3. Order and Command in the 6th Army

In 1968, General Stanley “Swede” Larsen is Commander of the Sixth Army.

Suggestion: If you are in front of the stockade (the side with the steps), walk around the left side of the building and to the rear corner (the side facing the road). Look slightly rightward, and you will see the intersection for the road that descends to the Main Post: 6th Army Command Headquarters.

He is remembered by men who served under him as a conscientious and honorable leader. A graduate of West Point, the Army was his whole life.

Outspoken and all Army, Gen. Larsen found political dissent of any kind against the military infuriating. Dissent from within its ranks touched a particularly raw nerve. Yet just a month after arriving as the new Presidio commander, in July 1968, he had to make a decision about a public political action that was taken by five of his GIs — along with two Marines, a Navy sailor, and one Air Force sergeant. They were calling themselves the “Nine for Peace.” In a calculated attempt to quit the Armed Forces, these men went AWOL, resigned, refused to go to Vietnam, and chained themselves hand-in-hand to a group of clergymen inside Howard Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. There they claimed “sanctuary” — the ancient right of church protection against state power — and the event was widely covered in the media.

Photo with Capt. Lamont and Sgt. Woodring

Stockade command

Captain Robert Lamont was the Presidio’s stockade commander beginning in August 1968. Fortunately or unfortunately, he was a boyish looking but well-educated 25-year-old, softer spoken than the gruff Sergeant. Thomas Woodring who reported under him. The prisoners witnessed firsthand that their Captain had much less influence on their lives than the aggressive and overpowering Sergeant who made life miserable inside the stockade.



[LISTEN: 1 min] General Larsen had a strong opinion about dissent from inside the Army.
Creator: Presidio Trust
View File Record