Mean Temp 16.2 °C 61.16 °F at Taegu
As the improved military bearing and efficiency of black trainees and the subsequent impressive performance of the two new infantry battalions would suggest, the reports on the Grafenwöhr training were optimistic and the lessons drawn ambitious. They prompted Huebner on 1 December 1947 to establish a permanent training center at Kitzingen Air Base.[8-26]
[Footnote 8-26: The training center had already moved from Grafenwöhr to larger quarters at Mannheim Koafestal, Germany.]
Essentially, he was trying to combine both drill and constant supervision with a broad-based educational program. trainees received basic military training for six hours daily and academic instruction up to the twelfth grade level for two hours more. The command ordered all black replacements and casuals arriving from the United States to the training center for classifying and training as required. Eventually all black units in Europe were to be rotated through Kitzingen for unit refresher and individual instruction. As each company completed the course at Kitzingen, the command assigned academic instructors to continue an on-duty educational program in the field. A soldier was required to participate in the educational program until he passed the general education development test for high school level or until he clearly demonstrated that he could not profit from further instruction.
Thousands of soldiers—at the peak in 1950 more than 62 percent of all Negroes in the command—were enrolled in the military training course at Kitzingen or in on-duty educational programs organized in over two-thirds of the black companies throughout the command. By June 1950 the program had over 2,900 students and 200 instructors. A year later, the European commander estimated that since the program began some 1,169 Negroes had completed fifth grade in his schools, 2,150 had finished grade school, and 418 had passed the high school equivalency test.[8-28]
Footnote 8-28: EUCOM Hist Div, EUCOM Command Report, 1951, pp. 128, 251, copy in CMH.
The board's rulings, unscientific and open to all sorts of legal complications, could only be stopgap measures, and when on 4 January 1950 the Army again requested clarification of the racial categories, the board quickly responded. Although it continued to defend the use of racial categories, it tried to soften the ruling by stating that an applicant's declaration of race should be accepted, subject to "sufficient justification" from the applicant when his declaration created "reason to doubt." It was 5 April before the board's new chairman, J. Thomas Schneider,[15-11] issued a revised directive to this effect.[15-12]
[Footnote 15-11: Schneider succeeded Thomas Reid as chairman on 2 February 1950.]
[Footnote 15-12: Memo, Chmn, PPB, for SA et al., 5 Apr 50, sub: Policy Regarding "Race" on Enlistment Contracts and Shipping Articles, PPB 291.2.]
The board's decision to accept an applicant's declaration was simply a return to the reasonable and practical method the Selective Service had been using for some time. But adopting the vague qualification "sufficient justification" invited further complaints. When the services finally translated the board's directive into a new regulation, the role of the applicant in deciding his racial identity was practically abolished. In the Army and the Air Force, for (p. 384) example, recruiters had to submit all unresolved identity cases to the highest local commander, whose decision, supposedly based on available documentary evidence and answers to the questions first suggested by Congressman Holifield, was final. Further, the Army and the Air Force decided that "no enlistment would be accomplished" until racial identity was decided to the satisfaction of both the applicant and the service.[15-13] The Navy adopted a similar procedure when it placed the board's directive in effect.[15-14] The new regulation promised little comfort for young Americans of racially mixed parentage and even less for the services. Contrary to the intent of the Personnel Policy Board, its directive once again placed the burden of deciding an applicant's race, with the concomitant complaints and potential civil suits, back on the services.
[Footnote 15-13: SR 615-105-1 (AFR 39-9),
6 Sep 50.]
[Footnote 15-14: BuPers Cir Ltr 84-50, 1 Jun 50.]
330.5.8 Records of the Personnel Policy Board
Textual Records: Directives, minutes and agendas, and historical file, 1949-51. Correspondence, 1948-51. Joint agreements, 1942-49. Military occupational classification project contracts and subcommittee studies, 1948-51. Decoration and award studies, 1945-51.
Top of Page
330.5.9 Records of the Joint Army and Navy Personnel Board
Textual Records: Correspondence, reports, and studies, 1942-45. Minutes of meetings, 1942-47.
Related Records: Records of Joint Army and Navy Boards and Committees, RG 225.
Earlier in June, after directing the Minister of Home Affairs to get police units into the field, President Rhee had approved a supplemental budget for the National Police in the amount of 1,000,000 won (approximately $1,100). During the following two weeks fourteen police battalions took over internal security duties in South Korea. Army battalions began returning to their bases for training. At this point the U.S. Military Advisory Group postponed the target date for completing the ROK Army’s battalion level training to 31 July 1950, and the regimental phase to 31 October 1950.
On 1 June 1950 FEAF intelligence recognized that the North Koreans had enough military power to undertake a war against the Republic of Korea at any time it selected. "South Korea," predicted FEAF, "will fall before a North Korean invasion, which will be initiated whenever Soviet strategy so dictates."