The Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops - Vol. 1

The Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops - Vol. 1

The Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops - Vol. 1

The Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops - Vol. 1

Excerpt

In the series of historical studies of the Army Ground Forces, 1942-45, a volume previously published, The Organization of Ground Combat Troops, deals with policies governing the number, size, composition, and equipment of the ground combat units in World War II. This volume centers on training, the principal mission of the Army Ground Forces. Since the obtaining of qualified personnel proved to be basic to the fulfillment of this mission, the first three studies deal with the procurement of enlisted men and officers possessed of the qualities and aptitudes desired for service in ground combat. The three studies which follow discuss the policies and problems involved in the training of individuals, enlisted and commissioned, for their special functions in ground combat --a responsibility which the Commanding General of the Army Ground Forces received in March 1942 as successor to the chiefs of the statutory arms. The last four studies in the volume deal with the training of units, which the Army Ground Forces regarded as its principal and most urgent task.

The preparation for combat of a large force of combined arms, rather than school or replacement training, was the aspect of the mission of the Army Ground Forces to which initial priority was given by Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, its commander until July 1944. The consequence was an emphasis on the field training of units, particularly of divisions. The building and training of infantry divisions and related activities are described in this volume. Other volumes will deal with such phases of training as the preparation for combat of special types of divisions, the maneuvers of corps and armies, and combined air-ground training.

In general, the principle governing the historical program of the Army Ground Forces was to concentrate on accomplishing what probably could not be done as well, if at all, after the war. Concretely, this meant exploiting the advantages of access to the records while these were being made, and of access to the officers of the command while the problems they faced and the solutions proposed were in the foreground of their thought and interest. The subjects chosen for intensive study reflect the major activities and problems of the Army Ground Forces. Inevitably this choice made the survey a study of high command and not of tactical units or of the establishments concerned with individual training.

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