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Chapter XIII

Contents

CHAPTER XIII

Redeployment, Retraining, and Demobilization

PERIOD OF PARTIAL DEMOBILIZATION

As early as January 1943, the Army had begun work on demobilization planning.1 By April, it became obvious that only partial demobilization could follow the defeat of the Axis and that plans for redeployment of troops from the European and Mediterranean theaters to the Pacific would have to be included in the overall demobilization plans.

Criteria for Release of Officers

In deciding which persons should be released as a means of reducing the forces, the intention of the War Department was to consider a number of factors in addition to those already operating to remove personnel from the Army. One of these factors was the adjusted service rating, which might also aid in determining whether, even if a man stayed in the Army, he was to be transferred from one area to another. This rating was a point score to be given each individual shortly after the surrender of Germany. The score was the sum of his credits for length of service in the Army (1 point for each month since 16 September 1940), length of service overseas (1 point for each month), number of combat awards and decorations (5 points each), and number of children he possessed under 18 years of age up to a limit of three (12 points each). The score must reach a certain total (the "critical score") to be considered as a factor working toward his release from the Army.

As part of the plans for redeployment of medical personnel, The Surgeon General, 2 weeks after V-E Day, requested and received authority for the transfer of 1,000 Medical Corps officers from the European and Mediterranean theaters to the United States so as to help care for the expected concentration of patients in the United States after the end of hostilities in Europe. He also obtained approval for certain other policies concerning the redistribution of members of the Medical Department. The War Department planned to send some medical units to the Pacific by way of the United States, and The Surgeon General obtained authority to restaff these units by exchanging their high-score personnel for low-score personnel in the United States before shipping them to the Pacific. To this end, a complete census was taken of all personnel stationed in the United States.

1For a detailed account of demobilization Army-wide, see Sparrow, John C.: History of Personnel Demobilization in the United States Army. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1952. (DA Pamphlet 20-210.)


488

On the basis of this census and in the light of experience to date, criteria were established for withdrawing personnel from units passing through this country and for assigning personnel then in the United States to the units scheduled for the Pacific. Thus, Medical Corps officers in returning units would be withdrawn if they were 45 years of age or over, or had an adjusted service rating of 75 or over, or had had 12 months' service overseas. The age and oversea service criteria for all other Medical Department officers were lower-40 years and 6 months, respectively. The critical figure for the adjusted service rating was also lower, being 50 for all other male Medical Department officers and 30 for all female officers of the Department.

The Surgeon General also planned to speed the exchange of personnel with the Pacific as soon as part of the surplus from the European and Mediterranean theaters should return to the United States. Finally, he recommended that the European theater, which had more low-score specialists than the Mediterranean theater, should exchange them with high-score specialists from the latter. This would enable the Mediterranean theater to send units directly to the Pacific, properly balanced with specialists, and yet avoid keeping high-score men in oversea service. Presumably, the latter would be returned to the United States.2

The Surgeon General's Office also developed a method of selecting the Medical Department officers to be separated from the Army in helping to carry out partial demobilization. According to War Department readjustment regulations, which were given the force of directives upon the defeat of Germany, all Medical Department officers who were returned to the United States as surplus from oversea theaters and defense commands were to be placed under the jurisdiction of Army Ground Forces, Air Forces, or Service Forces, depending on which of these commands was responsible for the unit in the troop basis with which the particular officer had last served. If these officers were needed by the Air or Ground Forces, they were to be retained by them. If not, they and other surplus Medical Department officers from those commands were to be turned over to the Commanding General, Army Service Forces, for a decision as to their essentiality to the Army. The regulations stated that in this decision "military necessity must be the controlling factor," but that other considerations should also be weighed-efficiency, the officer's desire as to retention, and his adjusted service rating. The Army was permitted to keep officers otherwise qualified for release if they wished to be retained and had satisfactory records.3

On 7 May 1945, the Commanding General, Army Service Forces, delegated his responsibility for determining the essentiality of Medical Department officers to The Surgeon General, although he retained a certain amount of control in that respect. A week before this, The Surgeon General in accord-

2Medical Department Redeployment and Separation Policy, as revised, 6 August 1945. In Annual Report, Military Personnel Division, Office of The Surgeon General, U.S. Army, 1946.
3Readjustment Regulations 1-5, 30 Apr. 1945.


489

ance with prior planning had established a board of medical officers, composed in part of representatives of Army Ground and Air Forces, to deal with the question.4

By the end of July, the Surgeon General's Office had evolved a method of selecting the officers who were to be kept in service and those who were to be released. This method took into consideration the essentiality not of individual officers but of numbers-the number that would be needed and the number that could be dispensed with in each of eight officer5 components and in each of certain specialties within the Medical Corps.

The Surgeon General's Office adopted age and the adjusted service rating as the factors which might give officers claim to separation. Keeping in mind the number needed in each component and specialty, it set the age or point score at such a figure that the number who could qualify would not exceed the number that could be dispensed with. It might happen, however, that certain persons with "irreplaceable experience," even though they were eligible for release on other grounds, needed to be retained; in such cases, their release could be deferred by applying the principle of military necessity directly to them as individuals.6 It appears that before the surrender of Japan the point score for release was not arrived at by any very exact calculation as to how many officers would be made eligible for discharge by the figure adopted; in the case of specialists, at any rate, the point score fixed upon was to be retained so long as the number of releases under it "would not endanger the efficiency of the medical service," after which it would presumably be raised or the whole procedure abandoned.

Although The Surgeon General recommended the release of Medical and Dental Corps officers who were 50 years of age or over, Army Service Forces headquarters did not put this provision into effect immediately. Many such men had been retained in the United States throughout their period of service and so had been unable to accumulate many points. The minimum point score required for members of the Medical Corps was 100 (120 for specialists in gastroenterology, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, cardiology, dermatology, allergies, anesthesiology, neuropsychiatry, thoracic surgery, plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, clinical laboratory work). The minimum separation ages or point scores required for members of other officer components were as follows: Veterinary Corps, 50 years or 110 points; Medical Administrative and Sanitary Corps, 45 years or 90 points; Nurse Corps, 40 years or 65 points; dietitians and physical therapists, 50 years or 65 points.7

4(1) Army Service Forces Circular No. 175, May 1945. (2) Personnel Service Plan for Period I, Action 66, Office of The Surgeon General. (3) Office Order No. 105, Office of The Surgeon General, U.S. Army, 11 May 1945.
5Members of the Pharmacy Corps, all of whom were officers of the Regular Army, did not fall under this program.
6See footnote 2, p. 488.
7Letter, Chief, Personnel Service, Office of The Surgeon General, to Chief, Historical Division, Office of The Surgeon General, 14 Aug. 1945, subject: Criteria for Separation of Medical Department Officer Personnel.


490

Criteria for Release of Enlisted Personnel

Few special provisions concerning Medical Department enlisted personnel appeared in the rules governing the release of the Army's enlisted members as a phase of partial demobilization. It will be recalled that shortly after V-E Day the War Department permitted the release of all enlisted persons 40 years of age or over almost without restriction. About the same time, the Secretary of War announced that the critical score for enlisted personnel would be 85 points; military necessity, however, might dictate that men having that score-particularly those possessing special skills-would be held until qualified replacements arrived. The readjustment regulations provided that the essentiality of enlisted personnel would be determined at reception centers where surplus personnel from the United States and overseas were to be collected. There, the liaison officer of the Commanding General, Army Service Forces, would pass upon members of the Medical Department, with the possible exception of personnel assigned to the Air Forces and certain other combat branches of the Army.8 The regulations permitted persons to remain in the Army if they chose to do so, providing they had satisfactory records.

Problems Encountered in Redeployment and Separation

By the early part of August 1945, 3 months after V-E Day, the carrying out of some of these plans had not gone as far as might have been anticipated. The thousand Medical Corps officers from the European and Mediterranean theaters, authority for whose return The Surgeon General had requested in May, had not yet all arrived in the United States. The remainder were en route, but the peak patient load in the U.S. hospitals had already been reached and passed. The explanation for the delay was that "tremendous personnel shifts in the theaters and the uncertainties regarding individual scores [that is, adjusted service ratings] which were not available until almost 6 weeks after V-E Day, made it difficult for the theater to return personnel as rapidly as desired."9

In addition, The Surgeon General's plan to restaff units passing through this country to the Pacific was not too successful, since few units had been shipped back by early August. His efforts to speed replacements to the Pacific in order to relieve personnel who had been there for a long time were achieving more success; arrangements had been made to bring back large numbers of nurses and replace them with fresh members of the Nurse Corps. The policy of exchanging low- for high-score specialists between the European and Mediterranean theaters had also, after some delays, been put into effect.

On the other hand, the separation of Medical Department personnel from the service as a phase of partial demobilization had no more than begun. In

8Readjustment Regulations 1-1, 12 Feb. 1945, par. 12, and Changes No. 1, 4 May 1945, par. 12a (1).
9See footnote 2, p. 488.


491

July, the chairman of a Senate subcommittee investigating the Army's use of doctors had charged that surplus Army doctors in Europe were not working "more than an hour or two a day" and declared that they should be brought home to relieve the shortage of civilian doctors.

The Surgeon General's Office gave reasons why few Medical Department personnel were being discharged from the Army. It pointed out that very large numbers of patients continued to come back to the United States even after the fighting ended in Europe, so that the patient load at home might be expected to remain at or near the peak until the fall of 1945. It stated that while Medical Department personnel in Europe no longer had to care for combat casualties they were occupied with closing hospitals, treating displaced persons for sickness and injuries in territories overrun by the American armies, and finally moving toward the United States or the Pacific.10

FULL-SCALE DEMOBILIZATION

The capitulation of Japan on 14 August 1945 put an end to redeployment as a shift from a two- to a one-front war. The process of transferring units from Europe to the Pacific either directly or by way of the United States was abandoned. Gradually, a vast movement of men from overseas to the United States set in, with a smaller movement outward of fresh personnel to maintain the occupation forces. Partial demobilization, which had hardly started, gave way to full demobilization.

Reduction of Criteria for Demobilization of Enlisted Personnel

Officers as well as enlisted men who possessed the critical score could no longer be held in the Army on the ground of military necessity, except in special instances. Adjusted service ratings were recomputed as of 2 September 1945. The critical score of enlisted men was then reduced from 85 to 80 points, and enlisted men 35 years of age and over who had had at least 2 years' service were ordered released on their application; the age for automatic release of those with less than 2 years' service remained at 38, having been reduced from 40 earlier. Within the next 3 months, the critical score for enlisted men was brought down by successive cuts from 80 to 55, while new alternatives of 4 years' service or the possession of three dependent children also qualified men for discharge.

Medical Department enlisted technicians in certain specialties were excepted from the rule that men could not be held in the Army for reasons of military necessity if they were otherwise eligible for release. Six months was the maximum length of time for which these technicians could be retained. Orthopedic mechanics were among those so held.11 In the fall of 1945, the

10See footnote 2, p. 488.
11Memorandum, Surgeon General Kirk, for Commanding General, Army Service Forces, 22 Oct. 1945, subject: Shortage of Medical Department Enlisted Personnel for Zone of Interior Installations.


492

Medical Department was training 75 of these technicians; The Surgeon General stated that when they completed their training those being held on duty would be discharged. Expressing his belief that when men were held beyond the date at which they became eligible for discharge their morale went down, he also urged service command surgeons to consider seriously a one-grade promotion for those being retained.12 In late November, promotions were authorized for orthopedic mechanics.

In early December, The Surgeon General stated that information available to his Office indicated that the situation had improved in the last 2 weeks, but he warned the Army Service Forces headquarters at the same time that additional replacements would have to be forthcoming as the discharge criteria were lowered in the future.13 A few days later, he reluctantly advised the same headquarters that effective on 1 January 1946 men in four critically needed enlisted specialties might be authorized for discharge-medical and dental laboratory, X-ray, and orthopedic technicians-provided they had 50 points on the adjusted service record or had been in the Army for 3 years.14 These same criteria were announced the next day by the War Department as those that would govern the discharge of enlisted men generally after 31 December 1945.

As late as February 1946, the Surgeon General's Office was still trying to make good the losses by recommending that G-1 make enlisted men available to the Medical Department for training to replace scarce category personnel, specifically men in the four critical specialties.15 All specialists were taken off the list of those critically needed by 1 July 1946 in order to comply with the Chief of Staff's statement that all enlisted personnel with 2 years' service or 45 points be discharged by 30 April 1946 and all with 2 years' service or 40 points by 2 months later. At the same time, The Surgeon General asserted that the situation had become increasingly worse. He admonished service command surgeons that they must make exceptional effort immediately to employ soldiers as civilians upon their discharge. Furthermore, they were to hold enlisted specialists as long as possible.16

12(1) Memorandum, Chief, Enlisted Branch, Military Personnel Division, Office of The Surgeon General, for Director, Military Personnel Division, Office of The Surgeon General, 14 Nov. 1945, subject: Survey of Medical Department Enlisted Situation, Eighth Service Command, with Comment No. 2, Military Personnel Division, Office of The Surgeon General, to Legislative and Liaison Division, War Department General Staff, 23 Nov. 1945. (2) Letter, The Surgeon General, to Surgeon, each service command, 28 Nov. 1945.
13Memorandum, Deputy Surgeon General, for Commanding General, Army Service Forces (attention: Deputy Chief of Staff for Service Commands), 6 Dec. 1945, subject: Medical Department Enlisted Personnel.
14Memorandum, Director, Military Personnel Division, Office of The Surgeon General, for Director, Military Personnel Division, Army Service Forces, 18 Dec. 1945, subject: Scarce Categories and Critically Needed Specialists.
15Memorandum, Deputy Surgeon General, for G-1, 8 Feb. 1946, subject: Scarce Category Enlisted Personnel, Medical Department.
16Letter, Deputy Surgeon General, to Col. John A. Isherwood, Surgeon, First Service Command, 8 Feb. 1946.


493

Reduction of Criteria for Demobilization of Officers

Following V-J Day, the criteria for demobilizing Medical Department officers also were reduced. The first reduction occurred on 10 September 1945. The new criteria did not entitle certain Medical Corps specialists having an A, B, or C proficiency rating to release; moreover, The Surgeon General could hold individual specialists who were essential to the proper care of patients. For others, the minimum point score was considerably reduced. Age, which had not previously been an alternative for Medical and Dental Corps officers, was now added for them, while length of service became a second alternative for all except female officers (nurses, dietitians, and physical therapists). The criteria for age and length of service were so high, however, that few officers could qualify for separation under them. Consequently, the speed with which doctors were being demobilized met with considerable criticism.

Congressional reaction

On 6 November 1945, Senator Clyde M. Reed of Kansas submitted a resolution to the Senate in which he pointed out that the Army had more doctors on its rolls on 1 September 1945, 2 weeks after fighting had ceased, than on the previous 1 January, when a two-front war was waging. The Senator also charged that "from many sources, testimony of undoubted reliability has come to members of the Senate indicating an incredible degree of incompetency, inefficiency, and general neglect on the part of the Office of The Surgeon General of the Army, in dealing with the return of the doctors and surgeons from the Army service where they are not needed, to communities where the civilian need for proper medical attention is very great." Actually, the number of doctors in the Army was about the same on 1 September as it had been 8 months earlier and by the time the Senator spoke, it had fallen by 8,000. Furthermore, over 11,000 had been discharged between 1 May and 1 November. The Surgeon General might have pointed out that in addition to the medical skills still needed to provide definitive treatment in Army hospitals even though fighting had ceased, some 2,000 doctors had to be stationed in separation centers to perform the final physical examinations so that other troops could be promptly released. Senator Reed's resolution requested the Secretary of War to appoint a board to investigate the situation, fix responsibility, and "take immediate steps to remedy the injury done to the doctors, surgeons, and dentists as individuals and to the communities affected."17

The Surgeon General had let it be known that he would welcome such an investigation, as an opportunity to present his own case to the American people. At the same time, he promised to do everything in his power to speed

17S. Res. 184, 79th Cong., 6 Nov. 1945 (legislative date, 20 October).


494

the overall demobilization. The firm position of The Surgeon General, with its implied promise to expose the organized groups then seeking to influence the Congress, strengthened the hand of the Secretary of War, who was able to persuade the senatorial sponsors of the resolution to drop it. In return, the Secretary promised to give his personal attention to the problem of discharging at the earliest possible date all doctors and dentists not actually needed by the Army. In a memorandum of 21 November 1945 to the Chief of Staff, he set forth certain steps to achieve that end; they included determination by the General Staff of the number of doctors and dentists each theater required, the appointment of a mission to the European and Mediterranean theaters to report on ways of speeding the process of returning their surpluses to the United States, priority of transportation for these surpluses, and investigation of the three major commands in the United States to see that their staffs were cut as fast as their workload permitted and that the criteria for discharge were kept adjusted so as to release the surplus without delay. Col. Durward G. Hall, Chief of The Surgeon General's Personnel Service, himself headed the mission to the European and Mediterranean theaters, and took with him Lt. Col. Bolling R. Powell, Jr., Congressional Legislative Liaison Officer, on the War Department Special Staff. The mission traveled on orders from the Secretary of War, with authority to expedite the return of critical category medical personnel.18 Although much pressure continued to be brought for the release of individual doctors, no further public attacks were made by Senator Reed or his associates.

While the threat of a congressional investigation did not change basic medical demobilization plans, it probably hastened the execution of them. Only a week before the Secretary of War took action, The Surgeon General had informed G-1 that the release of 13,000 doctors by Christmas in fulfillment of a promise made 6 weeks earlier "should relieve undue pressure from Congress and other sources."19 But by the end of December, 22,000 had been released in an orderly manner. Nevertheless, it was not until then that the criteria were substantially reduced. After that, reductions occurred on 1 February, 1 July, and 1 September 1946. Although the demobilization of critical category personnel, including shipment from oversea theaters, was an outstanding achievement, it was undoubtedly too rapid from the standpoint of good medical care.20

Differences in criteria for medical and nonmedical officers

The principal criteria for the discharge of Medical Department officers differed from those for other Army officers, which after V-J Day were for

18Statement of Durward G. Hall, M.D., to the editor, 27 May 1961.
19The promise of 13,000, or slightly more, separations was made on 31 August. The Deputy Surgeon General later (17 October) promised 14,000 separations and hoped that that figure could be exceeded. (House of Representatives, Hearings before the Committee on Military Affairs, "The Demobilization of the Army of the U.S.," 28 and 31 Aug. 1945; Senate, Hearings before the Committee on Military Affairs, "The Demobilization of the Armed Services," 17 and 18 Oct. 1945.)
20See footnote 18.


495

the most part uniform. As already indicated, the medical authorities were permitted to set their own criteria after as well as before the surrender of Japan, and the function continued to be exercised by The Surgeon General on the advice of a board representing his own Office, the Ground Forces, and the Air Forces.

From early September 1945, at the beginning of the demobilization period, until 31 August 1946, when the point score was abolished as a criterion for release, the minimum score set for doctors, dentists, and veterinarians was always (except for the first 3 weeks in October) lower than that for non-Medical Department officers. The difference varied from 3 to 10 points. When in favor of Medical Department officers, it tended to equalize their situation with that of other officers, since a smaller proportion of the former than of the latter had had the opportunity to serve overseas, and oversea service plus battle decorations counted in the score. Until it was abolished, the minimum point score for the separation of male Medical Department officers was never allowed to fall below 60, a figure reached on 1 February 1946. The Surgeon General's separation board believed that to have reduced it further would have weighted the criterion too much in favor of officers possessing children, and would then have promoted the release of the older professional group.21

Length of service (apart from the point score) became an alternative criterion for the release of male Medical Department officers in early September 1945 and for all other Army officers (except dietitians, to whom it was granted on 1 February 1946) at the beginning of December 1945. The criterion was revised downward from time to time, but until 1 September 1946, it was always considerably lower for Medical Department officers than for others. The attainment of a certain age, a third alternative for release under demobilization regulations, was applicable to officers of the Medical Department only. In the case of members of the Medical Corps, it was set at 48 years in early September 1945 and reduced to 45, 2 months later, where it remained until abolished on 1 September 1946.

OFFSETTING FACTORS

Administration of Demobilization

Before making each successive reduction in criteria, authorities in the Surgeon General's Office had of course to compute how many officers would be eligible for separation if criteria were reduced by a certain amount. Whenever possible they would forewarn the service command surgeons, and the commanders of those relatively few installations which were directly under The Surgeon General's jurisdiction, who would then report to the Surgeon General's Office how many officers and what types of specialists they would

21Memorandum, unsigned, for Deputy Surgeon General, 5 Jan. 1945 [46], subject: Separation of Medical Corps Officers.


496

need after the proposed cut. Thus it was that, through close cooperation, the service command surgeons were enabled to make certain that no hospital, post, or body of troops was, through the separation of its Medical Department officers, left without adequate medical and allied attention. One saving clause that tended to keep this task from becoming even more troublesome and demanding was a provision that regardless of a Medical Department officer's eligibility for separation, he could be retained until a replacement became available.22 Thus, military necessity took precedence over an individual's eligibility for separation.

Likewise, The Surgeon General had to exercise care that, regardless of the level at which the criteria were fixed, the oversea commands always had sufficient Medical Department strength to care for Army personnel remaining there. As the time involved in transporting officers was so great, this aspect of demobilization was probably more difficult than that of keeping service commands in the United States properly manned. During this period, there was also more necessity to juggle personnel than had been needed when whole units were being sent to theaters of operations. The fact that separation criteria were being repeatedly lowered during this period caused difficulty in getting the right men overseas. An officer or enlisted man might be slated for shipment when a lowered set of criteria would make him eligible for separation. As the Chief of Staff pointed out to Congress, the Army had to suffer the inevitable delay between the date of recruiting new personnel and the time it could put them to work.

New Officer Procurement

During the period of demobilization, various factors helped partially to offset the losses produced by it or to prevent it from proceeding as rapidly as possible. One such factor was the continuous procurement of new officers.

Dentists

In the case of dentists, however, the number fell far short of the demand. Unlike the Medical Corps, the Dental Corps could no longer rely on graduates of the Army Specialized Training Program to take up the deficit, for the dental phase of the program had ended in April 1945. The medical phase ran until June 1946 and was the main source of procurement for the Medical Corps during demobilization. Most if not all of the doctors it produced were held for 2 years' service in the Army; those who had spent little of their student career in the program complained that they were compelled to serve as long after graduation as those who had spent much time in it.23 The case was dif-

22Memorandum, Executive Officer, Office of The Surgeon General, for Chiefs of Services, Directors of Divisions, and others, Office of The Surgeon General, 13 Sept. 1945, subject: Criteria for Separation of Medical Department Officer Personnel.
23War Department, Information and Education Division, Report No. 12-310, 2 Nov. 1946, subject: Attitudes of A.S.T.P. Medical Officers Toward Service in the Regular Army.


497

ferent with students who had received part of their education through the program but had not been permitted to continue in it long enough to graduate. They had been relieved of all obligation to serve after finishing their course, and no effort was yet made to compel these men in particular, or even the dentists among them, to come to the relief of the Medical Department. Instead, a more general measure of compulsion was introduced-a draft of dentists-the first time in American history that a professional group had been singled out for conscription. As already stated, such a measure had been agitated before, for doctors and nurses, but it had been avoided even in wartime.

On 17 May 1946, The Surgeon General in a memorandum to the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, stated that only 15 dentists had joined the Army in the past 3 months, from which he concluded that volunteering alone would not yield sufficient recruits. Accordingly, he recommended that the Selective Service System be requested to deliver enough dentists to meet the procurement objective of 1,500, preferably, "both from the War Department's point of view and probably from that of the community at large * * * dentists in the youngest age groups who have not yet been firmly established in civilian practice."24 His advice was accepted and Selective Service issued its call. However, only a very few dentists, probably not more than four, were actually drafted, others who were called preferring to accept commissions instead.25 Nevertheless, the drafting of dentists had established a precedent for applying conscription to professional groups, a precedent that was followed 4 years later in the case not only of dentists, but of doctors as well.

Physicians

Before this latter event took place, another piece of evidence indicated that it might become necessary to draft physicians. In November 1946, the War Department conducted a poll of Medical Corps officers-former members of the Army Specialized Training Program-to discover the attitude of graduates of the program toward volunteering for the Regular Army Medical Corps. All but 1 of the 385 who answered the questionnaire stated that they were not planning to apply for commissions in the Regular Army. Among the main reasons given were dissatisfaction with assignments, inadequate opportunities for training, insufficient financial compensation, and dissatisfaction with living conditions. Also, 267 of the 385 said they would like to get out of the Army at once, if possible.26

Effects of procurement

Procurement for most of the Medical Department officer components did little or nothing to offset losses through demobilization and other factors be-

24Memorandum, Surgeon General Kirk, for G-1, subject: Procurement Objective for Dental Corps Officers.
25Medical Department, United States Army. Dental Service in World War II. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1955.
26See footnote 23, p. 496.


498

TABLE 67.-Medical Department officers separated, V-E Day-31 December 1946 (cumulative)

End of month

Medical Corps

Dental Corps

Veterinary Corps1

Sanitary Corps1

Medical Administrative Corps

Army Nurse Corps

Hospital dietitians

Physical therapists


1945

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May

230

50

10

10

220

300

10

5

June

570

115

30

30

330

600

20

10

July

1,140

450

60

60

490

900

30

20

August

2,170

610

80

100

720

1,200

40

30

September

4,220

1,025

130

195

1,250

4,200

80

70

October

11,750

2,530

330

565

3,420

15,900

310

225

November

17,630

3,960

520

905

5,790

24,000

530

370

December

22,590

5,185

730

1,265

8,500

29,300

680

500


1946

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January

27,100

7,375

900

1,400

11,140

33,600

790

685

February

30,750

8,950

1,075

1,530

13,230

36,600

810

765

March

32,900

9,750

1,225

1,700

15,370

39,700

1,020

835

April

34,750

10,290

1,425

1,900

17,200

41,925

1,075

875

May

37,000

10,825

1,475

2,025

17,290

43,750

1,120

930

June

39,000

11,500

1,500

2,100

17,500

45,600

1,180

1,030

July

40,950

12,100

1,550

2,200

17,800

46,850

1,205

1,080

August

42,000

12,540

1,600

2,260

18,100

47,725

1,225

1,110

September

42,775

13,175

1,650

2,320

18,400

48,350

1,255

1,130

October

43,900

13,450

1,700

2,380

18,600

48,900

1,280

1,150

November

44,500

13,850

1,750

2,440

18,800

49,850

1,305

1,170

December

45,050

14,200

1,770

2,460

18,900

50,325

1,325

1,190


1
Figures for Veterinary and Sanitary Corps are estimated.
Source: Chart, "Medical Department Officer Separations since V-E Day-30 June 1947 (cumulative)," Resources Analysis Division, Office of The Surgeon General.

tween August or September 1945 and March 1946, the period when the greatest losses occurred. This is indicated by a comparison of the strength figures (table 1) with the figures for separations, by month, in table 67.27 The Medical Administrative Corps, however, obtained enough new recruits to make up for most of its losses through November 1945, after which it too lost members more rapidly than it gained them. No figures are available for procurement or losses of Medical Department enlisted personnel after June 1945.

Reference to table 1 will show that the ratio of Medical Department officer strength to Army strength increased markedly during the period of heaviest demobilization. Since procurement was at a very low ebb, this means that Medical Department officers were being discharged more slowly than members of the Army in general. A similar lag occurred in the case of mem-

27In comparing these two tables, it will be noticed that in a number of instances the decline in strength shown is greater than the number of separations. As it is unlikely that losses from causes other than separations amounted to any appreciable number, especially after hostilities had ceased, some of the figures must be inaccurate. In fact, those in the table on separations and some of those in the strength table are obviously mere approximations.


499

TABLE 68.-Civilians and prisoners of war employed in medical activities within Army Service Forces in the United States, 30 March 1945-30 April 1946


Month

Civilians1

Prisoners of war2

Total

1945

 

 

 

March

72,690

15,237

87,927

April

73,096

17,098

90,194

May

73,313

20,322

93,635

June

3(75,258)

3(20,528)

3(95,785)

July

77,202

20,733

97,935

August

75,353

20,485

95,838

September

72,714

18,518

91,232

October

72,492

16,731

89,223

November

67,407

14,767

82,174

December

61,021

11,992

73,013

1946

 

 

 

January

60,337

10,678

71,015

February

59,990

9,491

69,481

March

54,512

6,054

60,566

April

51,354

5,063

56,417


1Figures obtained by adding figures for civilians in the following tables of Army Service Forces Monthly Progress Reports: (1) "Service Command Operating Personnel and Prisoners of War" (subhead "Hospital and Medical Activities"); (2) "Technical Service ZI Operating Personnel and Prisoners of War, by activity" (subheads "Station Medical at Staging Areas" and "Debarkation Hospital and Station Medical at Ports"); (3) "ASF Personnel Authorizations and Strengths" (subhead "Surgeon General").
2Figures obtained by adding figures for prisoners of war in the following tables of Army Service Forces Monthly Progress Reports: (1) "Technical Service ZI Operating Personnel and Prisoners of War" (subhead "Hospital and Station Medical Activities"); (2) "Service Command Operating Personnel and Prisoners of War by Activity" (subhead "Hospital and Medical Activities").
3Figures in parentheses indicate the interpolation of a figure halfway between those immediately following and preceding it for one that was obviously incorrect.
Source: Monthly Progress Reports, Army Service Forces, War Department, for the dates indicated.

bers of the individual Medical Department officer components. On the other hand, Medical Department enlisted men, and also officers and enlisted men taken together, were apparently being released more rapidly than members of the Army as a whole, for their ratio to Army strength, which had been declining since November 1944, continued to decline throughout the period of heaviest demobilization.

During the same period, a decline also occurred in the number of civilians and prisoners of war employed in Medical Department activities within Army Service Forces in the United States, as is shown in table 68.

Voluntary Continuance

Another offsetting factor was the choice of various officers and enlisted men to remain in the Army. Since the beginning of demobilization, men of both categories had been permitted to extend their terms of service under


500

certain conditions if they so chose. In December 1945, the War Department required a statement from each non-Regular Army officer as to whether he wished to be released at once, to be kept on active duty indefinitely, or to remain for a specified time. In the last mentioned case, the stated discharge date was to be 31 December 1946, 30 June 1947, or some other date agreed upon between the individual and his commanding officer that involved a continuance of at least 60 days but would not be later than 30 November 1946.

For medical and dental officers, as we shall see in the following section, one of the inducements to remain in the Army for an additional period was a program of refresher training for those about to return to civilian practice.

PROFESSIONAL RETRAINING

In addition to the technical and military training that was a continuing function of the Medical Department throughout the war, there were two phases of professional training that were carried out primarily by the Personnel Division of the Surgeon General's Office rather than by the Training Division. One of these was the retraining of Army of the United States officers returning to civilian life. The other was the preparation of Regular Army officers, most of whom had been serving in administrative rather than professional capacities, to resume the complete responsibility for the medical care of the Army as a whole that was their peacetime mission. These Regular Army medical officers would also be called upon to care for the thousands of casualties of the war who would remain in Army hospitals long after the specialists who first treated them had returned to civilian practice.

Army of the United States

Even before the attack on Pearl Harbor, The Surgeon General had been faced with the problem of uneven distribution of professional opportunities for Medical Corps officers on active duty for a year or two and its resultant effect on morale. After the declaration of war, he became increasingly concerned about the failure of his efforts to produce an effective rotation system which would permit an exchange of medical officers between hospital and tactical assignments. This was due in large measure to the decentralization of control of military personnel which, while no doubt responsible for the acceleration of the war efforts, posed peculiar problems for the Medical Service.

Tradition and history agree that great scientific advancement occurs during a war between major powers. General Kirk was not alone in believing that the pressures of World War II had advanced medical science out of all proportion to the duration of the conflict. All of this professional advancement did not take place in the large hospitals. Much of it was in the field of preventive medicine, such as the development of Atabrine (quinacrine hydrochloride) and DDT; and some was by way of improvisations on the


501

field of battle in the treatment of shock or the management of various types of wounds. There were improvements in medical supplies and equipment, and decided advances in the fashioning of artificial eyes and limbs. It was nevertheless the work going on in the large hospitals, and particularly in the specialty centers, that enticed young officers who had been primarily on field duty in the forward areas.

The Surgeon General fully sympathized with the desire of these young doctors to take back with them to civilian practice the best of wartime gains in medicine and surgery and was prepared to give them every encouragement, both to strengthen civilian medicine the country over and to insure for the next emergency a nucleus of men widely experienced in the special requirements of military medicine. With these purposes in mind, various means were explored well before the war was over whereby the professional advances stemming from the conflict might be made available to the largest possible number of Army of the United States officers.28

The American Medical Association was also interested in various phases of planning for the return to civil life of the doctors in the military service. Among its recommendations was further education to supplement the training available in the military service and to facilitate reorientation to civilian practice.

On 7 July 1944, The Surgeon General constituted a committee to formulate plans for postwar refresher courses for medical officers scheduled to be separated from the military service. It was understood that at first most of these would be leaving for physical reasons; later, the general demobilization would take place. At the committee's first meeting, Lt. Col. (later Col.) Durward G. Hall, MC, Chief of Personnel, was appointed chairman. Under his leadership, the committee undertook to survey the various possibilities relating to types of courses, where they should be conducted, and the means of financing them. It was later determined that this committee should handle both the inservice refresher courses and the postwar courses.

During the summer of 1944, the Chief of the Personnel Service and a representative of the Training Division worked closely together. By 20 September, they were agreed on who should be eligible for the proposed training, in terms of rank, previous assignments in the Army, and type of work they had done in civil life. Consideration was given both to on-the-job training and to didactic courses, as well as to the feasibility of sending officers still in the service to civilian institutions. Among the numerous problems that arose, one of the most threatening was a requirement that officers could be detailed to the Military District of Washington for duty in excess of 30 days only with the concurrence of the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff.29 Be-

28One direction of Medical Department thinking along these lines is exemplified by a 4-week refresher course offered to Medical Corps officers of the Army Ground Forces at various general hospitals early in 1944. Designed primarily for junior officers who were scheduled for combat duty after a year or more in training units, the course reviewed the principles of medicine and surgery as they related to battle casualties, including treatment of burns, tropical diseases, and psychiatric cases.
29War Department Memorandum W-500-44, 13 Mar. 1944.


502

cause of this requirement, it was necessary to get special approval to send five officers at a time to Walter Reed Hospital for professional medical training.

On 30 November 1944, in accordance with the recommendations of The Surgeon General, hospitals were designated within each service command at which 12 weeks of on-the-job training would be given. A quota, divided between medical and surgical services, was established for each hospital. The limit was set at six officers for either medical or surgical refresher training at any one hospital at the same time, and it was stipulated that no additional personnel or facilities would be granted for the purpose. Officers returning from overseas were first to participate in this instruction. Applications were processed by the Personnel Service, and selection was made with the advice of one of the professional consultants. Only those officers whose assignments had removed them from responsibility for the professional care of patients for 12 months or longer were considered eligible. After the German surrender, similar refresher courses were set up in the European theater for men awaiting redeployment or return to the United States. Instruction was given in medical and surgical specialties for those who had had little opportunity for hospital practice, while qualified specialists were given an opportunity for furthering their education in their own specific fields.

In March 1945, the Dental Division of the Surgeon General's Office took steps to provide courses for the professional retraining of dental officers whose military assignments had removed them for 12 months or more from the direct practice of dentistry. The program was approved by the Commanding General, Army Service Forces, in April. Courses were approved the following month for the retraining of laboratory officers of both Medical and Sanitary Corps under conditions comparable to those laid down for doctors and dentists.

Regular Army

The Medical Corps of the Regular Army went underground professionally during the war. Its shining hour in that respect was to come later, on 1 January 1947, when the Army Medical Residency Program which has brought so much favorable attention to the Army Medical Service was officially launched. In between is a story of unusual courage and loyalty in response to an almost cruel demand.

Soon after the outbreak of World War II, The Surgeon General had available the cream of the medical profession with which to staff the hospitals of the Army. Outstanding doctors from civilian life were appointed in the Medical Corps by the thousands. This rapid growth brought with it a tremendous demand for Medical Corps officers to fill administrative, command, staff, and training assignments. The almost inevitable decision was made that the Regular Army officers were the best fitted for these positions.

It had been planned that, after a year or two, when Army of the United States officers had had the opportunity to demonstrate their command and


503

administrative abilities, at least some of the Regular Army officers would be returned to professional assignments in the large hospitals in the Zone of Interior where they could share in the unusual professional opportunities then available, and receive instruction and guidance from some of the outstanding doctors who would then be on duty in these installations. The wisdom of the decision is still debatable. The premise that the Regular Army medical officer would fill the administrative and command positions with credit was amply sustained. On the other hand, there was no question but that a few Regular Army medical officers could have made a much greater contribution to the war effort had they remained on purely professional duty. While leadership can be developed, it must be based on an inherent characteristic. The record does not show that this was an exclusive possession of the Regular Army officer. Many Army of the United States medical officers made outstanding contributions to the war effort in medical staff and command positions. As the theaters became virtually autonomous and the war spread around the globe, it never became possible to reassign any substantial number of Regular Army medical officers to professional work. All those who were physically qualified were used in administrative, tactical, or command assignments throughout the war.

When the decision was made to place all Regular Army medical officers in staff or command assignments, they were given a corresponding primary MOS (military occupational specialty) classification. Even though they were well established professionally, the professional consultants in the Office of The Surgeon General were reluctant to award them a secondary MOS indicating any appreciable degree of proficiency on the theory that, as most of them lacked formal specialty training and there was no opportunity to observe them professionally, they could not be properly evaluated. Only if an officer had been certified by one of the professional specialty boards was he given a "B" prefix to his secondary MOS. Thus, for most of the Regular Army medical officers, there was no official record of professional ability in the Classification Branch. The Surgeon General was able, nevertheless, to convince the various civilian medical organizations concerned that the professional potential of the Regular Army was great enough to justify a graduate program comparable to those offered in the approved civilian teaching hospitals.

It was important that plans be formulated in time to utilize the professional skill then available to the best advantage. Early in the year 1945, the Personnel Service prepared a study for the consideration of The Surgeon General. It was for planning purposes only, designed to show what could be done professionally with the then current Regular Army Medical Corps by way of staffing nine permanent hospitals with a view to training Medical Corps officers for board certification. The study showed both those certified and those who, though not certified, were sufficiently experienced to qualify in a specialty. It also showed the total number of board members needed to staff the hospitals where approval for residency training was desired, and the board-certified officers who might serve within their appropriate specialties. Included in this group were names of men who obviously would remain in admin-


504

istrative work. The consultants in the office aided in the preparation of the list. It was through the results of this study that The Surgeon General was able to make a rather convincing presentation to the Council of Medical Education and Hospitals of the American Medical Association in seeking approval of Army hospitals for formal training.30

Long before V-E Day, it was apparent that considerable preparation would be needed before the Regular Army medical officer would be able to take over completely the professional care of the Army. Necessary deviations from Department of the Army and Army Service Forces policies were authorized, and on 7 July 1945, a Professional Training Committee was appointed by The Surgeon General. Two months later, by Office Order No. 223, The Surgeon General assigned to the various divisions of his Office specific responsibilities for the problem.

In August 1945, a letter was addressed to all Regular Army officers by the Deputy Surgeon General stating that the Chief of Staff had approved a plan for courses of instruction in professional training for Regular Army Medical Corps officers, that the plan called for the assignment of these officers to installations where professional training leading eventually to board certification would be carried out and also for training in outstanding civilian installations.31 The plan contemplated that those qualified as potential chiefs and assistant chiefs of service would initially be assigned to such positions as understudies, and that officers with less training and experience would receive selected professional assignments based upon their qualifications with the opportunity under competitive selection to receive the training that would eventually lead to board certification. Each Regular Army officer was requested to submit a statement to the Chief of Personnel, Office of The Surgeon General, giving his preference as to either professional or administrative assignment and including specific training.

During the latter part of 1945, those who had indicated a desire for specialized professional training were placed in the program as they returned from overseas. Among the large number still out of the country, however, were many who would have to seek certification by one of the specialty boards at an early date if the formal training program was to start within the next few years. The Surgeon General, early in January 1946, persuaded the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, to have radiograms sent to the various theaters, Defense Commands, and Departments asking for the return of certain named officers at the earliest possible date. General Kirk supplemented this radiogram in some instances with direct communication either to the commanding general or to the surgeon concerned. Most of the men requested were returned within the next few months to begin their arduous course of preparation. It was not easy for men in their late 40's and even early 50's, who were long out

30Army Regulations No. 350-1010, 11 Feb. 1946.
31The date was rubber stamped, and varied somewhat. The actual distribution of the letter was questionable. Certainly, many officers overseas never received it.


505

of school, to undertake the strenuous study that would be needed to pass searching oral and written examinations before civilian boards.

It should be remembered that the Regular Army officers had not the same economic reasons for seeking certification as civilian specialists. A good many were already in the grade of colonel, so rank was not a factor. They had been separated from their families, some over 3 years, and were weary from their war experience. What they quite honestly needed was some rest and quiet, rather than intensive study with always the fear of failure haunting them. They were some of the unsung heroes of the war, and to their credit, most of them willingly accepted the challenge and came through with flying colors.

In their efforts, they had a tremendous assist from outstanding members of the medical profession-men who not only verbally supported the idea, but stayed on active duty in its interest well beyond the time that they were eligible for discharge and frequently at considerable inconvenience to their families and financial loss to themselves. Several of these later became the nucleus of the consultant group, who from the very beginning lent their knowledge and prestige to the teaching program. Aid and encouragement also came from those Regular Army medical officers who carried the full burden of administrative responsibility while their fellow officers were in training. Needless to say, the graduate professional training program could not have been established nor carried on without the continuing aid and cooperation of civilian medicine. The Council on Medical Education and hospitals of the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons, the Advisory Boards of the American Specialty Boards and the various specialty boards, all rendered invaluable service.

POSTWAR PLANNING

Two important aspects of postwar planning, both growing directly out of the needs and the experience of the conflict, properly belong in this volume. These are the program for integrating Reserve officers into the Regular Army, officially called the Regular Army Integration Program, and the establishment of the Career Management Plan for Regular Army officers.

The Integration Program

Realizing that postwar conditions would necessitate an Army considerably larger than that of prewar days, the War Department recommended and Congress authorized late in 1945 an increase in the commissioned strength of the Regular Army to 25,000.32 The act provided that appointments in the various

32(1) 59 Stat. 663. (2) Memorandum, Maj. James H. Mackin, MSC, Office of The Surgeon General, for Chief, Personnel Division, Office of The Surgeon General, 24 June 1948, subject: Commissioning of Male Officers in the Various Corps of the Medical Department During the Integration Period, 1946-47.


506

corps of the Regular Army were to be made in the grades of second lieutenant, first lieutenant, captain, and major, subject to certain conditions and limitations. One condition was that these appointments were to be made not later than 8 months following the date of the enactment of the act. This limitation of time was placed in order to attract as many officers as possible who had served in World War II before they had returned home and become reestablished in civil life. Their combined experience was invaluable to the military service, gained as it was in fighting all over the world, in every kind of climate from the tropics to the arctic, and under most difficult field conditions.

The War Department moved immediately to implement the new law by establishing eligibility for appointment and setting up rules for determining service credit and grades to which individual appointments would be made. No officer was to be appointed in the Regular Army in a grade higher than that which he held during wartime.33 Less than 8 months later, on 8 August 1946, Congress authorized the procurement of additional male officers to increase the commissioned strength of the Regular Army to 50,000.34 It is of interest to note that separate means for determining qualifications for appointment were not established for any corps of the Medical Department, thus doing away with the longstanding requirement that applicants must pass a written or oral professional examination.

The Surgeon General was charged with final responsibility for selecting applicants for the various corps of the Medical Service. To carry out this responsibility, the Central Medical Department Examining Board was designated to make suitable recommendations regarding each applicant.35 There was also a screening board and review committee in the Surgeon General's Office, and an Integration Section was established in the Procurement Separation and Reserve Branch of the Personnel Division which was responsible for the necessary recordkeeping, processing of cases, and preparation of finalized appointment lists. The Army Service Forces Review Board reviewed the cases of all applicants whose appointments were not recommended by The Surgeon General. This board was appointed by the Secretary of War to assure that the integration program was conducted on a fair and impartial basis. This function was later taken over by the Secretary of War's Personnel Board.

Throughout the integration period, the vast majority of those of the Medical Corps whose age required their appointment in the grade of major were selected because of outstanding professional qualifications and in most cases were required to be diplomates of one of the American specialty boards. This policy undoubtedly resulted in passing over many applicants in the older age groups who, though they had rendered highly satisfactory wartime service, were not established professional specialists.

33War Department Circular No. 392, 29 Dec. 1945.
3460 Stat. 925. Implemented by War Department Circular No. 289, 24 Sept. 1946.
35War Department Special Orders No. 255, 25 Oct. 1945.


507

Medical and Dental Corps

The last appointments into the Medical Corps of the Regular Army prior to the integration program were made in 1944. The strength of the corps on 1 January 1946 was 1,214. Integration gains amounted to 374, while losses during the period amounted to 367. Thus, the integration period produced a net gain of only seven officers for the Medical Corps. Although 3,000 of the 50,000 officer spaces under the two integration statutes had been allotted to the Medical Corps, only 1,221 had been assigned as of 31 December 1947, leaving 1,779 vacancies.

The last appointments into the Dental Corps, Regular Army, prior to the integration program, were made in January 1944. The strength of the corps on 1 January 1946 was 261. Integration gains amounted to 234, while losses during the period amounted to 60. Thus, the integration period produced a net gain of 174, but left the corps still short by 308 officers of its authorized strength of 743.

The results of the integration program as it related to the Medical and Dental Corps in no way compared with the results for the Regular Army as a whole. Of the more than 45,000 eligible medical officers who had served in World War II, only slightly over 500, hardly more than 1 percent, had seen fit to apply for a Regular Army commission. The program did, however, provide new vigor for this corps as a good many of the losses were retirements for age or physical disability while the new appointees were either professional specialists trained in some of the best medical centers of the United States, or young officers with a high military potential. It served to keep the corps afloat while new legislation to make it more attractive to the medical profession was being planned, and professional training programs established. While the Dental Corps filled a larger percentage of its new authorizations, much of the above discussion is also applicable. Indeed, the situation was not peculiar to the Army. The Navy and the Public Health Service were encountering the same retention and procurement problems. This created an awareness, not only in the top levels of the military service but also among members of Congress, that in order for the military services to maintain Medical and Dental Corps of suitable size and quality, some special provision would have to be made for their members to compensate for the extra time and money invested in their education and training, and permit them to have a standard of living at least closer to that of their civilian counterparts.

On the recommendation of the Secretary of War, the necessary legislation was enacted on 5 August 1947.36 It increased the pay of doctors of medicine and dentistry in the military services by $100 per month and authorized the procurement of officers in all grades up to and including the grade of colonel.

3661 Stat. 776; War Department Bulletin 21, 1947.


508

This was the first major legislative breakthrough in the specific interest of these corps.

Veterinary Corps

The Veterinary Corps was in a more favored position than the Medical or Dental Corps in that it experienced an excess of qualified applicants over the number of vacancies available. The strength of the corps as of 1 January 1946 was 113. Integration gains amounted to 118, while losses during the period amounted to 31, producing a net gain of 87. The strength of the corps had been established at 186. In order to permit the integration into the Regular Army of as many qualified veterans of World War II as possible, authority was granted to carry a temporary overstrength of 14 officers, giving a strength of 200 as of 31 December 1947.

Medical Service Corps and its components

While provision was made in the law for appointment in the Medical Administrative Corps up to the grade of captain, Circular 392 authorized the appointment of Medical Administrative and Sanitary Corps officers of the Army of the United States in the Pharmacy Corps, under the provisions stated for that corps. This authority was the result of strong recommendations by The Surgeon General that these officers be given the advantage of the higher ranks available in the Pharmacy Corps. As this was an interim measure pending the securing of legislation authorizing the Medical Service Corps, the special educational requirements for the Pharmacy Corps had to be waived and additional ones added.

This corps was in the most favored position of all. It was considered an extremely good "buy" in relation to the line. Consequently, it attracted the interest of many officers who had served in various corps, other than those in the Medical Department, during the war. Over 2,500 individuals applied for commissions in the Pharmacy Corps, approximately 2 times the ultimate number of vacancies.

The strength of the corps on 1 January 1946 was 66. Integration gains amounted to 727, while losses during the period amounted to 30, thus producing a net gain of 697. The authorized strength of the corps as of 1 January 1946 was 72. This was increased to 1,022 when the allocation of the 50,000 officers was made. As of 31 December 1947, there were 763 assigned and 259 vacancies. In the meantime, on 4 August 1947, Congress passed the Army-Navy Medical Service Corps Act of 1947 which established the Medical Service Corps and abolished the Medical Administrative Corps, Sanitary Corps, and Pharmacy Corps.37

One might wonder why all the vacancies were not filled in view of the large number of qualified applicants. This is accounted for by the fact that

3761 Stat. 734.


509

the vast number of applicants for commissions in the Medical Service Corps were qualified only for appointment in the Pharmacy, Supply, and Administration Section of the corps, which had been tentatively allocated only 60 percent of the position vacancies, the remaining 40 percent being distributed between the Allied Science Section, Sanitary Engineering Section, and Optometry Section. The vacancies existing at the conclusion of the program were in these three sections. It was not considered desirable to fill these vacancies with individuals who were not qualified for one of these three sections, since should qualified individuals become available later for appointment there would be no position vacancies in which they could be placed. Several attractive programs were then under consideration with a view to procuring officers for these sections. Some involved additional education at Government expense. Most were eventually put into effect.

Career Management Program

All the advances during World War II were not made in the professional or scientific fields. As the war in Europe progressed satisfactorily, and action was being taken toward speeding up the contemplated invasion of Japan, the one alarming shortage that appeared on the horizon was not of arms, food, or strategic material, but of manpower. This shortage was not limited to the military services but was being keenly felt in many of the industries and factories of the country. While some personnel management courses were available in several of the colleges and universities prior to the war, it was considered a new and somewhat untried field. Many large business organizations with modern, streamlined programs in other fields had completely ignored this one or were just becoming aware of its potentialities. The Army's plan, while not archaic, could hardly have been called progressive. During the war, however, many studies were made on various levels which brought out the need for more advanced thinking in this regard. "You're in the Army now" could no longer be accepted as the standard reply to any young officer's request for information concerning his job or its future.

It had been clearly demonstrated that most young Americans really are, as often stated, rugged individualists and that they make a better contribution in a field in which their interests lie, or for which they have a particular aptitude or skill. It also showed that job classification not only improved morale but increased production levels. Consequently, after the MOS system of job descriptions had been published and the success of the classification system seemed assured, the War Department made plans for the establishment of a career management program for the Regular Army. The chiefs of the various arms and services were called upon for assistance in the development of the plan. The Surgeon General welcomed this opportunity. Such a program would fit naturally into the already conceived Professional Training Program for the development of the specialists needed in the Medical Service and would permit The Surgeon General, for the first time, to


510

give some assurance to the young physician, dentist, or allied scientist that throughout most of his career in peacetime he would continue in the specialty of his choice.

By way of implementation, The Surgeon General prepared and submitted to the War Department a graphic representation of a pattern for each corps under his jurisdiction. Each pattern showed the various types of assignment and training available to the members of that particular corps during specific time intervals within a 30-year period. Later, it was contemplated that a similar personal pattern for each officer would be prepared showing not only the opportunities in his particular field but also those for transfer to broader fields as he advanced in rank and experience. While the program was not officially announced until June 1948 by The Adjutant General, it was one of the better byproducts of the war and, no doubt, was a tremendous factor later in procurement for, and retention in, the Regular Army of many outstanding and especially qualified young officers,38 who were to prove their worth in Korea.

Thus, well before the end of hostilities, The Surgeon General had turned his attention not only to planning for the orderly return of personnel to civilian life, and for maintaining a large and qualified Reserve group composed of both active and inactive members, but also to strengthening of the Regular Army. All factors were assessed and gains consolidated. The Surgeon General, together with members of his staff and representatives of various echelons of the War Department, had envisioned changes and planned necessary legislation that would result within the next 2 or 3 years in a tremendous increase in the authorized strength of each corps of the Regular Army, and adequate provision for the Reserve Corps, and would give to the Medical Department a large Medical Service Corps, composed of many outstanding administrative and managerial officers as well as those qualified in the allied sciences. The changes brought about also permitted nurses, physical therapists, dietitians, and occupational therapists to become an integral part of the Regular Army. A much closer liaison with civilian medical and allied professions was established and plans were well underway for excellent and modern professional and military training and career guidance programs.

38War Department Technical Manual 20-605, Career Management for Army Officers.

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