Army Service Forces

Army Service Forces

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Army Service Forces

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The Army Service Forces were one of the three autonomous components of the Army of the United States during World War II, the others being the Army Air Forces and Army Ground Forces. They were created on February 28, 1942 by Executive Order Number 9082 "Reorganizing the Army and the War Department" and War Department Circular No. 59, dated March 2, 1942.

Origins

In March 1942, there was a sweeping reorganization of the Army. This was the result of dissatisfaction with the existing structure, with the United States Army Air Forces in particular seeking greater autonomy. However, the main driver was the Chief of Staff, General George Marshall, who felt overwhelmed by the large number of officers and agencies—at least 61—with direct access to him.

The Chief of Staff wanted no more than three commands reporting to him, so everything which did not fit into the Army Ground Forces or Army Air Forces became part of the Services of Supply, which were renamed the Army Service Forces on 12 March 1943, as it was felt that the term "supply" did not accurately describe their broad range of activities.

Army Service Forces brought together elements of five different components of the Army: elements of the War Department General Staff, especially its G-4 component; the Office of the Under Secretary of War; the eight administrative bureaux; the nine corps areas, which became the service...
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