Letter from T. Hughes to the Commanding Generals of All Corps Areas, 7 December 1920
THE ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE
325.455 (Misc. Div.)
December 7, 1920.
From: The Adjutant General of the Army.
To: The Commanding Generals of all Corps Areas.
Subject: Designation and location of units of the National Guard and the Organized Reserves.
1. Section 3 a of the Act of June 4, 1920, prescribes in part that:
"Subject to general regulations approved by the Secretary of War, the location and designation of units of the National Guard and the Organized Reserves entirely comprised within the limits of any State or Territory shall be determined by a Board, a majority of whom shall be reserve officers, including reserve officers who hold or have held commissions in the National Guard and recommended for this duty by the Governor of the State or Territory concerned."
2. In accordance with the above provision of law, each corps area commander will appoint a board of officers to function in each State of his corps area, and in the District of Columbia. Each board shall consist of one officer of the Regular Army and not less than two nor more than four reserve officers who have been recommended for this duty by the Governor of the State, or by the Commanding General of the National Guard of the District of Columbia. (Hereafter in this letter the words "State" and "Governor" should be construed to include the words "District of Columbia" and "Commanding General of the National Guard of the District of Columbia", respectively)
For the location and designation of units of the National Guard, a majority of the reserve officers of each board will, when practicable, be composed of reserve officers who hold or have held commissions in the National Guard; in the case of units of the Organized Reserves, a majority will, when practicable, be composed of reserve officers who do not hold commissions in the National Guard.
3. As soon as practicable after receipt of this communication, each corps area commander will make request, by authority of the Secretary of War, upon the Governor of each State within his corps area, for the names of a suitable number of reserve officers, including reserve officers who hold or have held commissions in the National Guard, who are considered by the Governor to be qualified for duty on the local boards. The reserve personnel of the boards will then be chosen by the corps area commanders from among the officers thus recommended. Before appointing the boards, the corps area commander should assure himself by investigation through the War Department or otherwise, that the officers selected for appointment do, in fact, hold commissions as reserve officers as contemplated above, and that they are willing to serve. If it should arise that an officer has been recommended by the Governor of the State concerned who is not a reserve officer, such officer should be advised by the corps area commander to submit to The Adjutant General of the Army, without delay, his application for appointment as a reserve officer, and the corps area commander will report each case to The Adjutant General of the Army in order that action on such application may be expedited. At the same time it should be made clear to the reserve officers concerned that since the functions of the board are of a local nature, the reserve officers thereon will not be placed on an active duty status by the War Department.
The officers of the Regular Army detailed for duty on these boards will be selected from the corps area commander's staff or from the Inspector-instructors on duty in the corps area. When practicable, the same officer of the Regular Army will be a member of the local board of every State within the corps area in order that the work of the boards in the several States may be more easily co-ordinated.
4. The order appointing a local board should be issued as soon as practicable after the allotments of units of the National Guard or the Organized Reserves have been definitely made, and should state the time and place at which the board should have its initial meeting.
5. Previous to the first meeting of the board a letter of instructions shall be furnished it by the corps area commander, setting forth the policies of the War Department in connection with the location and designation of units, as well as any other instructions which the corps area commander may deem necessary.
6. The duties of a local board are:
(a) To determine and report upon the location of units of the National Guard or Organized Reserves, which, it is planned, shall be entirely comprised within the limits of the State in which the board is convened. In view of the provisions of Section 68 of the Act of June 3, 1916, which section is still in force, the board should take cognizance of the rights of the State to determine and fix the location of the National Guard units and headquarters within its borders, by ascertaining the wishes of the State in this matter.
(b) To determine and report upon the numerical or other designations of all units of the National Guard or Organized Reserves, which, it is planned, shall be entirely comprised within the State in which the board is convened.
(c) In cases where the divisional units of the National Guard or the Organized Reserves which have been, or it is planned will be allotted to the State do not make up one or more complete Infantry divisions, to recommend to the corps area commander the numerical designations of the Infantry divisions which should include these units.
(d) To list and report upon instances where the board departs, in designating a unit, from the system of numbering mentioned below, 7 (e), and to state the reasons for so doing.
(e) To prepare a report in quadruplicate containing a concise statement of the conclusions of the board on each of the items mentioned above. One copy of this report will be retained by the board and the other three transmitted to the corps area commander.
7. In its work a local board should be guided by the following:
(a) It is not expected that the location and designation of all units to be maintained in the National Guard and the Organized Reserves under the re-organization plans, can be determined at once. At the present time the boards will concern themselves only with the units which are now in existence and those which it is expected will be organized within about the next two years.
(b) The policy of the War Department with respect to the designation of the units of the National Guard and the Organized Reserves is found in indorsement (AG 325.455, Misc. Div., dated August 28, 1920) to the Chief, Militia Bureau, a copy of which was furnished each corps area commander.
(c) Paragraph 18 of letter (AG 323, Misc. Div., September 20, 1920) to each corps area commander lists the numbers which have been reserved for use as divisional designations for the National Guard in the several corps areas.
(d) Paragraph 19 of the same letter indicates, in general, the manner in which corps troops are to be designated.
(e) The accompanying tables set forth the system of numbering which will be used for the purpose of designating such units within Infantry divisions for which the local boards do not properly determine other designations. Tables for corps and army troops will be provided later.
8. Upon receipt of the reports of the boards, the corps area commander will decide upon the numerical designation of the Infantry divisions or other units which cannot be entirely comprised within a single State, but can be comprised within two or more States of the corps area, and will forward two copies of each report to the War Department by an indorsement containing decisions made by him and such other comment as he may care to make.
He will also recommend designations for units which will not be entirely comprised within his corps area.
By order of the Secretary of War: