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Gen. O'Ryan. That was not the problem. That was the problem as the War Department construed it. But the problem was not that. We did not know where these troops would be. We said to them, 66 We do not know where these troops will be, nor do you, as that depends on the policy of the Government at the time of the call. This property should be, as it is abroad, where the men can put their hands on it as fast as they report; that is to say, it should be in the armories or in Federal storehouses close to the regimental rendezvous of the companies." Gen. Wood approved that and went into it exhaustively before giving his approval of the system and recommended it, and finally the Division of Militia Affairs, under Gen. Mills, made a separate investigation and approved it; but they never adopted it. It was never promulgated, and the result was that we did find a condition of emergency on the border where it was necessary for some regiments, without waiting to go into a mobilization camp, to be put on board the trains with their recruits and shipped immediately to the border. These other men, other than recruits, were clothed and armed and equipped and ready a few hours after the call. Their thought was, - Where is this war? We are ready for business.” But they were kept there under these conditions in order to bring our companies to war strength, and we could not get the clothing or equipment, because under the system adopted and enforced by the War Department this clothing was all to be sent to a mobilization camp which was some distance away from New York City. I took up the matter with Gen. Wood and asked whether that plan was to be followed out. Was equipment to be sent up there, and will these regiments first have to go to the mobilization camp to connect with that property before they start? He promptly said, “No; we will change it right now," and he did so. If he had not taken that initiative, these regiments would have been considerably delayed in leaving. But he had the shipment changed from the mobilization camp as the point of destination to the armories of the particular organizations that were to leave promptly. The property arrived, but after it got there it had to be inventoried and checked and stored and fitted and issued and taken up and stenciled and marked. Many of those things could have been done, of course, without that great stress and pressure had this system of Federal storerooms been adopted, as was recommended.
Senator Brady. These things you are discussing are matters of detail that you feel could be corrected by a proper organization?
Gen. O'Ryan. I think they will be corrected now; yes, sir.
Senator BRADY. You have doubtless heard Gen. Stotesbury inake his statement about federalizing the National Guard and bringing it entirely under Federal authority?
Gen. O'RYAN. Yes.
Senator Brady. How would you suggest that we get the National Guard entirely transferred from State control to National control!
Gen. O'Ryan. Amend section 57 and change the definition of militia and it is accomplished.
The CHAIRMAN. You assisted in the preparation of the provisions relating to the National Guard in the national defense act of June 3, 1916, did you not, General?
Gen. O'Ryan. Yes, sir; and I was surprised to see the National Guard included in the definition of militia. I did not know it was in there. I think Senator Wadsworth knows something about that.
Senator WADSWORTH. As the bill passed the Senate originally the National Guard was not included in the definition of " militia." That went in in conference.
Senator BRADY. Those are matters we are trying to correct. We are getting this information for the purpose of trying to perfect a bill that will be the most beneficial in the matter of national defense.
The CHAIRMAN. That is not now section 20 of the act, is it?
Gen. O'RYAN. I think it is. It is the one containing a definition of the militia.
The CHAIRMAN. Section 57 of the act of June 3, 1916, says that the militia of the United States shall consist of all able-bodied male citizens of the United States,
and said militia shall be divided into three classes, the National Guard, the Naval Militia, and the Unorganized Militia.
Gen. O'RYAN. I would change that so as to eliminate the National Guard and say, "except those citizens duly commissioned or enlisted in the Regular Army or the National Guard of the United States."
The CHAIRMAN. Would that slight change place this whole militia under the Federal control?
Gen. O'Ryan. It would as far as the Constitution of the United States is concerned, and as to what authority, if any, or what use, if any, the States might have of this force would depend entirely upon Congress and not upon the States. If they thought it expedient to permit the States to use this force, but not to train them, that is a matter for Congress to determine, just as Congress may provide now that the Regular Army may be called upon directly by the governors. It is your force and you can use it as you please. That is the system employed by the German Army. The States there may call upon the Imperial German Army direct.
The CHAIRMAN. I was rather surprised at your statement a while ago about this having been inserted in here in conference. I find that the bill as prepared and submitted to this committee by the National Guard Association divided the militia into three classes, the National Guard, the Junior Guard, and the Unorganized Militia. That is practically the same division here in the present bill.
Gen. O'RYAN. I do not advocate that; I did not know it.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the way the matter came to us from the National Guard Association in the first instance.
Gen. O'Ryan. I was not a representative of the National Guard Association. It was Senator Wadsworth, I think, who mentioned that it was changed in conference.
Senator W ADSWORTH. My recollection of it, Mr. Chairman, is not absolutely reliable.
The CHAIRMAN. Here in the Senate Committee on Military Affairs hearings is the bill as it was originally presented to the committee by the National Guard Association.
Senator WaDSWORTH. I know it was a great surprise to me. I know I thought it was out of the bill.
Senator BRADY. That is a matter which, in your judgment, should be corrected.
Gen. O'RYAN. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. We want to do that, but I did not want the responsibility for that shifted to this committee, because we practically left the preparation of the National Guard Act to the House members and the National Guard Association, and that is the way the bill was presented in the first instance, dividing the militia into three classes. That appears at page 833 of the hearings before the United States Senate in 1916 on "Preparedness for National Defense."
Gen. O'Ryan. In answer to the question about the property. I would like to make that clear. We apply the term “war strength property” to all military property that is necessary to arm, clothe and equip the number of men necessary to raise the organizations from the strength prescribed during the time of peace to the maximum strength provided for service in time of war. That is the property that the Federal Government has always insisted upon keeping in its supply depots.
Senator BRADY. But you think that will be changed now?
Senator BRADY. That will eliminate considerable trouble in the case of mobilization?
Gen. O'RYAN. Yes.
Gen. O'Ryan. Not necessarily change the control, but put it there close to the organizations. I concur with Gen. Stotesbury's opinion that we should, if possible, attain that ideal condition where we maintain in time of peace our organization at approximately war strength, and we have tried to do that in New York State.
Senator Brady. I want to ask a question relative to that. Presuming that we have a standing or regular army of 100,000 men, and 200,000 members of the National Guard, what relation do you feel that the National Guard should sustain to the Regular army; that is to say, what duties should they perform? Would they have any specific duties to perform during peace times, or would they simply be called out in case of invasion or war?
Gen. O'Ryan. I would like to cover that by rather an extended answer, by stating this: I think that the role of the National Guard, for the reasons stated by Gen. Stotesbury, is that of first-line troops. I think, under the law as it stands to-day, that no educated soldier would say it would be possible, from the military point of view, to consider them as first-line troops. Their dependability as first-line troops would depend upon the correctness of their organization. Then it will depend upon the professional standard of the officers, because the men will never be any better than the officers. If the officers are proficient, the men will be proficient. It should have leadership, and then have the necessary things, including the numbers of men. It should have, of course, adequate training. I believe that the cost of a standing army is lost sight of in many of these talks about what we ought to have, I agree with Gen. Stotesbury that the ideal method is to have a highly trained force of specialists and to pay them whatever is necessary. From the practical point of view we know that will not be done because it would bankrupt the country.
Senator BRADY. Is not that liable to create such a tax burden that the citizens would not vote it?
Gen. O'Ryan. Yes; I think that is so true that it is idle to speculate about it. Hence we must have some force that can be made to proximate the ideal efficiency as closely as we can with the minimum expense.
One thing that struck me forcibly about service on the border was this: I saw the troops down there and reviewed them at Brownsville; I saw my own division and the Regulars and the Texans that were in our sector. I had a Tennessee regiment there. Some of them were remarkable commands and highly efficient organizations, and some of them were not. I think those that were not, under a proper system could be made to approximate the best. They were all costing the Government about the same while they were there, costing on an average about $1.200 a year per man, Regulars and National Guardsmen. The emergency was terminated, so that it enable the withdrawal of the National Guard troops from the border to their home stations and enabled the sending back of some of the regular organizations, which latter will continue probably from their border stations to their home stations, but at their home stations the regular force continues to cost the same rate of $100 per month per man, or approximately $1,200 a year. The National Guard expense is automatically cut down to a sum that is relatively negligible. As soon as they get their final muster—they are not mustered out (they use that term erroneously in the newspapers, it is only a final muster which is for the purpose of fixing the date when full Federal pay for each guardsman ceases, and this National Guard pay that is provided for in this act, which is a nominal sum, recommences)—S0 that whatever the cost of maintenance of the National Guard is to the Nation-I assume it be approximately 100 per year per man--you hare a force which automatically, as soon as the emergency is over, is reduced in cost from $1,200 per year per man to about $100 per year per man.
Senator Brady. That is the point I was desirous of covering. These 200,000 men in time of peace, following the line of your statement, would be at their home station?
Gen. O'RYAN. Yes.
Senator BRADY. They would be there at an expense of $100 a year, as compared with $1,200 a year for the Regular Army. Is that correct?
Gen. O'Ryan. That is correct except as to that figure of $100. That is merely an approximation on my part.
Senator Brady. That is approximately correct, I believe.
Gen. O'RYAN. You might have that force, so far as military operations are concerned, in idleness for a period of 10 years, and yet your regular force is rolling up mountains of money at the rate of $1,200 per year per man, while the other force is running at approximately $100 per year per man; and yet when you need them, that all comes back to the same big sum again.
Senator BRADY. And all absolutely under governmental control?
Gen. O'Ryan. Yes. I believe you can not have first line troops unless their government and control is placed in the War Department.
The CHAIRMAN. How near to federalization did this defense act come? It did not effect what we hoped would be accomplished by it.
Gen. O'Ryan. Yes, sir; I think it did. I think it was really a radical step toward the end we are talking about.
The CHAIRMAN. You think eventually it can be accomplished? Gen. O'Ryan. Yes, sir; I do.
The CHAIRMAN. You would advise giving the National Guard a further and fairer trial, would you not?
Gen. O'Ryan. Yes, sir. I do not consider that there has been any test of this act yet. What I have in mind is this, that before the Congress passed this act we had as many periods of enlistment, as many forms of enlistment as there were States. We had as many methods of selecting officers as there were States. We had as many standards of qualifications for officers as there were States.
Senator BRADY. You feel that all those things should be standardized ?
Gen. O'Ryan. It has been done under this act.
The CHAIRMAN. Still the question that has been a serious one, and Gen. Stotesbury spoke of it, is the question of dual control. That has not yet been eliminated.
Gen. O'Ryan. There has been a great deal of talk about that, but I think any difficulties of dual control have either been misstated or they have been exaggerated. For example, the Judge Advocate has held that from the date of the President's call, even in the case of the Organized Militia, they are automatically in the Federal service.
The CHAIRMAN. Officers and enlisted personnel?
Gen. O'Ryan. Yes; all the organizations. Where does the dual control come in?
The CHAIRMAN. That is what I am trying to find out myself. Of course, the officers in the first instance are appointed by the State authorities. Take your own case
Gen. O'Ryan. Under this new act?
Gen. O'Ryan. Under this new act, they are not in effect. The effect of the new act is to follow the German Army system, where the officers are appointed by the States of the German Empire, but the system in effect merely gives to the German States the authority to nominate the officers, and that is brought about, because the appointment is subject to imperial qualifications, and that is true under this act.
The CHAIRMAN. Take a regiment that comes in from Oregon, for instance. The commissioned officers of the regiment are men who have been placed in command under the laws of the State
Gen. O’Ryan. No, sir; not now.
Gen. O'Ryan. No, sir; not as National Guardsmen. All the gorernor can do is to select the man whom he desires, for instance, to be colonel of the regiment, but the nominee must be in one of five classes specified in that act. Having done that, that candidate is sent before a board to test his qualifications, and everything governing that board is prescribed by the War Department under this new system. If that board turns him down, he is not commissioned.
Senator Brany. But the governor would have to appoint another in his place?
Gen. O'Ryax. Ile can keep on putting men in there until he gets somebody to pass that examination.