April 11, 1942
Ft. Lewis, Washington
Please forgive me for not having written much sooner, but we have really been kept BUSY!!
Yesterday morning we awoke to the startling announcement that we were moving right away over to the “Officers’ Training School.” We moved and since then have had every minute taken until this afternoon. This school is the only one of its kind in the country — it’s different from Carlisle Barracks School as the latter is only for Medical Officers, whereas this one is for all officers and we get the same training the regular officers get. In fact, it may interest you to know that as of January, 1942 Medical Units are no longer non-combatant units — we will carry arms. The reason is apparently that at times the enemy may get around the flanks and surround us, separating us from the infantry, etc. — either that or the infantry may retreat faster than we do, etc. At any rate, we are going to get five weeks of full training with most of our hours accounted for — this is, of course, if we don’t get transferred before the five weeks are over. If we get through this course, we get regular diplomas — similar to West Point stuff. The Colonel was lucky to get us in this school because apparently we are the only Medical Unit that has had this training.
Yesterday we got settled in barracks here at the school and then after lunch we were moved to another barracks where we have a little more room. At present there are 24 of us in one large room. The majors have a separate room at the end of ours and Mattie and Reilly have a small room together downstairs.
Rules are that we get up at 6 A.M. and to bed at 11 P.M. Week-ends, beginning at 1 P.M. on Saturday are free – i.e. if we don’t have to stay in because of 3 so-called “skins”, that is, demerits for various things such as clothes wrong, hands in pockets, not saluting, etc., etc. —–being treated just like boarding –school students but it’s good for us. All ranks have to do the same thing and as long as we are in the school all ranks are considered the same —- we’re all one bunch of friends which is really swell.
Oh, Yes, we all had to get Army haircuts also. We look somewhat different but really pretty good and really neater than we have before with our hair rather long.
Loads of love,
Note: In case I should tell you anything secretive at any time, which I probably won’t, we are told to tell you all that if you give information, direct or indirect, you are subject to court martial and death also!!!
Watch for my next letter