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United States Army Officer Development And Procurement During World War I and II: How The Army Grew Its Officer Corps

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Technical Report,05 Jul 2015,26 May 2016

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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The contemporary United States Army officer corps consists of an all-volunteer force. While highly effective the army has not fought a protracted war with a near peer competitor since the inception of the all-volunteer force in 1973. The need for rapid expansion of the officer corps would be required if the army finds itself in such a dilemma. This monograph presents two officer development and recruitment models utilized during the rapid military expansions of World War I and II. First is the Plattsburg officer training camps championed by the Military Training Camps Association, General Leonard Wood, and the cause of preparedness. The Plattsburg Camps focused on volunteer recruitment of highly educated members of society to serve as officers. These camps ended up producing the majority of officers that served in World War I and provide an example of maximum flexibility in recruitment and promotion. The second model looks at the rise of the Officer Candidate School following the 1940 Peacetime Draft and General George C. Marshalls desire for officers that already have military experience. This presented a new challenge as the institutional systems that did not exist prior to World War I added a level of bureaucracy that affected the methodology for officer expansion.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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