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Memorandum for the Secretary of War
March 29, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
Subject: Induction of IV-F men.
From what I can learn following a very brief survey of the situation, it would be inadvisable for the War Department to recommend to the Congress the suggested procedure of inducting IV-F men who did not seek employment in essential industries. The principal objections, as I understand it, follow:
In the first place, we are now approaching the saturation point on limited service men and the moment we reach our ceiling of 7,700,000 (about April 15) the intention is to cease induction of limited service men and utilize returned wounded men and other similarly partially disqualified men in the Zone of the Interior. This has two advantages, the principal one being that the man has already had his basic training as well as more experience and further, that he has served the Government at a sacrifice and is therefore fully entitled to all the benefits that accrue to a veteran. To use the limited service man means he must have his preliminary training of at least six weeks and he then is probably much less well fitted for the work than the men by then returned from arduous service, wounds, etc., overseas.
The next and possibly most serious objection is that we would in effect stultify the approved action of the President on the recent Combined Committee to reexamine the physical standards. This, because the Committee was firmly opposed to a further reduction for sound reasons, and to turn to the acceptance of the IV-F men means a lowering of standard even below that of the present limited service men. We would probably have the result that many of these IV-F men would prefer to work laggardly at Army jobs and enjoy all the benefits of veteran legislation; we would be getting lowered efficiency compared to returned men from overseas who must be expected in large numbers very shortly; but most serious of all, we would immediately be involved in Congressional action to a general lowering of physical standards in order to avoid the induction of fathers.
There is a very serious administrative problem involving undoubtedly a heavy burden that would be required to manage the surveillance of these men who had been inducted and then furloughed to the Reserve to see whether or not they went into essential industries and remained on the job. We would probably become involved in having a heavy overhead burden of people involved in this surveillance. Whether or not it is a practical proposition would remain to be determined.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 377-378.