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THE GENESIS

THE DOOR OPENS FOR DRAFTEES

Army Seeks
Parachute
Volunteers

  WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 Wanted: Parachute troops. The U. 8. Army Is looking for 411 volunteers to form the nation's first parachute troop battalion. The men must come from . the 24 infantry regiments of the regular army; no draft trainees need apply.
            
Extra Pay
   Parachute battalion volunteers are promised extra pay and unusual chances for advancement. They must be between 31 and 33 years old. unmarried, and have "agility, Intelligence, initiative and daring."
   The volunteers will join a small experimental detachment already In service at Fort Benning, Ga., to form the 501st parachute battalion. Besides the 501st, another parachute battalion is planned. Secretary of War Stimson announced yesterday.

[The Index-Journal, Greenwood, SC, 21 Oct 1940, Mon, Page 1]

DRAFTEES WILL
GET CHANCE TO
JOIN 'CHUTISTS

 Army Opens New Outfit
to the New Boys

   So selectees in the new army will not feel that they're being overlooked and develop an inferiority complex, the army announced yesterday through the public relations office at MacDill field that they, too, may become parachute troops if they apply themselves. Previously, only regular army soldiers were allowed to leap in parachutes, but now selectees who complete training at infantry replacement centers will be permitted to volunteer for the work
                                                                        
         First Unit Open
   The first unit which will be open to the trainees will be the 502nd Infantry Parachute battalion, second of the four parachute battalions which have been authorized. This battalion will be formed July 1.
   A cadre of 92 officers and enlisted men, now part of 501st Infantry Parachute battalion, at Fort Benning, Ga., will provide the nucleus for the new 502nd. which also will be stationed at Fort Benning.
   Formation of the new unit will increase the ranks of parachutists to approximately 1000 men. the 501st, formed on Oct. 3, 1940, was designed primarily to provide cadres for the remaining three battalions. The 503rd is scheduled to be formed Sept. 1, and the 504th on Nov. 1.
                                                                              
Many Ask Transfer
   Since the war department adopted the plan for parachute troops, enlisted men and officers or many branches have been requesting transfers to the new activity, but thus far infantry organizations have supplied the necessary personnel.
   Requirements for parachutists are very rigid. The parachutist must be a jack of all trades in the use of the instruments of war.
   The reason for this is obvious, because when a parachutist lands, he must be prepared to use or help to use the nearest weapon available. Trainees who want to try it were Instructed to apply to their commanding officers. Good parachutists get extra pay.

[The Tampa Tribune, Tampa, FL, 23 Jun 1941, Mon 7]

Also ... read article touting "Uncle Sam's Jumping Jacks ... the Army's Most Exclusive Club" as PR to boost recruitment increases

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