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5th Edition


A Ready Reference on Customs and Correct Procedures
Which Pertain to Commercial Officers of the
Army of the United States













Introduction. Assignment to duty with units of the Army outside the continental limits of the mainland of the United States is classified as foreign service. This includes service in Alaska, Puerto Rico, the Panama Canal Zone, Hawaii, and in the Philippine Islands. The large permanent garrisons maintained in Hawaii, the Canal Zone, and in the Philippines provide exceptional opportunities for valuable experience with all arms and services, with the combined arms, and with the Navy. The training is unique in that it is conducted in the very areas of possible war engagements. The opportunity for travel and the enjoyment if experiencing life abroad thus provided is considered by most officers as a particularly desirable feature of Army life.

All stations on foreign service which are occupied by United States troops are in healthy localities. The living standards of these garrisons are at least equal to home stations, in most respects, and exceed them in some important particulars. The augmentation of these garrisons during 1939-40 has, however, presented a difficult problem with respect to quarters and conditions in this respect will continue to be abnormal during the emergency.

Length of Tour. The length of the tour on all foreign service assignments is two years. This period may be extended by the War Department in case of insurrection or threatened hostilities. Foreign service Department Commanders may extend or curtail tours by as much as three months to make the best use of transport accommodations. The date of beginning a tour of foreign service is the date of arrival in the overseas department; it ends in the date of departure.

Selection for Assignment to Foreign Service. The War Department makes the selection of officers to be assigned to foreign service. Selections are made to fill anticipated vacancies by arm or service, and by grade, so that the authorized strength of garrisons will be maintained. Except for special assignments, officers are detailed by roster in such a manner that the officer with the least foreign service credit is the next to go. These selections are made from two rosters: the regular foreign-service roster, and the volunteer foreign-service roster.

The regular foreign-service roster is a list of officers so arranged that the officer with the least foreign service is at the top, and all others arranged in accordance with their credits for this service. In general, the officer with least foreign-service credit in the branch and grade in which the vacancy exists is selected. However, this is not an inviolable procedure, and several common sense policies may hasten or delay the detail of a particular officer. For example, an officer would seldom he relieved from an assignment prior to its normal expiration because of his place on the roster; conversely, an officer who is to be relieved from a normal assignment might be selected for foreign service somewhat in advance of his name reaching the top of the roster.

The volunteer foreign-service roster is maintained by the Adjutant General and contains the names of officers who have volunteered for foreign service. Replacements are selected from this roster when practicable. The name of an officer is placed on this roster only at his request. The use of this roster tends to defer, to some extent, assignment abroad for those officers whose names are carried on the regular roster.

An officer who desires to have his name borne on this roster must make application to the Adjutant General. He may apply for foreign service in general, stating his preferences in order of choice, or he may restrict his application to a particular overseas department or station. He may have his name removed from this roster by request, but after the actual issue of orders such requests are not considered. Officers are not selected from this roster until they become available for change of station, nor before the expiration of three years since their last tour.

During the period of the emergency declared by the President in 1940, many reserve officers and some units of the National Guard are on duty in the foreign service garrisons of the United States.

Statement of Preferences. The annual Statement of Preference Report submitted by all officers contains space for recording a choice for assignment to foreign service. Most officers list three choices in accordance with their desires. While the needs of the service must govern these selections, it has been the policy of the War Department to consider the preferences which are expressed in this manner.

Embarkation. An officer ordered to foreign service is sent via the embarkation port nearest to his station. The main ports of embarkation for Army transports are New York and San Francisco; for Alaska the port of embarkation is Seattle. The New York Point of Embarkation is the Army Supply Base, 1st Avenue and 58th St., Brooklyn, New York. The San Francisco Port of Embarkation is at Fort Mason.

The Quartermaster General furnishes officers who are under orders to foreign stations with very complete instructions and information relative to shipment of baggage, automobiles, transportation for dependents, and transport regulations. They must be completely and scrupulously complied with, for otherwise the officer may subject himself or his family to avoidable hardships. The Army transports operate at near to capacity, the stay in port is short, and all arrangements incident to loading and sailing must be conducted according to the prescribed plan.

Passengers on Army transports must comply with AR 40-215, which requires vaccination against smallpox, typhoid and para-typhoid fever prior to embarkation. All vaccinations should be completed before an officer leaves his old station. Official records must be presented prior to embarkation which show completion of this immunization.

Mail of all kinds for outgoing passengers should be forwarded to them in care of "The General Superintendent, Army Transport Service, (San Francisco, California; or Pier 2, New York General Depot, Brooklyn, New York), on transport (Give name), sailing (Give date)." Such mail will be held until called for, or until instructions for its disposition are received from the addressee. Unclaimed mail will be put aboard the transport provided passengers have claimed their transportation.

A medical officer of the Army accompanies each transport.

There is a stewardess on each transport on which ladies and children are assigned as passengers.

Steamer chairs are provided by the transport service for the use of passengers. Chairs for personal use which cannot be folded may not be brought aboard.

Passengers should take light clothing for use during part of the voyage. Rain clothing is not essential aboard transports.

Animals are not allowed on Army transports.

Laundry facilities are unavailable on most transports.

The lengths of trips on Army transports are approximately as listed below:

New York to Panama……………………... 6 days
Panama to San Francisco………………….10 days
San Francisco to Honolulu…………..……...6 days
San Francisco to Manila…………………... 13 days





Lost Corregidor

Field Notes

Angels of Mercy

Eco Corregidor






GHQ (home)

The Siege of Corregidor

A Walk on Tailside

Bulletin Board / Feedback Forum

Coast Artillery - Contents

Corregidor Railway System


John Moffitt's Aerial Gems

Historic Corregidor

Amid th' Encircling Gloom

Battery Way model

Across The Pacific - Photo story

Secret Corregidor

The Silent War

The Great Manila Bay Silver Operation

Corregidor Railways

Units and Personnel

Gold is also Ballast

The Corregidor Massacre 1968

The King Report

Fort. Drum - Concrete Battleship

The Fall of Corregidor

Prisoner of the Emperor

The Officer's Guide - 1941

Order of Battle

The Lowering of the Flag


Battery Tables

The Moore Report

Battery Histories - "Hartford"

G-1 Command Post

Philippine Scouts - Best of the Best

Battery Histories

A Critical Reminiscence

The Final Line of Defense

An Interview with Col. Massello


Japan Invades the Philippines

Building Malinta Tunnel System

The Retaking of Fort Drum


Total Attack - Corregidor

The Coast Artillery Years

The Battle of Manila

Col. George Ruhlen's Collection


Field Notes


4th Marines Shanghai / Corregidor

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