1-461 Comments on Vancouver Barracks District C.C.C., October, 1937

Publisher: The George C. Marshall Foundation

Comments on Vancouver Barracks District C.C.C.1

[October, 1937] [Vancouver Barracks, Washington]

The Vancouver District has been making preparations for the past few weeks to welcome the new arrivals from the southeastern portion of the United States. Heretofore we have had a great many men from New England, New York, New Jersey, and the middle west; but now half the district is to be composed of southerners.

It may interest the new men to know that the Ninth Corps Area, or the West Coast, is the only sub-division of the Civilian Conservation Corps to receive companies from other portions of the United States. And the Vancouver District has the largest number of companies from other sections of the country.

This tremendous influx of strangers to this region presents many problems and some very interesting possibilities. Oregon and North Carolina, for example, are as dissimilar in climate and in the customs and attitude of their people as any two states in the Union. And we find in Oregon two totally different climates, with corresponding contrasts in vegetation and use of the soil. The farmer and orchard men of western Oregon compete with the cowboy rancher and sheep herder of the western [eastern] section of the state. Near the coast the winter is one of rains and fogs, with a deep green covering to the landscape. East of the Cascade Mountains the country is bare and open land typical of Wyoming and Colorado.

In the past it has been interesting to find boys from the same section of the east, some of them from the same city, located in the high mountains, some in the barren plains, and others along the sea coast. The first will be engaged in road construction and forestry work, those in the barren sections are usually employed in the construction of small dams and other checks to soil erosion. Along the Coast they are either engaged in forestry work or in attempting to pin down the great drifting sand dunes which have been engulfing fertile land. Each group seems to be happy in its peculiar surroundings, all of which form a striking contrast to the city life with which they have been familiar. The first month of rain usually lowers morale, but after that initiation all seem to accept this odd northwestern trick of the climate like the old timers.

This invasion of men from east of the Mississippi will probably have a marked effect on the future of this part of the country. Many of the newcomers grow to like it so well that they either remain here or return later to marry and settle down. In the 1840’s the pioneers came into Oregon with horse and ox team, over the McKenzie Pass, across the Blue Mountains and down the Columbia. Today they come again, but this time by rail and under the auspices of the Civilian Conservation Corps. There is a great opportunity for the young men from the east in the CCC, to see a wonderful country, acquire healthful habits, and to prepare themselves for some specific work in civil life. I sincerely hope that each new member of the Vancouver District will make a definite plan for improving himself during his service in this region, so that he may graduate from the CCC into a position in civil life as a self-respecting, self-supporting citizen.

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Speeches, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed draft.

1. This article, with minor editorial changes, was published in the Vancouver Barracks C.C.C. District Review, October 15,1937.

Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 561-562.

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