In the American Spirit
The purpose of this booklet is to help you make the change from civil to military life, which millions of your fellow Americans already have made. Members of your family will be equally interested in reading this booklet, to secure a clearer picture of the first part of your life in the Army of the United States.
YOUR COUNTRY has selected you for a most important part in America's war program. You are to receive training as a soldier in the Army of the United States. Ours is an army of free men joined in a common effort to preserve those human liberties and dignities which were bought for us by the blood of earlier Americans.
From village and city, from farm and office and factory, millions of Americans have been selected for military service without distinction of class or creed or color. You are being called into the Army because your country is in danger. You will fight to protect your family, your home, your government against powerful and ruthless enemies who seek to enslave us.
There is nothing basically new in this American policy of universal liability to military service. It is as old as our free nation. On July 18, 1775, a month after the Battle of Bunker Hill and a year before the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress recommended "to the inhabitants of the United English Colonies that able-bodied, effective men, between 16 and 50 years of age, be formed into companies of militia."
In 1792, 17 years later, the Congress of the United States adopted a law, closely patterned after the 1775 recommendation, fixing the age limits for military service at 18 and 45.
Today, in a world menaced by tyrants, the United States of America stands free, strong and unafraid. Once again we are meeting a challenge to the American way of life.
The great nation we have built, our high standards of living, our political and religious liberties are an inspiration and an ideal to free men everywhere. But they are also the envy of those despoilers of the rights of man who lack the will to progress except by conquering and looting their neighbors; whose announced ambition is to subjugate the peoples of the entire world.
On December 7, 1941, by a treacherous attack carried out from behind the screen of peaceful gestures, America was forced to meet
the challenge of these powerful enemies. You have been called now to assist in the preservation of our liberties, which they would destroy.
The leader of a lost nation has said sorrowfully, "Our spirit of enjoyment was stronger than our spirit of sacrifice. We wanted to have more than we wanted to I've. We tried to spare effort and we met disaster."
On the day of Pearl Harbor Americans set aside everything but the will to victory. This is the American spirit. It is your spirit---prizing freedom and fighting for freedom. Entering the Army of the United States in that firm resolve you will easily make the adjustments needed to become a good American soldier.
America has always been a country that prided herself on her spirit of
youth and hopefulness and initiative. Youth means a predominance of courage
over timidity, of the desire for adventure over the love of ease, of faith,
of self-confidence, and of hope. These are the factors which enter into the
spirit which we call morale and which is more valuable on the battlefield than
all the other elements of defense.
Secretary of War.
What the Army Expects of You and What the Army Offers You
As a SOLDIER in the Army of the United States you are sworn to bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America. You are to serve your country honestly and faithfully against all its enemies, and to obey the orders of the President of the United States 'and of the officers he appoints over you, according to the Rules and Articles of War.
You may feel that in becoming a soldier you are entering upon 8 strange and different sort of life-totally apart from anything you have ever known. In a sense this is true. You will find that by civilian standards the life of a soldier is hard, simple, and full of action.
After you have become accustomed to a soldier's routine, however, you will find many similarities between Army and civilian life. In your civilian job you learned that faithful discharge of your duties plus efficiency and initiative opened up the way to advancement. You found that the impression you made upon your fellow workers, your foreman, the higher executives of your company, was important. You found that qualities of leadership were quickly rewarded. Above all, you found that teamwork was necessary-whatever your job if the organization of which you were a part was to function to its best advantage.
All of these experiences you will find repeated in the Army. From start to finish, the Army calls for teamwork. To secure this teamwork, from squads and platoons and companies through battalions and regiments and divisions, the individual soldier must conform to the aims of the particular unit of which he is a member.
This is the reason for military discipline, which includes cheerful and instant obedience to the orders given to you by your noncommissioned and commissioned officers. They have had their duties determined by still higher authority and, in turn, must have their instructions carried out by you. This insistence upon discipline is part of your training. Without it, disaster in battle would result, for in battle there is no time to reason the "why" of an order. Obedience must be instant and instinctive.
In your home and school you were taught to be polite and considerate in your speech and attitude. This was courtesy. Military courtesy is the same except that the military man's pride in his profession is such that courtesy in the Army is more carefully observed than in civil life. The military salute, which you give to an officer of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, is a courteous salutation exchanged only by members of the armed forces. The officer returns your salute in the same spirit.
The history of the Army of the United States covers more than a century and a half, and it is rich in traditi6n and honor. You are now becoming a part of that tradition. Each soldier carries the good name of the service with him wherever he goes. If you are clean, neat, courteous and carry yourself with dignity and pride, you will maintain the high opinion held of Army men everywhere.
The Army expects you to keep in top-notch physical condition and for that purpose provides good food, clothing, sanitary facilities, physical training and medical care. Your opponents are tough, hardened by rigorous physical discipline. You must be tougher than they are. A soldier who is physically unfit for duty is as much a casualty as if an enemy bullet had felled him. When that unfitness is the result of the soldier's own carelessness or, worse yet, of his own misconduct, he is guilty of a breach of trust to his comrades, his Army, his Government, and his fellow Americans.
No soldier in the world is better fed than the American soldier. He consumes 5 pounds of food per day, which, plus his rigorous physical exercise, largely accounts for the fact that the recruit gains, on the average, a pound a month in his first 6 months of service. In spite of the hard physical exercise which makes up much of a soldier's day, you will probably find within a few short weeks that good food, good exercise, regular hours of sleep Army routine, and the great number of measures taken to prevent the outbreak of disease, leave you feeling better than you have ever felt in your life.
The Army expects you to feel that way. There is a daily morning "sick call" aimed at revealing and halting illness at its beginning.
If you feel below par in the morning, Army doctors want to see you immediately. They will diagnose and treat your ailment before it gets a start.
Army medical experts have personally made, and are now secretly making, surveys of every part of the world to which the Army may carry its activities in order that they will be able to control, at the proper time, the diseases found there.
In addition to robust health the Army offers you the comradeship which comes with the close association of men at arms. You will learn to live, work, fight, and play together as a team, forming friendships that will last forever. Men are never so close as when they face danger and overcome obstacles together.
Not long after his induction the Army presents each soldier with a small,
khaki-bound volume of the Scriptures, relating to his particular faith.
There are opportunities for religious worship at all posts, camps, and
stations. Although attendance is not compulsory, every inducement is offered
the soldier to attend church services, either at the post chapel or at
the church of his faith in the nearby towns. Become acquainted with the
chaplain. Part of his duty is to serve as your friend, counselor and guide,
no matter whether you belong to his church, another church or to no church.
Though the Army is work-and hard work-the Army realizes the importance of recreation in the physical fitness of its soldiers. There are brief rest periods during the day. Unless you are on duty, your evenings and your Sundays will often be free.
Each company has its own "day room" in which you may read, write, and otherwise spend your spare time.
Large posts have large libraries, and small traveling libraries visit smaller posts and outlying commands.
Camp theaters are provided for motion pictures, amateur dramatics, and radio broadcasts originating from camps. Mass athletics and singing are encouraged. Service clubs, offering many diversions for your spare time, are supervised by experienced Army hostesses.
The Post Exchange, or "P X," is the general store of your Army post, at which you will find merchandise at low prices. It sells everything from cigarettes and magazines to toothpaste and ice cream.
Guest houses at larger posts offer low-cost rooms to friends and relatives who come to visit you. In many areas, recreational camps have been provided where you may spend an interesting weekend at low cost.
Towns and cities near posts are providing other entertainment facilities for soldiers, sailors, and marines-greatly aided by the efforts of the United Service Organizations. You probably already know of the work your own town is doing to entertain men on leave. If your future post is too far from home for a visit on pass, you will find similar wholesome entertainment in a nearby city.
Do not assume from this list that Army life is largely recreation. It is hard work, exacting work. The Army knows this, and so provides a variety of ways for you to relax and enjoy yourself when you have done a full day's work at the business of becoming a soldier. Leisure and recreation are earnedin the Army, just as in civil life.
THE SOLDIER'S JOB
Service in the Army is a good job. Even the pay of the beginner is good, for it is your own money to spend as you like. You pay nothing for room, board, clothing, or medical care. Many selectees have estimated that the pay of a private is equal to civilian pay of $150 a month, when consideration is given to the fact that a civilian has to pay for room, food, clothing, medicine, transportation to and from work, and for various incidentals which are furnished free in the Army.
You will enter the Army as a private, but not long after you begin your basic training which normally requires 13 weeks, opportunities for advancement begin. There are six grades of enlisted men above that of private. These include not only the noncommissioned officers who assist the commissioned officers in training, but also the "technicians" whose specialized skill-brought from civilian life or developed in the Army later-entitles them to a technician's grade and advanced pay.
The following table will show the pay scale of the Army for different grades open to noncommissioned personnel. Furthermore, each year thousands of men from the ranks qualify for Officer Candidate School where, through special training and study, they learn the greater responsibilities of an officer's job and, if successful, are commissioned as second lieutenants. On overseas service, pay of enlisted men is increased 20 percent. Pay of commissioned officers is increased 10 percent.
PAY SCALE FOR ENLISTED MEN
Rank Grade Monthly pay
Master Sergeant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 $138
First Sergeant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 $138
Technical Sergeant . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 $114
Staff Sergeant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 $ 96
Technician Third Grade . . . . . . . . 3 $ 96
Sergeant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 $ 78
Technician Fourth Grade . . . . . . . .4 $ 78
Corporal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 $ 66
Technician Fifth Grade . . . . . . . . . 5 $ 66
Private First Class . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 $ 54
Private . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 $ 50
ALLOWANCES FOR YOUR DEPENDENTS
As you have seen, the Army will take care of your living expenses by providing you with food, clothing, shelter, and medical care entirely free.
The Army also wants you to be free from worry about the financial care of your family and other dependents you may leave behind when you become a soldier.
The Servicemen's Dependents Allowance Act of 1942 authorizes payment of monthly family allowance to certain of your relatives and dependents if you are a Private, Private First Class, Technician Fifth Grade, Corporal, Technician Fourth Grade, or Sergeant. Official application forms for these allowances will be furnished you at the Reception Center by your commanding officer.
Under terms of the Act, you may get an allowance for your wife and children. You may also get an allowance for your dependent parents, unmarried brothers, sisters, and grandchildren under 18 years of age, if you can show that they are dependent upon you for a substantial portion of their support.
This family allowance is made up of money contributed by the Government, plus money deducted from your pay. These two amounts will be put together and mailed out each month in the form of a check to your relatives and dependents.
The amount deducted from your pay will depend on the class of relatives and dependents who are to receive an allowance. There are two classes eligible.
"Class A" relatives are wife, children, and former wife, divorced, to whom alimony is payable.
"Class B" dependents include your parents, grandparents, stepparents, parents through adoption, parents-in4aw, and unmarried brothers, sisters and grandchildren who are under 18 years of age and dependent upon you for a substantial portion of their support. To get an allowance for "Class B" dependents, you must prove that they are in fact your relatives and that they are dependent upon you for a substantial portion of their support.
If you have only "Class A" or "Class B" relatives to receive an allowance $22 will be deducted from your pay each month. If you have both "Class A" and "Class B" relatives to receive an allowance, $27 will be deducted from your pay each month.
To this, the Government will add stated amounts for the various relatives and dependents. For example, the Government will contribute $28 for a soldier's wife, $40 for a wife and one child, $50 for a wife and two children, $15 for one dependent parent, $25 for two dependent parents, and $5 for a dependent unmarried brother, sister or grandchild under 18 years of age.
Detailed instructions for filing an application are printed on the application form which will be given you, on request, when you reach the Reception Center. The type of documentary evidence which must be submitted is also explained. Soldiers are allowed up to six months after filing an application in which to submit this evidence.
Your dependents may also file application but only if you have not already
done so, and they must submit documentary evidence of dependency with the
The allowance will begin to accrue on the first of the month following the date of application and, if approved, will be payable to your relatives and dependents at the end of that month.
Of course, the Government must be very careful that only those persons who are entitled to a family allowance are paid. Applications will be thoroughly checked and investigated, and the law provides a heavy fine or a prison term, or both, for fraud or attempted fraud.
As further financial safeguard for your family or dependents you may obtain low cost "term insurance" in amounts from $1,000 to $10,000 under provisions of the National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940. Billions of dollars worth of economic protection has been purchased in this way by soldiers in the Army of the United States.
Initial policies are granted on a 5-year level premium plan, carrying a low premium rate for that period, based on your age when you take out the insurance. A man of 21 pays an annual premium on each $1,000 of insurance of $7.70. For a man of 45 the yearly cost is $11.72. After carrying the policy for 1 year, this "term insurance may be converted by the insured to either ordinary life, 20-payment life, or 30-payment life policies.
Payment of premiums may be made by direct remittance or by deduction from pay.
The Government has provided still further protection for the life you
will leave behind. In becoming a soldier you are not being deprived of
your civil rights. On the contrary, special civil rights have been incorporated
into law for your particular and exclusive benefit. Your civilian job is
protected; when the war is over and you are returned to civil life, your
employer must restore you to a position of the same security, status, and
pay that you left to enter the Army, unless circumstances make such restoration
unreasonable. Full details of the special rights operating in your favor
are set forth in the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940.
GOOD-BYE TO THE HOME FRONT
You know now that you will make the transition from civilian to soldier with no worries about the home front to burden your days at camp. You can resolve, therefore, that all of your thoughts and your energies will be devoted to this new career which you are about to enter. To get the most out of the Army, put your best into it. Until this war is finished and victory is won, it is the duty of every soldier to concentrate on his job. The Army is your job now. In a few days you will report at an Induction Station and, after an interval to put your civilian affairs in order, you will go to a Reception Center and from there to a Replacement Training Center or directly to a unit. Let's see now what will happen when you actually become a soldier. Good luck!
The Induction Station
BY THE ORDERLY and fair process of Selective Service you have been chosen, with a number of your fellow Americans, to present yourself for examination. On a certain day you will meet and go in a body to the Induction Station.
You have already received a preliminary "screening examination" which has disclosed no obvious disqualifying defects. Now you are to have a thorough physical examination.
One member of your group will be designated as the leader and he will be entrusted with your transportation and meal tickets, paid for by the Government. On arrival at the induction station you will immediately begin the routine of physical examination, during which you pass under the scrutiny of Army doctors who are specialists. Should they discover some major physical disability which was not apparent or did not exist at the time of your preliminary examination, you will be rejected for military service and returned home with transportation paid. In that case you will be given a written description of your physical defects. This report should be discussed with your family physician so that you can take steps to correct the condition or to hold it in check.
If the result of the examination is favorable, you will be sworn in immediately and become a soldier in the Army of the United States.
You will not go straight to camp. You will receive papers containing your orders and explaining that you have been transferred to the Enlisted Reserve Corps on inactive duty for 7 days. If you wish, you may waive this delay and be sent immediately to a Reception Center. Otherwise you will now return home with your group to resign your civilian job and put your affairs in order before reporting in a week for active Army duty at a reception center.
You haven't a uniform yet, but you are a soldier, nevertheless. You're in the Army now.
The Reception Center
THE RECEPTION CENTER is your introduction to Army life. It is just what its name implies, a camp where civilians are received into the Army. Your stay will be brief, a few days at most. But before you leave for the Replacement Training Center or the unit to which you are assigned, you will look like a soldier, for you will have been completely uniformed and you will begin to feel like a soldier.
When you pack your bag, plan to travel light. The Army is going to reclothe you, complete to underwear, socks and handkerchiefs. If you have a pair of brown shoes, it would be well to wear them in preference to black, as you will be permitted to use them instead of issue shoes when not on duty.
You will be given a toilet kit containing razor, shaving brush, and toothbrush, but no shaving soap or tooth powder or tooth paste, so be sure to provide yourself with these. If you have a favorite razor, by all means take it along. And do not forget your comb.
When you reach the Reception Center you will be assigned to a Receiving Company, living in barracks or tents, which will be your home during this brief period. You must remain in your company area unless allowed to go outside of it by your company commander. The reason for this is that the machinery of the Reception Center works on a definite schedule. Your officers must be sure that you are on hand for all: the steps in "processing," which is an Army word to cover the steps described below.
Training: You will receive elementary instruction at the Reception Center in Army Regulations, military courtesies, sanitation, and the Articles of War. There may be some practice in Infantry drill.
Receiving Room: Here the records you bring from the Induction Station are examined and your Qualification Card is started.
Measuring Room: The correct size of your hat, shoes, shirt collar,
etc., will be determined here before your uniform is issued.
General Classification Test: One of the first things you will do at the Reception Center will be to take the Army General Classification Test. This test helps the Army to determine how men shall be assigned on the basis of their ability to learn rapidly the duties and responsibilities of a soldier in various branches of the Army. It is important to you since your role in the Army will depend in part on how well you do on the test. For this reason an explanation of the test is given to you.
In the test there are three kinds of questions. One kind tests your ability with words, their uses and meanings; another kind presents simple arithmetic problems; and a third kind is made up of box-counting questions. Now these three kinds of questions-vocabulary (word meaning), arithmetic, and box counting-are all there is to the General Classification Test.
When you are taking the test, you will not mark your answers on the test itself, but on a separate answer sheet, which is later scored by an electric machine. This answer sheet is very easy to use, and at the proper time you will be told exactly how to use it.
Here are some tips to help you do your best on the test:
1. Don' t cram for this examination. Even if you could cram for the test and raise your score a few points, the results would not be a true indication of your ability. And in such case you might be assigned to a type of job for which you are unfit.
2. Get as much sleep as you can the night before the examination. It is just as important for you to be in shape for a mental test as it is for a football player to be in condition for the big game.
3. Don't be discouraged if you can't answer all the questions.
No one is expected to answer all the questions in the time allowed. Just work as fast as you can and as accurately as you can. Above all, don't spend too much time on any question you're in doubt about.
4. If you don't know the answers to some of the questions3 make the best guess you can.
5. When you are seated in the examination room at the Reception Center pay attention to every word the examiner says. If you are talking to a friend or looking out the window when the examiner is explaining how to take the test, you may suffer for it by failing to make your highest possible score.
6. Do your level best on the test. The Army wants to know just how good you are. A high test score, along with other qualifications such as job experience, education, and special trade skills, may help you to get the kind of job you want in the Army.
Classification Interview: Here you will have a conference with
an interviewer. He is a soldier like yourself. He is trained to this sort
of work. His purpose is to help determine your job in the Army. Give him
all the information you can, as quickly and as simply as possible, but
also in as much detail as you can. Thereby you will be assisting both the
Army and yourself.
It will help if you understand the purpose behind this interview. Not so long ago about all a soldier had to do was to carry a weapon and know how to use it. Today the trade of a soldier has become highly technical. Hundreds of special skills are required. The Army, therefore, is eager to discover and to use these special skills. It is equally eager to find out your aptitudes-the ease with which you might learn certain skills you do not now possess.
The Army needs to know your educational background, what has been your main occupation, your secondary occupation, and how long you worked at each. It needs to know what languages you speak, what talents you have, what your hobbies are, what sports you like.
Other questions aim at developing information on leadership ability and previous military experience.
The test results are entered on the Soldier's Qualification Card, which now carries a fairly detailed picture of you-what you are like, what you have done, and what you probably can learn to do. Later this information will be of enormous value to the assignment officer when he decides in which branch of the Army you should be placed.
Supply Assembly Room The clothing measurements which were made earlier have now become actual articles of uniform. They will be issued to you now and you will try them on to make sure that they fit. The Army is as much interested as you are in how you look and how well your uniform fits you, not only because a soldier must be neat but because an ill-fitting uniform would hamper him in training exercises. If adjustments are needed, now is the time to point them out. When everything is satisfactory, you will take your clothing to the clothing record room and sign for it.
Barracks or Tents: You will now return to your Receiving Company and arrange your property (which is actually not your property at all, but Government property entrusted to your care) as indicated on charts displayed for your guidance. Do it the way the charts tell you. An army is not an army unless order and method prevail. You are not asked to conform to the general practice as a matter of discipline but because only by conforming to an established routine can any army function smoothly and efficiently. When you go to the Replacement Training Center or unit there will be frequent inspections of your clothing and equipment. Much time is saved if the inspecting officer knows exactly where everything should be placed.
Civilian clothing: Army Regulations require a soldier to wear his uniform at all times excepting when he is engaged in some form of exercise. You will have no further use for civilian clothing, and you may now make arrangements to ship it home. This may be done at Government expense not to exceed four pounds. Paper and string will be provided for you.
Infirmary: For your protection against disease, you will be vaccinated and inoculated. Daily while you are at the Reception Center you will be examined for the detection of any contagious ailment.
Records and Assignment Room: All of your papers will be checked here for accuracy. At this time, too, you will be given an opportunity to apply for an allotment for family or dependents (see page 9), as well as to take out Government life insurance (see page 10).
ASSIGNMENT TO BRANCH
WHEN DATA from your classification interview and your classification test are assembled, they are passed on to an assignment officer whose job is to place you in the branch of the Army to which your experience and ability make you most suited.
The Army is divided into three broad classifications: The Army Ground Forces, the Army Air Forces and the Services of Supply. These, in turn, are divided into the branches which engage in specific types of fighting or provide the fighting forces with supplies or with support behind the lines. Here is a tabulation of the branches which are grouped into each category.
ARMY GROUND FORCES
These troops usually fight, as the name implies, on the ground. They include the Infantry, Field Artillery, Cavalry, Coast Artillery (including Anti-Aircraft Artillery), Armored Force and Airborne Units. Certain units of the Engineers, Signal Corps, Ordnance Department, Quartermaster Corps and Chemical Warfare Service are assigned to the Army Ground Forces for direct support and supply and when so assigned are considered ground force troops.
ARMY AIR FORCES
These are the troops that generally fight in the air, or which contribute directly to combat by air. Air Forces men are all assigned to the Air Forces directly. Though there are various "commands" performing specific functions within the Air Forces, and you will find yourself in one or another of them if you enter this arm, no official insignia distinguish the different commands. All men wear the insignia of the Air Forces. As in the case of the ground forces, certain elements of the services (Engineers, Signal Corps, Ordnance Department, Quartermaster Corps, and Chemical Warfare Service) are organically assigned to the Army Air Forces.
SERVICES OF SUPPLY
As its name implies, the various branches of the Services of Supply provide the Army with what it needs to wage war. Most of the services are primarily noncombatant, since their job is supply rather than fighting, but men assigned to most of them are likely to see action. Included in this category are the Quartermaster Corps, the Corps of Engineers, the Transportation Corps, the Ordnance Department, the Medical Department, the Signal Corps and the Chemical Warfare Service. The Administrative Services are also grouped in the Services of Supply. These include the Post Exchange Service, the Corps of Chaplains, the Finance Department, the Judge Advocate General's Department, the Statistical Service, the Adjutant General's Department, the Provost Marshal General's Department (under which is organized the Corps of Military Police), and the Special Service Division.
Each of these branches has its own traditions. Each, whether its place is at the front line or behind it, is an honored part of the fighting forces of the Army of the United States. On an earlier page the importance of teamwork in the Army was stressed. Teamwork reaches its highest development in the coordination of these various branches of the Army for success in battle.
The assignment officer has requisitions from each of these branches for a certain number of recruits. His job is to fill quotas by placing men in the branches to which they seem best suited.
For example, a recruit may be a young law-school graduate who had studied physics and engineering before entering law, whose hobby is teletype design, and who has just left a job as clerk in a patent lawyer's office. The classifier may have designated his main civilian occupation as lawyer, his second best occupation as clerk, and his recommended Army assignment as the Signal Corps.
In all probability, therefore, he will go to the Signal Corps. But if requisitions for this branch are temporarily filled, the assignment officer may decide to send him instead to the Engineers or the Armored Force. In the high specialization of a modern army, qualifications which fit a man for one branch may often be put to similar use in another. For example, an expert radioman who had expected Signal Corps assignment might be sent instead to the Infantry-not to have his radio talents lost, but to operate one of the vital "walkie-talkie" radio pack sets by which front-line units keep in touch with others farther back.
So don't be disappointed if your first assignment to a branch doesn't seem what you expected. The Army is just as interested in the full use of your talents as you are. If you should be temporarily placed in work which does not seem to use your specialties, remember that your qualification card is always with you. When men are needed later for special assignments which require such talents as you possess, these cards are examined and men chosen from them.
YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
THE ARMY appreciates the fact that the family you have just left wants to know all about you. As soon as you have been assigned to a Replacement Training Center or unit, a card is sent to your nearest relative giving your new address. Relatives and friends may write you there as often as they wish.
But-ask your relatives and friends not to write you while you are at the Reception Center, excepting in case of real emergency. You will be there only a few days at most, and any letter addressed to you is almost certain to arrive after you have left. This means that it must be forwarded to your new station and will reach you only after a delay. The task of readdressing slows up the operations of the Reception Center.
CHECKED. RECHECKED AND CLASSIFIED
The Army has now finished its preliminary processing of you as a recruit.
You have your uniform and you know something about
military courtesy and military drill. The Army also knows a great deal
about you and has decided where it wants to start your training. At the
Replacement Training Center or unit to which you are assigned your intensive
study of the soldier's craft will begin.
To Replacement Training Center or Unit
You ARE NOW READY to receive what the Army calls your "basic training." This includes instruction not only in the craft of the soldier but in the life of the soldier as well. You will learn how the Army is organized from squad (which is its smallest unit) to field army (which is its largest). You will learn to shoot straight and to march like a soldier. You will learn how to pitch a tent, roll a pack, make a bed. You will learn first aid and military sanitation, defense against chemical attack, how to use a bayonet, interior guard duty, and map reading.
You have now been assigned either directly to a unit or to a Replacement Training Center. The Replacement Training Center, as its name implies, is a post where recruits are trained to serve as replacements in a permanent tactical unit, such as a division. Replacements may actually "replace" men in a division already organized, or they may be sent to compose some of the new divisions which are being constantly formed in this great expanding Army of which you are now a part.
If you are sent to a Replacement Training Center you will normally receive 13 weeks basic training there and at the end of that time you will be sent on to the unit which is to be your permanent assignment in the Army. If you receive your permanent assignment immediately, going straight from the Reception Center to the Unit of which you are to be a part, you will be given the same sort of basic training there.
Now, for the first time, you will learn the routine of the soldier's day. It begins with the bugle call known as "Reveille" at about 5:40 o'clock. You have about 20 minutes in which to dress and join the other men of your organization at roll call. Then breakfast, after which the men clean their quarters and prepare for inspection by the organization commander. "Sick call" will be sounded during this early period (see page 6).
Until about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, except for brief rest periods and a wholesome noon dinner, your day will be spent in training, in military drills, physical exercises, lectures, and demonstrations required to develop you into a capable soldier. The particular character of this instruction may vary greatly in different Replacement Training Centers or units, depending upon the branch of the Army to which you have been assigned.
At about 5 o'clock in the afternoon the ceremony of "Retreat" is held. The flag is lowered, accompanied by appropriate military exercises and the playing of the National Anthem. Supper follows the retreat ceremony and then, unless you are on special duty or your unit is engaged in marches or maneuvers simulating actual combat conditions, your day's work is done and you may spend the evening in recreation or study. "Taps" will sound at about 11 o'clock, at which time you must be in bed.
Your basic training will last for 13 weeks, and from the first day you
should resolve to make the most of it. Remember that you are under constant
scrutiny of your noncommissioned and commissioned officers, because it
is part of their job to search out men with the leadership qualities required
for noncommissioned and commissioned officer material.
During this period of basic training you may be recommended for one of the noncommissioned officer grades or you may be given a Technician's rating. Now is the time to realize this point-your advancement in the Army depends entirely on you and your development of soldierly qualities of alertness, self-reliance, and efficiency in the discharge of your duties.
ON YOUR OWN
Now, more than ever before in your life, you are on your own. When you went to the Induction Station, when you arrived at the Reception Center, you were with a group of men, chosen like yourself through Selective Service, and representing every walk of life.
You will begin to appreciate now what an essentially democratic method Selective Service has created to mobilize the manpower of our Nation for war. You could pick out differences in the men when they were civilians. This one had been brought up with more advantages than you; that one with fewer. There was a man with a college degree; that other one had probably stopped his education at the eighth grade.
Now look around you. Instead of a group marked by such differences,
here is one in which all men are the same. They wear the same clothes,
they have the same questions in their minds, for none of them knows more
about soldiering than you. In civilian life, you may have felt that advantages
of money or education had handicapped you in comparison with certain other
men. In the Army those handicaps are all washed out. You start even with
your fellow Americans. What you make of yourself in the Army depends squarely
How to Become an Officer
EACH MONTH several thousand soldiers from the various enlisted grades receive appointment to Officer Candidate School. So rapidly is our Army expanding that there is a tremendous demand for men with the leadership qualities which mark them as officer material, and most of these candidates are selected from the ranks.
A recent survey showed that 60 percent of the new officers commissioned during a certain period were selectees like yourself-men who had shown during their basic training course or later on that they possessed the stuff of officers.
You will want to know how these officer candidates are selected.
From the beginning of your basic training course, the company commander has been studying his men for officer material. After the first month he begins to form his judgments and recommends to those he believes outstanding that they apply for Officer Candidate School.
At the conclusion of your basic training you may be selected for Officer Candidate School where, if you meet the high standards set, you will be graduated a second lieutenant. But do not be discouraged if you are not selected. Many men prefer to remain noncommissioned officers. Remember) too, that if you are not sent to Officer Candidate School at the end of your basic training, the opportunity is not forever lost. You may make application for officer training later on.
In the Army the door is never closed to advancement. More than in any business you have known in civilian life, the Army ways has room for talent at the top.
If you are not invited to apply and still believe you are officer material, you yourself may apply. But whether you are invited to apply by the company commander or whether you apply yourself, the procedure is the same. Y6u write a military letter to the commanding officer of your division, requesting that you be sent to Officer Candidate School. This goes first to the company commander, who will approve and forward it.
If you have applied yourself and the company commander feels you are not qualified, the letter will still be sent forward, though this time it will be marked "not approved." In such cases, conferences between higher commanders and the company commander take place, and the applicant may be interviewed again with the result that the original judgment is either confirmed or altered.
Most enlisted men whose applications are approved go before a board of officers for a written and oral examination. If successful in this, they are recommended to the commanding officer for appointment to Officer Candidate School.
Upon recommendation of the commanding officer, a small percentage of men may be sent to Officer Candidate School without examination by the board of officers in unusual cases, even before completing their basic training.
If you are not selected for Officer Candidate School during basic training, you may apply again later on. During the intervening time you may have developed qualities not apparent at first which now make you officer material.
Officer Candidate Schools offer a training course of 3 months. If you complete the course satisfactorily, you will be commissioned a second lieutenant with base pay of $150 a month, plus certain rental and subsistence allowances.
Just as Replacement Training Centers prepare men for specific branches of the Army, officer candidate schools commission men in various branches. You will not go to the same school if you expect to be an officer in the Corps of Engineers as you would if you were going into the Infantry, for example.
Older men, commissioned as second lieutenants but whose maturity recommends
them for higher commissions, are given further training on completion of
Officer Candidate School for quick advancement to the grade of first lieutenant.
COMMISSIONED OFFICERS' INSIGNIA OF RANK
4 SILVER STARS, GENERAL
3 SILVER STARS, LT. GENERAL
2 SILVER STARS, MAJ. GENERAL
1 SILVER STAR, BRIG GENERAL
LT COLONEL (SILVER LEAF)
MAJOR (GOLD LEAF)
CAPTAIN (2 SILVER BARS)
1ST LIEUTENANT (SILVER BAR)
2D LIEUTENANT (GOLD BAR)
THE STATION of a soldier outside the United States is a military secret which should never be revealed. Your life and the lives of many other soldiers may depend on keeping it secret.
This is a good time to warn you, too, that in the Army you will learn
many things which are military secrets. As a soldier in the Army of the
United States, as part of your oath of allegiance, you must guard these
secrets. There will be many temptations, because of your enthusiasm for
your new work in the Army, to talk about it. Learn now to guard carefully
what you say.
Your personal experiences with fellow soldiers, the routine of your Army life, what you eat and how you sleep are all proper topics of conversation. But beware of talking outside the camp about tactics or the weapons you use and see or how they are used. Beware in particular of saying that certain units of men have moved out of your camp and you think they are going overseas.
Beware of rumors you hear-and never spread one. Scotch it, if you can. Your Government gives out all news of importance about the war-bad as well as good. Information is withheld only when it might be of aid to the enemy. Just as soon as it is felt that the information would no longer be of value it is released generally.
Tell your parents and your friends about the need for military secrecy. To them, you are the Army. By protecting the Army, they are protecting you.
U. S GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 1942
THE WHITE HOUSE
Once again, the destiny of our country is in the hands of the individual soldier.
Upon your courage and efficiency depends the salvation of all that we hold dear.
Prepare yourselves, then, to become good soldiers.
For you will strike the mighty blows that will surely destroy the evil tyrants who menace our freedom, our homes, our loved ones.