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"I judge that Secretary McNider's new plan for aiding men to work their way through college in return for military service will be undoubtedly effective," stated Colonel Browning in an interview with a CRIMSON reporter last night.
"It will prove especially valuable in any national emergency when trained men are essential for war organization. On the fact of it, the plan seems sound and quite practical of development."
To Form "Munitions Battalion"
Colonel Browning, commanding officer of the Harvard Military Science department, made this statement in reference to the new method of building up a national reserve of 4000 scholar-soldier-industrialists devised by Hanford McNider '11, Assistant Secretary of War. This plan will become effective next spring and is supported by industrialists all over the country.
The army will apply to the presidents of several leading colleges for juniors, working their way through college, who desire additional support from the government. These men will be formed into a self-sufficient unit which will be designated the "Munitions Battalion" for some obscure reason. Their station will be near Washington. At the end of their college term, they will be assembled and given an intensive military course until college reopens. Their training will be similar to that given at Plattsburg before the war.
With the end of summer they will be returned to their respective colleges. For nine months the army will then relinquish all control of them while they finish college and receive their degrees. The government will pay their tuition and room rent.
To Have Business School Instructors
As soon as they have received their degrees, they will return to their station near Washington and will have military drill and three or four hours study on Army procurement problems each day. Their instructors will be selected graduates of the Army Industrial College and of the Harvard Business School.
The men will complete their enlistment period in nine months and will then be free to seek any industrial position their training has equipped them for.
By this system, the War Department expects to build up a reserve corps of trained executives familiar with military methods. The cost of sending a man through two years of college will be no greater than the upkeep of a regular army private over a similar period.
Cites Army Business Training
Colonel Browning stated in a further discussion of the new system, "I believe that this plan is an indication of the increasing value of business training in military service. The American army has always been a pioneer in adopting scientific business methods and at present has many technical and industrial training colleges. A number of college graduates annually enter the army for the purpose of getting commissions and this constant influx of trained men has created a high standard throughout the service. Secretary McNider's system will provide and additional group of military specialists to supplement the army in case of war. It will be no great innovation but the result of a growing need for technically trained men. My impression of the plan is a very favorable one."
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