The Office of the Director WAC
At the top of the world-wide WAC organization was the Office of the Director WAC-a small advisory group of from three to five officers located in G-1 Division of the General Staff. For the eighteen months between its establishment and the end of the war, the office, although too small for field inspection or supervision, was the Corps' nerve center for policy and information. Director Hobby later noted, "The need for placing the Director's office on the General Staff level cannot be emphasized too highly. It is absolutely necessary." 1
It was from the first obvious that the duties of the Office of the Director could not be crowded under the G-1 roof, in spite of the fact that G-1 proved a co-operative host. The part of the Director's responsibilities concerning "personnel as individuals" fitted neatly into G-1 Division-induction, transfer, discharge, morale, uniform design, and insignia. Left unhoused were all other responsibilities, which had to be co-ordinated not with G-1 but with G-2, G-3, G-4, and the Special Staff divisions. These proved a continuing puzzle not only to G-1 Division, but to other General and Special Staff offices, which were unaccustomed to co-ordinating their business with a branch of G-1.
A first attempt to solve the problem was made by splitting the Director's Office into two unequal parts, the larger one to handle G-1 matters only, the other for the rest of her responsibilities. The Director was given two titles and two sets of procedures: as Chief, WAC Branch, G-1, she sent papers to G-1 for approval and signature; as Director WAC she corresponded directly with all other staff divisions and the Air, Ground, and Service Forces on matters that did not concern G-1 Division.2
This peculiar organization lasted only three months, and never in reality functioned as two halves. Many of the Director's projects were an indissoluble mixture of G-1 and non-G-1 elements; her staff debated, consulted the G-1 staff, and was still unable to decide who should sign which paper. Also, the volume of work upon the Director WAC part of the office was so much greater than that upon the larger G-1 part that members of one had no desire to sit idly upon their organizational charts while members of the other worked overtime.
MAJ. GEN. MILLER G. WHITE
In June of 1944 the G-1 part of the office was merged with other G-1 personnel branches, and its members moved to other offices, in a general G-1 consolidation.3 Remaining in the Director's office were, for most of the following year, only Director Hobby, Deputy Director Rice, and Capt. Patricia Lee Chance; Executive Officer.
This -the number assigned to run an average WAC company- was the smallest number of officers with which the office was ever to attempt to operate. With the separation of the WAC Branch, G-1; the peculiar situation of the Office of the Director was that of having no real connection with G-1 Division, in which it was located. In the ensuing months, some confusion was inevitable. As G-3 Division had earlier pointed out, the Office of the Director was in nature, if not in size, actually a Special Staff division, and, while the position in G-1 proved more suitable than that in the Army Service Forces, it was never as appropriate to the military organization as that of a Special Staff division. The location nevertheless lent itself to relatively smooth operation during the remaining months in which the position of chief of G-1 Division was held by General White, an officer with wide knowledge and experience in WAC administration dating from the Corps' earliest days. After his departure, there was noted an increasing tendency toward activity by G-1 Division in projects more properly the concern of other staff divisions. No final solution to this dilemma was achieved at the War Department level, although some air commands began to place their WAC advisers on the special staff level, while the nine service commands moved them from G-1 to the immediate office of the commanding general.
Removal of Operating Duties
The assumption that the Office of the Director could function with so small a staff was based upon the belief that all operating duties could be removed and delegated to the new specialist groups in other divisions. To some extent this hope was justified when the WAC specialist groups in other offices, established at General Marshall's direction, came into full operation. For the last months of the war, a complete and harmoniously operating network of WAC specialists covered most of the headquarters offices, so that inquiries, investigations, calls, and necessary studies could be referred rapidly, and successfully, to recruiting experts, public relations experts, The Inspector General, and other
staff divisions, or to the major command or overseas theater having responsibility in a given case.
The accord and unity of action existing among such offices were, in the opinion of WAC staff officers, among the most important achievements of the new organization. The invariable practice of the Air WAC Officer, the AGF WAC Officer, and the ASF WAC Officer was to act in closest co-ordination with one another and with the Director and her deputy. Not only were personal relations friendly, but advances and improvements in one command were communicated to others before being put into effect, rather than afterward. The Director never at any time during Colonel Hobby's tenure of that office approached individual cases or policy concerning Wacs in the United States except through the WAC advisers to the three major commands, thus maintaining not only military channels but the prestige of these officers within their own headquarters.4
Unfortunately for the high hopes of complete delegation, the next months were to demonstrate that-as was also discovered by the British and the WAVES the efficient operation of such a network depended upon an efficient nerve center, and that there were certain operating duties that could never be removed from a director's office by any amount of effort. These duties seemed to be inherently inseparable from the head of a woman's service in the twentieth century. In General White's opinion the office's situation was comparable to that of his own G-1 Division, which also found itself performing many onerous operating duties required of it by the Deputy Chief of Staff that were not, until after the end of the war, reflected in its personnel allotments.
Few if any of these duties were military functions of any other office. Deputy Director Rice ruthlessly swept out every duty that could be delegated, and that any other agency could or would accept. Out also went routine indorsements, records, reports from the field, and other paper work not essential to planning, including much useful material that no one had time to read.
For example, reports from WAC training centers were discontinued, since the Director no longer had any jurisdiction over their activities in any case. Bulletins from field units, even if sent, could no longer be read. No more historical material could be collected, and the only agency that could be persuaded to continue the historical file was the Bureau of Public Relations, which added a few press releases from time to time. When a WAC officer wrote to ask whether material from the field was being collected for a WAC history, Colonel Rice replied:
The Director has now only myself and Captain Lee assigned to her immediate office. Naturally we cannot do anything about collecting such data: we can only hope it is finding its way into the proper files and is being kept by the commands.
The Director constantly received communications from Wacs in the field which indicated that they believed her to be responsible for supervising a much wider range of activities. One asked why she did not send out a touring group of artists from her office to sketch WAC life in the field; others thought she should visit every one of the approximately 500 WAC units every year; one requested a chart of her
"headquarters," only to be told, "There is no organizational chart . . . Colonel Hobby and her staff of two officers are located on the War Department General Staff, G-1, Personnel Division." 5
However, in spite of strenuous efforts to simplify the office's duties, certain operating duties proved impossible either to discard or to delegate. One of these was the WAC Newsletter, a monthly 8-page pamphlet that went to all commands and units in the field, much like that later adopted by G-1 Division to keep field personnel officers abreast of War Department policy. The value of the Newsletter was attested by hundreds of letters from field units, which pronounced it invaluable in promoting discipline, morale, appearance, and understanding of the Corps' mission and work in the Army. The Director therefore asked the new WAC Group, Bureau of Public Relations, which had twelve officers, to take over this project, but the group refused on grounds of insufficient personnel. Captain Chance of the Director's Office was therefore obliged to continue writing the Newsletter in addition to her other duties.6
Another operating duty resulted from the fact that the Director's Office was required from time to time to compile, check, or certify special Army-wide summaries of information or policy, as requested by particular offices.7 The second WAC Director later noted, "some uniformity in policies has been necessary; consequently, the Director WAC's office has been used as the co-ordinating office by the major commands and all staff divisions.8
However, the most troublesome of the "operating" duties of which the Director's Office was never able to rid itself did not concern such responsibilities within the Army, but rather liaison with outside agencies and the public as a whole. This type of duty, although never recognized upon any organizational chart or in personnel allotments, in actual fact consumed more than half of the office's time.
Liaison With Other Women's Services
One frequent liaison duty outside the War Department was that of co-ordination with other women's services of the United States and Allied nations. Liaison with the WAVES, SPARS, and Women Marines was more time-consuming than the general public realized. The directors of the four services formed a special subcommittee of the Joint Army-Navy Personnel Board, and met regularly. A major disciplinary or personnel policy was seldom adopted for one service until the other three had opportunity to consider
it. Often identical policies were arrived at and announced jointly. The three other services, having been established later, were at times several months behind the WAC in administrative detail, and often copied almost verbatim the directives and circulars that had been used successfully by the WAC. Literature was regularly interchanged. The four directors were on the friendliest of terms and met often for lunch or informal conferences. The WAVES' assistant director later wrote to Colonel Hobby, "We have leaned heavily on the experience of the Wacs and we are extremely grateful for the assistance your staff members have given us." 9
Liaison duties with Allied women's services were somewhat less frequent, although British and Canadian services had sizable units in Washington. Information of common interest was regularly exchanged and the Director WAC or her deputy was the expected representative at many ceremonial functions of these services, and was hostess to them in return. Arrangements were made for British and American women officers to be exchanged for attendance at their respective armies' highest staff courses. The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland arranged for a tour of Polish Wacs (called, unfortunately, Pestkas) to WAC installations. French authorities requested full information on WAC administration for use by their own women's corps, as well as a supply of WAC uniforms. The Netherlands Embassy requested and obtained permission to train Netherlands women at WAC training centers to form the nucleus of a Netherlands women's corps for service in the Pacific. All such negotiations with high-ranking Allied officials frequently required the personal presence of the highest-ranking WAC officer the Army was able to offer.10
Liaison With the National Civilian Advisory Committee
Equally official in nature, and required of the Director by War Department directive, was liaison with the WAC's National Civilian Advisory Committee. This organization had been established, upon General Somervell's recommendation, at the time of the Director's transfer to G-1 Division, in order to bring to bear the influence of prominent civilian women "to advise on WAC matters, assist in disseminating news about the Corps, and aid in recruiting." 11 This committee consisted of the chairman of each service command committee, plus twelve others selected by the Director, representative of various occupations, faiths, and races. These women maintained contact with the Office of the Chief of Staff through that of the Director WAC. It was necessary for the Director's staff to collect information and write the committee a monthly bulletin on events in the WAC, to receive and act on their recommendations, to call twice-yearly conventions, and in general to render appropriate recognition to the interest and helpfulness of these prominent women.12
Such a group, with its energies properly directed, proved invaluable in improving the community standing of the WAC and thus the number and type of recruits. On the other hand, to keep its members prop-
erly informed, to give proper individual attention to their suggestions, and to keep up the close relationship directed by the Chief of Staff: all could well have absorbed the entire time of one staff officer, had liaison with this organization been reflected in personnel allotments.
Liaison With the American Red Cross
The Director's Office held a similar responsibility in regard to liaison with the American Red Cross. This organization was committed to the principle of employing its funds and staff for the assistance of military personnel regardless of the race or sex of the persons assisted. Actually, in most overseas theaters, the organization had not proved sufficiently flexible to adapt to the needs of feminine newcomers to the armed forces, although not for lack of effort on the part of the national headquarters, which received high War Department praise for its efforts and cooperativeness. Frequent conferences were held by the Director's Office with national representatives, during which a maternity care plan was worked out and field recreational facilities for women discussed, as well as other needs of women on Army stations, which the local Red Cross field director might help to meet. The Red Cross likewise fulfilled for women certain functions in connection with dependency investigations which, for men, were handled by Selective Service boards. A Certificate of Appreciation was recommended by the Director WAC for Miss Helen Walmsley, assistant director of the Military and Naval Welfare Service, for her effective liaison with the WAC. Again, while certain discussions could be delegated to the Air, Ground, or Service Forces, on an Army-wide level there remained no liaison agency able to coordinate final plans with the Red Cross except the Director's Office.13
Liaison With Other National and Local Organizations
A similarly unrecognized but frequent duty of the Director's Office was that of liaison with the many other national organizations-civic, professional; social, and patriotic-which desired to consult someone in the War Department in connection with WAC affairs.
The United Service Organizations' national headquarters, in an effort to overcome the somewhat chilly initial reception of Wacs in USO facilities, asked for lists of all WAC locations, and in repeated conferences made plans to assist each unit. The American Women's Voluntary Services offered assistance to Wacs, and asked for messages for the AWVS Bulletin. The American Association of University Women was always a strong supporter of the women's services, and AAUW representatives frequently consulted or wrote the Director's staff. The same was true of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, a consistent advocate of universal service laws for women. The Association of Junior Leagues of America arranged for all local junior League presidents to assist in recruiting, saying, "The number of junior League members who are able to enlist is not very large," but that members would be urged to join or to help recruit nonmembers. The WAC Mothers Association desired to contribute parties and dayroom furniture, and wrote for detailed information. The
Theater Wing of the Stage Door Canteen requested WAC representatives and a WAC band for a bond rally. The National Press Club desired to arrange parties for enlisted women.14
An extremely brief sampling of the list of other organizations corresponding with the Director's Office during this period included the National Education Association, the National Editorial Association, the National Council of Jewish Women, the National Jewish Welfare Board, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Legion and other veterans' groups, the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Zonta International, the Women's Overseas Service League, the American Social Hygiene Association, and the National Federation of Press Women.15 The national representatives of organizations of this stature, when desiring an interview with the Director or Deputy Director, obviously could not be shunted by the Army to any other source of information even if one had existed, nor could their offers of assistance be rebuffed without at least a hearing or a reply to their correspondence.
Local civic and patriotic groups were in a different category from national representatives; nevertheless, the Director's Office was obliged to reply to their inquiries, even when their requests had to be refused. For example, the Saturday Afternoon Club of Vanderbilt, Pennsylvania, asked a statement on "What America Means to Me"; the W.I.V.E.S., a group of married women dedicated to urging people to donate money and blood, asked permission to name a chapter for Colonel Hobby; the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce asked that a WAC hospital be located in its city.
Still more difficult to refuse gracefully were hundreds of requests for personal appearances-many of them in connection with recruiting, but the majority for non WAC patriotic activities such as bond drives, plant security awards, ceremonies to recognize civilian women's volunteer work, and other similar festivities. These were almost all refused "because of the press of military activities" or "because of previous engagements," but nevertheless required a prompt acknowledgment.16
Liaison With Congress
Liaison with Congress was another delicate and time-consuming duty. Supposedly all such work was done by the War Department offices that handled Congressional liaison for the Army, but it seemed difficult to educate Congress to this belief. Although the WAC was a part of the strength of the Army, the War Department required the Director personally to prepare material for yearly budget hearings, and to attend them at the call of Congressional committees to justify and explain WAC activities separately. It was also necessary for her to answer the daily Congressional letters and telephone calls that asked for a full explanation of WAC policies. These, even if properly addressed to the Legislative and Liaison Division or the Chief of Staff, were ordinarily routed to her for consideration as to possible
policy changes or explanations of existing policy. The bulk of Congressional mail asked for special favors for constituents, which could not be routinely refused without a polite explanation of the policy concerned. Hundreds of these asked waivers of entrance requirements. Dozens of congressmen asked the Director to waive the act of Congress that barred 18-year-olds and aliens from the WAC. Hundreds of other letters concerned the desire of women constituents to receive direct commissions or to attend officer candidate school-a favorite request. Others asked promotion, transfer, investigation, award of contract, and so on.17
Liaison With Private Citizens
All such calls, correspondence, and liaison with Congress, civic groups, and women's services were insignificant when compared with those involving the general public. No Dorothy Dix was ever taken more thoroughly into the troubled confidence of the average American than was Director Hobby. Such attention was not unknown to the Army's highest-ranking leaders, who ordinarily had large staffs equipped to handle it; but it was almost unique in War Department history that an officer of the grade of colonel, and in a subordinate staff position, should be deluged with public correspondence which, for scope and variety of subject, seemed comparable only to that received by the Chief of Staff and others with Army-wide responsibility.
Parents, husbands, and other relatives of Wacs formed the largest group of these writers. Distraught parents accused the Director of every station commander's failure to protect, promote, or otherwise care for their daughters; others feared that harm had come to daughters overseas who had not written recently. A heartbroken mother could not understand her daughter's reduction in grade, and asked that Colonel Hobby restore the rank; the father of a prospective recruit wrote to discuss with Colonel Hobby whether his daughter should join.
Husbands and would-be husbands were particular nuisances. A soldier overseas wrote that he would probably soon be sent into combat, and if so he would probably be wounded, and if so he would probably be transferred home to recuperate, and if so he would want his wife with him; therefore, would Colonel Hobby discharge her from the WAC immediately so that she could be ready to rush to his bedside as soon as all this occurred' An Army chaplain asked that a soldier's wife, who was about to get a divorce, be transferred within persuading distance of her husband. A husband wrote that his wife had joined the WAC after a fight with him, but that they had made up a few days later, and would the Army please discharge her at once before she had to report for training? Another husband said that he realized that his wife was in the Army when he married her, but that her job was "breaking up our marriage"; he asked that she be allowed to come home and care for him properly.18
Hundreds of letters also came from women who had been rejected by recruiters. One woman protested, in nine pages, that she was "thwarted by a psychiatrist"
in getting into the Corps. Another, "a honorable discharge Waac," asked, "Why do a discharge Wac has to may a mental test over again?" Others wrote, "Dear President Roosevelt, I am a girl of 17 year old and would love to joind the Wacc," or "I am 62 years old. Please don't let my age interfere.'" Many begged pitifully that physical defects, "nervousness," and past records not be held against them. One distracted eligible, in doubt as to whether to enlist, bared her entire financial, emotional, and physical condition in a long letter and asked Colonel Hobby to make up her mind for her.
Many of the letter writers sought personal advantages-promises of commissions, promotion, or special assignments. Most of these went on to say that, while they preferred to enlist as ordinary privates, their special qualifications were such that it would not be fair to the nation for them to come in unless they were made officers.
Some of the personal requests were more or less matters of business. The Army Navy Journal, the Britannica Book of the Year, and others asked for personal statements or articles. Emily Post wrote to inquire how a wedding invitation should be worded if the bride's mother was a lieutenant and her father only a mister. Clothing manufacturers desired to know where to write for models and materials. A New York carnival owner asked for a WAC band, WAC exhibits, and WAC personnel, and, without waiting for a reply, advertised that they would be a carnival attraction. A gentleman asked that he be employed to go to Latin America and recruit "senioritas" for the WAC. Approximately a hundred persons sent WAC songs, such as the man who said, "A good popular WAC song to make the Wacs more popular would do the trick for you and step up recruiting"; then they asked her to get music publishers to accept their manuscripts.19
There were numbers of friendly citizens who either asked or contributed small gifts. A kindly housewife donated a good recipe for scrambled eggs for WAC messes. Others sent poems, scrapbooks, and pictures of their baby girls in miniature WAC uniforms. A grandmother sent a square of cloth to be autographed and returned to her for part of a quilt. The numbers who wanted autographs and autographed pictures were in the thousands, ranging from private citizens to a Boy Scout museum. Another began, "I am a Senior in High School and all Seniors must write 7,500 words on some subject we prefer," and asked for 7,500 words. Several museums asked for one of Colonel Hobby's uniforms for their collections.20
Many letters asked no favors but were merely generally abusive. Vague charges of immorality still were received. Many berated the uniform; others objected to the Army's class distinctions or other policies. Local and long-distance calls were received and had to be listened to; registered letters were received and signed for. Mentally deranged individuals were especially threatening. Vindictive women demanded harsh punishments for erring Wacs, especially after each case of newspaper publicity such as the one concerning a Wac who became engaged to a German prisoner. When one of the service commands was forced into the unpopular role of strikebreaker, it was its command-
ing general who put a Wac at the telephone switchboard of a strike-bound plant, but it was the Director WAC who received the complaints.
Somewhat lost among the requests, complaints, and abuse were a few lonely letters of thanks or praise, and descriptions from pleased parents of how their daughters had benefited by Army training.
Almost all letters betrayed a misunderstanding common to both civilian and military personnel: that Director Hobby was in immediate and supreme command of all Wacs. Correspondents regularly assumed that the Director was the final authority upon all of these matters, and could grant any favor she pleased. They assumed also that she had in her office large files of information on every Wac, and was personally responsible for all the events that occurred to Wacs world-wide, or was at least equipped to discover and explain what had befallen a daughter or wife.
Answering this public correspondence proved to be the greatest of the semi-military operating duties that the Director was never able to get out of her office. Many solutions were tried and found wanting. A plausible one, for example, was to make no acknowledgment to correspondence before forwarding it to the responsible Army command. This proved highly unsuccessful in view of the time lapse involved in the command's investigation and reply, which required several weeks for cases on domestic stations and months for overseas theaters-by which time the average distressed parent had several times more written and telegraphed the Director's Office, his congressman, the President, and any other available dignitary, thus involving the office in more negotiation than would have been required for a simple acknowledgment. Another and equally ineffective approach was to make a brief acknowledgment by form letter; this, particularly when a refusal was involved, also brought down upon the office the wrath of correspondents.
Furthermore, there were some letters that could not be forwarded to any other command. There appeared to be no other office that was responsible for placing the Director's signature upon a quilt square, resolving Emily Post's dilemmas, or writing repeatedly. "Upon behalf of the Corps, may we express our appreciation of your interest." Even had there been, the mere task of sorting and forwarding communications was a formidable one, since it appeared impossible to learn the nature of a letter or telegram without opening it, or of a telephone call without accepting it.
The final solution, perforce adopted by the Office of the Director, was highly unsuccessful from the standpoint of work load; but highly successful from the public viewpoint. Upon receipt of the daily accumulation of correspondence, it was sorted and certain routine items were sent directly to The Adjutant General or other responsible agencies, without acknowledgment from the Director. Items that could be handled in this fashion included thousands of requests from lawyers and friends for the addresses of Wacs or women believed to be Wacs, since no litigation could be taken against a missing woman who might be in the Armed Forces.
Requests for recruiting information went to the Planning Branch of The Adjutant General's Office, and requests for stories or articles here sent to the WAC Group of the Bureau of Public Relations. Gifts and other expressions of interest were acknowledged by Captain Chance with a
note of thanks, and routed to the proper agency for storage or file. Inquiries from distressed relatives were referred to the Army command having jurisdiction over the Wac concerned, but with a letter of acknowledgment stating that this agency, and not the Director, had command of the Wac concerned, would investigate and make the required reply, and should receive any further inquiries.
There still remained, after such actions, a formidable daily pile of correspondence which required the drafting by Deputy Director Rice of a carefully worded individual reply, suitable for the signature of the Director, the Chief of Staff, the Secretary of War, or whatever office had received the request. These replies of necessity constituted formal Army policy and required a phrasing that might subsequently appear in print without causing embarrassment. Typical explanations required by Congress and private citizens concerned the reasons why more WAC officers could not be commissioned, why some enrollment requirements could not be waived, why the Army could not transfer or discharge all Wacs who requested it, what spiritual or medical facilities were available to protect ailing members, why British or Australian civilian women had been commissioned, and, particularly, what the current moral, venereal, and maternity situation was in the Corps.
The inevitable result of such voluminous correspondence was a load of work that was staggeringly heavy for the three staff members. In view of the apparent relation of the experiences of the year 1944 to the Director's hospitalization and later retirement, and to the Deputy Director's death a few years later 21 it was essential to understand the motives that caused the War Department neither to increase the staff nor to decrease the duties until shortly before the end of the war. In effect, the delay was chiefly caused by a hope that the load of operating duties was merely a temporary hangover from Auxiliary status, and would diminish as soon as the public and Congress realized that the Director was not the women's commander.
Thus, General Somervell wrote to General Marshall, at the time of the office's transfer, that the WAVES had no such "operating"' problem, having never gone through an auxiliary status or been allowed much voice in their own management, and that "All that is necessary to do is to place Colonel Hobby in approximately the same position as Captain McAfee."22 As a matter of fact, postwar studies revealed that the WAVES had an identical problem. The Bureau of Naval Personnel, in a final report, stated:
Public opinion would tend to watch jealously the health, safety, and morale of women serving with the Navy, and it would naturally tend to address its inquiries to the "'Director." . . . This public position of responsibility had to be backed by some substance of authority in the Bureau, else the sham would sooner or later appear, and not just the Women's Reserve but the Navy as a whole would suffer from the resulting lack of confidence. Even if another war should bring Selective Service for women, with consequent elimination of a recruiting campaign, policy would probably again require that a woman represent women in the Navy to the public. 23
An identical conclusion was reached by British investigators, who noted. "It may be that parents of girls . . . like to think that a woman is finally responsible for
their well-being and not a government department."24
The fact that certain duties could not be delegated to any other existing agency was also well known to experienced WAC staff officers. After months of effort to rid the office of the load, the second Director WAC likewise noted that it was impossible to do so. Tot only was the Director's Office, a policy agency, unable to refer certain letters to operating agencies, but they continued to refer to her for reply many inquiries which had been addressed to them.25 Colonel Boyce summarized the experience of years as:
All efforts to route these inquiries to other divisions or agencies for original handling result in return to the Office of the Director, WAC for a statement of policy, for information seemingly not available elsewhere, or in some cases in second letters condemning the Army for "buck passing." No amount of effort ever succeeded in eliminating this load of work from the Office of the Director, WAC.26
The actually intolerable nature of the situation was masked for a time by the concentrated activity of the Director's staff, which until well into 1945 worked 12-, 14-, and 16-hour days of 7-day weeks. At this time, upon Colonel Rice's departure to other duties, three officers were eventually necessary to replace her. In the interim, only the weight of collected carbon copies in the files made credible the fact that any one individual could dictate and sign in one day as many pieces of correspondence as did the Deputy Director. Her only apparent rebellion was a brief scribble on one particularly insulting letter of complaint, "I guess we shan't live long enough for this to stop.27
At the same time, the Director's major official duty-her policy responsibilities to the War Department-had not ceased to be fulfilled, even though staff studies were generally written by Colonel Rice in the late evening hours after visitors and conferees had been cleared from her office. These policy solutions, which came freely after the office's removal from the ASF, constituted in some respects the real history of the wartime Women's Army Corps, and its legacy to the future. Although any one of the major policy fields would require a separate chapter, if not a volume, for proper discussion, the problems arising within them did not occur separately, but were handled simultaneously with each other and with outside liaison duties during the last eighteen months of the war.
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