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have had this much experience up through the years in supply, so the Secretary of the Navy can say:
All right, in this board this year among those brigadiers selected, there will be one or two, or whatever the number that we need, who have had this previous SDO dutythus insuring that these people have a chance to make brigadier, so that no board could go in and unilaterally as a board say:
Well, we are not going to select any people who have had SDO experience. That is to protect them.
Senator SALTONSTALL. General, without prolonging this discussion, does not that contradict what you said formerly? If you are going to put a certain portion of promotions into this former Supply Department for the purposes of maintaining your supply efficiency, are you not then keeping the form of specialization ?
General SHOUP. It is not necessarily in this instance to continue the supply efficiency. Obviously we have in these officers supply experience. But I can go out in the unrestricted category and pick you 10 colonels that can do any one of the jobs these colonels are doing right today.
But this provision is so that these people will have an opportunity to make brigadier, and that they will be guaranteed some chance at it during these years while these people who have served most of their career in this business will have an opportunity.
Senator SALTONSTALL. What would be the effect if section 3 were struck out?
General SHOUP. Where the Secretary does not have the chance to do it?
Senator SALTONSTALL. If section 3 is not included in the bill, then, as I understand it, these supply officer people would be put on the same level for qualification for promotion as the line officers, and it would ont require the Secretary of the Navy to get a certain portion of the promotions from these former supply officers.
General SHOUP. That is just another part of the protective business in there that was thought to be essential in this transition, in the same manner that the below colonel will have an opportunity for their first selection on the same basis that they would, if the legislation had not passed.
Senator SALTONSTALL. Then should it not be limited to a number of years?
Should not this section be a temporary section and not a permanent part of the law ?
General SHOUP. I think this is more a statement of fact than anything else. Our selection laws today provide that the Secretaries of the departments may specify a certain type of individual with certain type qualifications that will be selected. I think this is more a statement of fact than provision of law.
Senator CASE. Would the Senator yield on that?
Senator CASE. Is not section 3(b) intended to make the benefits of this legislation applicable to those who have been SDO's?
change to the officers who are presently SDO, would you not?
General SHOUP. That is correct.
Now, the way this law is now, you have a limitation because it says those who were formerly. Pretty soon, if this legislation passes, there will not be any formerly.
Senator CASE. It will run out.
Chairman RUSSELL. As I understood section 3, all of it, sections (a) and (b) would be designed solely to see that these supply officers had equal chance with those who have not been supply officers in all future promotions ? General Shoup. That is right for their first promotion opportunity. In other words, until the SDO category runs out.
Chairman RUSSELL. When it runs out, they will not need any protection. If you have not got any SDO category, they will not need any protection. General SHOUP. That is right. Senator Bush. Could I ask a question ? Senator SALTONSTALL. I yield.
Senator Bush. Is this a recommendation that originated really from the SDO group or is it something you have worked out yourself from your own observation and experience?
General SHOUP. It seems 100 percent from me. When I took over as Commandant, I said this is one of the things that I wanted to get done, and it has come from my observations over a period of years and the various duties I have done.
I had been with G-4 of the Marine Corps during the last year of the World War, which is, in effect, the top supply planning job.
I commanded the service command which is the top supply job in the Pacific.
There is absolutely no reason for having this restrictive category which gives these particular people protection over the others, and many of them now do not even want it. But it has been determined legally that once one has been designated supply-duty-only, he cannot go back by his own request. He cannot do it.”
Senator CASE. Mr. Chairman, if I may oversimplify this, I think it is like saying, if you are in the House of Representatives, that if you are a member of a certain committee, you might aspire to be the chairman of that committee, but you might never aspire to be Speaker of the House, and it would also prevent the Members who are members of other committees from ever transferring or aspiring to be chairman of a particular committee.
The point that the Commandant has made about the six officers carrying over opens up the chairmanship, let us say, of the Committee on Armed Services, to those who might have been members of some other committee, if they transferred into the Armed Services Committee.
Chairman RUSSELL. And you say there are 400 of these supply officers?
General SHOUP. There are about 400 now that are in the category of supply-duty-only.
Chairman RUSSELL. How many officers of the Marine Corps are actually performing supply duty ?
General SHOUP. About 1,320.
Chairman RUSSELL. 1,320, and only 400 of them are in this special category?
General SHOUP. That is all.
How did this preference situation or special situation, at least, originate?
You might have covered that in your testimony, but I had to go out to the telephone.
General SHOUP. There is a lot of history.
Senator STENNIS. Just quite briefly how did it originate and how did a man get out, once he was in there? General SHOUP. He cannot get out of it under the present provisions.
That has been gone into by a lot of the legal people. Once you are in SDO, you cannot come out. Ever since the 3d day of March 1817, until the Reorganization Act of 1946, Congress provided paymasters and quartermasters in the Marine Corps.
Senator STENNIS. So this is a relic of the old, old days, then, that has come on down?
General SHOUP. Yes, sir.
It is really a relic as far as I am concerned. It does not fit our modern requirements.
We have specialists, my goodness, we have specialists. Let us take an aviator flying a plane today. We do not have aviation duty only. We have aviators commanding a recruit battalion in Parris Island.
We have aviators on my staff. We have aviators on the ground division staff.
They do not just fly and come up in a protected area for selection and promotion and everything just because they are aviators. They are across the board.
Senator STENNIS. As I understand now in the present law, once an officer gets into this category, particularly if he goes up the line a little, then he is there. He is solidified. He cannot get out.
General SHOUP. Once he has received a permanent promotion, after having been designated SDO, he has had it.
Senator STENNIS. Did you say or did you not say that you were once in ?
General Shoup. I never have been in SDO. I was simply pointing out that I had had considerable duty directly related with supply in the combat area particularly.
Senator STENNIS. I have found one good way to look at the bill. You have told us the points in favor of it, but what are the arguments against it?
General SHOUP. I do not know of any unless it would happen to be some individual-actually, everyone that I have discussed this with-and it has been a good many people very close to me and in the supply-duty-only business—have told me, if the bill did not go through, they would ask to get back in the unrestricted, but they cannot do it
Senator STENNIS. Now, you said something a while ago about there being a difference in this group and your other group of officer's with reference to age of retirement or early retirement or late retirement,
whichever term is used. It seems to me it ought to all be on the same level before that bar of justice that you have in considering a man for retirement.
Is it true that if he once gets in this group, a different rule applies? General SHOUP. Oh, yes. Senator STENNIS. To retire ? General SHOUP. Different retirement regulations apply to the SDO category than they do the unrestricted.
Senator STENNIS. And it will take some law along this line to change that rule ? General SHOUP. Yes, sir. That is exactly one of the reasons for it. Senator STENNIS. That is all I have, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman RUSSELL. Senator Case, have you concluded your questioning?
Senator CASE. Mr. Chairman, I think I have. The only point I would seek to make in connection with it, I might add to it by this illustration:
That if the Army had a similar restriction on the officers who were in the Engineer Corps, we never would have made it possible for command duties to have been assigned to men like General Wheeler or General Hoegh.
They were in the Engineers.
They established reputations as outstanding engineers, but during World War II Wheeler commanded in the India-Burma area and Hoegh was the commander that exploited the Remagen Bridge.
If they had been restricted to engineer duties, they would not have had these command posts.
Chairman RUSSELL. Senator Ervin?
Senator THURMOND. As I understand it, General, you are just asking for a policy that provides for flexibility for the Marine Corps and more flexibility for the individual officer.
That is the effect of it, is it not? General SHOUP. That is exactly correct, and that we have one Marine Corps instead of two.
Senator THURMOND. It offers an opportunity for the Marine Corps to choose from a broader base? General SHOUP. Yes, sir.
Senator THURMOND. It offers an officer an opportunity to rise from a broader base ? General SHOUP. Yes, sir.
Senator THURMOND. I want to ask you about this. I have had last year or the year before a lawyer in the Navy, a naval officer, who told me that the judge advocates do not have as good an opportunity for promotion as the line officers. As you familiar with that situation? General SHOUP. In the Marine Corps we try to take care of that. Senator THURMOND. What is that? General Shoup. We try to take care of that situation, I think, in our selection that is going on right now.
Senator THURMOND. How do you handle that? Would you mind just telling us how you handle the judge advocate promotions in the Marine Corps ?
General SHOUP. We do not have any right now that are in the judge advocate business. We have some legal officers. We try to have it across the board.
Let us say, for example, we only have three billets. That is not correct, but let us say we have three billets for legal officer in the rank of colonel in the Marine Corps. That is all we have.
If there are a dozen people coming up for selection from lieutenant colonel and a colonel happens to be in the zone, well, three is all that can be selected.
At the same time we need three. Therefore, the Secretary of the Navy can tell the Board :
“You will select a minimum of three with this kind of experience,” and that is the method by which we can control it.
Senator THURMOND. Do you have a provision under your policies such that if a legal officer would prove to be a good line officer, he could be transferred ? General SHOUP. Oh, yes, sir.
Senator THURMOND. Or he could be considered for promotion in the line and not restricted to the legal ?
General SHOUP. We are getting some people now who come in for legal duty.
Senator THURMOND. Some of your best commanders, I think, have been legal officers in the past?
General SHOUP. Yes, sir.
Senator THURMOND. And I was just wondering what your policy was in the Marine Corps ?
General SHOUP. We try our best to have people do the job and get promoted on their merits.
Sneator THURMOND. But even though they stay in the legal or the medical, they would have
General SHOUP. I think we can prove that in the Marine Corps our legal people have over the past years done better than the people who have been artillerymen, let us say, or tankmen most of their lives or signalmen most of their careers.
Senator THURMOND. So the legal and medical are not handicapped in any way in promotions in the Marine Corps ?
General Shoup. The legal are not. The medical come from the U.S. Navy.
Senator THURMOND. All your medical officers come from the Navy?
Senator ERVIN. I am under the impression that among your lower ranks in the Marine Corps you do not permit any officer to devote all of his time to legal work, but, on the contrary, that you require him to