Stresses of Rapid Build-up: Personnel and Training
In spite of its excellent framework, the expansion program was hardly launched before it became evident what stresses such a rapid build up would carry with it. In some respects these had been anticipated, since they were comparable to those which the Army as a whole had recently encountered; but there remained one major point of difference: the women's services were dependent upon voluntary recruiting. As the spring of 1943 wore on, it became clear that stresses easily supportable in themselves might nevertheless have an exaggerated effect upon public opinion and the supply of recruits. It was gradually recognized that any attempt at quick expansion by voluntary recruiting carried within itself the seeds of self-defeat.
Training Center Confusion
From the viewpoint of the WAAC training centers, the first six months of 1943 had all the aspects of chaos. As successive new centers were staffed, commandants and key officers seldom stayed more than a few months in any location; experienced instructors, cadre, supply officers, classification officers, all moved to open new centers before projects could be completed or reports made. As new field companies had to be formed, some basic companies were reported to have lost their cadre several times in the four-week basic training. A recruit who trained at Camp Polk wrote:
We changed officers so often that no one knew who was looking after us. We seldom had the same instructor or classroom two days in a row, and some instructors must have just taken over classes because they knew nothing about them. We didn't learn a thing. We never even had a retreat parade the whole time, and I made a fool of myself during one when I got to Fort Riley later. In our last class the workmen walked in and took out the furniture and just left us standing there.1
Field complaints indicated that training authorities sometimes shipped units without advance notice to the station; service records and classification cards at times did not accompany unit movement but arrived as much as two weeks late, incomplete and incorrect, after assignments had been made without benefit of records. Stations protested when Waacs arrived after cross-country trips in dirty coaches without lights or sanitary facilities and with no one responsible in charge.2 At one station
the unit was in the field ten days before an officer arrived. The staff director reported, "Undoubtedly the timing went wrong somewhere, but it created an unfortunate impression of WAAC organization." 3
There were also more lasting inconveniences to stations receiving units. Enrolled women of low ability or questionable character, who once had been weeded out at training centers, now were undetectable in the general confusion and were the subject of complaint when they arrived at field stations. Company officers and cadre for outgoing units were lumped together from whatever was available at the moment, without much consideration of such factors as relative age and civilian experience, although these were often the margin between success and failure in groups of women destined to spend the rest of the war together in one installation. Untried cadre were promoted by training centers to the grades specified in the Table of Organization, often leaving units in the field saddled with incompetents who had too much rank to be reassigned. Officers were sent out as company commanders who had little or no experience or aptitude for the work; Maj. Betty Bandel noted, concerning the Air Forces, "Our greatest problem is our company commanders. I make a special plea that at least one experienced officer go out with any new unit to the field.'' 4
Field stations frequently complained that neither WAAC officers nor enrollees arriving from training centers knew anything about WAAC rules and regulations, and did not have copies of them. Some company commanders considerably embarrassed their staff directors by informing station commanders that the Army had no jurisdiction whatever over WAAC units. Others had little idea of real Army life in the field, and attempted to inculcate a state of discipline and daily routine suitable only for a brief and strenuous basic course, but impossible to sustain in a working unit.5
Commissioning of Unqualified Officers
Among early casualties of the expansion program were the original perfectionist plans for avoiding British mistakes in officer selection. As soon as the expansion program was directed, it was evident that the original carefully selected 1,300 officers would be insufficient to staff the new units. Since officer candidate training was weeks longer than basic training, it became necessary to begin large officer candidate classes before the women to be commanded were even recruited. Unavoidably, almost all came from the training centers, since most companies in the field were still in transit or had not had time to set up boards and select officer candidates, although it was well known that many of the best-qualified women had been placed in early field companies, while those in the training centers had not yet had opportunity to demonstrate leadership under actual field conditions.
As available personnel in training centers was combed over again and again for successive classes, quality fell rapidly. Daytona Beach complained that it had to furnish four large groups of officer candi-
dates from its cadre alone, before trainees arrived, and that while the first group was good, the last three were extremely doubtful. Board members at Des Moines reported, horrified, that they had given the lowest possible scores to certain applicants who were judged impossible material because of poor appearance, manners, education, and possibly morals, yet to make up the required quota they were directed by the WAAC Training Command to go to the bottom of the list and accept every applicant on it.
General Faith, in directing this action, noted that the WAAC had no choice if it was to meet the expansion plans. He therefore ordered boards to be realistic and admit some candidates who would make good second lieutenants although they would never be able to advance higher: "The ability to advance to high rank, which was very important in the original selection of officer candidates, has become of less importance as the total number of officers already commissioned has increased."6 He directed boards under his Training Command not to reject anyone finally, since the ones rejected one week might be better than those available the next. General Faith suggested to the Director that she order officer candidate boards in the field to follow this system, but she did not concur, and instead published a field directive which established a selection system much like the Army's. 7
Even if good candidates were sent by posts or training centers, they did not invariably receive commissions. During the hectic months of expansion the WAAC Officer Candidate School came to share with men's schools a problem of which Army inspectors noted:
In many [Army officer candidates] schools., performance on the drill field was used as a means of separating those with 'leadership' qualities from those lacking such characteristics . . . a loud voice and a general air of confidence indicated that 'leadership' was probably satisfactory.8
Numerous field complaints were received on this score; for example, the Fifth Service Command protested the "washing out" of three of its candidates who, in spite of leadership ability demonstrated in the field, had been rejected for "no voice and command," "could not drill," and "no pep and enthusiasm." 9 Similarly, the Transportation Corps protested concerning thirteen women who had all "washed out for voice and command; nothing else." 10 After frequent complaints, Director Hobby sent to the Training Command for transcripts of "murder board" hearings, which convinced her that too much emphasis was placed on youth and physical contour, and too little upon character and past accomplishments. At a time when field stations were pleading for mature officers, boards had informed applicants that an age as advanced as 31 years, if apparent, was disqualifying.11
Her discovery of the collapse of standards at training centers came too late. In the few brief months before the end of the summer, half of all WAAC officers were women without previous experience in jobs more responsible than those of clerks, typists, stenographers, and secretaries including sixteen actresses, fourteen chorus girls, fourteen waitresses, and varying numbers of beauticians, charwomen, laborers, chauffeurs, and housekeepers, as well as one undertaker. Education had also declined from earlier standards. About 31 percent of WAAC officers now had only high school education or less-about 5 percent had less-while another 28 percent had not completed college; only 41 percent were college graduates. Still worse; 30 percent of officers were less than twenty-five years old.
Upon learning these facts, WAAC Headquarters took action to set up another campaign to get more officer candidates from civilian life, but before this could well come into operation, the Corps had reached almost the top officer strength it was to be permitted. The WAAC by the end of its first year had over 5,800 officers, who were, with the later failure of the expansion plan, to be enough for the rest of the war. Only a few hundred more were to be commissioned in the remaining years, so that many of the unsuitable officers so hastily commissioned did not remain second lieutenants, as General Faith had expected, but were pushed up gradually as the Corps expanded. Embarrassing as this deficiency was to everyone concerned, the WAAC had experienced no more problem in this respect than the Army; remarkably enough, even this lapse had not brought the average of WAAC officer education below that of Army officers. However, even a minority of unsuitable or rank-happy officers were always to be extremely conspicuous in a women's service.12
The expansion program also made it impossible to carry out Director Hobby's recent order that male officers in training centers be replaced by Waacs, the most unsuitable to be the first weeded out. The "man-woman factor," unprecedented in Army schools, afforded opportunities for maladministration which all too frequently were found to have been realized. General Faith later estimated that male offenders under his command totaled not more than 5 percent, and that these were immediately relieved from duty if discovered in misconduct. Nevertheless, scattered reports continued to be received from all training centers of cases in which women's advancement was allegedly based on matters other than merit.
The gravest situation in this respect was that at Daytona Beach, which was investigated at Director Hobby's request by operatives from the Military Intelligence Service in Washington as well as by the Fourth Service Command's inspector general. These inspectors' reports noted that certain of the Army officers in highly responsible positions were drinking and misconducting themselves with Waacs and were promoting to positions of leadership only those who offered them favors in return. Members of the Army staff, when written statements were taken, officially accused each other of "running around'"
and "carrying on" with Waacs, and of using force on enlisted women while drunk.13 A Waac visitor described a resulting situation of "sycophancy" by senior WAAC officers and of "obsequious flattery" among junior ones. When a WAAC inspector arrived, she learned that women were in many cases not assigned in accordance with real skills and abilities.14
In view of the fact that many of the officers assigned to WAAC training centers had been pronounced "culls" by the commandant when first assigned, it was perhaps remarkable that more serious situations did not develop in all of the various training schools. Concerning the common practice of assigning second-rate officers to staff women's schools, the Bureau of Naval Personnel observed that in the WAVES' program "it was a penny-wise pound-foolish policy not to detail the handful of first-rate men it would have taken to have established the whole program on the best possible basis." 15
Observers noted that these unsuitable mentors often had an unfortunate effect upon newly commissioned, inexperienced, and eager-to-please female officers. Through a process of what Army psychiatrists called "mimesis," or unconscious imitation, as well as through a conscious desire to secure advancement, women copied supervisors who were not in themselves models of Army leadership. Imitation was noted not only in standards of morals and public behavior, but in language and attitude toward trainees. The senior WAAC officer at Des Moines, beset by critics at a staff directors' meeting, admitted, "I have been told that some of our officers are very rough in their language. I think it is due to some of our Army officers at the fort."16 It was some time later that Director Hobby formulated the difficulty and told a group of women officers:
It seems to me lately that I have seen too many women officers who are hard. The last thing we want to accomplish is to masculinize a great group of women. . . I think that harshness] often comes from the officer's own insecurity. When she is at a loss how to handle a problem, she relies on what she thinks would be the Army attitude. Actually it is not an Army attitude among leaders. Only insecure persons revert to harshness.17
The "Nightmare" of Basic Training
In these months many recruits used the word nightmare to describe basic training, although at earlier and later periods the same course was pronounced "inspiring." One recruit, an Army wife, noted that this definition was literal: "For months after I left there, I used to wake at night crying, dreaming I was back at Des Moines.18
The difficulty, insofar as it could be diagnosed, appeared to lie chiefly in an over abrupt and deliberately harsh introduction to Army life. The early high state of training had been produced when recruits' ideas of membership in a military team had been more nearly met, with plentiful ceremonies and instruction in Army tradition which produced a lasting pride in military status regardless of what hardships followed. This system continued to be followed, by deliberate intent, at the
WAVES' training centers, with the first weeks devoted to inculcating a knowledge of Navy tradition and ceremony, and with only fully trained women graduates instead of recruits being used for the more menial tasks about the school.
Gradual adjustment seemed even more necessary for female recruits than for male draftees, since the women were apt to be more uncertain about their ability to "take it," and had been subjected to the sales talks of recruiters who accented the glamorous side of Army life. At a later period these facts were to be recognized by WAAC training authorities, but during the winter and spring of 1943 there was reported, at most training centers, an initial emphasis on military "hazing" which, as one authority later noted, "tried to belittle a recruit's ideals, laugh at her patriotism, and make her a soldier in the first five minutes."19
Thus, one recruit's diary noted what other accounts confirmed as a typical experience at Fort Des Moines: "I was sent out to scrub one of the offices on my first day, before I got my uniform." Emphasis on fatigue duties continued to take precedence over military indoctrination:
We seldom got to attend classes regularly, as we were pulled off for all kinds of duties: we did KP at our own mess, the officers' mess, and the consolidated mess; we scrubbed classroom floors and the theater daily; we cleaned offices, orderly rooms, dayrooms, storerooms, cleaned the outside of buildings and washed the windows and the white pillars, though in zero weather. We hated to miss those classes as there was so much to learn in only four weeks.20
The absence of a uniform during much of the training period was also keenly felt, though to a less extent than the fact that "the men who drilled us and marched us through the snow had complete warm outfits." The fact that almost all recruits at one time or another during training contracted colds and coughs, sometimes influenza or bronchitis, did little to increase their endurance. Even more lamented was the lack of drill and ceremony, which was prevented at some centers by the winter weather and lack of warm clothing, and at others by lack of space, by scattered housing, or by the necessity for pulling out half-trained women to meet the shipment schedule.
Under these conditions, some women suffered breakdowns and had to be discharged before receiving a field assignment, in such numbers as later to cause investigation by The Surgeon General. For the majority, it was evident that surprisingly little permanent damage was done. The time of basic training was brief, the hoped-for military ceremonies were eventually encountered on Army stations, and in looking back from the vantage point of years, trainees were if anything inclined to boast about how they "took it." Morale was reported in even the most confused months of the expansion program as ``unbelievably good," and "the women were excited about their work, determined to succeed, and felt that the worst would be over if they could only get to the field and to work." 21
The women's generally good-humored reaction was fairly well expressed in their favorite songs, which grew up during these months: 22
WAAC Days, WAAC Days,
Dear old break-your-back days . . . .
KP DUTY, Daytona Beach, Florida. Note seersucker exercise dress.
When you come to the end of a perfect day,
And you sit alone with your gigs . . . .
K-K-K-Ka-P, beautiful KP,
You're the only Army job that I abhor.
When the moon shines over the mess hall.
I'll be mopping up the K-K-K-Kitchen floor.
Troublesome rules and regulations were memorized to the tune of ditties such as:
Deals with matters very naughty.
Running a close second to the earlier favorite, "The WAAC Is In Back of You," was a new original at Des Moines, entitled the "G. I. Song": 23
Once her Mommie made her bed,
Cleaned her clothes and buttered her bread.
And her favorite dress was red-
Oh me, Oh my, that ain't G.I.
Hats and shoes and skirts don't fit,
Your girdle bunches when you sit,
Come on, rookie, you can't quit
Just heave a sigh, and be G.I. . . .
In the Mess Hall she now stands
Buried 'neath the pots and pans
Getting pretty dishpan hands,
Oh me, Oh my, gotta be G.I.
Then she came to camp one day,
Quickly learned the WAACKIE way,
Underwear cafe au lait
Oh me, Oh my, strictly G.I.
Winter, summer, spring or fall
Should you try to end it all
You can t die until sick call
You see, if you die, you gotta die-G.I.
However, even among such lighthearted versions of school days, the final song was:
We're in the Staging Area
And we soon will go away
We've finished all our basic
Glory be and happy day
Glory Glory we are staging
Glory Glory we are staging
Glory Glory we are staging
Before we travel on.
The more damaging aspect of the dislocations to basic training during the months of expansion appeared to have been the effect upon recruiting. In the letters written to friends and relatives during the first week or weeks, there was noted, at worst, a frightened disillusionment or frantic desire to escape from what at first glance seemed a trap and, at best, a tendency to boast about the unspeakable hardships the writer had survived. The Army as a whole was not unfamiliar with such a phenomenon, which had little effect upon draft boards. British women's services had noted a less favorable public reaction, and that "The large majority adapt themselves in time . . . but a certain number, when writing home, may easily exaggerate .. . ."24
Just how great a part the brief "nightmare" of basic training had played in the later failure of the recruiting program was never to be easy to determine. General Ulio, The Adjutant General, ascribed some importance, in a staff study made during these months, to "people writing home about . . . conditions."25 Recruiters attributed damage especially to publicity on the prisoner-of-war camps, in which no male soldiers had been reported as required to train. Later Gallup surveys also showed that many acceptable recruits were allegedly deterred from enlistment by the belief that they lacked the necessary strength to survive the reputed rigors and hazings of basic training.26
It came to be the general belief within WAAC Headquarters that the echelon of the Training Command had been in itself
one of the less happy results of the expansion program. The Acting Deputy Director noted:
We were completely cut off from the training centers and could not even communicate with them; instead, we should have had direct telephonic communication all winter in order to find out their difficulties and expedite corrective action in supply, officer selection and training, and other matters.27
In March, Director Hobby petitioned the Services of Supply to abolish the echelon of the Training Command and restore its functions to her office, as well as General Faith in person, for its better assistance and information:
The Training Plans Division [of WAAC Headquarters has no authority and receives problems for decision which it is unable to give. In addition, it is uninformed on training activities and programs . . . . Since the functions now being performed by the WAAC Training Command are properly headquarters functions, it is recommended that . . . the functions of the Training Command be absorbed as rapidly as possible in the appropriate organizational units of WAAC Headquarters.28
This request was disapproved by the Services of Supply, but some increase in effective liaison was achieved by moving the Training Command headquarters from Daytona Beach to Martinsburg, West Virginia-a location as near to Washington as possible, and one removed from the scene of the scandal concerning maladministration at the Daytona Beach training center. At the same time, General Faith was given additional duty as head of a new Training and Field Inspection Division in the Director's office, where he now spent part of his time. It was hoped that the field inspection function would provide training centers with assistance and some guide to field needs.29
Personnel Problems in Headquarters
Its loss of control over the training program was only one of the difficulties that expansion had brought to WAAC Headquarters. The office still suffered from chronic understaffing and overwork; since January it had been reported that "the pressing common problem throughout Headquarters is a shortage of competent dependable civilian help. Officers are doing clerical work." 30
The Director, while supplying thousands of Waacs to the Army, was in the position of being unable to get a requested allotment of eleven for herself, because of the Services of Supply's rule against bringing enlisted Waacs to Washington. Finally, a few enlisted women were brought in on temporary duty, which prevented their promotion, and were soon also suffering from overwork, while the headquarters feared to let them go lest shipment orders remain untyped and "a tremendous backlog accumulate at Training Centers."
Letters concerning individual Waacs were referred unanswered to their posts, and letters of inquiry from Army stations were answered without being seen by the Director or top authorities-a system that provoked much unfavorable comment from the public and the field, and resulted in vague or inaccurate routine replies from junior officers to inquiries which were really matters of policy. The volume of mail was clocked at an average of 406
pieces daily. The stenographic pool in April had a ten-day backlog and was obliged to reject all but urgent work, while some 1,200 papers remained unfiled. In April, the headquarters petitioned the Service Forces for an increase of civilian personnel from 56 to 77, stating: "Necessary work is being delayed or left undone with the result that the WAAC program is being seriously impaired." 31
The problems of an expanding organization did not receive too much sympathy from the Army Service Forces, which had passed its own critical period and was at the moment engaged in a drive to reduce personnel. On 1 March WAAC Headquarters, in common with all ASF offices, was required to report on steps taken to abolish nonessential functions and personnel. The Director protested that reductions could not safely be made at present; but that in a few months, if legislation passed, "it will be possible for WAAC Headquarters to avail itself of existing Army machinery for handling certain functions, which will permit dropping activities which parallel functions done elsewhere in the War Department." In this, she was overruled by General Styer, who indorsed the papers back with a demand for immediate reduction of the office force, stating: "You will submit a further report . . . [which] will list . . . the number of military and civilian personnel released." 32
The Director took the occasion to point out that the January 1943 reorganization of her office by General Somervell's Control Division, like that of October 1942, was unworkable. She indicated that there were friction and confusion among her Army section chiefs, with different section chiefs claiming the same projects. She therefore asked that authority be given her to redefine duties and regroup the sections concerned according to her own ideas of office organization. There was also some discontent among the WAAC officers who made up the junior working personnel, in that male officers still retained key jobs and policy-making powers and did not allow WAAC officers to say anything in staff meetings that had not been written out and approved in advance, or otherwise to give the Director "stories of what is going wrong.33
In late April, Control Division, ASF, partially acceded to the Director's request and again revised the WAAC Headquarters organization-the third revision in seven months-changing the wording of the ASF Manual accordingly. A personnel increase was also briefly granted, but nullified three weeks later, and a further cut ordered.
The headquarters situation, during the entire time when the expansion program ran its course, therefore remained generally critical. The only prospect of relief and improved efficiency was Army status, which did not come until the hope of recruiting success was ended.34
Shipment of T/O Units
In the field, possibly the most serious publicly known personnel problem caused by the expansion program was in the matter of job assignments. Again, the difficulty was not the expansion itself, but the fact that it was required before the end of the Auxiliary system.
The separate WAAC Table of Organization-which could not yet legally be merged with military job allotments-had proved in itself a disaster for the Corps. Although large Army Tables of Organization had vacancies for almost any variety of skill, the small 150-woman T/O had positions for only a few general skills-chiefly office workers and chauffeurs. As recruiting restrictions were eased, recruits were accepted who had other and more varied skills. However, when a WAAC was recruited with some rare and badly needed skill, such as teacher of Braille, she could not be assigned as such because the WAAC allotment did not call for it. The WAAC T/O could not be amended to add the job without requiring every WAAC unit in the world to have a teacher of Braille.
Under this system, the temptation for training centers to misclassify women was great. The teacher of Braille sat waiting assignment which could never be given her; a WAAC company could not be shipped until a mail clerk was found to complete its T/O; the teacher of Braille overnight became a mail clerk. Still worse, a Table of Organization could not be amended by a post commander; when the WAAC unit reached a station, the station was helpless to remedy the misclassification and was obliged to assign the Braille expert as a mail clerk, even though its hospital was badly in need of her skill and had a military vacancy for it. "Many of our stations faced this problem," reported Staff
Director Jess Rice of the Third Service Command.
The WAAC Table of Organization called for six housekeepers, so they fired the maids in the guest houses and put the Waacs to scrubbing floors, even though they might be doctors of philosophy, teachers, or technicians, who had been classified as housekeepers just to get them out of the Training Center.35
If training center classification teams rebelled at the dishonesty of falsifying such a woman's records and classified her properly, she could not be assigned at all. Training centers with such scruples gradually accumulated a number of women with more or less odd skills-dental hygienists, X-ray technicians, translators, key-punch operators, opticians, dietitians, and many others. These, although badly needed to fill military vacancies, could not be assigned in the WAAC T/O unless classified as unskilled. Training centers reported that these women were in a state of very low morale: many advised civilian friends that the Army could not use their skills; and some nervous individuals actually became psychopathic cases, after months of delay and malassignment, and had to be discharged.36
Malassignment of skilled workers was, of course, well known to Army men in times of rapid expansion. The effect of malassignment on a woman, however, was often greater, because she could not receive a combat assignment which might in her own eyes justify the waste of a special skill. The only reported cases in which malassignment caused no morale damage to Waacs were those instances in which a
clerical or sedentary skill was ignored in favor of a field-type job, which most women were found to prefer.
The whole WAAC training system was soon distorted to meet the rigid requirements of the separate WAAC T/O. Exact calculations were made as to how many cooks, clerks, and chauffeurs would be needed in a certain number of companies, and the WAAC specialist schools were geared to turn out this number. Once the school quota was set, it became an inexorable demand which had to be met weekly regardless of the qualifications of the new recruits who presented themselves that week. Thus, if in one week there were large numbers of typists, badly needed in the field, they must be divided into three parts, one for cooks and bakers school, one for motor transport school, and one for administrative school. If, a week later, the recruits were all skilled mechanics, they must nevertheless also be divided among the three schools.
General Faith admitted later, "We arbitrarily tried to maintain a balance. Women who hated to cook were sent to Cooks School and women who couldn't spell were sent to Administrative School." 37 One Air Forces representative noted:
We don't mean to complain of the classification at the Training Centers, but we received a unit of 76 from one of the centers and all 76 were supply clerks. When we interviewed . . . we found we had college graduates who had years of experience in hospitals or other jobs, and they had been sent to administrative schools to become supply clerks.38
Expert stenographers had been trained as cooks, while former cotton pickers were graduates of Administrative Specialists School. Women had been sent to radio school who had not only hated radio work but also had medical or clerical skills.39 Airfields that requisitioned weather observers got former waitresses classified as "potential weather observers." 40
The War Department had for some time realized that the T/O system, while appropriate for rifle companies and other identical combat units, was a poor means of supplying either men or women to zone of the interior stations, no two of which had exactly the same needs. The Bulk Allotment system, prepared during these same months, promised relief from the distortion of both WAAC and Army skills to fit an inflexible Table of Organization.
Both WAAC and Army allotments were eventually to specify only the numbers and grades of individuals sent to most noncombat commands, leaving their duties to be determined and requisitioned according to the needs of each station. Although WAAC Headquarters worked all spring to hasten the application of this system to the WAAC such did not become possible until May. In late :March Army commands were warned to prepare for the new system. For units already shipped, they were expected to prepare Tables of Allotment representing the women's real skills; for units yet to come, any desired assortment of skills could be requested. On 1 May WAAC T/O units were formally inactivated, and Army commands were on their own in determining WAAC jobs within the limits of the total Bulk Allotments.41
Replacement of Soldiers
Even the Bulk Allotment system did not solve another problem that resulted from Auxiliary status, whether under a Table of Organization or a more flexible Table of Allotment: under either system it proved difficult to determine whether a Waac had really replaced a man. The General Staff sent out repeated injunctions that Waacs must count against the Troop Basis and replace men one-for-one; a series of increasingly stringent War Department directives required a full report by skill and rank of men shipped, to be tallied against the number of Waacs received. Only thirty days-fifteen in the Army Service Forces-were allowed for the replacement, a shorter time than customary with male replacements, on the theory that a Waac could learn a job faster.
Nevertheless, it became increasingly evident that few men were actually being sent away, and might not be until the WAAC became part of the Army and its allotments could be merged with the military. Through a technicality of paper work, minor but basic, ii was found that most Army posts were able to retain both Waacs and men. Each station had an allotment of military personnel and an allotment of civilian personnel; when Waacs arrived it had a third type, since each company came complete with its own Table of Organization or Allotment under which its members could be promoted and paid. Whether Waacs filled military or civilian jobs, all three allotments remained intact. All efforts, therefore, to get many posts to send a soldier away failed except on paper. A WAAC might actually be given a man's desk and see the man depart, only later to find him at a new desk a few doors down the hall, in work for which the installation often had a perfectly legitimate allotment. If the man actually departed, the station had a vacancy in its military allotment, and promptly requisitioned another man. So long as Waacs were not legally recognized as military personnel, and could not fill vacancies in military allotments, the General Staff directives concerning the Troop Basis remained administratively impossible to enforce.42
The apparently simple solution of reducing a station's military allotment for each WAAC allotment, although directed by the General Staff, was also administratively unworkable. A station's allotments, whether in the form of Tables of Organization or the later Bulk Allotments, were complicated affairs which could not be altered at station level. To reduce the allotment, it would be necessary to republish it each time a new WAAC unit arrived, or each time a Waac was promoted from one grade to another. The time lag in this process was such that, reports indicated, most stations would not apply to higher echelons for republication of their military allotments, but clung to both WAAC and Army personnel. Only approaching military status could entirely solve this problem, by making one military allotment apply to both men and women.
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