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Dakota County Vietnam Veterans: Apple Valley's Glenn Solberg, Vietnam MP

As part of the re-dedication of the Dakota County Historical Society's expanded Vietnam veteran exhibit that opened Nov. 17, Patch will feature three stories from the collection.

While attending North Dakota State University in the ‘60s, Glenn Solberg participated in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) for four years. After graduation, he held the rank of 2nd lieutenant with a commitment to the Army of two years of active duty and four years of reserve duty. Solberg was assigned to the Military Police Corps (MP), the law enforcement branch of the U. S. Army, and attended advanced MP Officer’s training at Fort Gordon, Georgia, in July 1968 for eight weeks. 

Solberg’s first year of service was spent with the Berlin Brigade at the Army base in Berlin, Germany. As a 1st lieutenant, he was assigned to the 287th MP Company that patrolled the Berlin Wall, specifically the American sector of West Berlin. However, in September 1969, he received orders to Vietnam and by early October he was stationed in Long An Province, at the main base camp of the 3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division, near the town of Tan An, located in the upper portion of the Mekong Delta. Solberg belonged to the “Go Devils” brigade, which was the farthest-south U.S. combat unit in South Vietnam at that time. Solberg was a platoon leader and assistant provost marshal, assisting the provost marshal, who was the officer in charge of Military Police operations within the brigade.

The Military Police had several functions essential to army operations:

  • Provide base camp security. 
  • Work with local police and the South Vietnamese Army Military Police.
  • Process and detain Prisoners of War (POWs). Housed on base in a facility known as a POW cage, they would be held there for a few days until they were turned over to the South Vietnamese, as the Brigade did not detain prisoners on a long-term basis.
  • Conduct convoy escorts for the infantry units.
  • When necessary, assist with Graves Registration in identifying the bodies of those killed in action.
  • Control the black market and confiscate black market items.
  • War Trophy Registration—document items seized from the Viet Cong or NVA.
  • Routine military law enforcement duties, including drug busts and resolving conflicts between G.I.s and the local South Vietnamese civilians. On two occasions, while Solberg’s MPs were on search missions with South Vietnamese police to look for contraband and suspected Viet Cong, two men were shot and killed by the enemy.

Solberg left Vietnam on July 3, 1970 and became a real estate agent in 1972, living in Billings, Montana for seven years. In 1980 he moved to Apple Valley with his wife Nancy where they raised two sons and a daughter.

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