Researched and written by DC
Commander of Project Alpha at Camp Barnett. Graduated West Point. Was a POW for two years during the Korean War- held the rank of captain at that time.
Age: 42 to 45
Physical Attributes: Carl is a strikingly handsome black man in his prime in top physical condition. 6’4″ tall with dark brown eyes and short black hair.
Commander of Camp Barnett, III Corps until November 1968 when relieved of his command.*
*We do not know how long Project Alpha had been active or how long Carl had actually been in Vietnam prior to Team Viking’s arrival.
- Awards and Decorations
- Distinguished Service Cross
- Silver Star (multiple awards)
- Bronze Star (multiple awards)
- Purple Heart (multiple awards)
- National Defense Medal- Korea
- National Defense Medal- Vietnam
- Korea Campaign Medal
- Vietnam Campaign Medal
- Korea Service Medal
- Vietnam Service Medal
- Combat Infantry Badge (originally awarded in Korea)
Carl is the project commander of Project Alpha at Camp Barnett when Lieutenant Myron Goldman arrives with Anderson, Ruiz, Johnson, Taylor, Percell and the new medic, Hockenbury. Charismatic with an unquestionable presence, he is considered by his superiors to be unorthodox in his command methods, but is well respected by his men. He believes that if he takes care of his men, he will get the results he needs. Carl appears in episodes 40 through 45 and returns for episodes 55-57.
Graduated West Point. He would have been in one of the first classes after desegregation.
Went to Special Forces training at age of 40.
Captain in the Korean War.
POW in the Korean War for two years.
Is married to his second wife, Li An and has a young son, Jac-Nho.
Had met General Martin Goldman in Korea.
Pop Scarlet served under his command in Korea.
Speaks fluent Vietnamese.
Intelligent, charismatic and insightful, Carl is one of those leaders who soldiers want to serve with and are willing to die for. There is very little that happens at his camp that he is not keenly aware of. He’s also under a lot of pressure from command to put the “boom boom” bars on Pasteur Street off-limits, an order he does not agree with and argues with General Elliott.
In the episode Ties That Bind, he meets Myron and Zeke for the first time, taking his measure of both men when they come to his office. Myron is distant, still grieving over the death of Alex Devlin. When Carl presses him a bit, he sees how quickly Anderson bristles.
Carl takes an interest in Goldman, noticing just how devoted and protective his men are of him. He sees in Myron an excellent soldier and intelligent leader, things he respects. He also knew Myron’s father, General Goldman, back in Korea but never tells Myron this. It is Martin who tells Myron in the episode I Am What I Am.
In the episode, A Bodyguard of Lies, Goldman’s team comes upon the massacre of an entire village by Lieutenant Bellar and his platoon. Goldman, sickened by what happened, reports all of it to Brewster, wanting something to be done about it. When Brewster pushes, asking if Myron would pursue it even if it meant ending his career; Myron tells him he’s never been afraid of rocking the boat.
In the episode A Necessary End, Lieutenant McKay ends up “adopting” a small orphanage outside of Saigon and gets Hockenbury involved in liberating some medical supplies. While Doc grumbles about the wisdom of what he is doing, he finds himself suddenly confronted, caught red-handed by Colonel Brewster. But once Carl finds out what’s going on, he sanctions it, making sure that McKay and Doc can continue to get supplies for Sister Bernadette and her orphanage.
Goldman doggedly pursues the events of Phu-an, questioning Carl on more than one occasion as to what was being done. Carl doesn’t fault Myron’s determination to see Bellar and his men punished, but there are times when he becomes a little annoyed. Privately, he’s not happy with how the Army is handling the situation and decides to air out his grievances through the press.
This draws the ire of General Higgins, who doesn’t care for Carl’s command style. He warns Carl to back off or he will make him “an orphan in this man’s Army.” Carl doesn’t back down from a fight easily, especially when he knows what’s right and what’s wrong. He takes his story to the press again, this time telling reporter Syd Boyle to use his name and he’d back it up.
Through this, Carl is aware that Goldman and his men are carrying Percell, who goes AWOL at the end of the episode A Necessary End. In Cloud Nine, he confronts Goldman about Percell, telling him he has to make a choice. It’s clear he’s pushing Goldman to make the right decision and to go after Percell without coming out and saying it.
Again, there is little that Brewster is not aware of and when Taylor, Johnson, Ruiz and Doc try to sneak Danny out of camp to finish drying out at Sister Bernadette’s, Carl catches them. But instead of ordering Percell to the stockade and punishment for the others, he lets them move Percell. When Danny returns to the camp the next day, he’s sober again but a huge emotional mess. Carl sits down and talks to him about his time as a POW and about not giving up despite the odds.
Because Carl goes to the press again despite Higgins’ warnings, Higgins has him relieved of command. But before the orders are official, Carl sneaks Team Viking out of Barnett in the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning for one final mission. With the mission a complete success, they return to camp late only to find that Carl has arranged for Myron’s team to have a real Thanksgiving dinner. He speaks to Myron one last time, telling him he has a great team and that to make sure they never go hungry for food or compliments.
In the episode, War is a Contact Sport, Team Viking returns from a mission gone wrong to find Colonel Brewster standing there waiting for them. But before they can say anything, Pop Scarlet goes right up to him and slugs him. It’s in this episode we learn that Pop served under Carl back in Korea. Carl is also back to finish what he started in the matter of Phu-an.
In the episode Three Cheers for the Red, White and Orange both Brewster and Goldman testify about the events leading up to the Phu-an massacre, and what Goldman and his men found at the ville. At the end of their testimony, while standing outside, they both witness Bellar take his life when he puts a gun to his head and shoots himself.
In the episode, The Raid, Brewster leads a team of hand-picked men including Goldman, McKay and Team Viking. It’s a raid deep inside enemy lines to try and rescue several Air Force POWs. But the rescue attempt goes terribly wrong almost from the moment they arrive when they find out the prisoners have been moved. Coming under fire, several men are badly wounded, including Brewster and Pop Scarlet, both men nearly dying.
Myron visits Brewster at the hospital, letting him know about Pop and that there were no prisoners. Carl tells Myron it’s a helluva price. Myron replies, “Helluva war.”
This is the last time Brewster appears and there is nothing indicating if he survived his wounds and made it back home.
Episodes Colonel Carl Brewster appeared in:
#40 Ties That Bind
#41 Lonely At the Top
#42 Bodyguard of Lies
#43 Necessary End
#44 Cloud Nine
#45 Thanks for the Memories
#55 War is a Contact Sport
#56 Three Cheers for the Red, White and Orange
#57 The Raid