The functions of the General Staff at my headquarters were finally allotted to the five sections, each under an Assistant Chief of Staff, as follows: To the First, or Administrative Section—ocean tonnage, priority of overseas shipments, replacement of men and animals, organization and types of equipment for troops, billeting, prisoners of war, military police, leaves and leave areas, welfare work and amusements; to the Second, or Intelligence Section—information regarding the enemy, including espionage and counterespionage, maps, and censorship; to the Third, or Operations Section—strategic studies and plans and employment of combat troops; to the Fourth Section—coordination of supply services, including Construction, Transportation, and Medical Departments, and control of regulating stations for supply; to the Fifth, or Training Section—tactical training, schools, preparation of tactical manuals, and athletics. This same system was applied in the lower echelons of the command down to include divisions, except that in corps and divisions the Fourth Section was merged with the First and the Fifth Section with the Third.
18. As the American Expeditionary Forces grew, it was considered advisable that, in matters of procurement, transportation, and supply, the chiefs of the several supply services, who had hitherto been under the General Staff at my headquarters, should be placed directly under the supervision of the commanding general, Services of Supply. At General Headquarters, a Deputy Chief of Staff to assist the Chief of Staff was provided, and the heads of the five General Staff sections became Assistant Chiefs of Staff.
The General Staff at my headquarters thereafter concerned itself with the broader phase of control. Under my general supervision and pursuant to clearly determined policies, the Assistant Chief of Staff, coordinated by the Chief of Staff, issued instructions and gave general direction to the great combat units and to the Services of Supply, keeping always in close touch with the manner and promptness of their fulfillment. Thus a system of direct responsibility was put into operation which contemplated secrecy in preparation, prompt decision in emergency, and coordinate action in execution.
19. With the growth of our forces the demand for staff officers rapidly increased, but the available number of officers trained for staff duty was very limited. To meet this deficiency, a General Staff college was organized at Langres on November 28, 1917, for the instruction of such officers as could be spared. An intensive course of study of three months was prescribed embracing the details of our staff organization, and administration, and our system of supply, and teaching the combined employment of all arms and services in combat. Officers were carefully chosen for their suitability and, considering the short time available graduates from this school returned well equipped for staff duties and with a loyal spirit of common service much accentuated. The Staff College carried to completion four courses of three months each, graduating 537 staff officers.
20. Soon after our arrival in Europe careful study was made of the methods followed by our Allies in training combat troops. Both the French and British maintained continuously a great system of schools and training centers, which provided for both theoretical and practical instruction of inexperienced officers and noncomissioned officers. These centers were required not only to train new troops, but to prepare officers and soldiers for advancement by giving them a short course in the duties of their new grades. These schools systems made it possible to spread rapidly a knowledge of the latest methods developed by experience and at the same time counteract false notions.
21. A similar scheme was adopted in August, 1917, for our Armies in which the importance of teaching throughout our forces a sound fighting doctrine of our own was emphasized. It provided for troop training in all units up to include divisions. Corps centers of instruction for noncommissioned officers and unit commanders of all arms were established. These centers also provided special training for the instructors needed at corps schools. Base training centers for replacement troops and special classes of soldiers, such as cooks and mechanics, were designated. The army and corps schools were retained under the direct supervision of the Training Section, General Staff. The schools mentioned graduated 21,330 noncommissioned officers and 13,916 officers.
Particular care was taken to search the ranks for the most promising soldiers, in order to develop leaders for the command of platoons and companies. There were graduated from these candidate schools in France 10,976 soldiers. It was planned to have 22,000 infantrymen under instruction by January 1, 1919, graduating 5,000 to 6,000 each month. In addition, there were to be graduated monthly 800 artillery men, 400 engineers, and 200 signalmen, making a total of about 7,000 soldiers each month. Prior to November 14, 1918, 12,732 soldiers were commissioned as officers.
It must not be thought that such a system is ideal, but it represents a compromise between the demand for efficiency and the imperative and immediate necessity for trained replacement officers.
22. Every advantage was taken of the experience of our Allies in training officers. It was early recommended to the War Department that French and British officers be asked for to assist in the instruction of troops in the United States. Pending the organization and development of our own schools, a large number of our officers were sent to centers of instruction of the Allied armies. The training of our earlier divisions was begun in close association with the French divisions, under conditions set forth in the following paragraph on divisional training:
Trench warfare naturally gives prominence to the defensive as opposed to the offensive. To guard against this, the basis of instruction should be essentially the offensive both in spirit and in practice. The defensive is accepted only to prepare for future offensive.
For training our Artillery units, special localities such as Valdahon, Coetquidan, Meucon, and Souge, had to be sought, and the instruction was usually carried on in conjunction with French artillery followed up later, as far as possible, with field practice in cooperation with our own infantry.
23. The long period of trench warfare had so impressed itself upon the French and British that they had almost entirely dispensed with training for open warfare. It was to avoid this result in our Army and to encourage the offensive spirit that the following was published in October, 1917:
1 * * * (a) The above methods to be employed must remain or become distinctly our own.
(b) All instruction must contemplate the assumption of a vigorous offensive. This purpose will be emphasized in every phase of training until it becomes a settled habit of thought.
(c) The general principles governing combat remain unchanged in their essence. This war has developed special features which involve special phases of training, but the fundamental ideas enunciated in our Drill Regulations, Small Arms Firing Manual, Field Service Regulations, and other service manuals remain the guide for both officers and soldiers and constitute the standard by which their efficiency is to be measured, except as modified in detail by instruction from these headquarters.
(d) The rifle and the bayonet are the principal weapons of the infantry soldier. He will be trained to a high degree of skill as a marksman, both on the target range and in the field firing. An aggressive spirit must be developed until the soldier feels himself, as a bayonet fighter, invincible in battle.
(e) All officers and soldiers should realize that at no time in our history has discipline been so important; therefore, discipline of the highest order must be exacted at all times. The standards for the American Army will be those of West Point. The rigid attention, upright bearing, attention to detail, uncomplaining obedience to instructions required of the cadet will be required of every officer and soldier of our armies in France.
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