The National Liberation Front (NLF) was founded in South Vietnam on 20 December 1960. The organisation, comprised of political leaders, commissars, cadres and military personnel, was often referred to as a whole as the Việt Cộng by US advisors and military. In effect, “Việt Cộng” meant Vietnamese communist and, therefore, included any person or group in South Vietnam that allied themselves with the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) government in North Vietnam.
The NLF itself was a mass political organization in South Vietnam and Cambodia with its own army – the People’s Liberation Armed Forces of South Vietnam (PLAF) together with guerrilla and militia elements – that fought against the US and the Republic of Vietnam (RVN). It had both guerrilla and regular army units, as well as a network of cadres who organized peasants in the territory it controlled. Many soldiers were recruited in South Vietnam, but others were attached to the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN), the regular army of North Vietnam.