1-158 Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, A.E.F., March 16, 1919

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: March 16, 1919

Memorandum for the Chief

of Staff, A.E.F. [s. Conner]

March 16, 1919 [Chaumont, France]

H. R. 14560, introduced in the House of

Representatives by Mr. Dent


Provides for Regular Army of 574,625.

Abolishes Inspector General’s Department.

Creates: Finance Department,

Transportation Corps,

Motor Transport Corps,

Air Service,

Tank Corps.

Increases General Staff from 52 to 220 officers, and gives large powers to Chief of Staff and broad field to General Staff Corps, revoking previous restrictions.

Combat troop personnel provided for:

Infantry—80 regiments,

Field Artillery—61 regiments,

Cavalry—29 regiments,

Engineers—24 regiments.

Staff Corps proportionately increased.

Organization of units left to discretion of President.

Permanent Staff Officers to be recommissioned in Line.

Detail System continued. (4 years Staff, 2 years Line)

Detached Officers list consists of 1022 officers.

“Manchu” Law repealed.

Promotion by selection beyond next to lowest grade.

Original vacancies may be filled in any grade by appointments from within Army or from those who served in this War.

Officers’ Reserve Corps perpetuated.

Regular Army and Enlisted Reserve Corps abolished.

Compulsory service or universal training not mentioned.

Three year enlistment period recreated.

2. The Bill is radical in its nature, leaving wide discretionary powers to the President; it makes the General Staff Corps a powerful organization but at the same time creates other Corps and gives all Corps and Departments a large personnel of high rank. The wide latitude accorded the President is the most favorable aspect of the Bill; the most serious weakness is the absence of any provision which connects up the Regular Army with some form of a trained reserve. The bill is evidently a temporary measure.

3. The provision for filling of original vacancies created by this act opens up wide possibilities. It permits the entrance into the Regular Army of men under forty years of age who served during the present War Army. It is possible under the provisions of this Bill to appoint a present first lieutenant of Infantry of the Regular Army to fill an original vacancy as a Colonel of Infantry, Regular Army. If this portion of the bill could be wisely applied, it might prove very beneficial, but would undoubtedly be the source of great discontent and of numerous intrigues.

4. The resume of the bill prepared by the A. C. of S., G-5, with attached tables, is quite complete and leaves nothing to add.

Document Copy Text Source: Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I) (RG 120), Records of General Headquarters (GHQ), Adjutant General File (AG), National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

Document Format: Typed memorandum.

Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 182-183.

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