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NATIONAL DEFENSE ESTABLISHMENT-UNIFICATION
OF THE ARMED FORCES.
TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 1947
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10:30 a. m., pursuant to call, in the main caucus room of the Senate Office Building, Senator Chan Gurney (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Gurney (presiding), Bridges, Morse, Baldwin, Tydings, Russell, Byrd, and Hill.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
The Armed Services Committee is meeting this morning to hear the Secretaries of Navy and War on the unification bill presently before us; known as S. 758.
We are also glad to have with us this morning, visiting the committee, the chairman of the Military Affairs Committee of the Senate, Senator Thomas of Utah, who has spent a great deal of time on this proposal last year and the year before. We are glad to have you with us, Senator.
At the start of the record of the hearing this morning, I think it would be well that we incorporate a chronological statement of the hearings and efforts that have been made on bills seeking to accomplish the unification of the armed forces since the inception of the idea in the spring of 1944, when the first proposal went to the House Committee on Postwar Military Policy. This was followed after that by a special committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in April of 1945, and that was followed by the Eberstadt plan. Then plans were presented by the War Department at the hearings of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, and the President's proposals of December 1945. This was followed by the Thomas-Hill-Austin bill, S. 2044. Then of course there was the President's plan of last June, that is June of 1946, and the draft of a proposed bill was submitted to the Congress finally on February 26, 1947.
Before we print the bill in the record, I believe it would be well to print the message from the President of January 16, 1947, at which time he sent to Congress the voluntary agreement signed by the Secretaries of the Army and Navy, the Executive order that followed, and the printing of the bill that is presently before us.
Then I would like to have follow in the record this chronological statement of what has happened, with a brief summary of all of the proposals that have heretofore come before the committees of the Senate and the House. This analysis is prepared by the Legislative Reference Service.
(The documents above referred to, followed by the bill, are as follows:)
JANUARY 16, 1947. GENTLEMEN : I am exceedingly pleased to receive your joint letter of January 16 in which you advise that you have reached full and complete agreement on a plan for the unification of the armed services.
I recognize that each of the services had made concessions in the effort to reach this agreement, and I feel that it constitutes an admirable compromise between the various views that were originally held.
The agreement provides a thoroughly practical and workable plan of unification and I heartily approve it.
You have both worked ably and effectively, with your respective staffs, in bringing about this result. I appreciate your fine efforts and I congratulate you upon an accomplishment which, I am sure, will contribute greatly to the efficiency of our national defense. Very sincerely yours,
HARRY S. TRUMAN.
The President has received the following letter from Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson and Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal :
"DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: On May 31, 1946, we jointly submitted to you a letter which gave our respective views on the major elements involved in establishing a greater measure of unification of our armed forces.
"In your letter of June 15, 1946, you expressed gratification at the progress made in narrowing the zone of disagreement which had previously existed between the services and stated your position with reference to the essential points on which disagreement still existed.
“In our opinion the necessity for agreement between the military services is now even greater than at the time of our earlier letter. We and our representatives have been meeting in an effort to secure further resolution, within the scope and the spirit of the statement of your position, of the views of the two departments. We are pleased to report success in this undertaking.
“We agree to support legislation in which the following points are incorporated:
“(a) There shall be a Council of National Defense, a National Security Resources Board, and a Central Intelligence Agency (which already exists) as agreed by the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy in their letter to the President of May 31, 1946.
“(6) The armed forces shall be organized under a Secretary of National Defense so as to place the Army, the Navy (to include the Marine Corps and Naval Aviation), and the Air Forces, each with a military chief, under the Departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, respectively. Each shall be under a Secretary and, under the over-all direction of the Secretary of National Defense, shall be administered as an individual unit. The Secretary of any of the three Departments may, at any time, present to the President, after first informing the Secretary of National Defense, any report or recommendation relating to his department which he may deem necessary or desirable.
"(c) A War Council shall be created consisting of the Secretary of National Defense as chairman and with power of decision, the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Air Force, and the military heads of the three services. The War Council will concern itself with matters of broad policy relating to the armed forces.
"(d) There shall be a Joint Chiefs of Staff consisting of the military heads of the three services, and also the Chief of Staff to the President if that office exists. Subject to the authority and direction of the Secretary of National Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff will provide for the strategic direction of the military forces of the United States, will formulate strategic plans, assign logistic responsibilities to the services in support thereof, integrate the military requirements and, as directed, advise in the integration of the military budget.
"(e) There shall be a full-time joint staff to consist initially of not over 100 officers to be provided in approximately equal numbers by the three services. The joint staff, operating under a director thereof, shall carry out policies and directives of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“(f) The Secretary of National Defense shall head the armed forces establishment, shall be vested with authority, under the President, to establish common policies and common programs for the integrated operation of the three departments, and shall exercise control over and direct their common efforts to discharge their responsibility for national security.
"We are agreed that the proper method of setting forth the functions (socalled roles and missions) of the armed forces is by the issuance of an Executive order concurrently with your approval of the appropriate legislation. We attach for your consid tion a mutually agreed aft of such an order. "Respectfully yours,
“ROBERT P. PATTERSON,
“Secretary of War. "JAMES FORRESTAL,
“Secretary of the Navy."
FUNCTIONS OF THE ARMED FORCES
By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and as President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, I hereby prescribe the following assignment of primary functions and responsibilities to the three armed services.
The Common Missions of the Armed Forces of the United States are:
1. To support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic.
2. To maintain, by timely and effective military action, the security of the United States, its possessions and areas vital to its interest.
3. To uphold and advance the national policies and interests of the United States.
4. To safeguard the internal security of the United States as directed by higher authority.
5. To conduct integrated operations on the land, on the sea, and in the air necessary for these purposes.
In order to facilitate the accomplishment of the foregoing missions the armed forces shall formulate integrated plans and make coordinated preparations. Each service shall observe the general principles and fulfill the specific functions outlined below, and shall make use of the personnel, equipment and facilities of the other services in all cases where economy and effectiveness will thereby be increased.
SECTION II. FUNCTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY
The United States Army includes land combat and service forces and such aviation and water transport as may be organic therein. It is organized, trained, and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained combat incident to operations on land. The Army is responsible for the preparation of land forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war, and, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of peacetime components of the Army to meet the needs of war.
The specific functions of the United States Army are:
(6) The seizure or defense of land areas, including ari-borne and joint amphibious operations.
(c) The occupation of land areas.
2. To develop weapons, tactics, technique, organization and equipment of Army combat and service elements, coordinating with the Navy and the Air Force in all aspects of joint concern, including those which pertain to amphibious and air-borne operations.
3. To provide, as directed by proper authority, such missions and detachments for service in foreign countries as may be required to support the national policies and interests of the United States.
4. To assist the Navy and Air Forces in the accomplishment of their missions, including the provision of common services and supplies as determined by proper authority.
SECTION III. FUNCTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY
The United States Navy includes naval combat and service forces, naval aviation, and the United States Marine Corps. It is organized, trained and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained combat at sea. The Navy is responsible for the preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war, and in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Navy to meet the needs of war.
The specific functions of the United States Navy are:
(b) The control of vital sea areas, the protection of vital sea lanes, and the suppression of enemy sea commerce.
(c) The support of occupation forces as required.
(d) The seizure of minor enemy shore positions capable of reduction by such landing forces as may be comprised within the fleet organization.
(e) Naval reconnaissance, antisubmarine warfare, and protection of shipping. The air aspects of those functions shall be coordinated with the Air Force, including the development and procurement of aircraft, and air installations located on shore, and use shall be made of Air Force personnel, equipment and facilities in all cases where economy and effectiveness will thereby be increased. Subject to the above provision, the Navy will not be restricted as to types of aircraft maintained and operated for these purposes.
(f) The air transport necessary for essential internal administration and for air transport over routes of sole interest to naval forces where the requirements cannot be met by normal air transport facilities.
2. To develop weapons, tactics, technique, organization, and equipment of naval combat and service elements, coordinating with the Army and the Air Force in all aspects of joint concern, including those which pertain to amphibious operations.
3. To provide, ás directed by proper authority, such missions and detachments for service in foreign countries as may be required to support the national policies and interests of the United States.
4. To maintain the U. S. Marine Corps whose specific functions are:
(a) To provide Marine Forces together with supporting air components, for service with the Fleet in the seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and for the conduct of limited land operations in connection therewith.
(b) To develop in coordination with the Army and the Air Force those phases of amphibious operations which pertain to the tactics, technique, and equipment employed by landing forces.
(0) To provide detachments and organizations for service on armed vessels of the Navy.
(d) To provide security detachments for protection of naval property at naval stations and bases.
(e) To provide, as directed by proper authority, such missions and detachments for service in foreign countries as may be required to support the national policies and interests of the United States. • 5. To assist the Army and the Air Force in the accomplishment of their missions, including the provision of common services and supplies as determined by proper authority.
SECTION IV. FUNCTIONS OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE General
The United States Air Force includes all military aviation forces, both combat and service, not otherwise specifically assigned. It is organized, trained, and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained air offensive and defensive operations. The Air Force is responsible for the preparation of the air forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war except as otherwise assigned and, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Air Force to meet the needs of war.
The specific functions of the United States Air Force are: 1. To organize, train, and equip air forces for: