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Letter on Using Army Officers in the C.C.C..

April 29, 1938

My dear Senator Bulkley:

ACKNOWLEDGMENT is made of your letter of April twenty-sixth, calling attention to the Executive Order issued in 1935 relative to field officers of the organized Reserve Corps with the rank of Major, Lieutenant-Colonel and Colonel who were in command of Civilian Conservation Corps Districts.

When the Civilian Conservation Corps was organized in the spring of 1933 all Army officers assigned to active duty with the Corps were drawn from the Regular Army personnel. This continued during the first six months, but when it was realized that the Corps would continue in operation for some time the War Department informed me that it would seriously interfere with the routine operation of the Regular Army and would be detrimental to the best interests of the Nation for such a large number of Army personnel to be assigned to Civilian Conservation Corps duty.

Therefore, on or about October 2, 1933, I authorized the Director of the Civilian Conservation Corps to advise the War Department to substitute Reserve officers with the grade of Captain, First Lieutenant and Second Lieutenant in place of Regular Army officers on active duty with the Corps. A substantial number of Regular Army officers holding the rank of Major, Lieutenant-Colonel and Colonel continued to give their services to the Corps in command of Districts. This continued until the expansion program in the spring of 1935 when, due to the tremendous increase that was authorized in the enrolled strength of the Corps, the War Department notified the Director of the Civilian Conservation Corps that the Department would not have a sufficient number of officers of field-grade rank to supply the needs of the Corps. I, therefore, authorized the calling of Reserve Officers holding the field-grade rank for active duty with the Corps. They continued on active duty until the reduction program had brought about the closing of a large number of camps which made it necessary materially to reduce the number of officers needed to supervise the work of the Corps.

Under this reduced program the War Department advised the Director of the Civilian Conservation Corps that they could furnish a sufficient number of Regular Army officers of field grade rank to carry on the necessary supervisory work. This work is now performed by Regular Army personnel who, of course, are permanently on the Federal pay roll. Reserve officers of field-grade rank are not called to active duty because of the expense. The Corps must be operated as economically as possible. We try to utilize wherever possible the personnel of the existing regular governmental agencies.

Very sincerely yours,

Honorable Robert J. Bulkley,

United States Senate,

Washington, D.C.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter on Using Army Officers in the C.C.C.. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/209655

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