U.S. Army punishes selectees for protesting extension (7-21-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (July 21, 1941)


Fort Meade, Md., July 21 (UP) –
An undisclosed number of selectees were punished with confinement to camp and quarters today for writing letters to two U.S. Senators in protest against legislation to extend the service of citizen-soldiers for the duration of the emergency.

The men are members of Company A, 74th Quartermaster Battalion. Officials said that a number of them were confined to their barracks, while others were forbidden to leave the camp boundaries.

The letters for which they were punished were addressed to anti-interventionist Senators Burton K. Wheeler (D-MT) and Robert A. Taft (R-OH). They were signed by the company designation and read in part:

The company vigorously protests the proposed Congressional amendment of the present draft law which would enable the present administration to lengthen our term of service beyond the present one year limit.

Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Taft have received similar protests from Fort Dix, Camp Lewis, Pine Camp, Fort Knox, a camp in Georgia and one in Louisiana.

One of Company A’s non-commissioned officers, a Regular Army man, said he knew nothing of the protests, but that as far as he could learn, only the selectees in the company had anything to do with it.

Regulations forbid soldiers from trying to influence action on legislation bearing on the Army.