Warren G. Harding to Neff, May 18, 1922

When the United States mobilized for World War I, the military found difficulty in training the nation's young men as fighting forces. The Indian wars had ended, the frontier had closed, and most young men had no experience in handling weapons or in thinking of themselves as part of a disciplined unit. The National Defense Act of 1920 aimed to boost the nation's preparedness for future conflicts not by creating a large standing army, but on a voluntary appeal to patriotism of a "citizenry trained and accustomed to arms." Various components of the 1920 Act would shape the evolution of the modern Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC), National Guard, and Army Reserves.

The Citizen's Military Training Camps provided about 30,000 young volunteers, mostly ages 16-19, with four weeks of military training in summer camps each year. The CMTC was open to all young men who met basic scholastic and moral requirements and had the permission of their parents to attend. The Regular Army would provide the instruction and large quantities of surplus World War I materiel for equipment. Those who completed four years of CMTC training became eligible for Reserve commissions.

This telegram from President Harding urges Neff to promote the CMTC to the young men of the state.

"The Politics of Personality"

Harding to Neff

"The Politics of Personality"

Warren G. Harding to Neff, May 18, 1922, Records of Pat M. Neff, Texas Office of the Governor, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: March 30, 2011