Engineers

I 1, What It Means To Bs An Engineer.-—You are an engineer. You are going to build bridges and blow thorn up. You are going to stop tanks and destroy them. You are going to build roads, airfields, and buildings. You are going to construct fortifications. You are going to fight with many kinds of weapons. Yok are going to make sure that our own troops move ahead against all opposition, and you arc. going to see to it that enemy obstacles do not interjere with our advance. You are an engineer.

■ 2. You and Your Job.—a. You have been chosen to be trained to do a man-sized job ior the Army and for your country. To do it well you must keep your eyes and ears open, your mind alert, and be always on your toes. You must keep yourself in top-notch condition. You must become physically tough and tin expert at your job. Whether or not our Army succeeds depends a lot on how much better you are at your job than the enemy engineer is at his.

b. That's a large order. The Army knows it is; but. the Army also knows that if you give the best that is in you, you will do the job well. You will build, tear down, and fight better than any other soldier in the world. You will be an American engineer.

■ 3. The Cobps or Engineers and the Fighting Tradition—a.

The beginnings oj the Corps of Engineers.—<1> The Corps of Engineers to which you belong has a long record of coinage and bi jobs well done. The early engineers set high standards of achievement; the engineers who came later in our history not only maintained those standards, but evpn improved upon them. Today you and your fellow engineers are carrying on that record; you arc going to make the history of the Corps of Engineers even more brilliant.

<2) The first engineers were three small companies organized in the Revolutionary War with the help of French officers. The job oi engineers then consisted mainly of constructing field fortifications. The act of the Continental Congress which created the engineers stated that its commissioned officers were "to be skilled In the necessary branches of mathematics; the noncommissioned officers to write a good hand." Those requirements are a long way from the numerous skills our soldiers must have today, let alone our OEQccrs and noncommissioned officers.

(3) In 1802 an act of Congress created the present Corps of Engineers. Until the Civil "War there was only a handful of engineer troops in our Army. Even durln? the Civil War the largest number of encineers was fmr companies. But engineers, performed valiant tasks. They fought as infantry in cnurag-pouc fashion Th© i-nfrinccrinp jobs of that little body of men should make us proud to carry on their tradition; for example, they threw a 2,000-foot ponton bridge across the James River in a few hours. That's a mark for us to shoot at.

b. The development oj the Corps.— (i) Engineers continued to play Important roles in every military campaign in our history. It wasn't until the first. World War» however, that the great force of engineer troops was really iciU In that war the Corps of Engineers grew from 2.500 men to almost 300,000. Th* way they fought, and did engineer work at Cantigny, St. Mihiel, and Mcuse-Argcnne Js one of the magnlftcant traditions of the Corps.

<2) Today you are part of hundreds of thousands of troops who make the Corps of Engineers a. constructive and destructive lighting force. The chapters which follow will tell yOU Something about, the numerous jobs of engineers: they "will help prepare you to carry on the important missions of the Corps of Engineers.

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