|OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY AMEDD REGIMENT AMEDD MUSEUM|
HISTORY OF THE OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY
Medical Replacement Training Centers1
A high quality of professional care for an army in the field can be provided only when the skills of doctors, dentists, veterinarians, and administrators are supported by trained enlisted personnel. The training of a particular Medical Department soldier varies with the demands placed upon him, but in all cases, it must be detailed, intensive, and diversified. To train medical surgical, X-ray, laboratory, pharmacy, dental, and veterinary technicians, schools were established at general hospitals, military posts, civilian colleges, and commercial institutions. In addition, medical soldiers were also trained to work as part of a unit or team, ranging from an optical detachment of two enlisted men to a 2,000-bed numbered general hospital with 898 officers, nurses, and enlisted men. In short, men had to be trained to perform special duties in a multitude of medical units in a chain of evacuation stretching from the frontlines to general hospitals in the Zone of Interior.
This bewildering array of individual and team specialties was held together by a common bond of training designed to produce basic medical soldiers and administrative (or common) specialists. Regardless of later specialization, all medical soldiers had to be acquainted with a body of medical and military knowledge basic to their duties. Because they might be stationed in a Zone of Interior hospital or a frontline aid station, medical soldiers were trained to work either independently or with a group. First aid under fire, evacuation of the wounded over difficult terrain, and the recognition of wounds and disease were routine work. Despite their status as noncombatants, medical soldiers had to be trained to protect themselves, their units, and their patients. This common bond of training was provided by Medical Replacement Training Centers.
Medical Department soldiers of World War II came from all walks of life. Medical Replacement Training Centers, and those of other arms and services, applied the techniques of mass production to military training. In the image of the industrial process, centers took raw material from reception centers, forged a standardized product, and fed their output into medical units where the separate parts were finished and linked into the working whole. The accent was on economy, speed, uniformity, and volume production. The balance between factors such as housing and classroom facilities, cadre ratios, training aids, the flow of trainees from reception centers, and the rate of unit activations had to be continuously adjusted. Bottlenecks at any stage in the process were immediately reflected through the system.
1Unless otherwise indicated, this chapter is based on: (1) Goodman, Samuel M.: History of Medical Department Training, United States Army, U.S. Army World War II. Volume V. The Training of Replacements, Fillers, and Cadres, 1939-1945. [Official record.] (2) Zimmermann, Edward A.: Training in the Medical Department During World War II, pt. I, ch. VII Training of Enlisted Individual Fillers and Replacements. [Official record.]
The successful operation of replacement training centers required continuous planning. Preparations for the establishment of Medical Replacement Training Centers2 began almost immediately after the publication of The Surgeon General's Protective Mobilization Plan of 1939. In the spring of 1940, the Medical Department conducted studies of potential sites, training loads, construction costs, and cadre requirements. In addition to sites at Fort Meade, Md., Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., and Fort Warren, Wyo., specified in The Surgeon General's Protective Mobilization Plan of 1939, the Medical Department also considered sites at posts in Indiana, New York, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, and California.3 In the fall of 1940, while these studies were being conducted, the War Department issued specific instructions for the establishment of training centers. These instructions spelled out the type, number, and size of buildings to be constructed for replacement training and emphasized the need for rigid economy in construction programs.4
In mid-October 1940, War Department and Medical Department training policies were reviewed and discussed at a conference of Corps Area Surgeons. Topics included in the agenda drawn up by the Director of Training, Surgeon General's Office, ranged from methods of constructing plans for the operation of training centers to techniques for preparing Reserve officers to train conscripts. Participants in the conference were briefed on the requirements of Mobilization Training Program No. 8-1, which had been published on 9 September, and oriented to policies governing the training of officers and enlisted men for duties as administrative, or common specialists.5
It was not until January 1941, however, that the War Department authorized The Surgeon General to establish two Medical Replacement Training Centers-one at Camp Lee, Va., and the other at Camp Grant, Ill. A third was authorized on 1 November of that year at Camp Barkeley, Tex.6 At this juncture, the Medical Department began translating theory into practice.
Camp Lee and Camp Pickett
When the Medical Replacement Training Center at Camp Lee was activated in January 1941, on the site of a World War I training camp, little remained of the
2The official title of Medical Replacement
Training Centers changed several times during World War II. When the centers
were first established, they were most commonly referred to as medical
training centers. On 15 December 1941, they were designated as Medical
Replacement Training Centers. In April 1944, the designation was changed
to ASF (Army Service Forces) Training Center. For the purpose of this study,
only the last two designations will be used.
earlier center except some gunpits and a few emplacements. The site, 25 miles from Richmond, was relatively flat and partially wooded, with few streams that could be used to add realism to exercises, and the climate permitted year-round training. Since the Medical Department shared the camp with a Quartermaster Replacement Training Center, room for long term expansion was limited.
From the beginning, little went according to plan. When Lt. Col. (later Maj. Gen.) Paul R. Hawley, MC, Lt. Col. (later Col.) Frank S. Matlack, MC, and S. Sgt. (later Lt. Col.) Philip E. G. Fleetwood arrived to activate the center on 3 January 1941, construction was only partially completed. On 16 January 1941, the center was officially activated as the 1308th Service Unit, Medical Department Replacement Center, Camp Lee. The time between then and mid-March, when the first trainees arrived, was used to organize and activate subunits, procure supplies, and receive personnel assigned to the center.
Officers were assigned to the center from Regular Army posts, private medical practice, or civilian jobs, and the enlisted cadre came from posts scattered throughout the United States. Most of the officers assigned to the training battalions had completed the monthlong refresher course at the Medical Field Service School, or attended the Cooks and Bakers School at Fort Meade, Md. All lacked experience in handling large groups of trainees.7
The medical training center was designed to house seven training battalions each containing approximately 1,000 men. The quarters provided for trainees were two-story, 63-man, cantonment barracks, grouped on a battalion pattern. The barracks for two companies of each battalion were alined side by side, facing the battalion's remaining two companies. The battalion headquarters and supply buildings were separated from troop housing areas by a road constructed through the battalion area. Buildings designed as recreation halls and regimental headquarters were converted into classrooms.8
In common with other training centers during the first year of mobilization, the medical training center at Camp Lee reported a chronic shortage of training equipment, and even simple housekeeping stores. At one point, Colonel Hawley, the training officer, complained bitterly to the Surgeon General's Office that "the Quartermaster supply * * * is little short of scandalous. There have been times when we could not get enough food to feed our men * * *. There is no soap, scrubbing brushes, other cleaning materials and toilet paper to be had at this writing. Clothing is exhausted except in abnormal sizes. We have many selectees wearing nondescript civilian shoes because they cannot be fitted from Quartermaster supply."9 Training equipment was even more difficult to obtain and often had to be improvised or simulated. The shortage of equipment and specialized classrooms made it difficult to establish a training program for common specialists, and the schedules set up in mobilization training programs often had to be adapted to existing facilities.
7Annual Report, Medical Replacement Training
Center, Camp Pickett, Va., fiscal year 1942.
FIGURE 19.-Trainees from Camp Lee, Va., marching to Camp Pickett, Va., to establish the new Medical Replacement Training Center.
The training of specialists, as well as basic medical soldiers, was disrupted by the irregular arrivals and departures of trainees. Fluctuations in enrollment led alternately to slack periods when supplies and equipment were underutilized or wasted and heavy training loads taxed facilities and led to unnecessary requests for expansion.
Early in February 1942, the War Department concluded that further expansion of both the Medical and Quartermaster Replacement Training Centers would grossly overtax the resources of Camp Lee and decided to transfer the Medical Department center to Camp Pickett. To avoid interrupting the program, the War Department suggested moving the medical battalions one by one as they completed their training cycles and turning the vacated areas over to the quartermaster center. Battalion cadre and overhead could then be sent to Camp Pickett to begin training a new complement of trainees.
Brig. Gen. William R. Dear, the Commanding General of the Medical Replacement Training Center at Camp Lee, objected to the War Department plan, arguing that it would take 10 weeks to complete the transfer to Camp Pickett, and during this period, his command would be divided and administrative complications would be inevitable. As an alternative, he proposed that all medical battalions be moved at the same time, regardless of their state of training. The troops could
FIGURE 20.-Tent housing used at Camp Pickett, Va.
be marched from Camp Lee to Camp Pickett, and the property of at least one battalion could be moved each day by truck.10
The War Department accepted this alternative, and in mid-June, medical trainees began a 3-day march over the 42 miles separating the two camps. The center at Camp Lee was officially closed at midnight on 19 June 1942 and reopened a minute later at Camp Pickett (fig. 19).11 To ease the transition, the Medical Replacement Training Center transferred all of its training aids, supplies, and equipment to Camp Pickett.12 Even then, training was disrupted while new permanent training aids, such as a sanitary area, an obstacle course, mapping areas, and drill fields, were constructed.
Camp Pickett, located near Blackstone, Va., was initially the home of the 79th Infantry Division and other Second U.S. Army units. The prevailing weather was the same at both camps, but the terrain at Camp Pickett was better suited to a varied training program. The surrounding countryside was rolling and wooded, with numerous lakes and streams. The soil was a red clay that became a quagmire
10See footnote 8, p. 175.
FIGURE 21.-This gathering
of troops at the Camp Pickett, Va., stadium on Memorial Day
illustrates the size of the Medical Department training effort.
after every rain. Initially, trainees were housed in a new, improved type of cantonment barrack.
In June 1942, the War Department authorized the center to expand enrollment by 5,000 trainees per cycle. On 5 August, the center was reorganized to absorb its new capacity. Negro trainees, who had previously been assigned to companies C and D of the 8th Medical Training Battalion, were organized in battalion strength, and four white battalions were added, bringing the total to one Negro and 13 white battalions. Each battalion was placed under the control of one of four newly activated training regiments. On 14 December 1942, one white battalion was converted to a Negro battalion to accommodate the increasing number of Negro trainees assigned to the center.13 The five training battalions added on 5 August, however, had to be quartered in hutments and tents (fig. 20) winterized with scrap lumber left over from the construction of the camp.
The training center at Camp Pickett (fig. 21) continued to enroll trainees until mid-1943, when the declining rate of activations reduced the Medical Department's demand for fillers and replacements, and the Medical Replacement Training
13Annual Report, Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Pickett, Va., fiscal year 1943.
Center was ordered to close. In October, after the last class graduated and property accounts were cleared, the center was officially deactivated.14
Camp Grant and Fort Lewis
Preparations for the establishment of a Medical Replacement Training Center at Camp Grant began early in the fall of 1940, under the supervision of the commanding general of the Sixth Corps Area. The reservation, then under the control of the Illinois National Guard, was located on the east bank of the Rock River, 3 miles south of Rockford, Ill.. The eastern half of its approximately 3,500 acres of rolling terrain was unusually well suited for field operations. At times, however, the climate made training difficult; the temperature varied from 20o below zero in winter to as much as 104o above in summer, and between December and March, snow and cold weather made meaningful outdoor training a near impossibility.
Many difficulties had to be overcome before the center could begin enrolling trainees. Although the Medical Replacement Training Center was to be the major activity at Camp Grant, with plans calling for a center headquarters and seven training battalions of 1,000 men each, a reception center with facilities for 2,500 men was also planned. Since the reception center was slated to open on 15 January 1941, 2 weeks before the Medical Replacement Training Center, it was given priority. Despite the center's low priority and delays in construction, work was completed on 24 March 1941, 10 days behind schedule, but in time to house the first shipment of trainees.
The site assigned to the Medical Department at Camp Grant also proved difficult to manage. Even before the reservation was surveyed, the commander of the Sixth Corps had decided not to allow construction in areas occupied by buildings belonging to the Illinois National Guard. This restriction left little space for building in areas with easy access to facilities for sewage and waste disposal and added to the cost of the center. The construction of hard-surfaced roads, and the ditching and leveling of the grounds had to be postponed when expenditures exceeded appropriations. Hard-surfaced roads and walks could not be provided until the autumn of 1941, and the ditching required for surface drainage was delayed even longer.
Buildings at the center were arranged to increase control by the company commander. Each training company was assigned four barracks, one administration building, and one messhall, grouped so that the company commander could keep close watch over all activities in the company area. When selectees arrived at the center, they were assigned to standard, semipermanent barracks, designed to house 63 men. Later, at the direction of the War Department, 77 men were housed in each barrack. This was accomplished by using a metal adapter to hold one bunk on top of another, an arrangement which proved quite satisfactory since it actually increased the floor space available to the men. During the summer months, the camp could accommodate an additional 6,000 trainees in tents.
14 See footnote 8, p. 175.
Spring brought with it the unwelcome discovery that every roof in the center leaked profusely. The problem was traced to composition roofing, installed during subzero weather to meet construction deadlines, that failed with the first spring rains. Damage to ceilings was extensive, not to mention the discomfort, and repairs could not be completed until fall.
Housing was less of a problem than classroom facilities, however. Initially, each battalion was provided with one recreation building, type RB-1, which could be adapted for use as a classroom. An administration building, type A-12, was later authorized for each battalion, but this provided only two additional classrooms. As a result, classes had to be held in barracks and messhalls throughout the winter and during inclement weather. The shortage of classrooms was not eased until late 1942 when an additional recreation building was authorized for each battalion.
The pressure for classroom space was even more acute in programs for common and administrative specialists and in the special training unit for illiterate, non-English speaking, and mentally deficient trainees. When the center was designed, plans did not include classrooms for either group, and there was no provision for housing the special training unit. Extra housing was provided by converting barracks and messhalls originally designed for men assigned to regimental headquarters. Efforts to provide additional classrooms for common specialists were only partially successful, and National Guard buildings requiring extensive structural changes had to be pressed into use.
Requisitions for the equipment and supplies required for basic military and technical training were submitted in December 1940. Between January and April 1941, the center received a few trucks, most of the training equipment required for two medical regiments, and seven sets of hospital training equipment. Since training programs focused on the operation of a medical battalion, training equipment for the center had to be improvised from hospital and regimental sets.
Supplies and instructors for the common specialist schools and the special training unit were provided by the U.S. Office of Education, through the Illinois Board of Vocational Education. Instructors for the Cooks and Bakers School, the Clerical School, the Motor Mechanics School, and the special training unit were hired on the recommendation of a civilian liaison agent assigned to the center by the Board of Vocational Education. The board also furnished tools and garage supplies for the Mechanics School, and most of the typewriters and machinery used by the Clerical School. This cooperative effort continued until 1 December 1941, when the commandant of the center was notified that supplies and instructors would have to be withdrawn because the U.S. Office of Education could not provide funds for their support. Through special arrangements, the equipment provided by the board was retained until February 1942 when the War Department was able to fill requisitions for replacements. Of the 23 civilian instructors, 15 were retained as civil service employees for the duration of the war. The remaining vacancies were filled by military personnel with civilian teaching experience.15
15Annual Report, Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Grant, Ill., fiscal year 1942.
By mid-1942, the problems that developed during the activation of Camp Grant were under control, and the center was able to settle into the routine of training. Cadre problems, however, continuously plagued the program. On 19 April 1943, control of the Medical Replacement Training Center was transferred from the War Department to the Sixth Service Command, and shortly thereafter, the center was ordered to replace at least 80 percent of its cadre with limited service personnel. Many of the replacements were found to have received only 5 weeks of training at Camp McCoy and to be limited mentally as well as physically. The new system proved far less satisfactory than did its predecessor, which allowed the center to select cadre from among its own trainees.
At the same time, officials at the center were favorably impressed by the performance of a company of enlisted women-members of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (usually called Wacs)-assigned to replace men in administrative positions. Under the terms of their assignment, each woman replaced one enlisted man, and the vast majority were reported to be both capable and industrious workers.
After June 1942, Camp Grant also reported a marked reduction in the number of doctors and dentists assigned to serve as training officers. In most instances, these positions were filled by young officers in the Medical Administrative Corps. Although many of these new officers lacked experience, they became accomplished instructors under the proper supervision, and their performance was considered highly satisfactory.
In December 1942, a special program was established to train sanitary technicians and meat and dairy technicians for the Army Air Forces. Under this program, the center was capable of training 55 sanitary technicians every 4 weeks, and 175 meat and dairy inspectors every 8 weeks. New housing and classrooms were not authorized, but the center was allowed to add 11 officers and 42 enlisted men to the cadre. In July 1943, quotas for the Sanitary Technicians Course were reduced to 20 technicians per cycle, and the quota for meat and dairy inspectors was reduced to 12.16
In May 1944, after the establishment of the preactivation system, the Medical Replacement Training Centers were redesignated as ASF (Army Service Forces) Training Centers to symbolize the transition to the new system.17 At this juncture, Camp Grant was one of three centers training troops for the Medical Department, and all were being taxed to provide a combined capacity of 50,000 trainees. When troop requirements were increased to 70,000 in mid-1944, Camp Grant was unable to provide facilities for further expansion. In June 1944, the medical training center began the process of transferring to Fort Lewis where additional training facilities were available. As classes graduated, buildings were closed, and the cadre and equipment were shipped to Fort Lewis. The last of the staff departed for Fort Lewis on 30 September 1944, and on 15 October, the center at Camp Grant was officially disbanded.18
16Annual Report, Medical Replacement Training
Center, Camp Grant, Ill., fiscal year 1943.
Fort Lewis, bordering on Puget Sound, was originally the home of the 3d Infantry Division. At the time the medical section of the ASF Training Center at Camp Grant moved to its new site, Fort Lewis housed a number of activities, including a Corps of Engineers training section. The surrounding terrain was flat, but wooded, and provided natural features well suited to a diversified training program. The weather was cold and fogs were frequent, but the climate did not seriously limit activities.
Troop housing and fixed training aids, however, posed special problems. At a conference at Fort Lewis on 1 July 1944, the capacity of the engineer training section was set at 18,000, and the medical training section was authorized a capacity of 30,000 trainees. Housing in north Fort Lewis was assigned to the Engineer Corps, and the medical training section was to occupy quarters, as required, in the southern and northeastern sections of the post. Quarters in south Fort Lewis, which housed approximately 60 percent of the medical training section, consisted of a few three-story, brick barracks of varying capacity; some one-story, hollow-tile barracks, with a capacity for 58 men each; and a large number of two-story, 63-man cantonment barracks. In northeast Fort Lewis, trainees were housed in one-story, theater-of-operations barracks with concrete floors.
Since these areas were separated by a distance of almost 4 miles, separate training facilities had to be constructed at both sites. Few fixed training aids existed in the areas assigned to the medical training section, and those available required extensive repairs. The problem was further complicated by the fact that the post engineer could not provide manpower for construction. Almost without exception, training aids were built by personnel from the medical training section, with the post engineer supplying only the material. Facilities constructed by the medical training section included classrooms for the common specialist schools and fixed training aids ranging from rifle and carbine ranges to bayonet courts, gas chambers, obstacle courses, and demonstration areas. In short, the medical training section had to build almost every facility required by the center except housing.
During the period that the center was being transferred from Camp Grant, the medical training section at Fort Lewis temporarily experienced a shortage of cadre. The initial cadre, consisting of 100 officers and 250 enlisted men, arrived at Fort Lewis between the fifth and 10th of June. Trainees began to arrive almost immediately, and within a month, more than 1,000 were enrolled. The first training cycle began shortly before the end of June. On 26 June, a contingent of 97 officers arrived from Camp Barkeley, followed still later by 70 officers from the Tank Destroyer School, Camp Hood, Tex., who were assigned to the center for 2 months to help set up the military training program. Cadre strength gradually increased throughout the summer of 1944 as instructors and overhead personnel were transferred from Camp Grant. By the beginning of October, the transfer was complete.
The medical training section at Fort Lewis reached its peak strength at the end of September 1944 when more than 24,000 enlisted men were being trained. Four general hospitals, the first table-of-organization units established at the center under the new system of training, were activated during the same month. After October 1944, the level of training activity at Fort Lewis gradually declined. Train-
ing continued on a reduced basis until February 1946, when the medical training section was notified that it would be transferred to Fort Sam Houston, Tex., to become part of Brooke Army Medical Center. The last unit was transferred late in March, and on 1 April 1946, the medical training section at Fort Lewis was officially closed.19
Camp Barkeley and Camp Crowder
Early in March 1941, while the Medical Replacement Training Centers at Camps Lee and Grant were still under construction, War Department General Staff, G-3, Operations and Training, began to prepare plans for expanding the Army to 2,800,000 men. Initially, The Surgeon General considered creating two new centers, one in central California, with a capacity of 6,000, and another in Texas, with a capacity of 8,000.20 A second study of training center requirements, prepared at the end of March, suggested expanding the capacity of Camp Lee, and the establishment of three new centers: One in Texas or Oklahoma with a capacity of 10,000; a second at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., with a capacity of 5,000; and a third on the west coast, with a capacity of approximately 4,200. Anticipating the possibility of further expansion, the War Department authorized the establishment of a third Medical Replacement Training Center with a capacity of 4,000 trainees at Camp Barkeley on 12 July 1941.
The new Medical Replacement Training Center was located 11 miles southwest of Abilene, Tex., approximately 120 miles north of the geographic center of the state. The main camp covered approximately 2,500 acres of land and was located at an altitude of 1,870 feet. Hills to the south and west, which were approximately 400 feet higher, contained over 58,000 acres of bivouac and maneuver areas. Combat ranges were located in a 9,400-acre tract to the west. The climate permitted training to continue throughout the year, although the absence of shade and continuous duststorms made the camp disagreeable during the spring and summer. At the time the center was being established, Camp Barkeley was also being used to train elements of the 45th Infantry Division.
During the early months of operation, the center at Camp Barkeley encountered problems similar to those experienced by other Medical Replacement Training Centers during their initial stages of mobilization. On 15 August, the War Department directed the commanding generals of the Medical Replacement Training Centers at Camps Lee and Grant to select a specified number of enlisted men and train them for cadre assignments at Camp Barkeley. These centers provided a total of 519 of the 640 enlisted men authorized for the new center, and the remainder were selected from trainees completing the basic training course. Officers selected for the center were sent to the Medical Field Service School, Carlisle Barracks, Pa. for special training in August 1941, and then assigned to Camp Grant for on-the-job
19(1) Remarks, Brig. Gen. James E. Baylis,
"Training Center Commander's Problems." In Notes. Army
Service Forces, 5th Training Conference, ASFTC, Camp Barkeley, Tex., 25
Oct. 1944. (2) History, Medical Training Section, Army Services Force Training
Center, Fort Lewis, Wash., June 1944 to March 1946.
FIGURE 22.-Camp Barkeley, Tex., December 1941.
training. Initially, this cadre proved adequate, but as the center began to grow, it reported a chronic shortage of staff.
The commanding general of the Medical Replacement Training Center, Brig. Gen. Roy C. Heflebower, reported at Camp Barkeley on 10 September, and on 1 November 1941, the center was officially activated. Heavy rains delayed construction, and when the first trainees arrived in mid-November, the building program was several weeks behind schedule. Despite cold, rainy weather, inoperative heating systems, and incomplete classrooms, the first training cycle began on 1 December. Since outdoor training was impractical, classes were held in the barracks, where men wrapped in overcoats sat on the floor. Trainees accepted these conditions with good spirits, however, since the first cycle coincided with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Construction was completed a few weeks after the beginning of the first cycle, but the initial shortage of individual, organizational, and training equipment proved more difficult to overcome. Although equipment provided by the Medical Department usually arrived on time, and in adequate quantities, other classes of equipment were usually in short supply. As late as June 1942, General Heflebower reported that the center was still awaiting supplies ordered in October 1941 and stated that: "In this connection there is one practice which is not only a cause for annoyance, but results in a waste of time and effort, as well as delay in the ultimate receipt of supplies. This is the return of requisitions by intermediate headquarters asking for explanation as to the need for certain items, or questioning the quantities
FIGURE 23.-Hutments used to house trainees at Camp Barkeley, Tex.
of these items requested, when the items appear on a table of allowance issued by the War Department."21
The facilities constructed at Camp Barkeley in the fall of 1941 were designed for the housing and training of 4,000 enlisted men. The original center, located in the northeastern section of the camp, contained standard two-story cantonment barracks and one-story general purpose buildings (fig. 22). In addition to standard barracks and administration buildings, each battalion quadrangle contained two large RB-1 classroom buildings and a large recreation hall. Other classroom buildings in the center were assigned to specialist schools.
Early in 1942, wartime growth began to produce a shortage of quarters and classrooms. When the capacity of the center was increased from 4,000 to 7,600 in February 1942, the additional trainees were housed in an adjacent hutment area previously occupied by the 158th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division. The one-story 15-man hutments (fig. 23) provided adequate housing, and trainees seemed to prefer these quarters to the more modern, two-story barracks. As classrooms, however, these long, narrow buildings with their low ceilings were totally unsatisfactory. The lack of essential classrooms and training aids in this area, and the assignment of similar facilities at Camp Robinson, Ark., brought forth an official protest from The Surgeon General. Expressing a belief that these expedients might jeopardize the Medical Department's chances of obtaining permanent facilities, The Surgeon General warned the Director of Training, ASF, that this places "the Medical Department in the position of qualifying trainees toward
21Annual Report, Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Barkeley, Tex., fiscal year 1942.
mediocrity rather than balanced training, due to the fact that administrative and occupational specialists cannot be properly trained."22
The shortage of housing and facilities was aggravated at the end of June 1942 when the center was again ordered to double its capacity. The initial plans for housing the additional 7,000 trainees provided that two battalions would be located to the north of the center in hutments vacated by the 45th Infantry Division, and the remaining five battalions would be placed in a tent camp that was to be erected to the southeast of the original center. Before the tent camp could be completed, however, plans were altered to convert it into a hutment area capable of housing all 7,000 trainees. As a result of changes and delays, this area was not completed in time to house the center's increasing capacity. The additional trainees had to be quartered wherever space was available, often in tents at the construction site, and battalions had to be moved repeatedly to permit the construction of hutments. The problem was further complicated by the expansion of the special training unit which was supposed to contain approximately 350 men but grew to a strength of about 2,000. The center was unable to provide any of the special facilities required for their training. Construction in the hutment area was not completed until January 1943.
Classroom facilities in the new hutment area were barely adequate. When the area was being planned, the center recommended that classrooms be provided at a ratio of one large classroom and two small rooms per battalion and that an additional classroom be provided for the Cooks and Bakers School. It gained approval, however, to construct only 15 small buildings (20 by 136 feet) and four large ones (one RB-1 and three RB-2 buildings). The larger buildings were capable of seating two companies for a lecture or film and one for a demonstration or practical exercise. A company could be squeezed into the smaller classrooms, but the buildings were so long and narrow, and the ceilings so low, that they were little better than hutments.
Camp Barkeley, the first Medical Replacement Training Center to be relieved of its exempted status, was placed under service command control in December 1942.23 In August 1943, as Camp Pickett was being closed, the training center at Camp Barkeley was assigned responsibility for training Negro troops. During the following year, the number of Negro trainees assigned to the center varied between 1,000 and 1,400. In March 1944, Camp Barkeley was again expanded, this time to a capacity of more than 17,000 trainees. The camp again reported a shortage of housing and serious overcrowding, but no further construction was authorized. In April 1944, the Medical Replacement Training Center was incorporated into the preactivation system and designated an ASF Training Center. The capacity of the center, including units, replacements, and preactivation fillers, was increased to 37,150. The additional trainees were housed in quarters vacated by units of the Army Ground Forces.24
22Memorandum, The Surgeon General for Brig.
Gen. C. R. Huebner, Training Division, Services of Supply, 25 Mar. 1942,
subject: Temporary Increase in Training Facilities at Medical Replacement
Training Center, Camp Grant, Ill.
When Medical Department training requirements began to decline late in 1944, Camp Barkeley was gradually phased out of the program. In September, the training load was reduced to 24,894, followed in November by a cut of 10,000. As training requirements declined still further, the Army Service Forces decided to consolidate the center at Camp Barkeley with the Signal Corps training center at Camp Crowder. The transfer took place between the 11th and 17th of March, and on 1 April, the center was officially closed. Training at Camp Crowder continued on a reduced scale until early 1946 when the Medical Replacement Training Center was finally deactivated.25
Camp Joseph T. Robinson
By the time the fourth Medical Replacement Training Center was authorized on 20 December 1941, experience gained at Camps Lee and Grant provided the answers to many problems of center activation. The rolling, wooded plateau occupied by Camp Joseph T. Robinson, site of the new center, was ideally suited for basic enlisted training. Trees were scattered throughout the center, and the thick woods surrounding the camp provided areas for outdoor classrooms (fig. 24), field problems, and bivouacs. The sandy soil dried quickly after rains, and the climate permitted year-round training without hardship to trainees.
FIGURE 24.-Open-air classrooms used extensively at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Ark.
25Annual Report, Army Service Forces Training Center, Camp Crowder, Mo., for period 1 July 1945 through 26 Feb. 1946.
The area assigned to the medical training center had formerly been occupied by artillery, engineer, and quartermaster units of the 35th Infantry Division. Hard-surfaced roads, gravel walks, and gravel- or clay-surfaced drill fields had been constructed, and there were enough gas-heated, one-story buildings to provide each company with its own messhall, dayroom, and classroom, and each battalion with a recreation building, branch camp exchange, officers' club, and infirmary. Each company was also provided with one outdoor classroom. Since the units for which the area was originally constructed varied in size, the organization and strength of training units had to be adapted to existing utilities. This, however, proved only a minor inconvenience.
On 9 January 1942, an advance party of officers reported at Camp Robinson and began setting up the center. By 15 January, when the center was activated, departments were organized, buildings were allotted, and supplies were being requisitioned. About 50 percent of the initial officer cadre arrived on the day the center was activated, along with a complement of enlisted cadre sent by Camp Lee. Enlisted cadre from Camps Grant and Barkeley reported a few days later. The first contingent of trainees arrived on 4 February 1942, and by 23 February, 5,508 men were enrolled for training.
The first trainees were housed in tents and shifted to hutments as rapidly as they could be constructed. By 15 August 1942, the transition had been completed. A steady stream of supplies and equipment flowed into the center, allowing training to proceed without interruption. Aside from needing more vehicles to perform routine administrative duties, such as drawing rations and distributing supplies, the center did not report any major problems.
Between February 1942 and October 1943, seven training cycles were completed at Camp Robinson. The center reached its peak capacity on 23 July 1942 when it was authorized to enroll approximately 7,000 trainees per cycle. During the following year, enrollment ranged between 5,000 and 7,000. On 24 June 1943, the center was notified that it was to be phased out of the program. On 14 October 1943, after the last battalion graduated, the Medical Replacement Training Center at Camp Robinson was officially deactivated.26
On 1 February 1943, Camp Ellis was activated and designated as an ASF unit training center. Initially, the post served as a center for training units of the Quartermaster Corps, the Corps of Engineers, the Signal Corps, and the Medical Department. After the preactivation system was established, Camp Ellis also served briefly as a replacement training center. Under the new program, medical trainees assigned to Ellis were assigned to the 30th, 31st, and 32d Medical Training Regiments for 6 weeks of basic military training under ASF programs at facilities controlled by the post commander. After completing this phase, they were transferred to the 28th and 29th Medical Training Regiments, activated on 23 June 1944 under
26(1) Annual Report, Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Ark., fiscal year 1942. (2) Annual Report, Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Ark., fiscal year 1943.
the control of the medical group, for technical and tactical training under Medical Department programs. On 10 November 1944, the 28th Medical Training Regiment was disbanded, followed on 16 December by the 29th. During this period, the two units were each able to complete two 8-week training cycles, and a total of 15,531 men were trained.27
MOBILIZATION TRAINING PROGRAMS
From the beginning of limited mobilization to the end of World War II, nine major mobilization training programs governed the training of Medical Department enlisted men.28 As the war changed complexion and generated fresh requirements, the length, scope, and mission of basic training programs had to be adjusted to strike a new balance between objectives and resources, and incorporate the lessons of combat.
Mobilization Training Program No. 8-1 (9 September 1940)
When war broke out in Europe in September 1939, Medical Department basic training was governed by a program issued in 1935 for use by medical regiments supporting infantry divisions. As the war in Europe intensified, the Medical Department began to prepare a program for enlisted training, and on 9 September 1940, MTP (Mobilization Training Program) No. 8-1 was published.29 In contrast to its predecessor, the program provided guidelines not only for training units but also for training individuals who were destined to become fillers in newly activated units. This combination of unit and individual training was designed to meet the requirements of an expanding army in which field medical units needed to support newly activated combat divisions, as well as training centers, would be receiving raw recruits and draftees.
Under MTP No. 8-1, enlisted men were to receive 13 weeks of basic training. As in the plan of 1935, the training cycle was divided into two phases: The first, a period of basic military training; and the second, a period of basic technical and tactical training. After 2 weeks of basic military training at the beginning of the cycle, the trainee was expected to be able to display and care for his uniform and equipment, to understand military courtesy, and to have acquired a fundamental knowledge of such basic military subjects as individual defense and march discipline.
The third to 13th weeks of the program were devoted to basic technical and tactical training. Training in basic military subjects continued, but after the second week of the cycle, the program stressed basic technical subjects that would
27Annual History of Headquarters Medical Group
for 1944, 1644th Service Unit, Camp Ellis, Ill..
FIGURE 25.-Trainees set up and operate an aid station as part of their tactical training at Camp Grant, Ill.
prepare men either for specific duties or for further training at a medical unit or installation (fig. 25). During this period, men were also trained to march and execute tactical movements, to establish and operate battalion or regimental dispensaries, and to maneuver with the combat arms in the field.
At the same time, men selected to become common or administrative specialists were trained at schools established at a center. The range of common specialists to be trained was limited to clerks, mess sergeants, and cooks. The program was vague as to the means by which common specialists would be trained and the amount of training required. Commanders were simply notified that a training requirement existed and were allowed a high degree of autonomy in establishing procedures.
Individuals qualified to be trained as technicians were selected at the end of the fourth, eighth, and 12th week of the cycle and sent to Medical Department special service schools or to enlisted technician schools for 8 to 12 weeks of technical training.
Since the first increments of trainees sent to Medical Replacement Training Centers were earmarked for assignment to specific units, the centers organized them in groups that could be provided with special training. Trainees being ordered to numbered general hospitals, for example, were assigned to one battalion, and
FIGURE 26.-Class for clerk-typists at a common specialists school, Camp Pickett, Va.
those being assigned to numbered station hospitals or evacuation hospitals were assigned to still other battalions. Through this kind of grouping, battalion commanders were able to tailor the program to the trainee's assignment.
Mobilization Training Program No. 8-5 (5 August 1941)
By mid-1941, the Medical Department was able to turn its attention from the training of selectees earmarked for units activated under the limited mobilization of September 1940 to the training of individual fillers and replacements. On 5 August 1941, the program issued in September 1940 was superseded by MTP No. 8-5, which focused exclusively on the training of individuals. The new program retained the 13-week cycle, and provided 2 weeks of basic military training, 8 weeks of basic technical training, and 3 weeks of basic tactical training. These periods remained essentially unchanged. There were slight variations in the number of hours allotted to each subject but none of major significance.
In contrast to its predecessor, MTP No. 8-5 emphasized the training of common and administrative specialists. In addition to training clerks (fig. 26), cooks, and mess sergeants, centers were authorized to provide courses for shipping and
FIGURE 27.-A class for motor mechanics at Camp Barkeley, Tex., in 1943.
receiving clerks, supply sergeants, bandsmen, truckmasters, mechanics (fig. 27), truckdrivers, and motorcyclists. Common specialties were more clearly defined, and training procedures for specialists were more precisely formulated. The program also authorized the centers to provide special training for junior medical and surgical technicians (fig. 28). Such technicians were to be trained to fill an intermediate level of specialization between basic medical soldiers and the graduates of enlisted technicians schools. Soldiers trained through these programs were not considered eligible for a rating higher than fifth class.
Mobilization Training Program No. 8-5 (17 November 1941)
The accelerated pace of unit activation in the fall of 1941, after Congress voted to extend the tours of men on active duty and continue selective service for an additional year, produced a demand for basic soldiers and common specialists beyond the capacity of existing training centers. This demand could be filled in one of two ways: by expanding existing centers and activating new ones; or by shortening the
FIGURE 28.-Unrated surgical technicians view a demonstration of operating room procedures with a simulated patient during training conducted by the Medical Training Section, Fort Lewis, Wash., in 1944.
training cycle. In November 1941, the Army adopted both techniques. On 1 November, the third Medical Replacement Training Center was activated at Camp Barkeley, and on 17 November, a new mobilization training program was put into effect which shortened the training cycle to 11 weeks. As in previous programs, 2 weeks were allotted for basic military training, and 3 weeks for basic tactical training. The time devoted to technical training, however, was reduced from 8 to 6 weeks. The reduction was achieved by decreasing the time devoted to each subject in the program.
Mobilization Training Program No. 8-5 (2 January 1942)
The pace of unit activation was even further accelerated after the United States entered World War II. To meet the demand for trained medical soldiers and common specialists, the fourth Medical Replacement Training Center was activated at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, and the capacity of existing centers was expanded. At the same time, the period of basic training for fillers and replacements was reduced to 8 weeks. Under the 8-week training program, Medical Replacement Training Centers continued to provide recruits with 2 weeks of basic military training, but the technical training phase was shortened from 6 to 4 weeks, and the tactical
phase was reduced by a week. Specifically, the program was shortened by decreasing the time devoted to subjects such as interior guard, drill, marches and bivouacs, physical conditioning, anatomy and physiology, field sanitation, medical aid, night combat, and the technical and tactical employment of arms.
Mobilization Training Program No. 8-5 (1 August 1943)
Between January 1942 and August 1943, two additional programs governed basic training at Medical Replacement Training Centers.30 The first, issued on 15 November 1942, when the pace of unit activations was beginning to decline, returned the centers to an 11-week training cycle. The second, published on 12 May 1943, restored an additional week to the program.
While these changes were taking place, the Allied war effort moved from the defensive to limited offensives in North Africa and the South Pacific, and combat tests of the training provided Medical Department enlisted men produced changes in organization and doctrine. On 1 August 1943, when training requirements were
FIGURE 29.-Trainees negotiating the obstacle course at Camp Pickett, Va., under live machinegun fire.
30(1) Mobilization Training Program No. 8-5, 15 Nov. 1942. (2) Mobilization Training Program No. 8-5, 12 May 1943.
at an ebb, a new training program was published that reflected both the reduced demand for fillers and lessons learned in combat.
Under the new program, trainees were provided with 17 weeks of basic training: 6 weeks of basic military training, followed by 8 weeks of technical and tactical training, and 3 weeks of intensive field training. Experience in the theater was reflected by the addition of subjects such as hand-to-hand combat, demolition, boobytraps and mines, infiltration, village fighting, and knots and lashings. Commanders were urged to move trainees into the field whenever possible and to train them under simulated combat conditions (fig. 29).
Mobilization Training Program No. 8-1 (1 June 1944)
On 15 April 1944, training centers under the jurisdiction of Army Service Forces were revamped to shift emphasis from training fillers for newly activated units to providing replacements for units in the theater.31 Before this revision, ASF medical units were activated wherever adequate housing and training facilities were available. While units were supposed to be assigned fillers who were graduates of replacement training centers, they were frequently required to provide basic training for a few who were shipped directly from reception centers. This burden grew heavier after October 1943, when the capacity of the Medical Replacement Training Centers was reduced to the point that only replacements could be trained. By this time, Camps Pickett and Robinson had been deactivated, and the flow of trainees through Camps Barkeley and Grant was reduced to a prescribed number of replacements. Medical Replacement Training Centers could no longer serve as "feeder belts" providing trained enlisted men to newly activated units, and units were required to assume almost the entire burden of conducting basic military and technical training.
In April 1944, the Army Service Forces attempted to eliminate this problem by transforming Medical Replacement Training Centers into ASF Training Centers. Under their new designation, training centers were to act as "collecting points" for the training of all medical personnel and units and as "pools" providing units with trained enlisted men.
The men assigned to the center for basic training were to include the following: Selectees from reception centers, surplus personnel from service command or Zone of Interior installations, surplus personnel from table-of-organization units and deactivated units, designated personnel from the Army Specialized Training Program, men from War Department reassignment centers who required retraining, and unassigned personnel from ASF schools and general hospitals. ASF Training Centers, in turn, were to train these men for assignment as loss replacements, rotational replacements, cadre, and fillers for ASF table-of-organization units and Zone of Interior installations. Centers were required to keep 95 percent of their trainees available for assignment as replacements. Whenever the number available fell below 95 percent of the input allotment, enlisted men being trained for other purposes had to be reassigned.
31Army Service Forces Circular No. 104, 15 Apr. 1944.
On 1 May 1944, the Army Service Forces issued MTP No. 21-3 which governed the training of all male enlisted personnel under its jurisdiction. The ASF program continued the 17-week cycle established by MTP No. 8-1 on 1 August 1943: 6 weeks of basic military training, followed by 8 weeks of basic tactical and technical instruction, and concluded by 3 weeks of basic team training. For the first time, however, the programs controlling basic military training, and the technical training of nonmedical common specialists, were standardized throughout the Army Service Forces. In sum, the Army Service Forces took over the responsibility for writing training programs for common specialists such as mechanics, drivers, and cooks, and the Medical Department was limited to writing programs for such medical specialists as sanitary and veterinary technicians. The framework of documents governing the system was completed when a Medical Department program for the training of units and medical common specialists was published on 1 June 1944.32
Under the standardized basic program prescribed by Army Service Forces, Medical Department enlisted men were required to participate in 96 hours of training in the use of weapons, including the rifle, the carbine, the bayonet, and grenades.33 Field training was increasingly emphasized, and commanders were urged to conduct as many night exercises as possible. During the last year of the war, emphasis was placed on conditions likely to be encountered in the Pacific, and information from that theater was made available to all training centers, regardless of whether it conformed to doctrine.34
After completing their basic military training, most enlisted men were required to participate in some form of technical training. The new system, however, had greater flexibility than the one it replaced. Men who were disqualified for overseas assignment were given as much basic military and technical training as they were capable of absorbing, and those who possessed usable occupational skills could be assigned appropriate duties after their basic military training. Men selected for training as enlisted technicians, who formerly would have been assigned to a unit or installation after graduating from Medical Department Enlisted Technicians Schools, were returned to the training center and credited with completing the technical phase of instruction.35 At the end of this phase, all men were required to complete 3 weeks of unit or team training.
While the program at ASF Training Centers was established primarily to train enlisted replacements, it was also used to guide the training of fillers and cadre for Medical Department units being activated under ASF control. Men earmarked as fillers and cadre were separated from the basic training program at the end of the 14th week of the cycle, along with men who had completed their training for enlisted technicians schools, and assigned to units scheduled for activation at the centers. When such units were activated, they were required to complete 3 weeks of field training comparable to the team training phase of the replacement program,
32Mobilization Training Program No. 8-1, 1
and 3 weeks of special unit training. Because of its special provisions for training units, the program was commonly referred to as "preactivation training" or the "preactivation system."
As the war entered its final phases, the program at ASF Training Centers was revised to provide even greater flexibility. Medical sections of ASF Training Centers were receiving enlisted men from a variety of sources, and constant adjustments were necessary to provide each man with training suited to his needs. Enlisted men sent to medical training centers from other arms or services, for example, usually did not need to repeat the basic military phase of the program. By the same token, many Medical Department technicians who were being sent overseas as loss replacements after long periods of service in the Zone of Interior needed only military and team training. These were only minor problems, however, compared to those encountered in the retraining of enlisted men who were returning from duty overseas. Frequently, such men had more experience than their instructors and were inclined to take a dim view of anything that smacked of basic training.
On 5 February 1945, the War Department took an important step toward increasing the flexibility of the system by urging commanders at all echelons to give personal attention to the training and assignment of men who had returned from the theaters. Commanders were reminded of their responsibility for evaluating the background, experience, and physical and mental capacity of enlisted men before committing them to a program of training. In addition, the War Department made it clear that soldiers with combat experience did not automatically have to satisfy requirements written into programs for newly inducted trainees. Men who had been returned to the Zone of Interior for redeployment were to be trained separately from inexperienced replacements, so they would not feel that they were repeating basic training.
Mobilization Training Program No. 8-1 (15 April 1945)
Special retraining programs for enlisted men were formally established by a revised basic military training program published by the Army Service Forces on 10 March 1945 and by a Medical Department technical and team training program issued on 15 April.36 Under these procedures, ASF Training Centers were required to screen the records of men sent for retraining and evaluate each individual's qualifications. Men who had completed mobilization training at an Army Service Forces or AGF (Army Ground Forces) training center, or who had participated in redeployment training within 6 months before being transferred to the Army Service Forces, were exempted from further basic military training. Men who could not satisfy these qualifications, and those who had been trained at AAF (Army Air Forces) training centers, were required to complete basic military refresher courses. The qualifications of men from both groups were then evaluated to determine whether they should be retained at the center for technical and team training, or
36(1) Mobilization Training Program No. 8-1, 15 Apr. 1945. (2) Mobilization Training Program No. 21-4, 10 Mar. 1945.
assigned directly to a unit or Zone of Interior installation. The program for newly inducted trainees remained unchanged.
The revised mobilization training programs also allowed the Medical Department to regain control over the training of all its common specialists. Courses for these specialists, and all other enlisted men trained by the Medical Department, were refocused to prepare trainees for service in the Pacific theater. Special training was provided, for example, in the prevention and control of tropical diseases such as malaria, dengue, filariasis, typhus, and plague. Periods were also set aside for instruction in subjects such as the protection of equipment from moisture and fungus, stream crossing, and the identification of Japanese uniforms and equipment. Emphasis on realism, field experience, and night training reached its wartime peak.
By the end of World War II, a highly flexible and refined system had been developed for training Medical Department enlisted men. Training cycles could be lengthened or shortened to meet the demand of the moment, and course content could be adjusted to meet the needs of the theater. Individual and unit training had been linked together under the preactivation system, and many of the problems of unit activation had been minimized. Finally, a working system was developed for retraining men who were being rotated to and from the Zone of Interior.
TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR ARMY AIR FORCES ENLISTED PERSONNEL
Until the reorganization of the War Department in 1942, enlisted medical personnel serving in the Army Air Corps received their basic training at Medical Replacement Training Centers along with men scheduled for assignment to all other components of the Army. Requisitions for personnel required by Army Air Corps units and installations were submitted to the War Department, which allocated the output of centers on the basis of need. In November 1941, for example, the Chief of Staff approved a plan that required the Medical Department to provide the Army Air Corps with 11,282 white and 844 Negro medical soldiers by the end of February 1942. Approximately two-thirds of these men were to be provided by Medical Replacement Training Centers, and the balance were to be reassigned from medical units.37
During the reorganization of 1942, responsibility for training men assigned to ASWAAF (Arms and Services With the Army Air Forces) was transferred to the Air Forces. For several months after the reorganization, the War Department assigned arms and services personnel trained by the Army Service Forces to the Army Air Forces by redesignating replacements who were not needed in the theater as fillers. Army Service Forces could not hope to fill AAF requirements through this system, however, since the War Department refused to allow further expansion of its already strained facilities, and the Air Forces would not allow trainees earmarked for Army Air Forces to be diverted through ASF centers. By August 1942, Army Air Forces was reporting a shortage of more than 97,000 ASWAAF fillers. When the Chief of Staff of the Army Air Forces, Maj. Gen. (later Lt. Gen.) George
37Memorandum, Lt. Col. C. H. Karlstad, GSC, Chief, Mobilization Branch, for Chief, Operations Branch, 26 Nov, 1941, subject: Personnel for Arms and Services with the Army Air Forces.
1Basically trained Medical Department enlisted
E. Stratemeyer, complained to War Department General Staff, G-3, on 3 October 1942, that Army Service Forces had failed to provide Army Air Forces with an adequate number of enlisted men, and demanded authority to establish AAF training programs for arms and services personnel, the Director of Training, ASF, pointed out that such training had been an Air Forces responsibility for more than 5 months, and agreed that Army Air Forces should, indeed, establish training programs.38 For the remainder of the war, medical soldiers serving with the Army Air Forces were provided with basic training centers under adaptations of technical training programs designed by the Medical Department. The Surgeon General continued to coordinate all training policies, plans, and activities within Army Service Forces, Army Ground Forces, and Army Air Forces, and to train replacements and fillers for Army Ground Forces and Army Service Forces.39
38(1) Memorandum, Maj. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer,
Chief of the Army Air Forces, for Chief of Staff, 3 Oct. 1942, subject:
Assumption of Responsibility for Training ASWAAF Personnel by AAF. (2)
Memorandum, Brig. Gen. C. R. Huebner, Director of Training, Services of
Supply, for Commanding General, Army Air Forces, 7 Oct. 1942, subject:
Assumption for Training ASWAAF by the AAF.
CHART 3.-Periods of training, Medical Replacement Training Centers, 1941-46
Source: Goodman, Samuel M.: Charts on Emergency Training Agencies and Courses. Volume X. [Official record.]
OUTPUT OF MEDICAL REPLACEMENT TRAINING CENTERS
The rate at which the Medical Department was able to train fillers and replacements was governed by three major factors: (1) The supply of trainees provided by induction centers; (2) the combined capacity of the centers per cycle, usually expressed in terms of housing; and (3) the length of the training cycle. In the course of World War II, each of these factors had to be adjusted to enable the Medical Department to meet War Department training quotas. For more than a year after the first training centers were established, for example, Medical Replacement Training Centers were unable to come to capacity training levels because reception centers could not fill their quotas. The trainees who were shipped were usually behind schedule, producing a lag between cycles and idle capacity.40 It was not until mid-1942 that training centers reported a relatively constant flow of inductees from the reception centers.
The output of Medical Replacement Training Centers was most frequently altered by adjustments in the length of the training cycle. Output per cycle could be increased only by providing additional facilities, and construction could not keep pace with demand. By shortening the training cycle, however, the War Department could increase the number of cycles in any given period.
The interaction of physical capacity and cycle length can be illustrated by a comparison of the Medical Department's annual training capacity in mid-1942
40Annual Report, Medical Replacement Training Center, Camp Grant, Ill., fiscal year 1941.
CHART 4.-Length of training cycles, Medical Replacement Training Centers, 1940-46
SOURCE: Goodman, Samuel M.: The Training of Replacements, Fillers, and Cadres, 1939-1945. Volume V. [Official record]
and mid-1943. On 30 June 1942, Medical Replacement Training Centers had a combined capacity for training 36,000 enlisted men every 10 weeks, or an annual capacity for training 187,200.41 By June 1943, these centers were capable of training more than 44,349 enlisted men per cycle. At this point, however, the length of the cycle had been increased by 4 weeks, and the annual capacity was reduced to 164,091.42 The reverse effect was produced whenever the cycle was shortened. The annual output of training centers, the length of the training cycle, and the centers in operation during World War II are illustrated in table 10 and charts 3 and 4.
Three parallel trends are evident in the development of procedures for training Medical Department soldiers: ever greater "realism," increased emphasis on the principle of "learning by doing," and continuous growth in the amount of time devoted to field problems. These trends developed, in part, through changes in the mobilization training programs, but they were shaped as well by developments at the Medical Replacement Training Centers and the Office of The Surgeon General.
Changes in the mobilization training programs guiding the training of enlisted men provide an index to trends in Medical Department training procedures. The first mobilization training programs did not set aside an unbroken period for field exercises. Subjects included in the tactical phase of training were simply enumerated, and the individual training centers were allowed to determine how and where the subjects would be taught.43
41Annual Report, Training Division, Operations
Service, Office of The Surgeon General, fiscal year 1942.
The concept of a tactical training period "largely devoted to field and applicatory exercises" began to develop when a Medical Department mobilization training program issued in November 1941 set aside 3 weeks for field training.44 A second stage in the development of the concept was produced by a training program published in August 1943, which merged tactical training with technical and logistical training, and lengthened the training cycle to 17 weeks by the addition of a 3-week "field training period" at the end of basic training. During this period, men were required to apply their newly acquired skills under "field and simulated war conditions," and the program directed that "where practicable and facilities permit, the soldier should be moved into the field and should live under field conditions * * *."45
These concepts provided only limited guidance, however, and Medical Replacement Training Centers frequently pioneered the development of methods that were later incorporated into the mobilization training programs. One of the first steps was taken at Camp Lee, where a specially designed orientation program dramatically presented the mission of the Medical Department to trainees a few days after their arrival. Unaware of their destination, trainees were marched under cover of darkness to a natural amphitheater in the woods, where they watched the staging of a mock battle in which aidmen moved forward to treat simulated casualties. Sound effects were provided by dynamite blasts and amplified recordings of bombs, artillery, and small arms fire, and while the cast played its part, a narrator indoctrinated trainees in the combat mission of medical soldiers.46 When Camp Robinson adopted this technique, attacks by low flying aircrafts and chemical attacks with smoke and tear gas were added to the simulated battle conditions. Camp Robinson also constructed an infiltration course before one was required in medical programs, so that trainees could practice emergency treatment and evacuation of casualties under enemy observation and fire.47
The emphasis on field training was carried still further at Camp Barkeley in 1942 and 1943, when each battalion was required to complete a 5-day field exercise at the end of the training cycle. During this period, the battalion marched to a maneuver area, set up field kitchens, slept in shelter tents, and functioned as regimental medical detachments, or as medical battalions responsible for operating aid stations, collecting stations, and clearing stations. Simulated casualties of all types were used to provide experience in diagnosis, treatment, and the transportation of patients in the field. Emphasis was placed on the selection of sites; camouflage; cover and concealment; individual security; defense against air, mechanized, chemical, and airborne attacks; the care and handling of equipment; and personal hygiene and sanitation. During the course of the problem, trainees were rotated so that each man assisted in the operation of each type of station. All trainees, whether they were basic medical soldiers or common specialists such as motor mechanics, chauffeurs, and cooks, were required to participate in the exercise.48
44See footnote 28 (3), p. 189.
Wartime trends in technique reached their culmination on 15 April 1945, when the final program of the war was published. The new program denied training centers any latitude in deciding whether the "field training period" would actually be spent in the field, and eliminated escape clauses such as "where practicable and facilities permit." The last 3 weeks of the 17-week cycle were set aside for "team training," and the program directed that "the trainees [would] be bivouacked in the field during the 3 weeks' team training and [would not] be quartered in a permanent camp except in emergency."49 The program also required a minimum of four moves to new bivouac sites, with two being made at night. Instructors were urged to make every aspect of the problem realistic, and surprise air, gas, and mechanized attacks were required. At least one of these attacks had to result in an emergency movement to an alternate bivouac area that had been mined and booby trapped by an advance party.
Improvisation in the use of field expedients was particularly stressed. Trainees were required to mess on emergency field rations for at least 48 hours, and dehydrated foods were prepared for other meals. During these periods, the unit was not allowed to operate a field mess. Maneuvers were not to be halted merely because they interfered with a scheduled meal. Trainees were expected to perform for long periods under continuous pressure and to exert maximum effort for short periods.
To produce these effects, a master field problem encompassing the medical support of an infantry division was incorporated into the training program. The problem was designed for one training battalion and required a maneuver area with sufficient depth and frontage to permit the installation of medical units performing first and second echelon evacuation. During the first of four phases of the problem, one company of the training battalion acted as infantry, while a second played the part of medical detachments supporting infantry regiments. A third company was cast in the role of a collecting company, and the fourth acted as a clearing company. Each training company was called upon to select sites, set up its equipment, and function as it would in combat. At the end of each period, the companies were rotated, and the trainees changed jobs, so that every man would have an opportunity to practice a job in each unit. Specialists such as mechanics, truckdrivers, clerks, and medical technicians performed the job for which they were being trained.
At the beginning of the problem, the unit received a complete written field order covering the first period of operation. Trainees were then marched from the camp to bivouac areas under simulated combat conditions. Front and rear guards were posted, and march discipline was enforced. The problem opened with an attack in which trainees became simulated casualties and were given emergency medical treatment by other trainees acting as company aidmen. Treatment at this echelon consisted of controlling hemorrhage, treating shock, applying improvised or issued splints, bandaging, giving plasma, and preparing slings. Litter bearers then evacuated casualties to the battalion aid station where they were checked and given additional treatment. After treatment, records were initiated, and casualties were sorted for further evacuation. Collecting company litter bearers evacuated casualties to a collecting station, where more elaborate treatment was provided,
49Mobilization Training Program No. 8-1, 15 Apr. 1945.
FIGURE 30.-See legend on opposite page.
FIGURE 30.-Trainees at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Ark., learn to evacuate wounded men from tanks by practicing on wooden models.
and the system of property exchange was put into operation. After being treated at the collecting station, casualties were evacuated by ambulance to a clearing station, where additional treatment was provided, and mock surgical operations were performed. After additional records had been initiated and an emergency medical tag had been filled out, the problem was terminated.
While the maneuver was in progress, instructors were required to provide close supervision and make on-the-spot corrections of errors. Trainees were expected to handle casualties by approved techniques and to use field expedients whenever patients had to be transported over difficult terrain. Commanders were encouraged to add any difficulty they thought might be encountered in combat to the program.
The use of training aids to provide vicarious experience grew apace with emphasis on "realism" and "learning by doing." In the early years of the war, training centers had to rely almost exclusively on their own resources. Higher authorities usually confined themselves to preparing manuals and rationing supplies needed for the program. Medicines and equipment were in such short supply that the pace of training could often be maintained only by rotating them between battalions. Training sets were few in number, and those that were issued to the centers frequently had to be adapted to uses for which they were not originally intended.
Under these conditions, centers had to devise their own training aids. Every center contained a carpentry shop and an art shop that could be turned to the task, and these shops produced a wide range of devices, some of which were later perfected and issued as standard training equipment. At Camp Lee, for example, skilled enlisted men made plaster casts of the body, and painted them to show all types of fractures and injuries. Cross-sectional models were similarly constructed to show the location of muscles and organs. Store mannequins were used to depict war scenes, and puppet shows were occasionally used to illustrate lessons in military courtesy. At some centers, miniature battlefields were constructed to demonstrate the deployment of medical installations in combat. Murals designed to impress the medical soldier with the importance of his mission were painted in dayrooms, recreation buildings, and other areas where trainees gathered, and posters were used to reinforce this indirect indoctrination. Terrain features such as streams and lakes were employed not only to train men in methods of transporting the wounded over water barriers but also to train them in the use of landing nets and in methods for boarding and disembarking from transport vessels.50 Mock hospital trains, tanks (fig. 30), and C-47's were also constructed at the centers to provide equipment for training in the evacuation and transportation of the wounded.
In mid-1942, the Surgeon General's Office began to take a more active role in the development of training aids. A set of three-dimensional training aids and rubber moulages designed by the Training Division were used extensively to orient trainees to the wounds they would encounter in combat. The Training Division also made a large number of graphic materials available, including training films, filmstrips, and still prints, and a series of sketches on first aid.51 When medical supplies became available for training purposes, the Training Division recommended that first aid packets be distributed to enlisted men so that exercises in the use of the packet could be incorporated into all basic training programs. By the end of the war, the Surgeon General's Office had also developed a training set for use in teaching the administration of blood plasma and a simulated morphine Syrette.
By mid-1944, when the Medical Replacement Training Centers were integrated into ASF Training Centers, the supply of training equipment had increased to the point that units undergoing preactivation training could be provided with a substantial portion of the equipment they would use in the theater of operations. Individuals and units were no longer trained to use equipment they saw only in diagrams. At each center, a field hospital was permanently set up for use in demonstrations, and on two occasions, hospital trains were routed through the centers so they could be examined by trainees.52 During the last year of the war, training aids were available to supplement almost every phase of instruction.
CADRE AND STAFF TRAINING
Medical Replacement Training Centers were plagued by cadre problems throughout World War II. Inadequate numbers, lack of training, the loss of quali-
50See footnotes 8, p. 175; 16, p. 181; and
26 (2), p. 188.
fied instructors to other units, and frequent expansion and contraction of the training program combined to create a seemingly unending personnel problem. Prewar plans provided little guidance. The Surgeon General's Protective Mobilization Plan of 1939, for example, placed a higher priority on assigning cadres to newly activated units than to training centers, and then made the centers responsible for cadre training.53 With the onset of mobilization, the shortcomings of prewar planning came sharply into focus.
The pioneer centers established at Camps Lee and Grant early in 1941 ran headlong into the problem of creating a training staff. A majority of the officers sent to Camp Lee had attended a monthlong refresher course at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., before their arrival at the center, but their preparation proved inadequate to qualify them either as instructors or as commanders of training units. Few Regular Army officers had either commanded units or trained green troops, and the preparation of most of the Reserve officers assigned to the center was limited to ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps), correspondence courses, and an occasional 2 weeks at summer camp.54
The first group of officers assigned to Camp Lee so unsettled Colonel Hawley, the Director of Training, that 5 days before the first shipment of trainees was due to arrive, he fired off a tart letter to the Training Division, Surgeon General's Office, stating that "if the new officers have no more experience and training than the ones just sent us, they will be utterly worthless for at least one month. The Surgeon General's Office could help a little by getting this green material in as early as possible so that we can do something with it before the selectees arrive."55 The commanding general of Camp Grant, after encountering similar problems, stated flatly that "without exception, company commanders were unqualified for their work." Both centers established special cadre schools to indoctrinate officers in the fundamentals of instruction and responsibilities of leadership. At Camp Grant, however, weather closed in before the center opened, confining the school to indoor instruction.
If the Medical Department was hard pressed to furnish qualified training officers, it found it even more difficult to provide enlisted training cadre. War Department mobilization plans gave the formation of tactical units priority over the training of selectees, and the few Medical Department enlisted men who had received military training before the war had been assigned to newly activated units. Frequently, Medical Replacement Training Centers appeared to be taking the leftovers. The enlisted men sent to Camps Lee and Grant as cadre were supposed to have been trained, but they were described by the commanding general of Camp Grant as "a conglomerate mass" and a "pitiful group."56 Both centers attempted to train these men for their duties before opening, but at Camp Grant, weather kept both officers and enlisted men indoors.
53(1) The Surgeon General's Protective Mobilization
Plan, 15 Dec. 1939, with annexes. (2) Goodman, Samuel M.: History of Medical
Department Training, U.S. Army World War II. Volume I. Draft of Introductory
Chapter. [Official record.]
During the first few months that the centers were in operation, War Department replacement policies made it difficult to eliminate useless and unfit enlisted men from the cadre. Under the existing system, centers were required to submit requisitions for personnel to The Adjutant General 3 months in advance of their assignment. While the system was adequate for long-range planning, it created serious problems for agencies charged with training peacetime draftees during their single year of service.
In mid-1941, the War Department began to reconsider its unit activation policies. In July 1941, the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, informed the chiefs of the arms and services that the establishment of cadre training camps and special service schools was being considered and invited them to comment.57
In reply, The Surgeon General strongly endorsed the establishment of cadre training schools. The Medical Department's experience indicated that only basic medical soldiers and lower administrative specialists could be trained during a 13 week cycle. A few men with technical skills acquired in civilian life might be qualified for the third and fourth grades of enlisted rank, but too few to meet cadre requirements. The capacity of the Medical Field Service School noncommissioned officers' course was only 200 per year and obviously inadequate for mobilization. To break this bottleneck, The Surgeon General recommended the establishment of noncommissioned officers' schools at replacement training centers. By careful selection and an additional 6 to 10 weeks of training, he thought the Medical Department would be able to qualify at least part of the corporals and duty sergeants required in nontechnical positions.
Officers, The Surgeon General believed, should undergo similar training. During the first year of mobilization, the Medical Department had been able to qualify commissioned cadres through refresher courses at the Medical Field Service School. Once the pool of Reserve Corps and National Guard officers was exhausted, however, the Medical Department would have to commission recent graduates of medical schools who had no previous military training. The basic course at the Medical Field Service School would have to be extended to 3 months, and the facilities of the school expanded. These men could then be qualified for service in tactical units and installations by a month or two of service at replacement training centers.58
While these schools were originally intended to prepare enlisted men to staff newly activated units, they also became a major source of training center cadre. On 25 September 1941, after Selective Service and the terms of men already drafted were extended for an additional year, the War Department exempted replacement training centers from the restrictions of the standard replacement system and authorized them to select men necessary to replace cadre losses from qualified graduates of the center.
Long before this policy was announced, Medical Replacement Training Centers began using their graduates to replace cadre losses. Training centers adopted
57Memorandum, Brig. Gen. Harry L. Twaddle,
Assistant Chief of Staff, War Department General Staff, G-3, for The Surgeon
General, 17 July 1941, subject: Training of Cadres for New Units at Replacement
this policy shortly after the beginning of the first training cycle, when it was discovered that trainees with ROTC and CMTC (Civilian Military Training Camp) experience were often better prepared to conduct classes and act as squad and section leaders than the Regular Army enlisted men assigned to serve as cadre. Following the exchange of communications between The Surgeon General and the Assistant Chief of Staff in July 1941, noncommissioned officers' schools were established at both Medical Replacement Training Centers. Because a special training program had not been authorized, classes were held at night or between training periods. A measure of their effectiveness can be found in the experience of Camp Grant, where, in the period immediately following the establishment of the schools, approximately 20 percent of the cadre were graduates of the center.59 By continuing the process of replacing inefficient cadre members with graduates of the schools, centers were able to develop a highly competent staff. These schools continued to be a major source of cadre replacements until 15 March 1944 when they were replaced by leadership training courses.
Once Camps Lee and Grant had lifted themselves by their bootstraps, they were able to supply cadre for the new centers that were being activated. In November 1941, for example, the two centers sent a total of more than 560 officers and enlisted men to staff Camp Barkeley, and a similar number were sent to Camp Robinson when it was activated early in 1942.
For a time, cadre schools provided an answer to the problem of securing a training staff. While quality improved, quantity remained a problem, and during periods of expansion, almost every replacement center reported a shortage of cadre and overhead personnel. Beginning in April 1943, however, a struggle to provide a qualified cadre was renewed. This time, the problem resulted from a War Department policy requiring Medical Replacement Training Centers to replace 80 percent of their enlisted cadre strength with limited service personnel.60 Highly qualified enlisted men suitable for overseas duty had to be replaced at a rate of not less than 5 percent a month, and their replacements were not necessarily qualified as instructors. Indeed, a large proportion of the replacements sent to the centers were limited not only physically but also mentally. At Camp Grant, for example, over 50 percent of the 451 limited service personnel sent as replacements were found to have scored in the lower two classes on the Army General Classification Test.61
Even limited service men who were mentally alert required extensive training before they could be used as instructors. Camp Barkeley had to arrange with the Eighth Service Command to transfer permanent general service personnel from center and regimental headquarters to cadre positions and to replace them with branch immaterial limited service personnel. Since most of these men were familiar with Medical Department doctrines, it proved less difficult to train them as instructors. Unfortunately, only a small number of such men were available. Early in 1944, Camp Barkeley also obtained permission to conduct 4 weeks of training
59See footnote 15, p. 180.
for limited service personnel sent as replacements. Those who proved acceptable could be retained, and the remainder were to be returned to the Eighth Service Command for reassignment. The course began on 13 March, but was discontinued on 28 May, when it was concluded that the low quality of the men being sent to the school made its continuation uneconomical.62
War Department rotation policies also made it difficult to retain competent training officers. By careful selection and supplementary training, centers had been able to overcome initial difficulties and develop a skilled officer cadre. Beginning in mid-1943, however, an increasing number of experienced training officers were sent overseas as replacements for officers scheduled for rotation, and training centers were required to train a growing volume of returnees as instructors.63
In July 1944, Army Service Forces directed schools and training centers to review the qualifications of all instructors and to revise their instructor training and guidance programs to meet minimum ASF standards.64 Standards outlined in the directives were considered minimal, and commanders were urged to expand their programs to meet local needs. As a result, course length and content varied from center to center. The shortest course established lasted 2 weeks, and the longest was 1 month. Content was divided between military techniques of instruction, and specific military subjects. Classes in military techniques of instruction included topics such as training literature, lesson preparation, lecture preparation, demonstration methods, training films, filmstrips, and the preparation and use of sand tables. Specific military subjects included map reading, first aid, military sanitation, malaria control, and other topics of military importance.65 The purpose of these programs was to qualify officers as instructors before they were assigned to any particular unit. Almost all pool officers participated in the program, and those who demonstrated their proficiency were retained as instructors.66
In March 1944, Army Service Forces directed the establishment of troop leadership schools for enlisted personnel at all ASF training centers and authorized commanders to enroll 3 percent of the strength of the center. Men attending these schools were chosen from trainees who had completed basic training and demonstrated a capacity for leadership and from enlisted men permanently assigned to the cadre. The 9-week program at troop leadership schools was divided into two phases. During the first phase, which lasted 3 weeks, students received formal instruction in teaching methods and in the duties of noncommissioned officers. The second 6 weeks of the program was devoted to the application of these principles. In this phase, students were assigned the rank of acting corporal and were attached to companies undergoing their first 6 weeks of basic training. By serving as section leaders, students were given an opportunity to develop leadership qualities. After completing the course, men were either retained at the center as cadre
62See footnote 24 (1), p. 186.
replacements, assigned as cadre for newly activated units, or sent overseas as replacements.67
By the end of World War II, the Medical Department had developed a highly flexible and refined system for training cadre, fillers, and replacements. Training centers were no longer plagued by shortages of housing and equipment, and training aids were abundantly available. Cycles could be lengthened and shortened to meet the demands of the moment, and content could be adapted to meet the needs of the theater. By integrating lesson plans, training aids, and maneuvers, centers were able to develop a highly realistic training program for Medical Department enlisted men. And by the same token, the training of draftees, returnees, and rotational replacements had been combined, under the preactivation system, into a highly efficient mechanism for filling Medical Department units and installations in the theater and in the Zone of Interior.
67(1) Letter, Commanding General, Army Service Forces, to Commanding General, Sixth Service Command, 15 Mar. 1944, subject: Establishment of a Leadership Training Course. (2) Letter, Commanding General, Army Service Forces, to Commanding General, Sixth Service Command, 11 Apr. 1944, subject: Establishment of a Leadership Training Course. (3) Memorandum, Col. R. G. Melin, GSC, to Colonel Sanford, Director, Military Training, 13 May 1944. (4) Army Service Forces Circular No. 150, 20 May 1944.