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Chapter 2


BASIC BRANCHES. These are The Chemical Corps The Corps of Engineers The Military Police Corps The Ordnance Corps The Quar ermaster Corps The Signal Corps The Transportation Corps The Adjutant General's Corps The Finance Corps The Women's Army Corps


The services are those branches of the Army whose primary task is to give technical or administrative support to the combat arms, or otherwise to serve the Army as a whole. Their names and tasks have changed over the years, as has also been true of the combat arms, and with the evolution of mechanized warfare their proportional numbers have steadily increased.

The distinction between "combat arms” (chapter 1 above) and “services” turns on their basic missions. Roughly speaking, it is the job of the arms to fight and it is the job of the services to support the fighting elements. But it must not be supposed that the combat arms

the only branches of the Army that do any fighting or come in contact with the enemy. Many of the services have troop units serving with combat divisions, or in other capacities at the fighting front, and all of them have representatives there. Officers and men of chemical, engineer, medical, signal, and other service units have at times had as heavy percentage losses in battle as the infantry and artillery that they were supporting.

At present there are fourteen services, divided into two main categories as follows:


SPECIAL BRANCHES. These areThe Army Medical Service The Chaplains The Inspectors General The Judge Advocate General's Corps

Each service has headquarters agency, headed by a chief, which is a part of the Department of the Army. The chief of a service has jurisdiction over his service in many fields of activity; but members or units of a service which are assigned to duty with a command are in general under the orders of its commanding officer, not of the chief of service.

The present chapter explains briefly the background, organization, and tasks of each of the services. More detailed descriptions of some of their duties are given elsewhere. For example, chapter 11 describes the Quartermaster Corps' function of feeding the Army; chapter 12, the construction and other duties of the Corps of Engineers; etc.


It is the responsibility of the Chemical Corps to provide support to the Department of Defense in the fields of chemi

cal, biological, and radiological warfare (CBR), including smoke, flame, and incendiaries.

1 The term "service" has three meanings in formal or informal military parlance. First, it designates certain branches of the Army, as explained in this chapter. Second, in the phrase "Armed Services," it refers to the three basic organizations for national defense--the Army, the Navy. and the Air Force. In addition, the Army is often referred to familiarly, by its members, as "the Service."

2 The term "Corps," in military Darlance, may refer either to one of the service branches (as used above) or to . particular type of tactical unit, described in chapter 3.


HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. The need for a Chemical Corps arose out of the introduction, in World War I, of poison gases and similar devices as weapons of war. Gas (chlorine, released to drift downwind) was first used by the Germans on 22 and 24 April 1915, against limited sectors of the French and British (Canadian) fronts, with complete success. It has sometimes been claimed that, if the German High Command had had the vision to employ this surprise weapon on a broad front and as the spearhead of a major attack, they might have won the war then and there. As it was, the successes were only local, and the Allies promptly made and issued elementary protective masks. From then on to the end of the war, both sides developed and used various toxic gases such as mustard and phosgene, and devised improved means for delivering them by shells, bombs, etc. The Germans also introduced, and the Allies adopted, flame-throwers and incendiary bombs and shells.

When the United States entered World War I, five Federal agencies were working on various aspects of gas warfare: the Bureau of Mines, the Medical Department, the Ordnance Department, the Corps of Engineers, and the Signal Corps. To centralize these activities the Chemical Warfare Service, National Army, was created on 28 June 1918. It was charged with research, development, testing, and procurement of toxic gases and gas-defense appliances; the filling of gas munitions; chemical warfare training; and the formulation of doctrine governing the employment of toxic agents. Chemical officers were trained, and were assigned on all army, corps, and division staffs, with the result that the entire Army was equipped and trained in defense against gas attack.

The Chemical Warfare Service was made a permanent branch of the Regular Army by the National Defense Act of 1920. In the interwar period it shrank from a war peak of 20,518 officers and men to a one-time low of less than 500. It devoted its efforts mostly to research and to supervision of training.

Expansion began again before Pearl Harbor. Lend-lease shipments started, new manufacturing facilities

were built, and many development projects were speeded up. By 1940 five major prewar

achievements in chemical warfare were ready for production: a rifled 4.2-inch mortar; a companion shell; a smoke and chemical spray tank, for the rapid laying of smoke screens or heavy gas concentrations by aircraft; a substance for impregnating the uniform to protect against mustard gas; and a new gas mask, which could be worn longer than earlier issues and with less discomfort, and which gave a much larger field of vision.

When we entered the war, the first task of the Corps was to prepare for the defense of our armed forces and population against a possible chemical attack, and also to prepare for a retaliatory counterattack if the enemy started gas warfare. CWS officers were assigned to staffs at all levels; over 400 CWS troop units, air and ground, were activated; some 35,000,000 civilian and military gas masks, and large amounts of other protective devices, were made and issued. As the war progressed, it became clear that these measures were effectively deterring our enemies from using toxic gases if they had had that intention, and probably would continue to deter. Therefore other types of chemical equipment, accepted by both sides as legitimate weapons, came to play the principal part in the CWS program. The most important were aerial incendiary bombs, the 4.2-inch chemical mortar, and smoke munitions.

Aerial Incendiary Bombs. These became the largest single class of supplies in the CWS production program. They played a dominant role in crippling enemy production and transportation in our air raids of 1943-5.

The 4.2-Inch Chemical Mortar. This mortar was developed as a smoke or gas projector, but was extensively used with high explosive and white phosphorus shells, over 4,000,000 of which were fired during the war. In Sicily in the summer of 1943, and thereafter in all major operations in the European and Pacific theaters, it was a spectacular

a heavy weapon for close infantry support. A total of 25 chemical mortar battalions and 2 separate companies saw combat duty. One of these had 508 days of combat out of 668 days spent in the European theater; was in 1 airborne and 5 amphibious operations; fired some 500,000 rounds; and received 3 DSCs and 876 Purple Hearts.

success as


Smoke Munitions. These included smoke grenades and pots, airplane spray tanks, mobile mechanical generators, and the like. They were employed for numerous tactical and rear-area screening missions. Smoke generators laid fog blankets to obscure troop movements, to conceal harbor areas from enemy bombers, and to conceal critical frontline tactical areas from enemy air and ground Are. Floating smoke pots provided cover for naval operations. Colored smokes were used for signaling. White phosphorus grenades and shells provided a combined screening and antipersonnel weapon.

POSTWAR DEVELOPMENTS. The Chemical Warfare Service was redesignated the Chemical Corps by Act of Congress 2 August 1946.

During the Korean conflict, both the Infantry and the Marines made use of the 4.2-inch mortar in their heavy weapons companies. Chemical mortar battalions supported units not equipped with this weapon. In addition to these battalions, many Chemical Corps technical and service units saw combat duty, and permissible chemical munitions were widely used. Napalm (jellied gasoline), as an incendiary, became one of the most common weapons in the campaign.

THE CHEMICAL CORPS TODAY. The Corps has been extensively reorganized along functional lines, similar to those obtaining in many civilian chemical industries. Its chief duties today are the development of new offensive and defensive devices, supply activities, and training for chemical, bacteriological and radiological (CBR) warfare.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FACILITIES. These include laboratories, proving groun and pilot and semiworks plants. Close liaison is also maintained with civilian scientific and industrial plants and programs.

OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE DEVICES. Among the research and development projects completed since the close

of the Korean conflict are: a one-shot portable flamethrower for use in closerange combat; an automatic field alarm to detect nerve gases; a fiber diffusion board, similar in appearance to fiberboard, which can be used as a liner in buildings to provide protection from all known chemical and biological warfare agents; an aerosoloscope to measure and count microscopic airborne germs, dust, and moisture particles; an automatic colony counter for use by bacteriologists in counting bacterial colonies; and a radically new protective face mask, which eliminates the protruding cheek canister filter unit.

PEACETIME BENEFITS. As can be seen from these examples, the work of the Corps benefits not only military preparedness but also society in general. In fact, throughout its history it has made discoveries in medicine, animal and crop diseases, immunology, crop protection, insect control, and other scientific fields which are of inestimable value to our nation. Many protective items recently developed by the Corps are adapted for civil defense use, in cooperation with the Federal Civil Defense Administration. Among them are a civilian protective mask, a hospital protective mask, an infant protector, and a mask-to-mask resuscitator. (See also chapter 31.)

SUPPLY. The Corps is required to maintain adequate supply readiness in the field of CBR warfare. This calls for properly balanced reserves of a wide variety of equipment and supplies, with a ready mobilization production base. The Corps buys some items from private industry, and makes others in its arsenals. Under the "single manager plan,” it serves not only the Army but also the Navy and Air Force. Principal categories of supply are the following

Chemicals, including general cleaning and solvent chemicals, acids and alkalles.

Gases, including irritant, persistent, and nonpersistent agents.

Smokes, including both colored and screening smokes.

Incendiary agents.

Protective equipment, including both individual and collective protective items such as protective masks; protective ointments; animal protective items; decontamination equipment; and detection Items to give warning of chemical or biological contamination of areas, food, or water.

Gas cloud materiel, generators and accessories.

Training and maintenance equipment.


Ground chemical munitions, such smoke pots, smoke candles, smoke grenades, Incendiary and tear gas grenades, riot control grenades, colored smoke grenades, smoke canisters for artillery shells, gas rockets, and incendiaries for the emergency destruction of documents and of cryptographic equipment.

Chemical laboratories, Impregnating plants and equipment, dyes, and chemicals for use in impregnating plants.

Airplane smoke equipment.

Flame thrower materiel, including both portable and mechanized flame-throwers, as

well as main armament tank flame throwers.

Bombs and clusters, incendiary, smoke, and toxic types.

TRAINING. The Corps is charged with the training of its own personnel and of other troop units in the field use and maintenance of CBR materiel. It operates a modern school system under the Chemical Corps Training Command at Fort McClellan, Alabama. Students are trained to cope with possible enemy CBR warfare, and thus form a nucleus of specialists. The Corps also supports CBR training throughout the Army, and provides instructional material, staff advisors, and assistants. Its techniques of instruction are used by the other Armed

Services and by the Federal Civil Defense Administration. Chemical Corps officers have liaison duties with the Navy and Air Force, and with the United Kingdom and Canada.

PROCUREMENT OF PERSONNEL, The following educational and experience backgrounds are especially suitable for assignments to the Chemical Corps: chemical and mechanical engineering, the physical and biological sciences, and business administration. However, they are neither a prerequisite to, nor a guarantee for, assignment. Other branches of the Army use similar skills and abilities; and the Chemical Corps uses some personnel with different backgrounds.

Enlisted personnel are assigned according to need. Those with a good background in engineering, scientific, and other professional fields may be designated as Enlisted Scientific and Professional Personnel (ESPP), and given highly skilled tasks. The Corps uses many such men.

CHIEFS OF SERVICES. The following have served

Chiefs, Chemical Warfare Service 1 July 1918-30 Jun 1920

.Maj. Gen. William L. Sibert 1 July 1920—27 Mar 1929

..Maj. Gen. Amos A. Fries 28 Mar 1929—8 May 1933

.Maj. Gen. Harry L. Gilchrist 8 May 1933—23 May 1937

.Maj. Gen. Claude E. Brigham 24 May 1937-30 Apr 1941

.Maj. Gen. Walter C. Baker 31 May 1941-28 Nov 1945

.Maj. Gen. William N. Porter

Chiefs, Chemical Corps 29 Nov 1945—30 Sep 1949

.Maj. Gen. Alden H. Waitt 1 Oct 1949—21 Jun 1951

Maj. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe 21 Jun 1951-31 Mar 1954

.Maj. Gen. Egbert F. Bullene 8 May 1954–31 Aug 1958

Maj. Gen. William M. Creasy 1 Sep 1958

.Maj. Gen. Marshall Stubbs

THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS The Corps of Engineers is a unique resolved that there should be “a chief Army organization, in that its functions Engineer for the Army in a separate are both civil and military. On the mili- department and two assistants under tary side, its primary mission is to in- him ..." On 11 March 1779, Congress crease the combat power of our forces, resolved that "the Engineers in the and to facilitate their movements and service of the United States shall be impede the movements of the enemy, by formed into a Corps and styled the means of construction or destruction. It Corps of Engineers.” In 1783 the Corps also has important supply functions. On was mustered out of service, but on 9 the civil side, it carries out the respon- May 1794 Congress authorized a Corps sibilities of the Department of the Army of Artillerists and Engineers as part of in the fields of navigable waterway im- the existing Corps of Artillery. The provement, flood control work, and as- original title was permanently restored sociated activities.

on 16 March 1802, when the President HISTORICAL BACKGROUND. On 16 was authorized to organize and establish June 1775, the Continental Congress a Corps of Engineers. It was specified "that ... the said Corps . . . shall be dromes and facilities, acts as agent for stationed at West Point in the State the Air Force. Engineer officers on the of New York and shall constitute a staffs of theater commanders are reMilitary Academy."

sponsible for military mining, demoliA Corps of Topographical Engineers tions, and protective measures against was authorized on 5 July 1838. This enemy mines. They survey areas of specialized agency, which had its foun- operations and distribute military maps; dations during the Revolutionary War store and issue material for construcunder Gen. Robert Erskine, “Geog- tion work, and for the organization of rapher of the Army," was merged defense systems; provide water and with the Corps of Engineers on 3 March utilities; construct and maintain rail1863.

roads, roads, and bridges; and construct The first enlisted men of the present and maintain Air Force installations. Corps were authorized by the Act of ZONE OF THE INTERIOR. The Corps 28 February 1803. Until the Mexican designs and constructs buildings and War, however, the Corps consisted for utilities for the Army and Air Force; the most part of commissioned officers. provides criteria for structure mainCompany A, Engineers, was organized tenance and operation of utilities; acin 1846; and the record of this unit is quires lands, easements, rights-of-way, treasured today by Company A, 1st and other interest in land needed for Engineer Battalion, of the 1st Infantry military and civil purposes, and disDivision.

poses by sale, transfer, or other means In 1861, with the Civil War impending, of real estate surplus to Army needs'; three additional engineer companies prepares and produces military maps; were authorized and established. At executes navigation and flood control this time the Corps consisted of 105 projects as required by law or ordered officers and 750 enlisted men. Before by the President; develops camouflage the close of the Spanish-American War, materials and techniques; accomplishes Congress authorized the expansion of dispersion and blackout at military inthe original battalion of engineers into stallations; provides for the procurethree battalions. In 1916 each of the ment, storage, and issue of engineer battalions was increased to a regiment. equipment; directs engineer research Between 1916 and 1918 the Corps was and development activities, including expanded from 256 officers and 2,000 the Army's nuclear power reactor proenlisted men to 11,175 officers and 285,- gram; and renders to other Federal 000 enlisted men. After World War I agencies such engineering services as it was greatly reduced, to be again ex- may be directed or agreed upon. panded to an unprecedented extent in CIVIL FUNCTIONS. The purely civil World War II. At its peak in that war functions of the Corps are discussed in it had over 700,000 officers and men. detail in chapter 12.

THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS TO- SUPPLY. The military supply reDAY. The Corps is decentralized, both sponsibilities of the Corps of Engineers in functions and in authorities. It con- cover a wide variety of equipment and sists of the Office of the Chief of En- materials needed for the construction, gineers; various engineer divisions and repair, and maintenance of fortificadistricts; various engineer depots and tions, camps, cantonments, warehouses, engineer sections of general depots; the hospitals, and miscellaneous structures Engineer Center; the Army Map Serv

of every category; of roads and trails; ice; a number of boards and commis- of airfields, of port facilities, railways, sions; the Supervisor of New York cableways, and tramways (construction Harbor; and certain agencies and in- and major repair only); and of utilities stallations responsible to the Chief of of all sorts. They also cover equipment Engineers.

and materials used in surveying, mapTHEATERS OF OPERATIONS. The ping, demolitions, camouflage, fire proCorps serves all arms and branches of tection, insect and rodent control, traffic the Army, and, for many purposes, such control, and various other activities. as the construction, concealment, maintenance, and defense of military air

3 See also chapter 10.

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