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HISTORY OF THE OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY
The Medical Administrative Corps1
In December 1941, 1,470 MAC (Medical Administrative Corps) officers were serving in the Medical Department. Of these, 77 were graduates of the MAC Officer Candidate School. By August 1945, 17,072 officers had graduated from the MAC Officer Candidate School, and the Corps had expanded to 19,867. During the same period, the ratio of the Medical Administrative Corps to the strength of the Army grew from 0.87 to 2.48 per thousand.2 Such growth was more than a simple response to wartime expansion; it reflected the Medical Department's continuous efforts to relieve physicians from the burdens of nonprofessional responsibility. Almost without exception, officers assuming these responsibilities were graduates of MAC officer candidate schools.
OFFICER CANDIDATE SCHOOLS
Prewar plans called for the establishment of officer candidate schools shortly after the beginning of mobilization. Because the supply of Reserve officers was adequate for the demands of the limited mobilization that began in September 1940, however, programs for officer candidates were held in abeyance for nearly a year. In April 1941, The Surgeon General joined the chiefs of other arms and services in requesting the establishment of an officer candidate School.3 Through such a school, The Surgeon General hoped to train approximately 100 officers who were needed as instructors at medical replacement training centers. Since these proposals had been anticipated by the Chief of Staff, a directive establishing officer candidate schools for a 3-month period was issued by The Adjutant General on 26 April 1941.4 Three months later, on 28 July 1941, the schools were authorized to continue indefinitely.5
The first class of 100 officer candidates began a 12-week program of training at Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle, Pa., on 1 July 1941. Until the war accelerated training, new classes enrolled every 3 months. The second class had an enrollment of 200 candidates, and enrollment for the third was expanded to 250.6
1Except as otherwise indicated, this chapter
is based on two manuscripts: (1) Goodman, Samuel M.: History of Medical
Department Training, United States Army World War II. Volume II. A Report
of the History of the Medical Administrative Corps Officer Candidate Schools,
1 July 1939 to 30 June 1944, and Supplement for Period 1 July 1944 to 30
June 1945. [Official record.] (2) Armstrong, George E., and Ey, John A.:
Training in the Medical Department During World War II. Chapter IX. Medical
Administrative Corps Officer Candidate Schools. [Official record.]
The United States entry into World War II produced a rapid expansion of the officer candidate program. Following the publication of the War Department General Staff, G-3, troop basis in January 1942, it became apparent that the Medical Department could not fill its requirements for administrative officers without increasing the capacity of its officer candidate school. On 16 January 1942, The Surgeon General was directed to formulate plans for expanding the MAC Officer Candidate School at Carlisle Barracks to accommodate 750 trainees.7
The capacity of the school at Carlisle Barracks was expanded by shifting from consecutive to staggered scheduling. Beginning with the fourth class, on 9 March 1942, a new class of 250 candidates was enrolled each month. Since the program for a given class covered 3 months, the new schedule resulted in the presence of three classes with a total of 750 candidates.8
By the spring of 1942, it was evident that facilities at Carlisle Barracks would be inadequate to meet the demand created by the rapid activation of numbered medical units and installations and by the increasing use of MAC officers to replace MC (Medical Corps) officers in nonprofessional assignments. Without further expansion, the Medical Department was capable of training only 1,600 of the 2,450 MAC officers required by 1 January 1943. On 11 April 1942, The Surgeon General requested authority from the Commanding General, ASF (Army Service Forces), to establish a second school for officer candidates at Camp Barkeley, Tex.9 Permission was granted on 15 April,10 and on 9 May 1942, the first class was enrolled.11 Since capacity was set at 750 candidates, and classes of 250 were enrolled monthly, the school was scheduled to reach a capacity with the enrollment of its third class.12 The officer candidate school at Camp Barkeley had been in operation less than a month, however, when the Medical Department began to consider expanding its capacity. On 5 June 1942, the Commandant, Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Barkeley, suggested increasing enrollment to 1,000.13 The Surgeon General, in turn, recommended that facilities be made available at Camp Barkeley for training 1,500 candidates.14 On 25 June 1942, Army Service Forces approved his request.15 By September, the demand for MAC officers had grown to the point that the school had to be expanded for a third time. Beginning on 28 September 1942, a new class of 500
7Memorandum, Brig. Gen. Harry L. Twaddle, Assistant
Chief of Staff, G-3, for The Surgeon General, 16 Jan. 1942, subject: Increase
in the Medical Administrative Corps Officer Candidate School.
was enrolled every 2 weeks, instead of every 4, bringing the capacity of the school to 3,000.16 Peak enrollment was reached in July 1943, when 3,011 candidates were in training.17
On 27 February 1943, the officer candidate school at Carlisle Barracks, already dwarfed by the officer candidate school at Camp Barkeley, was discontinued to make room for an expansion of Medical Corps programs at the Medical Field Service School.18 The school at Camp Barkeley continued to operate at capacity for another 5 months before enrollment began to taper off. On 1 July 1943, the training cycle was lengthened from 12 to 17 weeks, with a proportionate decrease in annual capacity. Even with this reduction, representatives of the Military Training Division, ASF, estimated that a continuation of training at existing levels would produce a surplus of nearly 3,000 MAC officers by the end of the year. Late in July, the school at Camp Barkeley was directed to reduce its capacity to 1,000 candidates each cycle, beginning on 1 October 1943.19
From then on, retrenchment was rapid. In August, the Assistant Commandant of the Officer Candidate School, Camp Barkeley, was notified to anticipate a reduction in the capacity of the school to 250 candidates by 1 January 1944.20 In October, The Surgeon General was requested by the Director of Military Personnel, ASF to concur in a recommendation for discontinuing the school. In reply, The Surgeon General pointed out that the Medical Department was conducting a study on the practicality of using MAC officers to replace junior MC officers as battalion surgeon's assistants and might need the school to train additional officers. In addition, he believed that discontinuation of the school would pose a threat to the morale of Medical Department enlisted men, and he asked that the school be continued, if only for 50 men every 17 weeks. This proposal for a token school was approved by the Army Service Forces on 27 October 1943.21 A class of 106 candidates, the smallest in the history of the school, enrolled on 21 January 1944. Between January and May, no further classes were scheduled.
In the spring of 1944, retrenchment gave way to a new period of expansion. As a result of the Kenner Board's22 investigations into the utilization of Medical
16Memorandum, Brig. Gen. Clarence R. Huebner,
GSC, Director of Training, Services of Supply, for The Surgeon General,
3 Sept. 1942, subject: Increase in Officer Candidate School Facilities.
TABLE 5.-Numbers of enrollees and graduates, MAC officer candidate schools, by month, July 1941-October 1945-Continued
Department personnel, table-of-organization revisions published on 9 March 1944 authorized officers in the Medical Administrative Corps to fill many positions previously reserved for the Medical Corps, including battalion surgeon's assistant, medical inspector, hospital executive officer, and hospital registrar.23 Since the number of unassigned MAC officers was inadequate to fill these positions, the officer candidate schools at both Camp Barkeley and Carlisle Barracks were revived. On 26 May, a class of 250 candidates was enrolled at Camp Barkeley, and a month later, the school at Carlisle Barracks was reactivated.24
After June 1944, the program at Camp Barkeley expanded rapidly. Four classes were enrolled between July and September, each with an authorized capacity of 500 candidates. In the following month, three classes with an authorized strength of 250 were enrolled. The 40th and final class of the war was enrolled on 17 November. From then on, enrollment at the school gradually declined. The school was closed on 15 March 1945, when the final class graduated.25 Between June 1944 and March 1945, 3,337 candidates were admitted to the program, of whom 2,105 were commissioned.26
Training at Carlisle Barracks continued until October 1945. Between June 1944 and April 1945, 12 classes enrolled, each with an authorized capacity for 250 trainees. By August, all of these classes had graduated. The 13th class, containing
23(1) See footnote 2, p. 97. (2) War Department
Circular No. 99, 9 Mar. 1944.
34 candidates, continued after the war ended.27 On 17 October 1945, the training program for MAC officer candidates came to a close. A statistical summary of enrollment and graduation at the officer candidate schools is presented in table 5.
Organization and Administration
The MAC Officer Candidate School at Carlisle Barracks was established as a function of the Medical Field Service School. The chain of command ran from the Commandant of the Medical Field Service School, through the Assistant Commandant, to the Officer Candidate School battalion commander, who was responsible for the conduct of the course. The battalion commander, in turn, was assisted by class directors who were responsible for the administration, housing, messing, and training of officer candidates. For administrative purposes, candidates were organized into companies and platoons. Courses in training, sanitation, military art, and administration were taught by Officer Candidate School instructors, under the supervision of the corresponding academic departments at the Medical Field Service School. Classes in logistics, field medicine and surgery, chemical warfare, infantry and armored force tactics, and dental and veterinary medicine were taught by regular Medical Field Service School instructors.
The MAC Officer Candidate School at Camp Barkeley was established as part of the Medical Replacement Training Center, and the Commandant of the Medical Replacement Training Center was also the Commandant of the Officer Candidate School. Responsibility for the operation of the school was vested in an assistant commandant, who reported directly to the Commandant, Medical Replacement Training Center. Trainees were organized on a battalion pattern, the number varying in proportion to the total enrollment. A battalion commander, assisted by class directors, supervised the housing, messing, and administration of each battalion. In contrast with Carlisle Barracks, the academic and administrative departments were organized as an integral part of the school (charts 1 and 2).
Program of Instruction
The MAC Officer Candidate School was designed to produce officers trained for a wide variety of duties in tactical units, hospitals, and other medical installations. By the end of 1944, the responsibilities of MAC officers had grown to the point that they were expected to fill more than 60 nonprofessional positions. Members of the Corps served in positions ranging from adjutant, supply officer, and transportation officer, to hospital administrator, and battalion surgeon's assistant. Programs had to be broadly based and designed to include as many subjects as possible. Specialized training was postponed until after commissioning.
The curriculum of the officer candidate school included a variety of subjects, some required by the War Department, and others related specifically to Medical
27Special Report of Training Activities, Officer Candidate School, fiscal year 1945. In Annual Report, Medical Field Service School, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., fiscal year 1945.
CHART 1.-Organization of the Medical Administrative Corps Officer Candidate School, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., 1942
Source: Annual Report, Medical Field Service School, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., fiscal year 1942.
CHART 2.-Organization of the Medical Administrative Corps Officer Candidate School, Camp Barkeley, Tex., 1942-43
Source: Annual Report, Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Barkeley, Tex., fiscal year 1943. Part 2. Medical Administrative Corps Officer Candidate School.
Department activities. In general, subjects were in six major categories: Administration, tactics, logistics, training, sanitation, and chemical warfare. These categories were usually divided into subcourses or blocks of related material. The subject of administration, for example, was organized to provide candidates with a detailed knowledge of the forms, regulations, and procedures related to general, company, and hospital administration, to the procurement and distribution of supplies, and to military law.
The course in tactics was usually divided into four subcourses. One subcourse provided trainees with a basic knowledge of the organization of the Army; the organization and functions of a theater of operations; the organization and employment of combat arms (fig. 5); and the combat principles related to attack, defense, security, and special operations. A second was designed to give candidates a working knowledge of the organization of the Medical Department; the organiza-
FIGURE 5.-Class in antimechanized defense, Camp Barkeley, Tex., 1943.
tion, functions, and employment of medical units at all echelons; the medical evacuation system in the field and its relationship to the arm or service it supported; and the functions of MAC officers within this system. The third subcourse dealt with maps and map reading; and the fourth consisted of a field exercise and bivouac, focusing on application of principles acquired in the first three subcourses.
Instruction in logistics was similarly divided into four subcourses. In the subcourse on motors and motor maintenance, candidates acquired an understanding of the Army system of preventive maintenance (fig. 6). A second block of material presented problems facing a MAC officer planning troop movements for medical units in the field, and a third introduced the problems of field supply. As in the case of tactical training, the final phase of instruction was a practical exercise integrated into the bivouac.
The course in training was designed to prepare candidates to serve as instructors. Of the 12 subtopics included under this heading, nine were basic to the training of all military personnel: Military courtesy, ceremonial parades, unit inspections, dismounted drill tactical exercises, interior guard duty, marches and physical training, first aid, and customs of the service. These subjects were presented from the standpoint of both the instructor and the student. In addition, the program for
FIGURE 6.-Officer candidates participate in application and inspection of preventive maintenance, Camp Barkeley, Tex., 1943.
officer candidates was supplemented by three subcourses designed to prepare them to become instructors. The first of these was a subcourse in the techniques of instruction, based on War Department Technical Manual 21-250, "Army Instruction," dated 19 April 1943, which included practice teaching, lesson presentation, selection of training aids, and use of testing devices. In the second, trainees were given a working knowledge of the construction of master and weekly training schedules, and were familiarized with the documents governing Medical Department training. The final subcourse, combat orientation included a study of combat psychology, U.S. war aims, and methods of orientation instruction.
The block of material related to sanitation was designed to orient candidates to military sanitation under field conditions. One phase of the course was designed to familiarize trainees with the control of respiratory, intestinal, venereal, and insectborne diseases. A second phase dealt with the selection of campsites and with sanitary surveys, reports, and orders. Field exercises in the use of sanitary expedients and the supervision of sanitation were conducted during the trainee's bivouac.
The purpose of the course in chemical warfare was to qualify candidates to serve as unit gas officers. Course topics included the characteristics, uses, and factors determining the use of chemical agents; individual, collective, and tactical protection; first aid for gas casualties; decontamination methods and materials; chemical weapons and munitions; and chemical warfare tactics. In all phases, special emphasis was placed on the methods of orienting enlisted men to chemical warfare (fig. 7).
FIGURE 7.-Class in the identification of chemical warfare agents, Camp Barkeley, Tex., 1943.
The program for MAC officers was seldom static. War Department directives continuously translated the lessons of combat into new training requirements, and schools frequently adjusted the structure and substance of their own programs to reflect the experience of medical units and the growing responsibilities of the Corps.
The 12-week course for MAC officer candidates established at Carlisle Barracks in 1941 was an outgrowth of the prewar noncommissioned officer and Reserve officer refresher courses conducted at the Medical Field Service School. Anticipating the inauguration of a school for officer candidates, the Commandant of the Medical Field Service School directed school department heads to begin planning an officer candidate program on 10 April 1941. On 5 May 1941, the school was formally authorized to prepare a program, and on 28 June, the program received War Department approval.28
The initial program at Carlisle Barracks scheduled 561 hours of instruction. The largest block of time, 218 hours, was allotted to the activities controlled by the Department of Training. A total of 150 hours was assigned to the Department of Administration, making its single area of responsibility the most heavily weighted subject in the program. The remaining hours were divided among the Departments of Military Art, Sanitation, and Logistics.
During the first few months after the school began operation, the program underwent a series of changes. By 1942, however, a version had been developed that would remain stabilized until the school closed in February 1943. In its final form,
28(1) Letter, Maj. F. B. Wakeman, MC, Assistant Chief, Training Subdivision, Planning and Training Division, Office of The Surgeon General, to the Commandant, Medical Field Service School, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., 5 May 1941, subject: Officer Candidate Schools. (2) Letter, Maj. E. D. Liston, MC, Acting Executive Officer, Office of The Surgeon General, to the Assistant Commandant, Medical Field Service School, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., 12 June 1941, subject: Officer Candidate Schools. 3d indorsement thereto, 28 June 1941.
the program consisted of 576 hours of instruction. A growing emphasis on tactics and organization was accompanied by an increase in the time allotted to the Department of Military Art from 81 hours to 110. By the same token, the time devoted to logistics was increased from 34 to 48 hours. A relative decline in the emphasis placed on basic military training and sanitation was apparent in the reduction of the hours assigned to the Department of Training from 218 to 162, and a reduction of the program of the Department of Sanitation from 72 hours to 55. The program in administration was only slightly altered, declining from 150 hours to 139. Three blocks of time were reserved for the professional departments: 7 hours for the Department of Field Medicine and Surgery, 4 hours for the Department of Dental Field Service, and 4 hours for the Department of Veterinary Field Service. Other innovations included 15 hours of instruction by a Chemical Warfare Service liaison officer and 3 hours of training by a British liaison officer.29
The program established by the Officer Candidate School at Camp Barkeley in mid-1942 was essentially the same as the program already in effect at Carlisle Barracks. When the school began, its administrative staff and training cadre were recruited entirely from the instructional staff at Carlisle Barracks. Programs of instruction, lesson plans, and instructional aids were transplanted from the parent school with only slight modification. Minor variations developed as time passed, but until mid-1943, the programs at Carlisle Barracks and Camp Barkeley were nearly identical.
On 1 July 1943, the programs at all officer candidate schools were extended from 12 to 17 weeks. Since the school at Carlisle had been suspended in February, the new program was put into effect only at Camp Barkeley. The addition of 190 hours of training made few basic alterations in the program. A majority of the time, approximately 100 hours, was allotted to activities controlled by the Department of Training. Twenty hours were added to the bivouac, and 50 were divided among the academic departments. The remaining 20 hours were reserved for company activities.30
When the school at Carlisle Barracks was reactivated in May 1944, its program was patterned upon the one already in effect at Camp Barkeley. With minor alterations, both programs remained in effect until the end of the war. During the final year of the war, no major modifications were reported.
The allocation of hours to courses and subjects provides only a crude index of the trends and changes in the MAC officer candidate program. Substantive changes were frequently masked behind the similarity of course titles and objectives. Manuals were revised, lectures rewritten, and approaches changed, all with no apparent alteration in the program. In January 1942, for example, a group of officers from the Medical Field Service School visited the headquarters of the
29Program of Instruction, 12-Week Officer Candidate
Course, 1942. Medical Field Service School, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.
Armored Force at Fort Knox, Ky., to determine what could be done at Carlisle Barracks to improve medical service supporting armored units. Until this time, lessons at the school had focused on the square division and cavalry auxiliary troops, with 2 or 3 hours allotted to discussion of the Armored Force. After school officials toured Fort Knox, the curriculum was reorganized to feature the triangular division and the Armored Force. A request by the commandant for two tank hulls that could be used as training aids illustrates the responsiveness of school authorities to reports from the field:31
* * *
Since our conversation with the authorities at Fort Knox and our
observations there, particularly our observation of a demonstration by
trained medical soldiers of the evacuation of the wounded from tanks, other
confirmatory evidence of the need for these tanks here has come to my attention.
An officer of high rank of the Royal Army Medical Service has told me of
an instance in Libya where the body of a dead soldier had to be dismembered
before being removed from a tank. He inferred that this horrible procedure
could have been avoided. An officer of our Army recently in command of
a tank regiment has told me that he had personal knowledge of an incident
where a soldier of his regiment was killed in a tank and that it required
four hours to get the body out.
Later in the war, the subcourse in supply conducted by the Department of Administration at Camp Barkeley was similarly adjusted when problems were reported in transferring supplies from the Zone of Interior to the theaters of operations.32 Neither of these adjustments resulted in a reallocation of training time, nor in a change in course title.
Techniques of instruction.-At both Camp Barkeley and Carlisle Barracks, classes were conducted either by members of the school's academic departments or by platoon leaders and their assistants. Usually, sessions attended by an entire class were conducted by instructors from the academic staff, and platoon leaders took over when the class was divided into sections for practical exercises or review sessions. At both schools, platoon leaders conducted a majority of the classes in subjects such as map reading, first aid, drill and command, and physical conditioning (fig. 8). Platoon leaders always taught under the supervision of the academic staff, which was responsible for preparing the lesson outlines for practical exercises as well as for selecting forms and other instructional aids. Outlines were so detailed that they frequently included even diagrams to be drawn on the blackboard.
Classes at the schools were conducted according to approved Army training doctrine. Demonstrations, conferences, and practical exercises were the favored techniques. Lectures were deliberately held to a minimum. A study of the relative
31Letter, Brig. Gen. Addison D. Davis, Commandant,
Medical Field Service School, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., to The Surgeon General,
30 Mar. 1942, subject: Request for Instruction Aids (Tanks).
FIGURE 8.-Activities at officer candidate school, Camp Barkeley, Tex., 1944. (Top) Field application of map reading techniques. (Bottom) Candidates negotiating water jump on obstacle course.
use of training methods in 502 scheduled hours of instruction at Camp Barkeley revealed that 179 hours were spent in conferences, and 172 in practical exercises. Demonstrations accounted for another 67 hours, and only 11 hours were used for lectures. Lectures were scheduled even less frequently than examinations, which were allotted 24 hours.
Programs at the schools stressed observation and participation. A medical battalion had traditionally been assigned to the Medical Field Service School to provide demonstrations. When the officer candidate school was activated at Carlisle Barracks, the battalion had assumed responsibility for conducting demonstrations for officer candidates in much the same manner as the academic departments assumed the responsibility for their instruction. During its first year of operation, the demonstrations for the officer candidate school at Camp Barkeley were provided by men from the training battalions at the Medical Replacement Training Center. The quality of demonstrations was difficult to maintain, however, because of frequent changes in the personnel of the units. The problem was resolved by the establishment of a special demonstration platoon. By mid-1943, when the school had reached a capacity of 3,000, the platoon had an authorized strength of 60 men. These units allowed the schools to provide demonstrations ranging from dismounted drill to the deployment of medical units in the field.
Academic departments at both schools used practical exercises to supplement classroom instruction. As part of the program in administration, candidates were required to complete forms and records used by company headquarters, field installations, messes, hospitals, military courts, and boards of officers. Field exercises in the selection of sites for medical installations and the use of maps were an integral part of the training provided by the Department of Tactics. To prepare candidates for the possibility of gas attacks, the Department of Chemical Warfare conducted gas mask drills and exercises in the use of chlorine and tear gas chambers. Under the program of the Department of Training, students practiced teaching and first aid, constructed course schedules, and participated in road marches and dismounted drill.
Emphasis on practical exercises was particularly intense during the class bivouac, a highly organized 6-day exercise that had its origins in a half-day demonstration presented for officer candidates by units of the Medical Replacement Training Center at Camp Barkeley. By stages, the exercise was extended to include an overnight bivouac, a 3 1/2-day bivouac, and finally, a 6-day exercise. During bivouac, candidates participated in field and map problems and practiced the skills required for the operation of medical units in the field. Practical application of classroom training in sanitation was provided, for example, by making a selected group of trainees responsible for sanitation in the bivouac area. Every phase of the exercise was designed to translate some aspect of theory into working knowledge.
Training aids.-In addition to practical exercises, schools frequently used audio, visual, and physical training aids to reinforce lessons and provide experience not readily available in the classroom. Both schools made maximum use of training films, filmstrips, and slides provided by the War Department. At Camp Barkeley, an officer assigned from the school reviewed all new films received by the
FIGURE 9.-Portable public address system, one of the training aids used by the MAC Officer Candidate School, Camp Barkeley, Tex., 1943.
Visual Aids Library of the Medical Replacement Training Center, and evaluated their potential for use in the officer candidate program. War Department training aids were supplemented by large-scale charts, maps, and diagrams designed for specific lessons by the art departments at the Medical Field Service School and the Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Barkeley.
Schools made use of almost any device that would aid in presenting material. At Camp Barkeley, a truck-mounted public address system was used to present classes and demonstrations in the field (fig. 9). Both schools used installations such as gas chambers, obstacle courses, and infiltration courses to supplement classroom instruction, and at Camp Barkeley, the motor pool and maintenance shops were used as training aids for the course in logistics.
To illustrate the echelons of medical support and to depict the chain of evacuation from the frontlines to the Zone of Interior, the Department of Tactics at Camp Barkeley constructed a miniature battlefield that was approximately 60 feet wide and 350 feet long (fig. 10). The first 212 feet of the demonstration area portrayed the tactical deployment of an infantry division and its medical support. Roads, buildings, medical installations, bridges, tanks, and ambulances were constructed to scale. The remaining portion of the area contained miniature models of all medical
FIGURE 10.-Miniature battlefield depicts chain of evacuation from frontlines to Zone of Interior, Camp Barkeley, Tex., 1943.
installations in the corps and army areas, the communications zone, and the Zone of Interior, not necessarily constructed to scale. An artificial pond represented an ocean separating the theater of operations from the Zone of Interior. A second demonstration area at Camp Barkeley housed a sanitary exhibit containing equipment used in the disposal of animal, human, and kitchen wastes; the sanitary control of field messes; delousing; and mosquito control (fig. 11). Still another area contained examples of hasty entrenchments.
Two- and three-dimensional training aids had important roles in the programs of MAC officer candidate schools. At times, they became so extensive that the distinction between observation and participation lost meaning.
Tests and critiques.-Tests and critiques were an important part of the curriculum at all officer candidate schools. At both Medical Department schools, tests were designed to serve three purposes: to evaluate student achievement, to measure the effectiveness of the training program, and to reinforce training received in the classroom.
The construction and administration of tests at MAC officer candidate schools were a departmental responsibility. Instructors for each course or subject were required to submit questions to the heads of their departments covering material they had presented in class. Department heads, in turn, passed these questions to a review board that determined the validity of questions and approved the test in its final form. Such boards usually consisted of the department head and at least one
FIGURE 11.-Sanitary demonstration area, MAC Officer Candidate School, Camp Barkeley, Tex., 1943.
representative of the Department of Training who was familiar with the theory of testing. Schools relied almost exclusively on objective examinations consisting of multiple-choice, completion, and true or false questions. On occasion, candidates were required to complete forms used in Medical Department administration and to solve problems requiring the use of mathematics, maps, and symbols.
To qualify for commissions, candidates were required to achieve a grade of 75 in all subjects. When a candidate failed tests in two subjects, his records were automatically brought before a board of officers, commonly referred to as the Benzine Board, that reviewed his status as a candidate. Failure in the subjects of map reading or administration could also bring a candidate before the board. Candidates considered unlikely to succeed were dismissed.
Since tests were also designed as a training device, examinations were always followed by a period of review and discussion. Usually, the next class session following the test was set aside for a discussion session. Trainees were provided with the correct answers to questions they had missed and were allowed to discuss problems they found difficult. Critiques were also scheduled at the conclusion of bivouacs and field problems.33
33 See footnote 17, p. 99.
Standards for Commissioning
The rate of attrition among candidates for commissions in the Medical Administrative Corps was the second highest in ASF officer candidate schools.34 Between July 1941 and October 1945, MAC officer candidate schools enrolled 24,929 candidates and graduated 17,094 with commissions. Thirty-one percent of all candidates, or a total of 7,835, failed to complete the course. Twenty-one percent of the candidates enrolled at Carlisle Barracks were relieved before graduation, and nearly 35 percent of the trainees at Camp Barkeley were either "washed out" or allowed to resign.35 A year before the end of the war, the contrast between the two schools was even more marked: 13.9 percent of the candidates at Carlisle Barracks failed to graduate, while at Camp Barkeley, the rate was 34.1 percent.36 In September 1944, the high rate of attrition at Camp Barkeley focused the attention of the Medical Department and the Army Service Forces on the standards of selection and retention for MAC officer candidates.
By November 1942, War Department procedures for selecting officer candidates had been standardized in a single regulation emphasizing leadership, ability, and experience.37 Local commanders were directed to encourage enlisted men with an AGCT (Army General Classification Test) score above 110, who had completed basic training and demonstrated a capacity for leadership, to apply for officer candidate school. Applicants for MAC Officer Candidate School were required to have a year of college training or a year of experience in administrative or managerial positions. After preliminary testing and screening, applicants were selected by reviewing boards appointed by commanders responsible for filling quotas. Since many of the qualities required in an officer candidate were intangible, standards were subject to varying interpretations, some more stringent than others.
After a visit to Camp Barkeley in September 1944, the Director of the School Division, ASF, notified The Surgeon General that he was dissatisfied with the quality of trainees in the officer candidate school. Candidates were being selected on the basis of applications submitted months earlier, when the school was operating at a reduced capacity. Many had since become technicians or noncommissioned officers and had no desire to become officers. Candidates reporting from service command installations, he observed, "had absolutely no military background for the course." The Surgeon General was asked to determine the sources from which improperly qualified personnel were being received.
In response, the Medical Department conducted a study of five classes at Camp Barkeley and three at Carlisle Barracks. The gross rates of attrition at the two schools, including several classes still in session, were 22 percent and 8 percent, respectively (tables 6 and 7). The highest rate of failure was among candidates from
34Memorandum, Capt. John M. Gracie II, MAC,
Executive Officer, Training Division, Office of The Surgeon General, for
Director of Training, Services of Supply, 9 Sept. 1944, subject: Attrition
of Officer Candidates.
Source: Memorandum, Col. A. W. Chilton, GSC, Director, School Division, Army Service Forces, for The Surgeon General, 19 Sept. 1944, subject: Selection of Officer Candidates for the Medical Administrative Corps, lst indorsement (Tab A), 9 Oct. 1944, thereto.
the Army Air Forces, and the lowest was experienced by those from ASF training centers.
Class 33 at Camp Barkeley, which. had an attrition rate of 48 percent at the end of the 12th week of training, was thought to provide "a much truer picture than the summary of all classes." In this class, 63 percent of the failures were attributed to lack of leadership, and candidates from the service commands accounted for 64
Source: Memorandum, Col. A. W. Chilton, GSC, Director, School Division, Army Service Forces, for The Surgeon General, 19 Sept. 1944, subject: Selection of Officer Candidates for the Medical Administrative Corps, 1st indorsement (Tab B), 9 Oct. 1944, thereto.
percent of those dropped from the course. Candidates from the Army Air Forces, accounting for 25 percent of the enrollment, had already lost 58 percent of their number.
The attrition rate at Carlisle Barracks was appreciably lower, but candidates from the service commands still accounted for the bulk of the losses. Of the 751 students enrolled, only 61 had been dropped from the program. This relatively low rate of attrition was attributed to a basic difference in the interpretation of the training mission at Carlisle Barracks:
* * * Resignation accounts for 18 percent of the total dropped from the three classes. All other students were dismissed; last time 20 percent of the total attrition was dropped for lack of leadership and approximately 50 percent failed in academic studies. The policy of "suggested resignations" has not been pursued at the school at Carlisle, with the result that figures on these classes are not comparable to the Officer Candidate School at Camp Barkeley. Academic failure versus lack of leadership may be considered an indication of a difference of emphasis between the two installations.38
Since the use of outdated applications had been eliminated by a revised version of the regulation governing officer candidates issued on 12 September 1944, the Medical Department believed that there would be fewer disinterested candidates. The major problem was the lack of leadership and military background prevalent among candidates sent by the service commands, and the marked success of candidates from ASF training centers, who had either served as cadre or attended officer candidate preparatory schools, seemed to lead to a solution. The rate of attrition among candidates from the service commands could be significantly reduced if men who had served for long periods in technical or administrative positions were given preschool training in drill and command at service command installations.
After reviewing the study submitted by the Medical Department, the Director of Military Training, ASF, concluded that the contrast between the attrition rates at Camp Barkeley and Carlisle Barracks was difficult to reconcile since both schools operated under the same program of instruction and War Department doctrine and received many students from the same sources. He directed the Officer Candidate School, Camp Barkeley, and the Eighth Service Command to inspect the school "to determine the reasons for the very high rate of attrition" and submit a "report of action taken to relieve the high attrition rate."
In its reply, the Eighth Service Command focused on the standard of superior performance set by platoon leaders at Camp Barkeley and concluded that "based upon the high standards and superior performance of duties required of candidates for graduation from the MAC Officer Candidate School, Camp Barkeley, that the present rate of attrition is not high." The school was determined to maintain these standards and had little control over injudiciously and carelessly selected candidates with inadequate backgrounds who used the privilege of resignation to escape the rigors of training. Living conditions at Camp Barkeley were also cited as
38Memorandum, Col. A. W. Chilton, GSC, Director, School Division, Army Service Forces, for The Surgeon General, 19 Sept. 1944, subject: Selection of Officer Candidates for the Medical Administrative Corps. 1st indorsement, 9 Oct. 1944, with inclosures thereto; and 2d and 3d memorandum indorsements, 21 Oct. 1944 and 14 Nov. 1944.
contributing to trainee discontent. Recommendations for reducing the attrition rate at Camp Barkeley included screening candidates more carefully, eliminating the privilege of resignation, and establishing flexible quotas that would allow boards to select only qualified applicants. On 22 November 1944, the Director of Military Training, ASF, asked the Surgeon General's Office to review the Eighth Service Command's report.
The Director, Training Division, Surgeon General's Office, refused to endorse the Eighth Service Command's analysis. He agreed that candidates were occasionally selected by hasty or haphazard methods but denied that selection procedures had to be spelled out in greater detail. The standards defined in existing regulations were adequate, and commanders who failed to meet their responsibilities could be dealt with through command channels. Since The Adjutant General allocated quotas on the basis of reports of availability submitted by local commanders, he believed that the flexible quotas suggested by the Eighth Service Command would add little to the existing system. In any case, both schools received candidates from the same sources, a fact which led the Director, Training Division, SGO, to believe that Camp Barkeley and Carlisle Barracks had different philosophies of training:39
* * * It is evident that a gross discrepancy exists between the two MAC OCS which cannot be lightly explained away by citing "exacting demands of platoon leaders and officer instructors for superior performance." There is no evidence that graduates of the Medical Administrative Corps Officer Candidate School, Camp Barkeley, are superior to graduates of the school conducted at Carlisle Barracks, and it is therefore considered presumptuous to state that the standards established at one institution are in any way superior to those of another. * ** It can be reasonably presumed that no less "exacting standards" are in force at the Medical Administrative Corps Officer Candidate School at Carlisle Barracks. The factor of the basic philosophy involved at both institutions contributes materially to the rate of attrition. The high rate of attrition leads to the belief that the philosophy employed at one installation is to "see how many candidates can be kept from becoming officers" and, at the other, "to help as many get through as possible." Normal standards of performance of duties, commensurate with the demands of military service, for officer candidates are desirable. Unattainable standards or standards set at such level as to render their attainment by a major group selected for the training involved are considered wasteful of time, funds, and human energies.
While quarters and living conditions at Camp Barkeley did not equal those at Carlisle Barracks, they were as good as those at many other officer candidate schools, and the Director, Training Division, Surgeon General's Office, did not think they were responsible for the rate of voluntary withdrawal at Camp Barkeley. He believed that candidates withdrew because a policy of suggested resignations had been adopted by the school, and that candidates were under continuous pressure to resign. In sum, he charged that the privilege of resignation had been abused by the school, and not by the candidates.
Two weeks before the Director, Training Division, SGO, submitted his review, the officer candidate school at Camp Barkeley was notified that it was to be phased
39Transmittal Sheet, Office of the Director of Military Training, Army Service Forces, to The Surgeon General; Director, Military Personnel Division, Army Service Forces, in turn, 22 Nov. 1944, subject: Selection of Officer Candidates for the Medical Administrative Corps. 1st indorsement, 11 Dec. 1944, with inclosures thereto.
out of the program.40 His review marked the end of official debate over the problem of attrition at MAC officer candidate schools. In addition to providing insight into the training program at Camp Barkeley, the debate demonstrated the degree to which differing interpretations could alter the standards governing the selection, training, and commissioning of officer candidates.
Negro students were enrolled at both MAC officer candidate schools. Between 1942 and 1945, a total of 260 Negroes, or an average of seven per class, were enrolled at Camp Barkeley (table 8). In the same period, 127 Negroes, or an average of five per class, were enrolled at Carlisle Barracks.41 Since enrollment was small, segregation was impractical, and Negro candidates were integrated not only into classes but also in barracks and messes as well.
Statistics compiled at Camp Barkeley indicated few differences in the performance of Negro and white officer candidates. As a group, Negro candidates were slightly less successful than white trainees: 60.8 percent of the Negro trainees graduated from the course, compared with 65.4 percent of white candidates. By the same token, however, Negro candidates were more often successful than were candidates sent by the Army Air Forces, service commands, ports of embarkation, and theaters of operations. Negro trainees were relieved for academic and physical reasons more frequently than white trainees, and less frequently for lack of leadership. The rate of resignation was slightly below that of other candidates.
The MAC officer candidate program was designed to produce junior officers capable of relieving doctors, dentists, and veterinarians from a wide variety of nonprofessional responsibilities. In many cases, members of the Medical Administrative Corps were assigned to positions requiring preparation beyond that provided at officer candidate schools. As the war continued, MAC officers assumed an increasing number of duties previously assigned to officers of the professional corps, and opportunities for advanced training increased proportionally.
Many advanced training programs for the Medical Administrative Corps were outgrowths of programs initially designed for medical, dental, and veterinary officers. Frequently, training opportunities were provided for MAC officers by integrating them into courses established for the officers they were replacing. MAC officers who were assigned to medical replacement training centers, for example, were trained in pools originally established for officers of the professional corps. Those assigned to administrative positions at large hospitals were allowed to
40Letter, Lt. Col. Wayne A. Starkey, MC, Chief,
School Branch, Training Division, Office of The Surgeon General, to Lt.
Col. John A. Nave, Assistant Commandant, MAC Officer Candidate School,
Camp Barkeley, Tex., 28 Nov. 1944.
TABLE 8.-Number and percentage of candidates who enrolled and graduated or who failed to complete the MAC Officer Candidate Course, Camp Barkeley, Tex., classes 1-40, inclusive, by Army component, age, race, source, and education
Source: Annual Report, Army Service Forces Training Center, Camp Barkeley, Tex., 1 July 1944 to 1 April 1945. Part 2: Medical Administrative Corps Officer Candidate School.
participate in the job-understudy programs available through hospital training pools. By the end of the war, members of the Medical Administrative Corps were attending almost every nonprofessional course offered by the Medical Department, including the Medical Field and Sanitary Inspector Course, and the courses in supply and maintenance at the St. Louis Medical Depot, St. Louis, Mo. A number of officers also attended courses and schools outside the Medical Department, including the Adjutant General's School, Fort Washington, Md., and the Ordnance Automotive Maintenance Course.
The first programs exclusively for members of the Medical Administrative Corps were the courses in mess and motor management at the Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Barkeley. These courses, established at the suggestion of the Commandant, Medical Replacement Training Center, were designed to fill the need of fixed installations and field units for administrative officers trained in these fields.42 The Mess Management Course, conducted at the Camp Barkeley Cooks and Bakers School, emphasized the management of hospital messes, mess sanitation, purchasing methods, and the completion of forms used by mess officers. The Motor Transport Officers' Course was conducted at the center's Motor Transport School and provided training in the operation and maintenance of all types of vehicles used by the Medical Department, the administration of motor convoys, and the problems of day and night driving under tactical conditions. Each month, a group of officers graduating from the Officer Candidate School at Camp Barkeley was selected to attend these courses and retained at the center for an additional 4 weeks of training. Between June 1942 and April 1945, 278 and 289 officers graduated from the Motor and Mess Management Courses, respectively.43
In mid-1943, the Medical Department began developing a series of special training programs for the Medical Administrative Corps. On 11 June 1943, Army Service Forces notified the chiefs of the administrative and technical services that they were required to provide continuous training for all surplus officers held in replacement pools.44 Since the Medical Department anticipated a surplus of MAC officers by 1 January 1944, plans for training them in special pools were submitted to the Army Service Forces on 7 July 1943.45 On 14 August, the service commands and the Military District of Washington were provided with the names of station and general hospitals that had been selected to conduct pool training.46
The pools established for the Medical Administrative Corps, in the summer of 1943, were designed to supplement facilities already available at Medical Depart-
42Letter, Brig. Gen. Roy C. Heflebower, Commanding
General, Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Barkeley, Tex., to The
Surgeon General, 5 June 1942, subject: Courses in Mess Management and Motor
Transport for MAC Officers.
ment replacement pools. While awaiting assignment as fillers or replacements, officers in the pools were provided with an opportunity to understudy members of the staff in positions ranging from adjutant and registrar to medical detachment commanders. Training was conducted under the pool program in hospital administration originally designed for officers in the Medical and Dental Corps. Since all MAC officers were graduates of officer candidate schools, the program was modified to eliminate basic training.47
School for Battalion Surgeon's Assistants
In the fall of 1943, The Surgeon General decided to replace one of the two surgeons assigned to battalion aid stations with a specially trained MAC officer who would be known as the battalion surgeon's assistant. Despite fears that such officers might assume unwarranted diagnostic powers, The Surgeon General was confident that with special training they could replace one physician and relieve the second from many of the distractions of detachment administration and tactical employment.
Fortunately, approximately 1,500 MAC officers were in replacement pools in the Zone of Interior at the time The Surgeon General made his decision, and beginning in January 1944, successive groups of these officers were ordered to report to a newly established School for Battalion Surgeon's Assistants at Camp Barkeley.48 Between January 1944 and January 1945, approximately 2,000 officers graduated from the course. The second class, which began late in February 1944, contained more than half of the officers enrolled during the year that the school was in operation. By March, replacement pools were empty, and the school began enrolling recently commissioned officers. Each of the five classes enrolled between March 1944 and January 1945, when training was suspended, contained between 99 and 178 trainees.49
The 6-week course for battalion surgeon's assistants focused on subjects that would qualify a nonprofessional lieutenant in the Medical Administrative Corps to assume responsibility for a battalion aid station and assist the battalion surgeon in the treatment of casualties. A total of 140 hours of training time, or almost half of the scheduled 300 hours of instruction, were devoted to subjects related to field medicine and surgery, including emergency medical treatment, treatment of chemical casualties, transfusions, chemotherapy, and use of penicillin. Fifty hours were devoted to the tactical use of battalion aid stations in the attack and retrograde movements, and 42 hours were devoted to field sanitation. The balance of the time was allotted to administration and military training. Two weeks of the course were spent in field exercises.50
Although designated as a separate school, the School for Battalion Surgeon's Assistants was managed in conjunction with the MAC Officer Candidate School at
47See footnote 46 (2), p. 122.
Camp Barkeley. The assistant commandant of the MAC Officer Candidate School acted as the assistant commandant of the School for Battalion Surgeon's Assistants, and most of the officers teaching at the school were instructors at the Officer Candidate School. Classes in field medicine and surgery were conducted by members of the Medical Corps who were assigned to the school by the War Department.51
In May 1945, the Surgeon General's Office decided to train 500 additional battalion surgeon's assistants for employment in the Pacific theater. Since training at Camp Barkeley had already been discontinued, the course was shifted to the Medical Field Service School, and the program was revised to reflect conditions in active theaters.52 On 7 July 1945, a class of 102 officers was enrolled, of which 100 graduated on 4 August. A second class of 100, enrolled on 11 August, was disbanded after the military collapse of Japan.53
Physical and Educational Reconditioning Officers
Plans for an Armywide program for reconditioning convalescent soldiers were developed by the Surgeon General's Office early in 1943, and by April, the program was theoretically underway. Until early 1944, however, only a few hospitals established successful programs. Uncertainty continued until March 1944, when the Army Service Forces issued tables of organization for reconditioning programs in general hospitals and made the Army Reconditioning Program a service command responsibility.54
At the request of the Office of The Surgeon General, courses for educational and physical reconditioning officers were established at the School for Personnel Services, in April and May 1944. Both courses were placed under the control of a newly created Department of Reconditioning headed by a Medical Department officer. Outlines for the courses were developed at the Office of The Surgeon General by members of the Reconditioning and Training Divisions.55
The Physical Reconditioning Officers' Course was a 1-month program focusing on physical and neuropsychiatric disorders, kinesiology and physiology, remedial exercises, developmental and adaptive exercises, and the administration of the Army Reconditioning Program. In the 4-week course for educational reconditioning officers, material on exercises was replaced by instruction in the philosophy and methodology of education, guidance, and prevocational counseling. Educational reconditioning officers were also oriented to recreational activities that included dramatics, radio programs, and music.
51See footnote 17, p. 99.
The table of organization for reconditioning programs included many officers in addition to members of the Medical Administrative Corps. The program at each hospital of 500 beds or larger was directed by a Medical Department officer, and his assistant for physical reconditioning could be either a MAC officer or an officer with the requisite background from any other corps in the Army. The position of Educational Reconditioning Officer could be filled by an officer from any branch of the Army who had experience in morale services.56 Between June 1944 and October 1945, a total of 679 officers graduated from the course for physical reconditioning officers. In the period from May 1944 to October 1945, 635 graduated from the Educational Reconditioning Course.57
56Army Service Forces Circular No. 73, 11 Mar.