AGF Study, NO. 6: The Procurement and Branch Distribution of Officers




Three major phases can be distinguished in the procurement and distribution of officers in the Army Ground Forces. During the first phase, the year 1942, the emphasis was on large-scale procurement. This was a year of acute shortage of officers be­cause of the rapid activation of new units. The shortage, filled by 1943, turned into a surplus in that year, principally because of the dropping from the Troop Basis of some 400,000 ground combat troops, including twelve divisions, for which production of officers had begun in advance in the officer candidate schools. The main problem of the second phase, lasting through 1943 and into early 1944, was to control production of officers in order to keep surpluses to a minimum. During 1944 and 1945 operations in overseas theaters defined the officer problem. Two related problems were in the foreground. Requirements for officer replacements in certain arms, principally infantry, forced an expansion of the procurement program. At the same time inactivation of units in other arms, notably antiaircraft and tank destroyer, produced surpluses which had to be resolved. This third phase was marked by a general redistribution of officer strength in the ground arms, with widespread transfers between branches to bring the officer corps into conformity with theater needs.



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