Accession Number:

ADA525040

Title:

Office of Strategic Services Training during World War II

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF INTELLIGENCE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

29.0

Abstract:

In the histories of the Office of Strategic Services OSS, the heralded predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency in World War II, what has been largely neglected is the challenge OSS leaders faced in developing a program to train the glorious amateurs of Americas first central intelligence and covert operations agency. OSSs response to the challenge of preparing operatives for missions deep inside enemy-controlled territory began in 1942 with a paramilitary training program in two national parks. One of its legacies is the CIA training program today. In examining OSS training, this article draws on the authors recent 600-page report to the U.S. National Park Service on OSS training in the national parks as well as his subsequent research for a forthcoming book on OSS training and service in World War II. The article deals primarily with the two main direct action branches, Special Operations SO and Operational Groups OG. In the process, it also refers to training in other operational branches Secret Intelligence SI, X-2 Counterintelligence, Morale Operations MO, and the Maritime Unit MU, plus the Communications Commo Branch. Most of the organizations other components, such as the Research and Analysis Branch, employed people who were already skilled in their fields and who did not generally require OSS training. This essay addresses several questions. Why were the national parks chosen as training sites How was the training program created What were its aims and methods How did it evolve Most importantly, how effective was the training and what was its legacy

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Intelligence
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE