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letter, correspondence, army, World War II
World War, 1939-1945; Letter writing; United States. Army
Davis explains what will happen if he gets accepted into the State Dept. He urges his parents not to worry, as all the jobs available are for Foreign Service Officers.Davis writes that he still needs to finish his three years of schooling in the States before he starts working for the State Dept. He talks about it being "Black Thursday" in Ingolstadt. Troops are being used to "clean house" with the Nazis.
T/5 Robert Davis 18107121
G237, Co. F, 3rd MGR
% Postmaster, N.Y.
U.S. ARMY POSTAL SERVICE A.P.O.
227 NOV 2 1945
MRS R. L. DAVIS
1619 BOSTON AVE.
30 October 1945
Ingolstadt on Danube
This morning I received your telegram, “Do not sign up until you hear from us.” Well, the sad truth is that I have already “Signed up”, as far as the application goes, the’ as yet it is very indefinite.
Here is an orientation on what I have done: first in reference to the State Department. I applied to take the Foreign Service Exam which consists of two parts: a written exam on 19-20 November 1945, and an oral exam to be announced later, possibly next spring. (Out of 6000 applicants they’ll take 300, or 1 in 20, so my chances are pretty slim on that score.) The appointment, if one gets it, means being put on an eligibility list which will be called up in from one to two years time. That gives me plenty of time for school, and as a matter of fact, once one is appointed, he gets plenty of schooling from the government. So you need have no anxiety about that. I’ll be home and probably have plenty of time to study before I start.
Now about the Civilian Military Government. Tho’ it also involves foreign government service, it has nothing to do with the State Department, or the above applications; what the whole thing amounts to is that I’ve got two sep-arate irons in the fire. This Mil Gov deal is very indefinite, as yet non-existent. There are only two things certain: (1) it will come into existence eventually and (2) the salaries will be good. I have applied for Administrative Governmental Affairs, or Specialist, Public Safety. The Public Safety job will pay at least $2600 a year, and the administrative jobs begin at $3700 a year. This is too good to pass up. My chances are pretty good, because of my qualifications from the last 11 months of work, and the fact that competition is rumored to be practically non-existent. (The story is that only 4 applications have gone in from the Land Bavaria Military Government in Munich, the biggest outfit ever here in our line. There were 12 applications from this Detachment alone, which caused the Military Government of Munich to comment “What’s going on up in Ingolstadt?”) I will not take a clerical job of any sort, and will not take a job paying too much less than $200 a month, since there are very few that low. Why do I want to stay? Here’s a try at explaining it.
A) I believe the work is important. The current U.S. tendency to “get the boys home” is utter idiocy. While we face west trying to get back to Main Street, the Russians are facing west, wanting to take over more of Germany. The shortage of relatively trained personnel we had, is increasing, due to this typical Americanness of wanting to throw everything to the winds and get on that ship. Its all wrong. The work that we started we have to constantly supervise to keep running, and the continuity of the whole experiment is shattered by the departure of our trained men. I thought the Army would have learned something from the last war’s occupation, but it hasn’t. Instead of making provision for those who want to stick the job out in a sensible manner, the Army is trying its best to pack everyone home, on the basis of an entirely accidental thing called point score.
B) From an educational standpoint, if I leave now I will speedily lose the education I have gotten here in 11 months in language and governmental affairs. If I stay here, even three months more, it will crystallize it and make it more valuable for me.
C) From the money angle, I’d be foolish to pass up a chance to make a year’ or two’s good salary. As I said before, I’ve sponged off of you too long, and the consciousness of this fact was the only thing that impelled me to take that series of summer jobs, which were so distasteful to me. I don’t want to have to go begging to prominent locals for either part time work or a “start” in some line I don’t care about. It would be impossible for me to start out like Artie Curl for example, and work up, because any “business” I’d get into I’d hate, and when I dislike something I screw it up, not from intention, but from sheer dis-interested inertia.
Unfortunately, Dad, the Davis atmosphere of public officialdom is too strong in my memory and mind. And for a person in my shoes, who has (1) to finish a rather specialized schooling and (2) assure himself of an actual appointment, this path I’m going is the only one.
What I hope to do is get a decent appointment (after a furlough home) in Civilian Mil Gov, and then serve one or two years to acquire stature and a little cash. And then go back to school and finish that up. I’m awfully sorry that you all don’t like the idea, but the application has already been in over three weeks now. Personally I want to get home and see you an awful lot, but I will be home within a few months, no matter how it comes out. I think I’m doing the right thing.