Accession Number:



Leadership Gap in Extremis: Challenges of Officer Procurement in World War II.

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Master's Thesis]

Corporate Author:

US Army Command and General Staff College

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



A leadership gap in extremis is a situation where the U.S. Army is challenged to expand the officer corps through other than traditional means. In World War II the officer corps was stressed to procure competent leaders beyond the commissioning capabilities of the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Reserve Officer Training Corps, the Officer Candidate School, direct commissions, and the capacity provided by the Officer Reserve Corps and National Guard. This is a complex problem which modern Army planners are likely to face again. Based on Army history, future large-scale combat operations will necessitate the rapid expansion of the Army Officer Corps beyond its capability to supply leaders for the nationally mobilized army. Battles of attrition may be protracted, and severe, producing mass casualties requiring the Army to regenerate the Officer Corps while maintaining its combat strength. Between 1939-1945, the Armys Officer Corps grew from an active component of fifteen thousand to a force numbering in the hundreds of thousands. This research focuses on the leadership gap created at the outset of World War II and how the Army addressed challenges of officer procurement.


Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]