Powtwar Reorganization of Armed Forces
Two basic questions have received principal attention from the special committee set up by the House a year and a half ago to formulate a postwar military policy for the United States: Is universal military training essential to the national security? I Shall the Army and Navy be merged under the single authority of a new government department of national defense?
The first question was answered in the affirmative by the committee, July 5, 1945, in a report which recommended immediate adoption by Congress of a program of universal military training. Compulsory training after the war received unanimous support in testimony before the committee by leaders of the armed services. There was no corresponding agreement on consolidation of the Army and Navy. It was strongly supported by the generals and civilian officials of the War Department and as strongly opposed by the admirals and civilian officials of the Navy Department. In view of this conflict, the committee postponed final recommendations until after the close of the war. Chairman Woodrum announced at the end of September that the committee would resume its consideration of Army-Navy consolidation about the middle of October.
Truman's Support of Army-Navy Unification
President Roosevelt, who served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy during 1913–1920, was said to believe that all desirable purposes of the proposed merger could be accomplished under the machinery for combined operations developed during World War II. President Truman, who served with the land forces in France during World War I, is said to agree with the Army that the services should be united immediately after demobilization.