5-244 To General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, October 2, 1945

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: October 2, 1945

Subject: Postwar

To General of the Army Douglas MacArthur

October 2, 1945 Radio No. WARX-72310. Washington, D.C.


To General MacArthur from General Marshall.

Ultimate composition and organization of occupational forces for Japan, Korea and the Ryukyus is being considered here. WARX 70811 and CAX 52442 illustrate one phase of this problem. Additional suggestions are receiving consideration. One proposal under consideration envisages that the major portion of the occupational force ultimately might be organized along a super military police line with highly mobile tactical units in reserve rather than along the present lines of purely combat organizations. In such an organization, U.S. personnel would be placed in local command staff and other key positions with most subordinate positions held by Japanese for Japan and Ryukyus and by Koreans for Korea. In addition with the establishment of such a police force, it would be necessary that it have the backing of small U.S. combat formations on the order of regimental combat teams located in various strategic areas and capable of rapid movement to threatened points by air or ground. Under this concept, the total of U.S. combat elements might not be greater than the equivalent of one or two divisions.1

The type of U.S. personnel to be utilized in this proposed integrated military police organization is also being considered. Over-age or limited duty personnel might be satisfactory. Special enlistments in high NCO grade for U.S. personnel to be utilized for this purpose might provide inducement to enable the procurement of sufficient personnel. Commissioned rank might be given to outstanding NCO types as we did for [Philippine] Scouts. Some special legislation might be required.

Methods of effecting the integration of such a force might take one of the following forms:

A. All officers and NCO’s to be U.S., the remainder to be natives.

B. All officers and NCO’s and one squad per military police platoon to be U.S., the remainder to be native.

Variations of the above proposal might consist of replacing native personnel in the integrated organization proposed above by Chinese or Filipino personnel.

Will you consider the foregoing and forward your comments with respect to (1) Japan, (2) Korea and (3) Ryukyus.

Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Top Secret Message File CM-OUT-72310, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

Document Format: Typed radio message.

1. A U.S. Infantry division included 15,007 enlisted personnel and 831 officers at this time. (See Table of Organization and Equipment No. 7, June 1, 1945.) If various support units were included, the total could nearly double. On September 17, General MacArthur had announced that “within six months the occupational force, unless unforeseen factors arise, will probably number not more than 200,000 men.” If the other Pacific allies participated in the occupation, U.S. troops might only amount to half that figure. As these numbers clashed with Truman administration efforts to get Congress to support an unprecedentedly large peacetime professional army backed by universal military training, they had occasioned a brief controversy. (Foreign Relations, 1945, 6: 716; James, MacArthur, 3: 18-24.)

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. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 320-321.

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