Recruitment and mobilization — World War II US Propaganda Posters

As mentioned before, at the beginning of the war, the war did not reach the U.S. mainland, and most people in the U.S. thought the war was far away, so the government had no plans to expand the draft. At this time, the United States had only 200,000 registered soldiers and was only ranked 17th in the world in terms of combat capability.
Recruitment and mobilization

As mentioned before, at the beginning of the war, the war did not reach the U.S. mainland, and most people in the U.S. thought the war was far away, so the government had no plans to expand the draft. At this time, the United States had only 200,000 registered soldiers and was only ranked 17th in the world in terms of combat capability. Many of these 200,000 soldiers still wore World War I helmets and used old weapons that were clearly outdated. But just as the question of how to inspire the population to take an active part in the war effort, the question of how to increase the size of the army was not easily resolved.

President Roosevelt was inwardly inclined to expand the military because he felt the military pressure from Germany and Japan more than anyone else; but on the other hand, he had to temper this willingness by expressing in a letter to the U.S. Congress on May 31 that he would secure the homeland and maintain our status as a neutral nation by expanding the military. But Congress denied his request, and members of Congress voted to expand military spending rather than to complete the proposed expansion of the military in order to unnecessarily arouse public resentment.

To no one’s surprise, it wasn’t a senior figure who finally broke the stalemate, but a Wall Street consultant named Grenville Clark. The New York native, who served briefly in the U.S. Army during World War I, then joined the Military Training Camps Association, a group of World War I veterans. As German troops ravaged Europe, the association, under Clark’s management, formed an emergency mobilization group dedicated to actively promoting and advocating the idea of universal defense throughout the United States. This advocacy soon came to fruition through a speech by Henry Stimson. On the third day after Stimson’s speech, Democratic Congressman Edward Burke of Nebraska submitted a draft to Congress to improve the existing military draft system to guard against the risk of war. However, more people are neutral and wait-and-see attitude, they for the military reform proposals appear to be non-committal, or more accurately, they simply do not perceive for or against the fundamental difference can bring.

According to a poll in the July 1940 issue of Life magazine, more than 67 percent of Americans believed that the Germans sweeping across the Europe were already a threat to the United States, and another 71 percent said the government should adopt a mandatory policy to enforce military service. At this moment, the U.S. government began to realize that it seemed necessary to expand the size of the existing army to cope with the possibility at any time.

In an interview with the U.S. press on August 5, Marshall solemnly stated that if Congress remained indecisive about calling up members of the National Guard and imposing mandatory military service, it would inevitably jeopardize the nation’s defense program as a whole. This view was shared by Roosevelt, who, having gained an initial grasp of the election situation, felt that he must now exercise his power to directly support the passage of the bill, and at a press conference on August 23, he made it clear that he would require Congress to pass the bill within two weeks. By September 6, Roosevelt again stressed that the endless delaying tactics would only exacerbate the impact on the Armament Program. For campaign political reasons, Republican presidential candidate Wendell Wilkie also urged Congress to pass the bill immediately four days later.

The United States Navy needs young patriotic Americans to man its expanding fleet (Matt Murphy,1940)
U.S. Army Air Corps,1940
Vacancies exist1 Enlist now! (U.S. Department of the Army,1940)
Flying Cadets (U.S. Department of the Army,1940)

After a long summer of debate, Congress finally passed the Burke-Wadsworth Act, better known as the Selective Service and Military Training Act of 1940, on September 16, 1940, and reinstated the Selective Service Service that had been established in World War I. The draft began.

First in war! First in peace! (U.S. Department of the Army,1940)
Young Americans enlist at the Naval Service in Boston. The photo was taken on December 8, 1941.
 
James Flagg’s “I Want You for the U.S. Army” is also probably one of the most well known war posters in human history.

Although the draft seemed to have started smoothly, Marshall realized before anyone else that the ongoing draft would face unprecedented challenges and difficulties. Marshall’s fears were soon validated in another way: the rising tide of anti-war in the country. Long before Congress passed the Bork-Wadsworth Act, anti-war forces and isolationist groups had tried in various ways to block its passage, and a year later they returned to try to get Congress to deny approval to extend the Act’s effective date. Roosevelt almost on his own, request to grant the extension of the Draft Act was finally passed by a narrow margin.

The passage of the Draft Act provided the Roosevelt administration with the most direct defense against possible war, and after Pearl Harbor, The major U.S. military services are also competing to start their own scramble for troops. By the end of the war, 35.5 million people had registered for military service, more than one-third of the country’s population, and 10.5 million of these people ended up in uniform at the front. Although this percentage was not comparable to that of Germany and Japan, the numbers alone were enough to defeat Italy, Germany and Japan on several fronts.

Young Americans requesting enlistment at the Naval Recruiting Office in San Francisco, photographed on December 8, 1941.
Men of 18 and 19. Now you can choose your branch of service (U.S. Department of the Army,1942)
Now is the time! (U.S. Department of the Army,1942)
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