with Maj. Gen. Jonathan M.
Wainwright on 10 October 1941.
The appointment of General MacArthur as
commander of all Army forces in the Far East was part of the larger
problem of mobilization and training of the Philippine Army. By July
1941 it was clear that some decision on the use of the Philippine Army
would soon have to be made. On 7 July MacArthur presented his views on
the mobilization and training of the Philippine Army in a personal
letter to the Chief of Staff, adding that the creation of a high command
for the Far East "would result in favorable psychological and morale
A week later General Gerow summarized for the Chief of Staff the steps
being taken for improving the defenses of the Philippine Islands, and on
17 July made the following specific recommendations:
1. That the President, by executive
order, call into the service of the U.S. for the period of the
emergency all organized military forces of the Commonwealth.
2. That General MacArthur be called to
active duty in the grade of Major General and assigned as commander
of Army Forces in the Far East.
3. That $10,000,000 of the President's
Emergency Fund be allotted to cover the costs of mobilization and
training of the Philippine Army for a period of three months.
4. That the training program of the
Philippine Army for an additional six to nine months be financed
from the sugar excise fund, or from other funds appropriated for
5. That 425 Reserve officers be sent
to the Philippines to assist in the mobilization and training of the
Within a week these recommendations had
been approved by the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of War. The
Secretary immediately requested President Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue
the necessary executive order, already drafted and approved, for calling
the military forces of the Commonwealth into active service of the
United States. "Due to the situation in the Far East," Stimson wrote,
"all practical steps should be taken to increase the defensive strength
of the Philippines Islands." One of the most effective measures to
accomplish this would be to call the Philippine Army into active service
for a year's training. Such a program, Stimson estimated, would involve
about 75,000 men and would cost about $32,000,000, which would be met by
the sugar excise fund. Pending appropriation by Congress, the funds to
initiate the program could be met from the President's emergency fund.