrillas harrassing the Armed Forces radio/tv station on top of Monkey Mountain, which was a few clicks from where we were at..we went inside the station after patroling for a few hours,,these guys working there had a great view of the ocean and all of Da Nang city and the beach towards Marble mountain..I remember a show called the ‘Chicken Man” or something like that that we marines used to imitate..if you could afford a got to see old movies, news and weather programs,,most of us listen with portable transitor radios..

  16. gonville says:

    I arrived in Viet in march 66,,the morning person did the good morning vietnam thing but wasnt cronauer,Pfc john steinbeck the authors son was on afrts and i belive someone named aldridge was also,mornings the rest of the sched was country music.. The bio states he srrived in country at the time of the gulf of tonkin=1964.what is the time of his actual service

  17. peter Pantaleo says:

    i love the movie good morning vietnam,i love true stories,ill take to my grave that we shouldve never been in vietnam,we shoudve taken a page out of the french’s book and got out of there right from the start.

  18. Ed Ritcherson USMC'65-66 says:

    Cronauer, You were the best!!!

  19. Common Sense says:

    Ok, here’s a non-American voice: Gillies is absolutely correct, Loritsyn falls into the same trap as the other unthinking drones. Wars are fought for control of economic resources. Simple. Wars are fought so one may control the resources of their economy. Let your imagination run riot and momentarily consider the cause of blight, ie: war, famine, etc. It is that everything is a commodity, and the world is controlled by those who use the working power of the vast majority in order to harvest commodities, eg: the farm owner hires workers to harvest grain. The owner pays a total of $100, yet makes $200 clear profit. Wage slavery. The people who do the work (the farm workers, you, in fact anyone who draws a salary) are selling themselves to the minority who exploit them and their working power. Take this into food production: food is a commodity, not a right. The simple fact is, as every economic analysis confirms, if you cannot afford food you starve. There is more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet more than they need, but the billions who are starving to death simply do not have access (ie, cannot afford to pay) to it. Ask any economist/analyst with an ounce of sense and a miligram of balls and they will agree. The system is wrong. The faults are systemic. Change the system. Production for need, not for profit. We simply take money out of the equation, take profit out of the question, and produce as much and supply as much as everyone needs on a worldwide basis. It is a huge gap for minds to leap, minds that have been brought up and conditioned to believe in nothing but profit, money, greed. Imagine if there was no money…there would be no barrier, no hindrance, to human development (before you say no-one would work, look at the volunteer /charity sector. Look at how many unemployed there are in the US. Look at how many people hate their useless uninteresting job – work in this new system would be socially useful, productive, and interesting). Just allow yourselves the capacity to imagine this. Humans are naturally social and co-operative…if someone fell over in the street would you go and pick their pockets or ask if they’re ok? Socialism is about being social…about being individualist and socialist. You have no identity in this current, scare-mongering society. Time for us all to wake up, be free, and enjoy life.

  20. Frank Feldmann says:

    I have a tape recording from tet 1967. It is AFN “Goooooooood Morning Vietnam” as we were laffing at the intro an RPG goes over our head and exploded behind us.

  21. Virginia Connor says:

    Kaminer, grow up! You remind me of a left-wing commie ’60’s hippie that couldn’t leave that era without his pot and ‘peace’ poster. There are Americans abroad fighting for your freedom to live. Mayybe you should see the film, “In the Shadow of the Blade” (It showed that the American soldiers were not the baby killers you’d like to believe). My priest is a reserve Air Force chaplain in the Middle East so he’s a hero n my etes (as in Adrian Cronauer), not you (you did nothing for my country, but bitch and whine). My dad,an Army veteran, and my brother, a Navy veteran would be proud of Mr. Cronauer, Fr Jaime, but never you and I don’t care who they voted. Besides, I don’t recall the article saying that Cronauer voted for Bush. Did you read somewhere else that he did or did you just assume that?

  22. James says:

    Adrian Cronauer is a hero today, yesterday, in real life and the movie he allowed to borrow his name.

    • sadie says:

      He didn’t allow them to borrow anything. He sold his story – and then came out and said it was fiction. That was a disappointment. Also what happened in 2014. :/

  23. Chris says:

    Did you know Pat Sajak replaced him on the radio in Vietnam?

  24. A P Smith says:

    Adrian is a fine upstanding gentleman. I had the honor to sail on the Carnival Valor with him and approximately 300 other veterans. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and you can thank a VETERAN for that privelege. I hope to some day have him as a quest speaker at our Memorial Day event in California.

  25. ken wood says:

    Can someone get me in touch Adrian as i would like to see about him being a guest speaker at a vietnam vet reunion in las vegas in october 2012. I met him and talked with him years ago at the vietnam vets reunion in melbourne fla. great guy.


  26. Ron Kloess says:

    Chris, I do not know if you will read this, but Adrian was in Vietnam 1965-66 as he stated. Pat Sajak was in Nam 1969, 1971. I was in Nam 1969-1970 and I remember heaaring Good Morning Vietnam each and every day. For me, it made me feel closer to home, to forget the war, even if only for a few moments, and the courage to get on with it. The man who replaced Adrian was an army sgt last name Haas. From what I know, the phrase was used by all Vietnam DJ’s for the rest of the war.

  27. S Stroble says:

    We live in perilous times. President Obama changed the rules of engagement so that our brave troops cannot fire their weapons unless fired upon first, which is suicidal. Pompous fools live in ivory towers as cowards.

  28. Jake Wicks says:


    I am a college student and I am writing a 30 page paper on Adrian Cronauer for my term paper that is necessary for my graduation. I would like to interview him somehow. Maybe by phone or face to face. Can someone lead me into a direction so that I can contact him.

    Thank You,

    Jake Wicks

  29. Fred Billingsley says:

    It would of been refreshing to even have heard a radio station in Viet Nam, but our fire base (LZ San Jaun Hill) rarely got any signal. It was hard enough to keep our Prick-25 working during monsoon.I recently started going to our Re Con reunions in Solon, Ohio. I was young way back then., but do agree with Adrian’s and rights to his opinions. the militaries job is to protect and serve. I thought the movie was a little bitter/sweet, but so is life. I realize that every day. Loved the movie. As other Viet Nam movies came out this once strong person, melted like snow in hot water. I found I could feel again. God Bess all my brothers in arms and you too Adrian. I’am sure you made people feel. Doc B 4/3 recon

    • susan leao says:

      Thank you Mr. Billingsly for your statement about your own healing and view of life after Vietnam.
      During the time of it taking place I felt loss from the begining to the end and continuing to do so as I was a History major and knew the information beyond the media presentation….That of a geopolitical posturing for the area…none of which was being explored…Throughout history that seems to be the theme of war….
      Beyond the intellectual aspect of wars there is the personal emotional life changing experience of it….You so very well explained that from a heart felt place…I still feel it after all these years…
      I experienced the loss of half of the male population of our small graduating class of 1963 to the war. Twenty five young men who were still somewhat boys…mostly Native American. I witnessed many emotionally distraught men to this day who are still working at repairing lost parts of their life due to this strange political event that to me still makes no sense…My brother still walks in the senseliss horror of his experience….I wish for him, the healing that you have gained.
      Thank you for your thoughtful intelligent words….and thanks to the movie GOOD MORNING VIETNAM for bring this all forward….

  30. […] evening I was watching the story of Adrian Cronauer, as portrayed by actor and comedian Robin Williams in the movie “Good Morning, […]

  31. vince casalenuovo says:

    i was in vietnam 66- 68 34th gen support group (am&s) i love to hear you every morning you made me feel great…….vince ps my son lives in mannassa va. i would love to see you i.ll be in va. march 10th-18th i live in shillington pa thanks again for your great job done in vietnam……vince

  32. Jackson Lowe says:

    Adrian and I were involved in an amateur theatrical group in Washington, DC. At a house party one night, he sat down with a group of us and told us about his time in Viet Nam and how he came to sell the rights to his book to become a movie. He explained that you have almost no say in the script, and that the movie was made for \pure entertainment,\ and very little was based on actual \facts.\ It was greatly \romanticized\ as he was never involved with any Vietnamese women. Years later, he hosted the annual 1881 Overture at the Sylvan Theater (outdoors, by the Washington Monument). He opened by saying, Good Evening Washingtooooooooooooooon. Say what you want about the man, he had a marvelous \set of pipes\ on him. The group lost track of him when he began speaking on Veterans’ issues, especially on Capitol Hill.

  33. Pam Neath says:

    Just watched Good Morning Vietnam, I’ve lost count how many times I’ve watched this film. I’ve lost friends in both the Falklands and Iraq Wars. I wanted to find out more about Adrian and wanted to let you know how much your comment moved me. Too many young people give their lives in conflict.

  34. […] I was stationed at DINFOS (the Defence Information School), Adrian Cronauer was everyone’s hero in the broadcasting cadre.  This was 4 years before “Good Morning, […]

  35. Sam McGowan says:

    I was in Vietnam in 1965, then in 1966-67 and again in 1969-70. I honestly do not recall hearing the “Good Morning Vietnam” call on ARTS until my third tour in 1969. By that time, Cronauer was not only long gone from Vietnam, he was long gone from the Air Force. One item about this article that stands out – how could he have even able to apply for flight training if he left college short of a degree? The Air Force started requiring a degree for pilots around 1960 and for navigators in 1962. The last class of aviation cadets graduated from navigator training in 1963. I enjoyed the movie – in fact, I’m watching it on AMC right now – but it’s nothing like the way Vietnam really was in 1965. It is ironic that television wouldn’t produce a program about his experiences in Vietnam even though MASH was a hit at the time. I happened to be in D.C. when the first Vietnam reunion was held (I wasn’t there for it but I did go down the Mall.) I found it very ironic that the number one display in the Museum of American History at the time was one about MASH.

  36. Harry says:

    Adrian should have received a medal for what he did and attempted to get across while swimming upstream.
    As much a hero as anyone who was in country.
    I served with the 1st Marine Air Wing in Chu Lai and DaNang from Dec ’66 through Mar ’69

  37. sarah caroline says:

    Er, who were you addressing? (Hopefully someone who knows what \suppot\ means ;->)
    Funny when someone takes to a message board or a Comments Section and decides that is a good place to call someone stupid…. then spell most of the words in the comment wrong.

    Good times on the Internet!

    At any rate… I hadn’t seen GMV since it was in the theater – I was 18 & didn’t know much about Vietnam, but loved (still do, he still cheers me up and I miss him) Robin, thought he was delightfully funny. So I wanted to come see what I could find out about real Adrian, and you know, fictional account or whatever, the point is that we must take care of our US troops – from providing levity (which is very helpful for keeping us sane in all kinds of wretched situations) to the care they NEED now, and are not receiving.

    Robin was so wonderful in the film, his acting in so many moments was so much more subtle than I had remembered, conveying that tenderness he became known for, and of course was terrifically funny. He is missed.

    OK, you can all return to your basing or whatever non-delightful crap you \need\ to do now, so sorry for interrupting with positivity.

    Sarah Taylor
    Oklahoma City

  38. […] I love to quote from the movie Good Morning, Vietnam in which the main character, a radio DJ named Adrian Cronauer (played by the late, great Robin Williams), does a humorous impersonation of a field intelligence […]

  39. Dacha says:

    Perhaps this article should be updated to show how Cronauer was disbarred for mortgage fraud.

  40. luis martinez says:

    “should be updated to show how Cronauer was disbarred for mortgage fraud.”
    Can’t do that, otherwise it would tarnish “General Cronauer’s expert assessment on how we should have fought the war…Asking an Air Force DJ to evaluate the tactics of the VietNam war makes as much sense as asking an Arby’s cook how to prepare Duck a l’Orange.

  41. skylucy says:

    One thing has nothing to do with the other, Cronauers shared and insightful personal first hand impression of his experience in the Nam acuratelly reflects the thinking of most Americans then, . . . and now.

    • Carlos Vargas says:

      I was in Viet Nam at the same time that Adrian was, from September 1965 to May of 1966. I used to listen to Adrian play rock and roll in the mornings and later listened to Steven Hauk when he came on with his ridiculous rubber horn everything he said something funny. He actually was funny. I used to listen to Sam Lavetan playing Montivanni, Mitch Miller and Percy Faith. I was 20 then and scared chitless most of the time I was there and that was the only good time I remember for us at Qui Nhon. I spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve there. To the people at Viet Nam it was known at Tet. I remember I came home and our C130 was almost shot down out of the sky as it was approaching Tan Son Nhut airport. We were debriefed, signed a bunch of papers and went home, never to return. I turned down a promotion to Staff Seargent as they wanted me to stay another term. Our Sergeant Mullet was rotating back to stateside and they needed someone to replace him. I said, no. I’m going home. I think if I had been in another state of mind I would have told them what to do with their promotion. Yeah, I have memories of Viet Nam alright. Take care Sky Lucy.

      • skylucy says:

        Good heart to you and yours in the new year Carlos
        Mike Hamiel

  42. Andrew McGuffin says:

    Perhaps Viet Nam veterans would think less of Mr. Cronauer upon knowing he was a member of the board of National Vietnam Veterans Foundation, and the NY AG found that his law partner (John Thomas Burch,Jr. of Burch & Cronauer) and the charity were running a total scam that did nothing to benefit Viet Nam veterans. The charity enriched the members of the board and their families, while turning its back on veterans. Read the settlement agreement linked in the NY AG press release. Cronauer is named therein. His partner, Burch, also was a high roller in the VA’s Office of General Counsel — until they sacked him for his misdeeds this winter. Snakes of a slither gather together. and

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