TRAINING CAMPS. A movement for the military train ing of youth in the United States through the means of summer camps conducted under the supervision of regular army officers was inaugurated by Maj.-Gen. Leonard Wood in the summer of 1913. Two camps, at Gettysburg, Pa., and at Monterey, Calif., were attended by 244 men, most of them college students. The following year (1914) camps were established at Fort Ethan Allen, Burlington, Vt.; Asheville, N.C.; Ludington, Mich.; and Monterey, California. The total number in the different camps was 667. These aroused a gradually growing interest, reinforced by considerations growing out of the outbreak of the World War, and the Department of War determined that four such camps should be established during the summer of 1915, at Chicka mauga Park, Ga.; Plattsburg, N.Y. (three camps) ; Ludington, Mich.; and at the Presidio, San Francisco, California. The total number of men who passed through the camps during this year was 3,406. The camps were no longer limited to students from colleges and high schools, but were open to men from all walks of life who had the necessary physical qualifications and showed sound qualities of leadership. As Plattsburg was the largest training centre, the camps, wherever held, began to be called "Plattsburg Camps." In 1916 a series of four camps, each for a month, was held at Plattsburg, N.Y.; a camp of one month's duration for boys at Fort Terry, N.Y. ; a series of six camps of two weeks' intensive training at Wadsworth, N.Y., for the police of New York city; and a series of three camps, each for a month, at Oglethorpe, Georgia. Over 16,000 men were passed through the camps. In 1917, applicants for the camps numbered 130,00o, and had the United States not gone into the War in the spring well over 1 oo,000 men would have been trained in these volun teer training camps. During the winters of 1915-6 and 1916-7 courses were opened in Boston, New York, Providence, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and other cities for the instruction and examination of applicants for reserve commissions, and through them were developed a large number of officers who played a vital part in the training of the great War levies.
When the United States entered the World War these hastily but intensively trained, enthusiastic men were invaluable. They formed the nucleus of civilian officers with which to begin the great work of developing 200,000 officers, and added a valuable and indispensable force to the scanty number of regular officers and national guard officers available for the training of men. In the spring of 1917 the Federal Government took over the whole task and established a series of camps for the training of officers for the War. The Secretary of War directed the establishment of 16 Citizens' Training Camps at the following points: Platts burg Barracks, N.Y. (two camps) ; Madison Barracks, N.Y.; Fort Niagara, N.Y. ; Fort Myer, Va. ; Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.; Fort McPherson, Ga.; Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind. (two camps) ; Fort Sheridan, Ill. (two camps) ; Fort Logan H. Roots,
Ark. ; Fort Snelling, Minn. ; Fort Riley, Kans. ; Leon Springs, Tex.; Presidio of San Francisco, California. The training camps for officers were ordered to be ready for the reception of reserve officers about May 8, for candidates for commission May 14, and the course of instruction was to begin on May 15 1917. The minimum age for attendance was 20 years and nine months; the maximum age, 44 years. In addition to the foregoing, General Order 119, War Department 1917, established a training camp at Fort Winfield Scott, Calif., for the training of members of the coast artillery section of the Officers' Reserve Corps residing within the territorial limits of the western department, and a similar camp at Fort Monroe, Va., for the balance of the coast artillery reserve corps officers. These training camps began opera tion on Sept. 22, 1917. A medical officers' training camp was also established in 1917 at Camp Greenleaf, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Other camps for officers were established at the head quarters of the various divisions, the courses being essentially the same as those at the former officers' camps. The period allotted for the development of an officer at the government training camps was three months. The work was intensive and hard. It was an attempt, in the rush and confusion of war, to produce officers in the minimum period of time. The purpose was to turn out the largest possible number of platoon leaders and a limited number of company commanders and officers of field grade. The same general plan was carried out at the training camps for officers in the quartermaster corps, medical corps and other staff corps. The courses turned out many tens of thousands of officers with elementary training supplemented later by work with the divisional organisations to which they were assigned.
Congress, recognizing the value of the training camps estab lished prior to and during the World War, provided in its 192o re vision of the National Defence Act for their retention. In 1921 ten Citizens' Military Training camps were held and ro,000 men were given training. Since 1921 camps held annually have been increasing in numbers and in attendance; in 1928 approximately so camps were conducted in the United States and Porto Rico at which about 35,000 men were enrolled. The type of training given in the post-war camps differs materially, however, from that given in previous camps. The present camps are attended by younger men and the courses conducted emphasize equally citizenship train ing, military training and physical development. While the mini mum age for attendance is 17 years and the maximum 31 years, the majority attending are under 21 years of age. The Govern ment bears all the expenses of attendance and instruction. The complete course extends over a period of four years, occupying one month each year. Graduation from the complete course is a material step towards a commission in the Officers' Reserve Corps.