By Bruce Robertson
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The Joint Army and Navy Board, a committee composed of the Army Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Chief of the War Plans Division (WPD), and their Navy opposite numbers, served as a meeting ground for discussion of whatever problems the heads of the two services were willing to bring before it. 6 The board was assisted by the Joint Planning Committee, consisting of six or more members equally representing the two War Plans Divisions. 7 On the top level of staff supervision and planning in the War Department, there was no single agency or official responsible for the field of logistics as a whole, and only two—the Supply Division (G-4) of the War Department General Staff (WDGS), and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of War—whose responsibilities might, by a liberal interpretation of the term, be considered as exclusively logistical.
Armies became, in fact, complex communities in themselves, miniature and specialized replicas of the societies that sustained them. The traditional cleavages between the noncombatant and combatant skills, and those between military and civilian spheres of activity, became blurred. Engineers in many armies became shock troops; signal corpsmen were expected to work and fight with the most advanced units, truck drivers to man antiaircraft machine guns. In coming to terms with the new technologies of war, the military profession had to broaden and dilute its training to include dozens of skills re- 7 mote from combat and command.
S. Army had a total active strength of 190,690 men (almost 20,000 under its authorized strength), of whom less than 50,000 were stationed outside the continental United States. These Regular forces could be augmented in an emergency by the partially trained National Guard (about 200,000) and an Officers' Reserve Corps of about 110,000. The Army was largely an infantry-artillery army, the Air Corps numbering only 25,722 and the organized armored units only about 1,400. Forces overseas were mainly in five garrisons— Hawaii (21,500), Panama Canal (13,500), Philippines (10,900), Puerto Rico (900), and Alaska (400).
Beaufort Special by Bruce Robertson