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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. 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.
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 alternate between serving with an organization as a platoon commander or company commander with legal service.
General Shoup. That has been the case almost 100 percent until the last year or two.
We do have some officers now that devote most of their time to the legal business, because we have the legal billet that is always going to be there in the words of the law. Therefore, we know we have to have one.
Senator Ervin. But do you not still have the practice—take, for example, men with the rank of lieutenants who have had legal training or who have been sent to your school there in New England.
You do try to see to it that they get line service as well as the others? General SHOUP. Yes, sir, particularly if the officer himself want it.
Senator Ervin. You get your chaplains from the Navy, too, do you not?
General Shoup. Yes, sir, dentists and doctors.
Chairman RUSSELL. If there are no further questions, General Shoup, we appreciate your presentation.
We will now hear from Maj. Gen. William P. T. Hill, who is former quartermaster general of the Marine Corps, now retired, who will testify on the bill.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM P. T. HILL (RETIRED),
FORMER QUARTERMASTER GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS
General Hill. Mr. Chairman, I thank you very much for inviting me to appear before you this morning. My name is William P. T. Hill, major general, U.S. Marine Corps (retired). It has been 7 years since I appeared before this committee, so if I do not recognize some of you by name, please excuse it. I will try to.
I entered the Marine Corps in 1917. I was a qualified naval aviator. I was an engineer. I was an infantry officer, an artillery officer.
In 1929 I was detailed as an acting assistant quartermaster in the then Quartermaster Department. I served continuously in the Quartermaster Department until it was consolidated with the Paymasters Department, and I was the acting quartermaster general or quartermaster general from December 1, 1943, to February 1, 1955.
Now, I did not have time, sir, to write out a full statement, but I have a few observations that I would like to call to the attention of the committee. I have no fight with General Shoup. I admire him as a soldier and
He has had a hard time to straighten out the Marine Corps when he started, and I served under 8 or 10 Commandants of the Marine Corps, and I would place him at the top of all of those.
But the comments I am offering, I believe, are for the good of the Marine Corps, the good of the country, and the protection of those loyal, dedicated people who gave up the chance to become Commandant of the Marine Corps and went into the supply department.
The supply department, as such, the Quartermaster Department and the Paymaster Department, adjutant inspector was established permanently in 1817.
But to get to the gist of the situation, sir, in 1916, March 1, 1916, the detail system versus the staff departments, August 29, 1916 (Public Law 24i, H.R. 15947, approved August 29, 1916), abolished and repealed the act of 1903 and made:
No further permanent appointments in any grade in any staff department of the Marine Corps. Any vacancy hereafter occurring in the lower grade of any staff department shall be filled by the detail of an officer of the line for a period of 4 years unless sooner relieved. Any vacancy hereafter occurring in the upper grade of any staff department shall be filled by the appointment of an officer with the rank of colonel holding a permanent appointment in the staff department in which the vacancy exists, or of some other officer holding a permanent appointment in such staff department; in case there be no permanent staff officer with the rank of colonel in the department; or of a colonel in the line in case there be no one holding a permanent appointment in such staff department, such appointment shall be made by the President for a term of 4 years, and the officer so appointed shall be recommissioned in the grade to which appointed.
This law permitted permanent staff officers to be, upon their own applications, with the approval of the President, be reappointed in the line of the Marine Corps, except colonels and lieutenant colonels. If an officer requested transfer to the line, he was required to serve in line duties for 1 year and then establish to the satisfaction of an examining board consisting of line officers, his physical, mental, and professional fitness for the performance of line duties. [All officers, staff and line, were placed on a common list in order of seniority.]
Now, gentlemen, at that time very few officers requested transfer. The last one of those officers left retired in 1944.
Now, in the interim between 1917 and 1937 there had been a lot of meritorious noncommissioned officers appointed, quartermaster sergeants and so forth, by the permanent board as a result of the act of March 4, 1920. They were usually a major, captain, or first lieutenant. Some of them had 20 or more years of service.
Now, those officers were well qualified for those junior positions in the then Quartermaster Department, the then Paymaster Department.
However, in about 1929 those people were retiring with 30 or 35 or 38 years service, and others had to be designated acting assistant quartermasters without being asked for it. So this brings up the law of 1937:
H.R. 7510, a bill to authorize the assignment of officers of the line of the Marine Corps to staff duty only as assistant quartermasters and assistant paymasters, and for other purposes—an act of Congress approved July 28, 1937 (50 Stat. p. 537, U.S.C. supp., title 34, sec. 32) — carried out the provisions of the above bill, H.R. 7510.
All the testimony supporting this bill confirmed the fact that the detail system established by the 1916 act was unsatisfactory and inefficient. The recommendations of Brig. Gen. Hugh Mathews, the then Quartermaster General, Brig. Gen. Harold C. Reisinger, the then Paymaster General, Brig. Gen. Clayton B. Vogel, representing the Major General Commandant of the Marine Corps, that the object was to:
Enable the Marine Corps to develop and maintain an adequate and efficient Staff Corps and looking to the future rather than to the present, to insure that there will be available highly qualified officers with the necessary specialized knowledge, training, and experience to fill important key positions in the Quartermaster and Paymaster Departments.
To accomplish this purpose, it provides that a small number of majors, lieutenant colonels, and colonels of the line may elect, with the approval of the Secretary of the Navy, to spend the remainder of their careers as quartermasters and paymasters, under the same conditions that line officers of the Navy elect to perform engineering duty only.
It provided titles of "Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps" and "Paymaster General of the Marine Corps."
Before it was just the “Quartermaster" and "Paymaster.”
The Reorganization Act of 1946, Plan No. 3, consolidated the Paymaster and the Quartermaster Department into one unit, the Supply Department. The paymaster was abolished, the title was abolished.
Next we come to H.R. 1371, which added :
Officers of the line of the Marine Corps of the permanent grades of captain upon application, and with the approval of the Secretary of the Navy, be assigned to Supply duty only. andProvided, That all Officers of the Marine Corps now assigned to assistant quartermaster duty only, and assistant paymaster duty only are hereby assigned to Supply duty only, without change in their lineal positions and precedence solely as a result of such change or assignment. [Emphasis supplied.]
Now, General Vandegrift testified:
It will permit officers who elect in the future to follow this type of duty to begin their specialization earlier in their careers, which should be conducive of greater competence in their specialty.
I would like to quote a paragraph of U.S. Navy Regulations, 1948, Navy Department General Order.
1381. SUCCESSION TO COMMAND BY OFFICERS OF THE MARINE CORPS 1. An officer of the Marine Corps shall not succeed to command of any ship or naval shipyard or of a naval station, except when the officer detailed to command the station is an officer of the Marine Corps.
2. An officer of the Marine Corps designated for supply duty only or detailed for duty in the Supply Department may succeed to command in supply activities of the Marine Corps, and, when directed by a senior in the chain of command, may succeed to command other activities.
There are several cases on record where line officer (not restrict in the performance of duty) without the qualifications necessary to carry out a certain job that were ably and competently filled by assistant quartermaster duty only officers or supply duty only officers.
Now, in 1961, H.R. 4328, Řeport 354, May 4, 1961, the testimony was given that the supply duty officer concept is one which has outlived its usefulness in the Marine Corps.
We have moved beyond the point where a small group of officers restricted in numbers and range of assignments can adequately meet the needs of the Corps in supply matters.
Well, General Shoup pointed that out.
There are these 402 officers on December 31, 1959. They are augmented by other junior officers for positions that are not a key responsibility. Also, there are several hundred limited-duty-only officers with technical qualifications who assist the Supply Department in carrying out their duties.
The Hoover Committee in June 1955, the "Business Organization of the Department of Defense,” says: