The American Thinker has some interesting thoughts on John Kerry callsign “Boston Strangler” from his former commanders:

“Working with call sign “Boston Strangler” became problematical.  I had a lot of trouble getting him to follow orders,” recalls Wright.  ‘He had a different view of leadership and operations.  Those of us with direct experience working with Kerry found him difficult and oriented towards his personal, rather than unit goals and objectives.  I believed that overall responsibility rested squarely on the shoulders of the OIC or OTC in a free-fire zone.  You had to be right (before opening fire). Kerry seemed to believe there were no rules in a free-fire zone and you were supposed to kill anyone.  I didn’t see it that way.’

In Wright’s view, it was important that the enemy understood that Swift boats were a competent, effective force that could dominate his location.  To do that, you also had to control the people and their actions; to have them accept Swift boat crews and their authority.  You couldn’t achieve that by indiscriminate use of weapons in free fire zones. 

It got to a point where Wright told his divisional commander he no longer wanted Kerry in his boat group, so he was re-assigned to another one.  ‘I had an idea of his actions but didn’t have to be responsible for him.’  Then Wright and like-minded boat officers took matters into their own hands.  ‘When he got his third Purple Heart, three of us told him to leave.  We knew how the system worked and we didn’t want him in Coastal Division 11.  Kerry didn’t manipulate the system, we did.'”