3 of 15
professionalization was brought about to alleviate this civilianconcern.However, amidst the War of 1812 and the Civil War, the force became essential to the U.S. policy of westward expansion. Therank and file of these forces bonded over common held beliefsincluding
the “civilian ideologies of Anglo–
American racialsuperiority and Manifest Destiny, and saw an increasingly professionalized military as the instrument of territorial
Here again the unity of the professionalized army was
brought about by “civilian ideologies.” Historian Adrian Lewis
maintains that America framed an army control and command
structure as “a culturally unique American system,” it was thecontribution of these “civilian ideologies” that paved the way for
this unity of command.
More importantly, the reverence to the civilian superiority is not just a relic of the colonial period but has sustained throughout the American military tradition. This more than anything evidencesthat this civilian tenant has become a reverberating theme in
American military history. As illustrated by Lewis’s suggestion that
from the days of the American Revolution and as recently as 1957 in
periods of conflict civilian mobilization created a “citizen
Army” of volunteers. “
Likewise, a 1945 letter to the Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion from the Joint Chief of Staff
states “no forces
-land, sea or air-will be established or maintainedin the Pacific beyond those required for the most economical defeatof Japan at the earliest possible d
In an earlier letter that same year to Admiral Leahy from the Office of War Mobilization and
Reconversion, from the Joint Chiefs states, “it will be difficult to
convince the public that almost as many aircraft will be needed todefeat Japan as were
needed for a two front war…I also believe thatthe public will find it difficult to understand…the Army and Navy need.”
In both these letters the public inclusion demonstrates the
Georg Schild, ed.
The American Experience of War.
(Zurich: FerdinandSchoningh, 2010), p 39.
The American Culture of War: The History of the U.S. Military Force from World War II to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
(New York : Routledge ,2007), p 171.
Ibid., p 21.
Letter to Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion from Joint Chiefs of Staff. JCS
684/9 (26 May 1945) , Enclosure “A”,
Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 1942-1945 Relating to the Strategic Issues Meetings, Section and the UnitedStates (Scholarly Resources microfilm), Reels 14, 15.
Letter to Admiral Leahy from Office of Mobilization and Reconversion,
Washington, D.C. JCS 684/9 (20 March 1945), Enclosure “B”,
Records of theJoint Chiefs of Staff 1942-1945 Relating to the Strategic Issues Meetings, Sectionand the United States (Scholarly Resources microfilm), Reels 14, 15.