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Chapter V

Contents

CHAPTER V

THE PERSONNEL DIVISION

ACTIVITIES

 After the office of the chief surgeon was organized on July 28, 1917, its personnel division was charged with all matters having to do with personnel of the several branches of the Medical Department, A. E. F.1 As in the Surgeon General's office,a this included all administrative control of their promotion and assignment to station, and, in some instances, appointment.1 A dental section of the personnel division was organized toward the end of August, 1917, under the officer who was also dental surgeon for headquarters.2 The chief of the Army Nurse Corps did not become a part of the personnel division in the office of the chief surgeon, A. E. F., until that office moved to Tours in March, 1918, when it absorbed the office of the chief surgeon, Services of Supply, in which the chief of the Army Nurse Corps, A. E. F., theretofore had been serving.3 The chief nurse then became the head of the Army Nurse Corps section in the personnel division of the chief surgeon's office, A. E. F.3 Before August 29, 1918, officers and men pertaining to the veterinary service were assigned to the remount service in the Quartermaster Department, and until that date this personnel operated under that department.4 Subsequent thereto the members of the veterinary service were under the control of the veterinary division which was then established in the chief surgeon's office.4 After the chief surgeon's office was fully organized the personnel belonging to the dental, veterinary, and nursing services were, generally speaking, under the administrative control of the chiefs of such services, and the head of the personnel division exercised only an indirect supervision over their subordinates, but requests for changes of assignment and other technical matters came to his office as a phase of routine and in conformity with his general control.5

Though the personnel division of the chief surgeon's office eventually exercised general administrative control, as outlined above, over all members of the Medical Department in the American Expeditionary Forces, in certain fields such responsibility was, in some degree at least, in subordinate offices.4 Thus before March 21, 1918, the personnel serving in the Services of Supply was under the administrative control of the chief surgeon of that jurisdiction, until his office was absorbed by that of the chief surgeon, A. E. F.4 After the chief surgeon's office, A. E. F., had moved to Tours its personnel division maintained contact with the medical service in the zone of the armies through the chief surgeon's representative at general headquarters.4 In the several armies Medical Department assignments were controlled by the respective army surgeons. Authority was granted eventually to the director of professional services to procure travel orders for consultants direct from the general headquarters,6 and the director of the division of laboratories and infectious diseases
 

aConsult Chap. III, Vol. I, of this history.



90

was authorized to request travel orders for his subordinates without reference to the chief surgeon's office.7 With members of the Medical Department, who were serving with one or another of our allies, the personnel division maintained contact through the respective liaison officers accredited to the medical services of those countries.8  Members of the sections of the United States Army Ambulance Service, which were loaned to the French and Italian Governments, had a relationship with the chief surgeon's office in a few matters, especially those pertaining to technical reports; but when some of these sections were reloaned by those Governments to the United States, their members came more directly under the control of the personnel division as elements of the Medical Department, A. E. F., except in a very few matters; e. g., fragmentation of units.9 Authority for assignment of personnel within their jurisdiction, and for promotion of enlisted men to certain grades, was granted the chief surgeons of armies, corps, and divisions, to surgeons of territorial areas, and the commanding officers of such Medical Department formations as hospital centers.10

A part of the Medical Department of the United States Navy, serving in the American Expeditionary Forces, was under the control of the chief surgeon, A. E. F., in conformity with the regulation which prescribed that when marines were serving with the Army they would come under the jurisdiction of the latter.11 Not only the medical officers and enlisted men on duty with the marines, but also the personnel of Naval Base Hospital No. 1, assigned to their service, therefore, came under the chief surgeon, A. E. F.11 This personnel of the Medical Department of the Navy increased from 5 officers and 34 enlisted men in June, 1917, to 68 officers and 493 enlisted men in September, 1918, after which month its strength gradually fell.12 The highest number of its officers on this duty was reached in January, 1919, when these totaled 72.13 This naval personnel included that on duty at Naval Base Hospital No. 1,14 located at Brest, that serving with the marine bridge which formed a part of the 2d Division,15 and four surgical teams.16 Naval Base Hospital No. 5, Brest, offered 200 beds to the Army but this was a purely naval institution in all other respects.11

After the office of the chief surgeon, A. E. F., moved on March 21, 1918, to Tours, orders affecting Medical Department personnel under the jurisdiction of that command, were issued by headquarters, Services of Supply.4 Orders affecting personnel in the zone of the armies, or on duty with the United States Army Ambulance Service, were issued by general headquarters on request of the personnel division of the chief surgeon's office or occasionally by telephone on request of that division through the representative of the chief surgeon with the general staff.5 More frequently in emergencies orders from this source were obtained by telegraphic request upon the adjutant general, A. E. F., at Chaumont.5

Headquarters of the special services-i. e., the professional services of the Medical Department-were established in September, 1917, at Neufchateau.4 Here the professional services were directly under control of the chief surgeon's office, until the reorganization of the American Expeditionary Forces in March, 1918, after which date the group was under concurrent jurisdiction of the hospitalization division of that office at Tours and of the representative of the


91

chief surgeon with the general staff, A. E. F., at Chaumont.4 The consultants supervised the professional work of the officers serving in their respective specialties, and acted as agents of the personnel division, in so far as they recommended assignments of the officers who were under their professional supervision. Such recommendations were approved in practically all instances, except that in some cases officers were held in certain positions for disciplinary reasons.4

Orders issued on the recommendations of the senior consultants were at first issued through the personnel division of the chief surgeon's office, but later, because of the large increase in work involved, and in order to expedite service, they were issued through the director of professional services stationed at Chaumont who was authorized to procure them direct from general headquarters, A. E. F.4 This led to complications at times because of the possibility of general headquarters and headquarters, Services of Supply, issuing conflicting orders concerning the same officer, but this system was otherwise so generally advantageous that it was continued.4

Until the two offices were consolidated the personnel division in the office of the chief surgeon, A. E. F., and in that of the chief surgeon, line of communications, maintained very close contact.5 The personnel division of the chief surgeon's office, line of communications, exercised control over all medical personnel within its jurisdiction until January, 1918, when this authority was decentralized, the surgeons of the several territorial sections of the American Expeditionary Forces then assuming supervision of all medical personnel within their respective borders, except that serving at base hospitals.5

Replacements were handled entirely through the Services of Supply.4 A medical casual depot at Blois was planned and practically organized when it was taken over as a casual officers' depot.4 It continued, however, to receive and distribute Medical Department casuals until July, 1918, when this service was transferred to the 1st Depot Division at St. Aignan.4 This transfer was made with a view of establishing a short course of training in field work at the 1st Depot Division, but it was never possible to carry out this plan because of the constant shortage of Medical Department enlisted personnel which necessitated the prompt use of all available men, the longest stay in the depot being not more than two weeks.4 The transfer was a disadvantage, since it occasioned some delay in getting officers and men to points where they were needed at once. This delay was due chiefly to lack of transportation.4

One of the greatest difficulties encountered by the personnel division of the chief surgeon's office was that of keeping record of the stations of officers, nurses, and men.4 This difficulty was due to delays or losses of documents in the mail, carelessness in rendering reports, and similar causes.4 Perhaps the greatest factor occasioning this difficulty was the fact that under general orders, A. E. F., daily change reports were rendered direct to the central records office, and many officers thought that these records were forwarded to the chief surgeon.4 It was not until after the armistice had been signed, when service became somewhat more settled, that it was possible to correct and complete records, and even at the best there was always uncertainty concerning the actual location of many officers, nurses, and enlisted men.4 During the


92

summer of 1918 orders were issued that all personnel records were to be kept by the central records office and that no staff department should retain any of them.4 This order was the result of the belief that centralization of records was the only efficient method, and it undoubtedly would have prevented duplication of them; but it was thought at that time by the chief surgeon's office that such action would have utterly disrupted the medical service. In point of fact the order was never carried into effect, and records of Medical Department personnel were retained in the personnel division of the chief surgeon's office until the end of the war.4

It was much more difficult to obtain accurate records of the casual officers assigned to the British Expeditionary Force in France who arrived in the period June to September, 1917, than the records of those on duty with Base Hospitals Nos. 2, 4, 5, 10, 12, and 21 which had been attached to the British in May and June of that year.4 Officers connected with these hospitals were in much closer contact with the American Army than those casual officers assigned to purely British units.4 There was great difficulty at first in reaching these latter officers, and because of their ignorance of regulations, general orders, etc., they very seldom reported change of status.4 In many cases officers served with the British for months before the chief surgeon's office had record of them, and in general it was difficult to obtain from them personal reports.4

It was also very difficult to obtain recommendations for promotions for officers serving with the British, and many of those concerned came to feel that the Medical Department was not sufficiently interested in the matter.4 It would have been advantageous had there been a Medical Department representative attached to the British headquarters in France for the purpose of keeping in touch with these casual medical officers and of informing them of the various orders which might affect their status.4 The chief surgeon of the American Second Corps was in liaison with headquarters, British Expeditionary Force in France, but only in so far as corps interests were concerned.4

STRENGTH OF MEDICAL DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL

Personnel of the Medical Department increased from 7 officers and about twice that number of clerks (including 2 enlisted men) in June, 1917,17 to a maximum of 174,083 on January 11, 1918,18 but this great expansion was effected only after repeated urgent requisitions.18 A most important function of the personnel division was to provide personnel to keep activities of the Medical Department up to standard despite a constantly increasing shortage of Medical Department personnel,4 especially of officers and nurses.19a

The acute needs of the Medical Department for personnel were considerably relieved by the cessation of hostilities, and by the splitting up of two depot and four combat divisions.20 On November 16, 1918, a memorandum was submitted to the effect that no more Medical Department units from the United States were desired, but that there was need for the following personnel of that department as casuals: 200 medical officers; 125 officers, Dental Corps; 41 officers, Veterinary Corps; 1,500 nurses; 2,000 enlisted men,

aFor details concerning shortage of Medical Department personnel consult Chap. I, Vol. VIII, of this history.


93

Medical Department; and approximately 2,722 enlisted men of the Veterinary Corps.20 The total personnel of the Medical Department in Europe on that date was 15,407 officers, 8,593 nurses, and 126,281 enlisted men of whom 944 officers, 656 nurses, and 1,314 men were serving with the British.20 Arrival of additional personnel and the decrease in the number of admissions led to a slight surplus in Medical Department personnel for the whole A. E. F., but it was soon absorbed through the return of officers and men to the United States.4

By November 30, 1918, Medical Department personnel totaled 163,841 officers, nurses, and enlisted men; i. e. 8.6 per cent of the American Expeditionary Forces.12

The following tabulation of Medical Department personnel shows the bimonthly totals from June 1 to November 30, 1918.4 In some cases these totals are only approximate, as reports of arrivals of personnel were often delayed in the mails.4

 

Officers

Nurses

Enlisted men

June 1, 1918

5,198

2,539

30,674

Aug. 3, 1918

9,601

4,735

67,140

Oct. 5, 1918

14,483

7,522

104,557

Nov. 30, 1918

17,487

8,951

137,403

Medical Department personnel pertaining to the Navy also served in the American Expeditionary Forces supplementing that of the Army. In November, 1918, this personnel numbered 62 officers and 416 enlisted men. The highest number of officers, nurses, and enlisted men reported severally in the American Expeditionary Forces at any time was as follows:4 Officers, 18,146; nurses, 10,081; enlisted men, 145,815.

Totals were not reached by the foregoing classes of personnel simultaneously. The highest grand total of Medical Department personnel collectively was reported as follows under date of January 11, 1919.18

Officers

17,767

Nurses

9,994

Enlisted men

145,815

Civilian employees

507

 


Total

 


174,083

These totals should actually show as of the first week in December as there were no Medical Department arrivals subsequent to that date, but because of delay in receiving reports the full strength was not recorded finally until the week ending January 11, 1919.21


94

The grades held by this personnel and the branches of the service to which the members therein pertained were as follows:12

TABLE 1.-Medical Department personnel, American Expeditionary Forces, January 11, 191912

 

Brigadier generals

Colonels

Lieutenant colonels

Majors

Captains

First lieutenants

Second lieutenants

Total officers

Total enlisted men

Total nurses

Total civilians

Grand total

WITH UNITED STATES ARMY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M. C. 

3

102

302

1,409

4,315

6,672

---

12,803

---

---

---

12,803

S. C.

---

---

1

14

144

442

582

1,183

---

---

---

1,183

D. C. 

---

3

9

42

321

1,430

---

1,805

---

---

---

1,805

V. C.

---

---

---

52

107

330

396

885

---

---

---

885

A. A. S.

---

---

---

---

1

27

---

28

---

---

---

28

Soldiers

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

139,788

---

---

139,788

Nurses

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

9,455

---

9,455

Civilians

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

492

a492

 


Total

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

 


16,704

 


139,788

 


9,455

 


492

 


166,439

WITH BRITISH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M. C.

---

3

4

25

203

624

---

859

---

---

---

859

S. C.

---

---

---

---

3

6

5

14

---

---

---

14

D. C.

---

---

---

2

5

4

---

11

---

---

---

11

Soldiers

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

1,313

---

---

1,313

Nurses

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

539

---

539

Civilians

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

15

15

 


Total

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

 


884

 


1,313

 


539

 


15

 


2,751

WITH FRENCH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M. C.

---

1

---

2

2

3

---

8

---

---

---

8

S. C.

---

---

---

---

4

1

---

5

---

---

---

5

D. C. 

---

---

---

---

---

2

---

2

---

---

---

2

A. A. S.

---

---

1

3

8

99

---

111

---

---

---

111

Soldiers

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

3,704

---

---

3,704

 


Total

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

 


126

 


3,704

---

---

 


3,803

WITH ITALIANS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M. C.

---

---

---

4

10

4

---

18

---

---

---

18

S. C.

---

---

---

---

---

1

---

1

---

---

---

1

D. C.

---

---

---

---

---

1

---

1

---

---

---

1

A. A. S.

---

1

1

---

19

12

---

33

---

---

---

33

Soldiers

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

1,010

---

---

1,010

 


Total

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

 


53

 


1,010

---

---

 


1,063

 


Grand total

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

 


17,767

 


145,815

 


9,994

 


507

 


174,083

Weekly net loss

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

159

---

63

7

---

Weekly net gain

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

712

---

---

483

aIncludes seven contract surgeons.

The work of the personnel division increased during December, 1918, because of the large number of applications for immediate return to the United States for discharge.4 It was estimated that 6,000 of these applications were received, 70 per cent of them from officers who had arrived overseas after September 1, 1918.4 On December 2, in Circular No. 52, the chief surgeon issued instructions to personnel concerning their return to the United States. Many casual officers were released shortly after the beginning of the armistice, mainly for the purpose of returning to the United States for discharge because of their affiliation with colleges.4 On account of the number of these releases it became necessary to hold many other officers also desiring immediate return.4


95

General Orders, No. 4, G. H. Q., A. E. F., January 4, 1919, directed that individuals would not be discharged in Europe without specific authority-in each case from headquarters, A. E. F. If applications for discharge in Europe were approved, individuals seeking such discharge were to be sent to the discharge camp, St. Aignan. Other instructions concerning return to the United States or discharge in Europe were published during the same month by General Orders, No. 17, G. H. Q., A. E. F., January 25, 1919, and General Orders, No. 20, G. H. Q., A. E. F., January 30, 1919, and by other later orders issued by headquarters of the American Expeditionary Forces, or of the Services of Supply. Instructions on the subject were also published in Embarkation orders issued as a separate file, by headquarters, Services of Supply.22

Release of a large number of base hospitals for return to the United States within a few weeks after the beginning of the armistice, necessitated removing certain of the junior officers from each of these units, in order to supply demands for personnel from the army of occupation and from the various base sections, and also to replace some officers of long service in the American Expeditionary Forces who had urgent reasons for return to the United States.4

By the middle of January, the weekly net loss of officers had reached 400, and after that date it ran from 100 to 600 each week.4 On March 1, it was reported that the drain on the Medical Department personnel, because of attendance at various universities, had again created a somewhat difficult situation.4 A large number of applications for return to the United States were now being disapproved except in unusual cases.4 The movement of personnel belonging to base hospitals was increasing, but it was necessary to retain at least 50 per cent of the officers of those units which had been in France less than one year, and assign them to other organizations.4 By March, personnel was returning to the United States at the rate of 300 officers, 300 nurses, and 2,000 enlisted men per week.12

The entire United States Army Ambulance Service on duty with the Italian forces was returned to the United States about April 1, l919.4

On April 26, 1919, when about one-half of the American Expeditionary Forces had been returned to the United States, the Medical Department personnel remaining in France was:4

Officers

12,544*

Nurses

6,238*

Enlisted men

21,351*

Civilians

347*

By May 31, the figures were as follows:4

Officers

9,7 6*

Nurses

4,837*

Enlisted men

95,957*

Civilians

243*

[*sic - these numbers, as published in the original volume, are incorrect.]


96

On May 31, only one medical officer remained on duty with the British Expeditionary Forces.4 By July 12 the personnel status of the Medical Department was as follows:12

TABLE 2.-Medical Department personnel, American Expeditionary Forces, July 12, 191912

 

Brigadier generals

Colonels

Lieutenant colonels

Majors

Captains

First lieutenants

Second lieutenants

Total officers

Total enlisted

Total nurses

Total civilians

Grand total

WITH UNITED 
STATES ARMY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M.C.

3

62

134

571

1,913

1,318

---

4,001

---

---

---

4,001

S. C.

---

---

3

38

188

187

219

635

---

---

---

635

D. C.

---

5

10

30

176

201

---

422

---

---

---

422

V. C.

---

---

2

12

38

89

72

213

---

---

---

213

A. A. S.

---

---

2

2

1

10

---

15

---

---

---

15

Soldiers

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

27,846

---

---

27,846

Nurses

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

2,239

---

2,239

Civilians

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

a157

157

 


Total

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

5,286

27,846

2,239

157

35,528

LOSSES SINCE LAST REPORT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Officers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M. C. 

---

3

10

92

145

95

---

345

---

---

---

345

S. C. 

---

---

---

4

7

11

15

37

---

---

---

37

D. C.

---

---

1

10

37

48

---

96

---

---

---

96

V. C.

---

---

2

2

4

2

6

16

---

---

---

16

A. A. S.

---

---

---

---

1

2

---

3

---

---

---

3

Soldiers

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

24,583

---

---

24,583

Nurses

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

473

---

473

Civilian

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

19

19

 


Weekly net loss

---

---

---

---

---

---

---

 


497

24,583

473

19

25,572

aIncludes two contract surgeons.

The personnel status on August 31, when the American Expeditionary Forces was succeeded by the American forces in France and the American forces in Germany was as follows:12

TABLE 3.-Consolidated daily field report of Medical Department personnel, S. O. S., August 31, 191912

 

Officers

Enlisted men

Nurses

Medical Corps

Sanitary Corps

Dental Corps

Veterinary Corps

Master hospital sergeant

Hospital sergeant

Sergeant first class

Sergeants

Corporals

Cooks

Wagoners

Privates first class

Privates

Total enlisted

Base Section No. 1

36

2

6

2

1

3

25

35

24

16

15

89

81

289

9

Base Section No. 2

25

5

4

6

---

4

21

30

23

11

2

93

74

258

20

Base Section No. 5

127

14

16

5

5

8

63

146

63

102

81

648

482

1,598

98

Advance section

25

1

5

1

1

3

5

19

7

3

1

49

66

154

18

Intermediate section

13

2

6

1

2

7

9

9

5

5

1

29

38

98

15

District of Paris

19

2

4

---

6

6

9

15

5

4

---

39

39

123

30

Arrondisement of Tours

16

2

2

---

2

1

10

14

11

9

1

45

11

104

12

Office of chief surgeon

7

7

---

---

3

10

10

6

4

---

---

4

---

37

1

 


Total

268

35

43

15

20

37

150

274

142

150

101

996

791

2,661

203


97

PROMOTIONS

Though the promotion section of the chief surgeon's office was never under the direct control of the personnel division, it is discussed at this point because of its close association therewith.4 This very important duty was under the immediate control of the executive assistant to the chief surgeon, who formulated the general plan for promotion, as prescribed in Circular No. 3, chief surgeon's office, and who gave this subject his immediate attention.5 He was assisted in this service by a commissioned officer who was engaged in no other duty.5

Early in the existence of the American Expeditionary Forces promotions were made by the War Department upon the recommendation of the chief surgeon and the Surgeon General, but this system was later abandoned and all promotions in the Medical Department had to be approved by the commander in chief.4

The need for making promotions in the Medical Corps of the American Expeditionary Forces was especially urgent because most Medical Reserve Corps officers were commissioned in the lowest grade (first lieutenants), originally the only grade provided under the law.4 Among these were capable men who had been in the practice of medicine 15 or 20 years. It was the intention of the Surgeon General that these officers be given prompt promotion as soon as their fitness for positions of increased responsibility was demonstrated; but the machinery for promotion presented unexpected difficulties in the American Expeditionary Forces, and for this reason the proportion of lieutenants at the cessation of hostilities was about 60 per cent, instead of the 14 per cent provided by law.4

It is certain that many of the medical officers, serving with the British especially, did not receive the promotions to which the law and the character of their services entitled them.4 They failed to get merited promotions, because, in addition to the obstacles, delays, and accidents which characterized the history of promotions of Reserve Corps officers serving under the immediate jurisdiction of the American Expeditionary Forces, there were the added delays incident to mail communications with the British Expeditionary Force, and the great difficulty of getting from the nine hundred or more officers on duty with the British, the reports of "Character of service and qualifications" upon which was based the roster which determined their promotions up to and including the rank of major.4

Very few promotions were made during the first 10 months of the American Expeditionary Forces.4 Those proposed by the chief surgeon were disapproved, as a rule, on the ground that a definite and methodical scheme of promotion which would do justice to all, as nearly as possible, should be presented before the commander in chief would be willing to make promotions except in very special cases.4 A scheme was finally worked out and presented to the commanding general, Services of Supply, on May 17, 1918, by whom it was forwarded on May 19 with the following indorsement:

Heretofore I have generally disapproved recommendations for promotions in the Medical Corps because they have come as isolated cases and presented no facts by which a reasonable judgment could be formed as to the relative merits of the particular case, in comparison with


98

the entire body of medical officers.4 As this paper presents a plan which appears to me to be comprehensive, legal, and reasonable, I approve of it and recommend that it be adopted as the basis for promotions of officers in this corps serving with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe.4

The plan in question is given in Circular No. 36, chief surgeon's office, June 11, 1918, which is reproduced in the appendix of this volume. It was formally approved by the commander in chief June 27, 1918.4 The first list of officers recommended for promotion under it was forwarded on June 15, and five other lists in July.4 Later it was learned that these lists were not forwarded from general headquarters until about August 10.4 After that date lists sent in were forwarded much more promptly.4 As was true in other branches of the service, promotions of lieutenants were not cabled to Washington but were sent by courier, and even in the case of those recommended for promotion to higher grades, the inevitable delays in the War Department made the process of getting them through very slow.4

On September 4 the chief surgeon in common with other administrative chiefs, was informed by the adjutant general, A. E. F., that no more promotion lists were to be forwarded to Washington, as a new War Department general order on the subject of promotions (General Orders, No. 78, War Department, August 22, 1918) was en route from the United States.4 It was hoped that this order, which authorized the commander in chief, A. E. F., to make promotions up to and including the grade of colonel (subject to confirmation by the War Department), would greatly simplify and expedite promotions in the American Expeditionary Forces, but this expectation was not realized, the opinion having been advanced that in order to determine the question whether vacancies existed, an approved table of organization was necessary.4 On September 20 the chief surgeon, A. E. F., wrote to the adjutant general, A. E. F., that as the law provided that there should be a certain proportion of medical officers in each grade, the number of these vacancies could readily be determined by applying the proportions to the total number of medical officers in the American Expeditionary Forces.4 He added that an agreement had been made with the Surgeon General, by which the commander in chief, A. E. F., could make promotions up to the authorized proportion in each grade for the medical officers in the American Expeditionary Forces.4 These proportions, as established in Bulletin 59, general headquarters, A. E. F., August 16, 1918, were as follows for the Medical and Dental Corps and presumably for the Veterinary Corps:4 Colonel, 3.16; lieutenant col., 5.42; major, 23.70; captain, 53.90; first lieutenant, 13.82.4 The strength of the Sanitary Corps was 1 per 1,000 of the total strength of the military forces, the number in each grade being proportional to the number authorized by law for the corresponding grades of the Medical Corps.4 No grade above that of major was authorized by this order.4 To this the adjutant general, A. E. F., replied as follows on September 24:4

It will be necessary to have the War Department approve the agreement between the Surgeon General and the chief surgeon before the commander in chief will be authorized to promote by temporary appointment, subject to confirmation by the War Department, except where there is a vacancy in a table of organization authorized by the War Department.

The question of the applicability of General Orders, No. 78, to the Medical Department of the American Expeditionary Force was then taken up and


99

was referred to the War Department by the commander in chief in a cable dated October 11.4 To this the Chief of Staff replied on October 19, stating that this order did not apply to the Medical Department, but it was learned later that the negative in this cable reply was an error in coding.4 When the matter was again presented by the commander in chief, on October 28, for reconsideration, he was informed by cable of November 5 that his request for authority to promote medical officers was approved.4 The chief surgeon was informed on November 7 of this decision, but four days later the armistice was signed and all temporary promotions were stopped.4 The best use possible was made of this short period by securing 680 promotions, but there remained about 6,500 vacancies for men who were entitled to promotion by law and by the character of their service.4

On December 9, 1918, the following estimate of Medical Corps officers on duty in the American Expeditionary Forces, the legal allowances and vacancies on a basis of 1,500,000 men was formulated by the representative of the chief surgeon with the general staff.23

ALLOWANCE

 

Legal
percentage

Basis,
1,500,000

On duty, American Expeditionary Forces

Vacancies

Colonel

3.16

332

116

116

Lieutenant colonel

5.42

569

333

236

Major

23.70

2,489

1,543

946

Captain

53.90

5,660

4,608

1,052

First lieutenant

13.82

1,450

7,432

15,982

 

 


100.00

 


10,500

 


14,032

---

1Excess.

On January 15, 1919, a list of recommendations was forwarded for promotions, including 85 lieutenant colonels to the grade of colonel, 282 majors to the grade of lieutenant colonel, 932 captains to the grade of major, and 2,457 lieutenants to the grade of captain.4 These were approved and published in orders on February 17, 1919.4 This list did not by any means exhaust the possibilities, as there yet remained the following vacancies:4 241 in the grade of colonel, 293 in the grade of lieutenant colonel, 1,151 in the grade of major, and 1,323 in the grade of captain. The regular officers recommended on this list were not promoted until about May 1, 1919.4 Another list of 1,171 names received favorable action on May 2, 1919, but several hundred deserving officers whose active service dated from 1917 remained unpromoted when the chief surgeon was notified that no further recommendations should be forwarded.4  In most of these instances the recommendations had not been forwarded at an earlier date because the medical officers whose duty it was to forward the reports of character of service and qualifications had failed to give the necessary data which were called for by the scheme of promotion, such as age, length of active service, date of last promotion.4
 

The following table shows the larger lists of recommendations for promotion made by the chief surgeon, and favorably acted upon by the War Department or general headquarters, A. E. F.:4


100

Recommended

To captain

To major

To lieutenant colonel

To colonel

Total

Where promoted

1918

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 17

---

2

76

34

112

War Department.

June 15

---

---

13

8

21

Do.

June 21

---

---

1

---

1

Do.

July 6

40

63

---

---

103

Do.

July 15

8

16

---

---

24

Do.

July 18

---

---

11

---

11

Do.

July 19

---

---

2

---

2

Do.

July 29

120

33

8

---

161

Do.

Aug. 5

36

15

---

---

51

Do.

Aug. 12

74

63

---

---

137

Do.

Aug. 21

82

54

---

---

136

Do.

Sept. 4

129

52

---

---

181

Do.

Oct. 10

49

24

35

28

136

General headquarters.

Oct. 27

58

27

53

3

141

Do.

Nov. 7

261

136

---

6

403

Do.

1919

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan. 15

2,290

807

225

69

3,391

Do.

Apr. 19

764

321

83

3

1,171

Do.

 

3,911

1,613

507

151

6,182

 

Many of the officers recommended for promotion in the list of January 15, 1919, did not receive it because of delay in announcing the promotions and the fact that before this was accomplished these officers had sailed for the United States.4

Similarly, of those officers whose promotions were announced on February 17, 1919, 419 officers did not notify the personnel division of the chief surgeon's office or general headquarters of their acceptance of commission, the majority of them having sailed for the United States within a very few days of the date they would have received their promotions.4

Delays in promotion were attributed by the chief surgeon to the following circumstances:24 Delays in the personnel section, general headquarters, A. E. F.; delay due to transmission to Washington, and in securing prompt action there; delay of two months due to discussion concerning applicability of General Orders, No. 78, War Department, 1918, to the Medical Corps; discontinuance of promotion for some months after the armistice began.

THE SANITARY CORPS

Under laws enacted prior to the World War none except a person holding a doctorate degree in medicine or dentistry could be commissioned in the Medical Department; however, after we entered the war, and in order to meet the need for sanitary engineers, chemists, administrators, etc., a new branch of the Medical Department, entitled the Sanitary Corps, was organized under the authority granted by the act of May 18, l917.25 The officer personnel of this new corps was not to exceed one-tenth of 1 per cent of the total Army strength; the number of enlisted men was to be determined by the Secretary of War.25 The number of officers in the several grades was to be proportionate to that of corresponding grades of the Medical Corps, but, as originally prescribed, no grades were provided for in the Sanitary Corps above the grade of major.25

STRENGTH

The Sanitary Corps in the American Expeditionary Forces comprised officers, already commissioned, who were sent to France, and others commissioned overseas.26 In order that vacancies in this corps would not all be filled


101

by men sent from the United States, on May 25, 1918, General Pershing notified the Surgeon General that he desired to hold vacancies in the Sanitary Corps, in units already overseas, for men to be promoted from such units, and that he did not wish to have additional Sanitary Corps officers sent to France to fill the positions.27 Eventually, this arrangement brought up the question as to how many persons could be commissioned in the Sanitary Corps in France, so on October 30, 1918, General Pershing sent another cablegram to the War Department, in which it was asked how the strength of the Sanitary Corps was to be determined and what proportion would be allowed in each grade.28 On November 8, War Department answered to the effect that under General Orders, No. 80, War Department, 1917, the allowances of the Sanitary Corps were colonels, 1; lieutenant colonels, 5; majors, 111; captains, 936; first lieutenants, 975; second lieutenants, 802.29

The strength of this corps increased gradually until 1,185 of its officers were serving in the American Expeditionary Forces on January 4, 1919.12 This number amounted to 7.03 per cent of all officers of the Medical Department, A. E. F.12

PROJECT FOR TRANSFERRING CERTAIN AMERICAN RED CROSS PERSONNEL TO SANITARY CORPS

On October 3, 1918, the commander in chief notified the Secretary of War that the American Red Cross representative and the chief surgeon, A. E. F., desired that such parts of the American Red Cross personnel as were serving the armies in Europe be incorporated in the Sanitary Corps.30 The commander in chief approved this policy in order that coordination might be perfected, and requested that the Sanitary Corps of the Army be enlarged sufficiently to permit such absorption, that he be authorized to enlist American Red Cross personnel and to make appointments of American Red Cross officers in appropriate grades of the Sanitary Corps.30 This authorization he asked for was to include 1 colonel, 2 lieutenant colonels, and others in grades proportional to those provided for in existing orders.30 The number of officers to be commissioned under the authority thus requested would not exceed 750 and the number of enlisted men would not exceed 1,500.30 It was not intended that this absorption of American Red Cross personnel would change materially the duties in which that organization was engaged.31

On October 11, the commander in chief further cabled that it was not intended that American Red Cross officers should be appointed in the Sanitary Corps unless they were mentally, morally, and physically qualified.31 He added that commissioning officers from the American Red Cross should not give members of other societies grounds for urging like action for their own members, for the reason that the American Red Cross personnel serving the armies were performing the same duties as was the Medical Department of the Army.31 He expected that American Red Cross officers appointed in the Sanitary Corps would remain, in general, in their then duties but would be subject to general assignment.31

This project for the transfer of American Red Cross personnel to the Sanitary Corps never materialized.32


102

DUTIES

The majority of the officers of the Sanitary Corps in the American Expeditionary Forces were assigned to hospitals where they discharged such duties as adjutant, mess officer, and property officer.26 On the whole, however, the duties discharged by officers of the Sanitary Corps were quite diversified, comprising, in addition to those referred to above, duties as accountants, architects, interpreters, opticians, those connected with certain phases of gas defense, and in connection with rodent destruction.26

PROMOTIONS

In this corps, as in other branches of the Medical Department, promotions were not commensurate with vacancies. On April 19, 1919, to cite but one illustration, the chief surgeon recommended that promotions be made in the Sanitary Corps to fill the vacancies then existing.33 Those in the grade of lieutenant colonel then numbered 59; major, 126; captain, 162; while excess proportions of officers in the grade of first and second lieutenants, respectively, were 22 and 327.33

CONTRACT SURGEONS

The few contract surgeons in the service of the Medical Department overseas, like medical officers, were directly under the jurisdiction of the chief of the personnel division, and not of any separate section of his office.4 The general circumstances in which they were employed are discussed in the first volume of this history. The authority enjoyed by the Surgeon General to employ contract surgeons subject to the approval of the Secretary of War34 was also delegated to the chief surgeon, A. E. F.35 Among their number were women who were engaged as anesthetists, laboratory technicians, and in certain other duties as required. The total number of men and women serving as contract surgeons in the American Expeditionary Forces was 13, of which number there were 2 men36 and 11 women.37

PERSONNELa

(July 28, 1917, to July 15, 1919)

   Maj. Gen. M. W. Ireland, M. C., chief.
    Col. E. M. Welles, M. C., chief.
        Col. W. H. Thearle, M. C.
        Lieut. Col. J. S. Coulter, M. C.
        Lieut. Col. J. W. Meehan, M. C.
        Maj. W. Denison, M. C.
        Maj. Clarence S. Ketcham, M. C.
        Maj. E. H. Rogers, San. Corps.
        Capt. J. H. Mael, San. Corps.
        Capt. P. J. Skelly, San. Corps.
        First Lieut. A. S. Callaway, San. Corps.
        First Lieut. D. E. Mannix, San. Corps.

aIn this list have been included the names of those who at one time or another were assigned to the division during the period July 28, 1917, to July 15, 1919.
There are two primary groups-the heads of the division or the section and the assistants. In each group names have been arranged alphabetically, by grades, irrespective of chronological sequence of service.


103

REFERENCES

(1) Memorandum from the chief surgeon, A. E. F., to the chief of staff, A. E. F., July 28, 1917. Subject: Weekly war diary. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(2) War diary, chief surgeon's office, A. E. F., September 5, 1917.

(3) War diary, chief surgeon's office, A. E. F., March 24, 1918.

(4) Report from the chief surgeon, A. E. F., to the Surgeon General, U. S. Army, May 1, 1919. Subject: Activities of the chief surgeon's office to May 1, 1919. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(5) Report from Maj. Edward M. Welles, jr., M. C., chief of personnel division, A. E. F., to the Surgeon General, U. S. Army, April 10, 1924. Subject: Personnel activities. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(6) Report from Col. W. L. Keller, M. C., director of professional services, A. E. F., to the chief surgeon, A. E. F., December 31, 1918. Subject: Brief outline of the organization and activities of the professional services between April, 1918, and December 31, 1918. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(7) Report from Col. J. F. Siler, M. C., director of laboratories and infectious diseases, to the chief surgeon, A. E. F. (not dated). Subject: Activities of the division of laboratories and infectious diseases, from August, 1917, to July, 1919. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(8) Letter from the chief surgeon, A. E. F., to Maj. W. J. L. Lyster, M. C., June 11, 1917. Subject: Administration of American medical personnel serving with British Service. On file, Record Room, S. G. O. (9795).

(9) Official report from the chief of the U. S. Army Ambulance Service with the French Army, April 15, 1919, by Col. Percy M. Jones, M. C. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(10) Circulars, chief surgeon's office, A. E. F. No. 36, June 11, 1918; No. 38, July 11, 1918; No. 45, August 13, 1918; No. 50, October 4, 1918; No. 54, November 9, 1918.

(11) Report of the Medical Department activities of Base Section No. 5, including Naval Base Hospital No. 5, compiled under the direction of, and submitted by, the base surgeon, to the chief surgeon, A. E. F. (undated). On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(12) Weekly numerical reports of personnel of the Medical Department, A. E. F. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(13) Report of strength of the A. E. F., by months, as shown by the consolidated returns for the American Expeditionary Forces. On file, Returns Section, Miscellaneous Division, A. G. O., January 12, 1924.

(14) Report of Medical Department activities at Naval Base Hospital No. 1 (undated), by the commanding officer. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(15) Report of the Medical Department activities of the 2d Division (undated) by the division surgeon. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(16) Report on movement of surgical teams (undated) by the director of professional services, A. E. F. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(17) Wadhams, Sanford H., Col. M. C., and Tuttle, Arnold D., Col., M. C.: Some of the Early Activities of the Medical Department, A. E. F. The Military Surgeon, Washington, 1919, xlv, No. 6, 636.

(18) War Diary, chief surgeon's office, A. E. F., January 11, 1919.

(19) Report from the chief surgeon, A. E. F., to the commanding general, A. E. F., April 17, 1919. Subject: Medical Department activities, A. E. F., to November 11, 1918. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(20) War Diary, chief surgeon's office, November 20, 1918.

(21) Report from the chief surgeon, A. E. F., to the commanding general, A. E. F., March 20, 1918. Subject: Activities of chief surgeon's office. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(22) Embarkation Instructions, Headquarters, Services of Supply No. 1, November 20, 1918, to and including No. 30, August 7, 1919. On file, A. G. O., World War Division, 321.1 (Embarkation Service).


104

(23) Memorandum from Lieut. Col. E. M. Welles, jr., to Col. S. H. Wadhams, M. C., deputy of chief surgeon with General Staff, December 9, 1918. Subject: Table showing allowance of officers of all grades for A. E. F. on a basis of 1,500,000 men. On file, A. G. O., World War Division, chief surgeon's files (320.21).

(24) Letter from the chief surgeon, A. E. F., to Maj. James A. Shannon, Inf., chief of personnel, General Headquarters, August 4, 1918. Subject: Promotions. On file, Historical Division, S. G. O.

(25) General Orders No. 80, W. D., Washington, D. C., June 30, 1917.

(26) Statement based on a study of general correspondence concerning the Sanitary Corps. On file, World War Division,
A. G. O., chief surgeon's files (211.234).

(27) Cable No. 1178-S, par. 5, from General Pershing to Chief of Staff and Surgeon General of the Army, May 25, 1918.

(28) Cable No. 377-S, par. 1, from the chief surgeon, A. E. F., to The Adjutant General, U. S. Army, for the Surgeon General, October 30, 1918.

(29) Cable No. 252-R, par. 2, from the Surgeon General to the chief surgeon, A. E. F., November 8, 1918.

(30) Cable No. 1738-S, par. 1, subpar. D, from General Pershing to The Adjutant General of the Army, October 3, 1918.

(31) Cable No. 1780-S, par. 1, subpar. C., from General Pershing to The Adjutant General of the Army, October 11, 1918.

(32) Cable No. 2095-R, par. 1, from The Adjutant General of the Army to General Pershing, October 23, 1918.

(33) Letter from the chief surgeon, A. E. F., to the commander in chief, April 19, 1919. Subject; Promotions of officers in the Sanitary Corps, Medical Department. On file, A. G. O., World War Division, chief surgeon's files (211.234).

(34) U. S. Compiled Statutes 1916 (act of February 2, 1901, C. 192, sec. 18), 31 Stat. 752.

(35) Memorandum from legal reference section to Capt. E. J. Berry, S. C., January 10, 1919. Subject: Contract surgeons. On file, A. G. O., World War Division, chief surgeon's files (211.26).

(36) Contracts between the chief surgeon, A. E. F., and Dr. Paul Gallagher, October 9, 1918, and Dr. H. B. Marville, August 1, 1918. On file, A. G. O., World War Division, chief surgeon's files, the first contract under 201 (Gallagher), and the second contract under 211.25 (Contract Surgeons).

(37) Letter from Dr. Esther C. Leonard, contract surgeon, to commanding officer, hospital center at Vichy, December 5, 1918. Subject: Quarters; contract between the commanding officer, hospital center at Vichy, and Dr. Anna Tjomsland, December 4, 1918. Both on file, A. G. O., World War Division, chief surgeon's files, 211.26. Statement of service furnished to The Adjutant General, U. S. Army, by the Surgeon General, June 30, 1922. Subject: 9 contract surgeons (female) U. S. Army, who served overseas. On file, Personnel Division, S. G. O.

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