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By Jim Mesko

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For some this was only a matter of two or three weeks; for others it took months. When the recruit was turned to duty he was assigned to a squad, placed on the duty roster and the guard roster, and took his turn at all duties performed by members of the unit. Each soldier received advanced training as the unit took part in field exercises, fired on the range, or took special training required by the schedule, which was planned a year at a time. Specialists, such as communications personnel, headquarters clerks, bakers, cooks, and buglers, were selected from line companies and given special training for those jobs as vacancies occurred.

One phase of field communications that was not in the book provided some fun when the brigade was in the field at Leon Springs. This plot on the part of enlisted men, usually at night when things were quiet, took advantage of the telephone circuits that were strung from brigade headquarters to the regiments to provide communications between units. The brigade also ran a line back to the base camp switchboard, where it tied into the commercial line and could be connected with the central at Fort Sam Houston to maintain contact with division headquarters.

He was a big man, dignified in bearing and appearance. Though he was known as a strict commander, he was well liked by the men of the division. During World War II he commanded the 6th Army in the Pacific theater of operations under General MacArthur. The purpose of field training was to acquaint officers and soldiers with tactical operations, communications, and supply procedures and to experience the hardships of living in the open, but it fell far short of teaching a man what it was like to face an enemy.

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