Concept

Anthony Poshepny

Summary
Anthony Alexander Poshepny (September 18, 1924 – June 27, 2003), known as Tony Poe, was a CIA Paramilitary Operations Officer in what became the Special Activities Division (renamed Special Activities Center in 2016). He was known for his service in Laos with Special Guerilla Units (SGUs) under the command of General Vang Pao, a U.S.-funded secret army in Laos during the Vietnam War, and is recognized as the model for Colonel Kurtz in the movie Apocalypse Now. Poshepny was born September 18, 1924, in Long Beach, California, to John Charles and Isabel M. ( Veriziano) Poshepny. His father was a United States Navy officer whose parents were immigrants from Bohemia. His mother was born in Guam. When he was eight years old, his nine-year-old brother John accidentally shot her in the stomach with the family rifle, and she nearly bled to death. Shortly after turning 18, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, serving in the 2nd Marine Parachute Battalion and fighting in the 5th Marine Division on Iwo Jima. He received the Purple Heart twice and was a Sergeant by the time he was honorably discharged. Returning to civilian life, he enrolled at Saint Mary's College, before transferring to what is now San Jose State University. He contemplated going to work for the FBI. Graduating in 1950, he instead joined the CIA, where he was part of the first recruit class to receive all of its training at the new Camp Peary. He was active in Korea during the Korean War, training refugees for sabotage missions behind communist lines. He also helped train Chinese Nationalist commandos for missions on the mainland. Following the Korean war, Poshepny joined the Bangkok-based CIA front company Overseas Southeast Asia Supply (SEA Supply), which provided military equipment to Kuomintang forces based in Burma. In 1958, Poshepny tried unsuccessfully to arrange a military uprising against Sukarno, the president of Indonesia. From 1958 to 1960, he trained different special missions teams, including Tibetan Khampas and Hui Muslims at Camp Hale for operations inside China against the Communist government.
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