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The U.S. Army, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and Leadership for World War II, 1933--1942

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Abstract

Prior to World War II, the U.S. Army numbered 187,000 soldiers. Its growth to more than 8 million was a significant accomplishment. Little known to most, the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration's youth program, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), provided the pretrained manpower to fill the U.S. Army's ranks upon mobilization with men who readily assumed the role of Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs). It also gave Organized Reserve Corps officers the opportunity to occupy leadership positions, an experience that would have been unavailable otherwise. By the same token, it allowed the Regular Army to assess the leadership potential of both Regular and Reserve Officers in leading future citizen soldiers. Last, it provided the Army with an opportunity to exercise its mobilization plans.

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... The CCC helped influence environmental programs and attitudes that continue to this day. Yet this program did not provide long-term, high-quality jobs, reinforced racial and gender inequities, and became militarized and subsumed under the war effort (Alexander, 2018;Heller, 2009;Maher, 2008). The just transition needed now would function differently. ...
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Policing and ecological crises – and all the inequalities, discrimination, and violence they entail – are pressing contemporary problems. Ecological degradation, biodiversity loss, and climate change threaten local communities and ecosystems, and, cumulatively, the planet as a whole. Police brutality, wars, paramilitarism, private security operations, and securitization more widely impact people – especially people of colour – and habitats. This edited collection explores their relationship, and investigates the numerous ways in which police, security, and military forces intersect with, reinforce, and facilitate ecological and climate catastrophe. Employing a case study-based approach, the book examines the relationships and entanglements between policing and ecosystems, revealing the intimate connection between political violence and ecological degradation.
... Other forms of public service might function in a similar manner. Research suggests that the Civilian Conservation Corps prepared young men for military service, thus fortuitously creating a body of citizens primed for combat operations in World War II (Heller 2010). Similarly, evidence suggests that working in AmeriCorps fosters public service motivation (Ward 2014), which, in turn, may improve public performance (Brewer 2010). ...
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Does preferentially hiring military veterans hurt US federal service quality? Using career progress to measure quality, past research finds that veterans who enter service in the four most common general schedule (GS) grades advance to higher grades more slowly than nonveterans entering in those same grades. This research, however, ignores variables that influence GS progress. Enlisting all disclosed personnel data for white-collar federal employees from 1973 to 1997, I compare the GS advancement of veterans’ preference recipients and nonrecipients who start federal service in the same grade, occupation, duty station, agency, and year. When controlling for these combined traits, I find that preference recipients hold grades higher than or statistically indistinguishable from those of nonrecipients in 15 of the first 24 years of their careers. When adding controls for an employee’s gender, race, age, and education, I find that recipients hold grades higher than or statistically indistinguishable from those of nonrecipients in each of the first 24 years of their careers. These results question the claim that veterans’ preference has diminished federal service quality.
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This monograph is essentially a treatment of the manpower aspects of military mobilization. Its primary objective is to provide a more comprehensive record of military mobilizations in the United States for the use of General Staff officers and students in the Army school system and to assist the mobilization planners of the future. The manuscript is divided into four parts. Part I, "Mobilization in an emerging world power", covers the period from the Revolutionary War through the Spanish-American War. Part II, "World War I: preparations and mobilization", covers the period from 1900 through World War I. Part III, "Mobilization activities between World Wars I and II", contains four chapters covering the planning agencies and plans developed between 1920 and 1940. Lastly, Part IV, "World War II", contains six chapters on the actual mobilization for World War II.
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