We Were Soldiers Once and Young was co-authored by Lt. General Harold G Moore and Joseph L Galloway. Lt General Moore was in command of the 1st Battalion, 7th Calvary division during the November 1965 battle, which took place in the Ia Drang valley in Vietnam. Joseph L Galloway was a reporter that accompanied the 1st Battalion into this battle.
This book does not try to make a political statement by addressing the issues surrounding America's involvement in Vietnam. Instead, this is every soldier's personal story of that horrific battle code named X-ray. The story is described for the reader in an hour-by-hour account of the four-day battle by hundreds of different soldiers. Collectively these soldiers's gave an account of all points of view. Interviews include medics, infantrymen, helicopter pilots, officers, sergeants, reporters, and even the enemy. .
The book opens with a brief description of the training the soldiers of the 1st battalion 7th Calvary received before leaving the United States. The training consisted of an intense fourteen-month program designed to prepare the solider for a new warfare tactic, called airmobile warfare. Prior to the Vietnam War, the use of the helicopter had been limited to transporting the wounded from the battlefield. The military wanted to expand the use of the helicopter to include transporting the healthy well rested solider to the battlefront. Instead of marching for hours through enemy territory with a heavy pack, a solider could be flown via helicopter to any battlefront with in minuets.
Airmobile warfare is not without it's flaws. For example, the amount of soldiers brought to the battlefront at one time is limited to the number of available helicopters. In the case of X-ray this meant the sixteen helicopters could only carry eighty men at a time. Each round trip took thirty minuets. The first eighty soldiers had to face an enemy of sixteen hundred strong alone for a half hour.