In mid-July 1945, U.S. military forces within the Allied ranks deployed several officers from the Deer Team of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to parachute into Tan Trao, Tuyen Quang, to coordinate with the Viet Minh against Japanese occupiers. At Tan Trao, the Deer Team assisted the Viet Minh in training units on combat techniques and radio usage. Subsequently, the joint Vietnamese-American anti-Japanese battalion was established. The collaboration between the U.S. military and the Viet Minh during that period contributed to the formation of the Vietnam-American Friendship Association.

The photo was taken in 1945. 

The Vietnam-American Friendship Association (predecessor to the current Viet Nam - USA Society) was established on October 17, 1945, just 45 days after the country gained independence. According to some veteran revolutionaries, President Ho Chi Minh was the founder of the Viet Nam - USA Society. The initial constitution of the Viet Nam - USA Society, still preserved, referred to it as the Vietnam-American Friendship Association (V.A.F.A.). This marked the first officially established mutual friendship organization in Vietnam. The Viet Nam - USA Society is a voluntary social organization with the aim of gathering and uniting members, safeguarding their legal rights and interests, supporting effective activities, and contributing to the socio-economic development of the country. The Viet Nam - USA Society operates nationwide, focusing on people-to-people diplomacy between the Vietnamese and American people.

The first task undertaken by the Viet Nam - USA Society was to establish English language classes for its members. On December 1, 1945, an official announcement stated, "The Minister of National Education of Vietnam allows the Viet Nam - USA Society to open two American language classes in Ha Noi from November 15, 1945. One class is for Phonetic Drill and Conversation for those who already have some knowledge of English and want to practice speaking. The other class is for teaching those who do not know English." The Viet Nam - USA Society published a magazine named "Viet Nam - USA Magazine" and aired a dedicated weekly program on the Voice of Vietnam radio. During this lively period, the Viet Nam - USA Society actively engaged in activities, seizing opportunities to garner international recognition for the young Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Since the U.S. intervention in Vietnam, particularly when U.S. forces entered South Vietnam in 1965, a brutal war unfolded across the entire territory of the small nation on the Pacific shore. The bilateral relations between the two countries plummeted to their lowest point. The war inflicted severe losses on both sides, prompting Americans to question the purpose of the conflict in Vietnam. To help the American people understand the true nature of the war, grasp the aspirations for peace, national independence, and unity of the Vietnamese people, on July 12, 1968, the Minister of Home Affairs issued Decision No. 349/NV, establishing the Vietnam Committee for Solidarity with the American People.

The Vietnam Committee for Solidarity with the American People aimed to assist Americans in recognizing the unjust nature of the U.S. war in Vietnam, portraying the Vietnamese people's resistance as just, driven by the pursuit of peace, national independence, and reunification. From that moment until our people achieved complete victory in 1975, the committee served as a focal point for relations with all organizations and individuals within the anti-war movement in the U.S. The Viet Nam - USA meeting in Bratislava (Czechoslovakia) in September 1967 was a significant event in the friendly relations between the two nations. It can be said that the anti-war movement in the U.S. played a crucial role, compelling the U.S. government to de-escalate the war and engage in negotiations, ultimately leading to the complete victory of our people in 1975.

In 1992, as part of the policy of openness, diversification, and multilateralization of foreign activities by the Party and the State, the Vietnam Committee for Solidarity with the American People transitioned from the People's International Affairs Bureau (Central Commission of Foreign Relations) to the Vietnam Union of Peace, Solidarity, and Friendship Organizations, now known as the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations. Consequently, the Vietnam-American Friendship Association adopted a new name, becoming the Viet Nam - USA Society. At that time, similar to its initial activities when it was established as the Vietnam-American Friendship Association, the Viet Nam - USA Society's primary task was to open English language classes to aid officials in the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations, enhancing their English proficiency. Simultaneously, it actively built a network of partnerships in the United States.

Peace, cooperation and sustainable development. 

President Bill Clinton's declaration on July 11, 1995, marking the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Viet Nam, opened a new chapter in the bilateral relationship. Leveraging the network of partnerships established since 1992, the Viet Nam - USA Society has facilitated numerous cultural exchanges between Americans and Vietnamese. These interactions began with veterans and extended to seniors, politicians, civilians, high school teachers, university professors, students, and business professionals from both countries. Over time, these exchanges have intensified and expanded.

Today, the Viet Nam - USA Society has evolved into a pivotal friendship organization in the broader people-to-people diplomacy and, specifically, in Vietnam-US relations. The year 2023 holds particular significance for both nations as they commemorate a decade since establishing Comprehensive Partnership and elevating bilateral ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for peace, cooperation, and sustainable development. People-to-people relations, cultural exchanges, educational collaboration, and the role of the Viet Nam - USA Society are sure to play a crucial role in further advancing Vietnam-US relations in the coming years.

U.S. - Viet Nam Friendship Festival. 

Organizational Structure of the Viet Nam - USA Society:

- Executive Board: Comprising 1 President and 2 Vice Presidents.

- Management Board: Consisting of 41 members, with an Executive Committee of 11 members.

- 5 Member Organizations:

  1. Viet Nam - USA Magazine

  2. Viet Nam - USA Language Center

  3. Viet Nam - USA Business Club

  4. Center for Research and International Cooperation

  5. Hanoi Vietnam United States Alumni Club (VUSAC).

- 10 Local Viet Nam - USA Friendship Association:

  1. Hanoi Viet Nam - USA Friendship Association

  2. Hai Phong Viet Nam - USA Friendship Association

  3. Thua Thien Hue Viet Nam - USA Friendship Association

  4. Da Nang Viet Nam - USA Friendship Association

  5. Ho Chi Minh City Viet Nam - USA Friendship Association

  6. Dong Nai Viet Nam - USA Friendship Association

  7. Can Tho Viet Nam - USA Friendship Association

  8. Kien Giang Viet Nam - USA Friendship Association

  9. Nghe An Viet Nam - USA Friendship Association

  10. Quang Tri Viet Nam - USA Friendship Association.

- Members: The Viet Nam - USA Society currently has 24 members, with plans to admit more in the near future.

Phương Nhi