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35th Infantry Divisions Mobilization, Training, and Integration in World War II: A Lesson in Deploying National Guard Divisions for Large-Scale Combat Operations

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Technical Report,25 Jun 2018,23 May 2019

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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The realities of World War II compelled the US Army to activate the National Guard en masse. Federalizing the National Guard proved critical prior to potentially utilizing expeditionary military forces. At the time, the National Guard acted as the largest component of the Army and contained not only troop strength, but also provided command and control capabilities organic in its division headquarters. National Guard units became vital to quickly mobilize forces for national defense and eventually the execution of the largest expeditionary war the United States has ever seen. The 35th Infantry Division became one of these divisions first mobilized in 1940. The process of mobilizing, training, and integrating National Guard divisions into the Regular Army has not occurred in-scale, since World War II. This monograph strives to identify successes and shortfalls of activating the 35th Infantry Division during World War II for overseas service. The contemporary US Army has a preponderance of forces in the Army National Guard and the US Army Reserve. In aggregate, US Army resources amount to three corps headquarters and eighteen division headquarters to employ in large-scale combat operations. Cohesively, the three compositions COMPOs, which are known as the Total Army include COMPO 1 Regular Army, COMPO 2 Army National Guard, and COMPO 3 Army Reserve. With eight division headquarters nested within the National Guard, synchronization of the Total Army becomes critical to US Armed Forces success in the next conflict against a near-peer adversary in a contested operational environment. The United States faces threats from competitors such as Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and violent extremist organization in a complex and interconnected world. The story of the 35th Infantry Divisions preparation for the European Theater of Operations during World War II informs todays challenge to effectively integrate the Army National Guard with the Regular Army.


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