Soldier's Life: United States Army - April 1939

Soldier's Life: United States Army

1939-04-07 Brochure: Soldier's Life: United States Army: Experience, Adventure, Travel Await You. United States Army Recruiting Office, San Fransisco, CA. 12 Panels. Covers Varied Activities, Physical Fitness, Pay and Grades, School, West Point, Travel, A Soldier's Home, Food, A Soldier's Day, Comrades in Arms, Retirement, Discipline, Advancement, Time Off -- Passes -- Furloughs, Clothing and Equipment, Athletics, Character Rating, Divine Workshop, Conclusion, Qualifications.


There are certain features connected with the Army that are outstanding. HEALTH comes first. The outdoor life, bracing drills, wholesome food, and regular hours induce this blessing of health.

TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE are open to every man in the military service. Soldiers have the opportunity to travel to distant lands, where adventure beckons.

EDUCATION. The Army conducts a variety of schools in which clerical, mechanical, and scientific subjects are taught. A large number of qualified soldiers, therefore, have an opportunity to learn trades, a knowledge of which may later prove of value to them in civilian pursuits.


Before a man is accepted for enlistment, he must satisfactorily pass, in addition to an intelligence test, a searching physical examination. Moreover, once in the service, a physically fit man is kept fit.

Regulations provide for periodic physical examinations.

In addition to stimulating field maneuvers, the daily setting-up exercises and the daily drill routine, there are healthful athletic pursuits at every station. The major sports of the U. S. Army are the same as those of a typical American college—football, basketball, boxing, track and field meets, baseball and swimming. Every Army post has its teams and every soldier is encouraged to turn out for sports.

The slogan, “The Army Builds Men” is no idle boast.


Just a word as to pay. Remember it is not what one receives in the pay envelope at the end of the week but what is left after one pays his debts.

In addition to a cash consideration “Uncle Sam” furnishes clothing, food, housing and medical and dental treatment free of charge.

West Point Cadets on Parade

West Point Cadets on Parade

The monthly pay schedule is as follows:

  • Master sergeant $126.00—$157.50:
  • technical sergeant and first sergeant $84.00—$105.00:
  • staff sergeant $72.00 —$90.00:
  • sergeant $54.00—$67.50;
  • corporal $42.00—$52.50;
  • private first class $30.00 $37.00;
  • private $21.00—$26.25.

The exact amount received depends upon length of service, a five percent increase over the base pay of the several grades being allowed for each four years of duty, until a total of twenty-five percent has been earned. All service with the Regular Army counts for longevity, and is transferred from grade to grade. Say that a man is promoted master sergeant after sixteen years’ service in the lower grades: he immediately begins to draw $151.20 per month— $126.00 base pay plus twenty percent for longevity.

In addition to the foregoing, extra income in the way of specialists’ ratings is provided for privates and privates first class who qualify for the performance of special duties. There are six such ratings. varying in compensation from $3 to $30 per month. These ratings, of which several thousands are authorized, are allotted to the various organizations.

Air mechanics ratings provide for the same pay as technical or first sergeants for air mechanics first class, and that of staff sergeants for air mechanics, second class.


“Uncle Sam” believes in developing the usefulness of his soldiers as well as increasing their bodily vigor. Service schools occupy an important place in the Army.

In these schools a student may complete courses which will qualify him for a trade and increase his earning capacity upon his return to civil life. The vocational subjects taught are varied and depend largely upon the branch of the service selected.


West Point is the seat of the United States Military Academy where “Uncle Sam’s” embryo officers are trained. It is generally conceded to be the finest institution of its kind in the world.
Under present regulations vacancies are available for enlisted men who meet the physical, mental and moral requirements. Examinations are held on a competitive basis, insuring a selection from suitable officer material.

The course is for four years and upon graduation the young men are cqmmissioned second lieutenants in the Regular Army.

A Battery of Field

A Battery of Field

This truly wonderful opportunity should appeal to young high school and college men who are ambitious to obtain a thorough education and at the same time follow an interesting career in life.

It will be seen from the reference to Army School activities that there really is a door marked “OPPORTUNITY” for a man who is ambitious. It should be understood that no agent of the Army Recruiting Service is authorized to make promises concerning special courses or vocational training at Army Schools. In all such matters the provisions of Army Regulations govern.


The United States Army has troops stationed in the Panama Canal Zone, Hawaii, the Philippines, and Alaska. In traveling through the Panama Canal the soldier will see the world-famed Gatun locks; in Hawaii he may visit the incomparable beach at Waikiki; in the Philippines he will experience the fascination of life in the Far East; in Alaska he may satisfy his longing to explore uncharted wildernesses.

Traveling with the Army to foreign shores is one of the greatest attractions of Army life. The liberal education and the broad vision a young man obtains through travel are assets to him throughout his life. The opportunity to serve with the Army in well established garrisons in the oversea commands is open to those who desire this sort of service.

Artillery at Firing Practice

Artillery at Firing Practice


The squad room in barracks is light, airy and immaculately clean. All barracks buildings are thoroughly “policed.” There is a recreation room, liberally equipped with books, current magazines and newspapers, stationery, etc., as well as pool and billiard tables, card game tables, radios and trophy cases where cups won in sports events and marksmanship matches are displayed.

Combat Car Ready for Action

Combat Car Ready for Action


“An Army marches on its stomach.” Soldiers of the U. S. Army eat good, wholesome food which is prepared and served in generous quantities by skilled, practical cooks.

A liberal ration allowance insures a good table at all times, while on Sundays and holidays the fare is such as to excite the most jaded appetite.


REVEILLE bugle arouses the garrison early in the day. A short, brisk setting-up period is followed by breakfast, after which each soldier makes up his bunk in good order. Morning training ensues until about 11:30. when troops fall out to clean up for dinner. Duty in the early afternoon hours is varied.

RETREAT, called the “most impressive military ceremony,” ends the soldier’s day, around supper time, and at night the men gather in the recreation room or go to the post motion picture theater, or visit nearby cities and towns.

A Modern Type of Army Barracks

A Modern Type of Army Barracks

TATTOO is sounded at 9 p.m., at which time lights are turned out in the squad rooms and quiet enforced. For the benefit of those who wish to remain up longer, the recreation room lights are left on until TAPS. 11 p.m.

On Saturdays the usual order of the day, for a line company, is general inspection of person, barracks and area. These company inspections are usually completed in an hour or so, and the soldier is then free to spend the rest of the week-end at his leisure, provided he is not on detail for any necessary duty. On Sundays and holidays only the most necessary garrison duties are performed.

Sending a Radio Message

Sending a Radio Message


There are always opportunities to form fast friendships. Where men eat, sleep, work and play together, day after day, their lives become cemented together, so to speak, and the associations are something to be cherished. Without companionship this life would be empty indeed. Army experiences in this respect are most enjoyable and everlasting in their effect.


While no one likes to think of old age, nevertheless it is a period of life that all must face sooner or later. “Old Father Time” is no respecter of persons.

After thirty years’ service in the Army, soldiers are retired on three-quarters pay, plus allowances of $15.75 a month. Retired pay, including allowances, varies from $35.44 to $133.87 a month, depending upon the grade reached.


Men unfamiliar with the meaning of the term DISCIPLINE are apt to visualize it as the arbitrary rule of a stern master. The discipline demanded is essentially “TEAMWORK”; it is the inculcation and development of a cheerful desire to play the game according to the rules laid down for the military establishment—SPORTSMANSHIP if you will.


Thrilling Moment in an Army Football Game

Thrilling Moment in an Army Football Game.

The treatment accorded soldiers in our Army is fair and just.


Chances for advancement rest entirely with soldiers themselves. It is the same in the Army as in civil life in this respect. Each man has abundant opportunity to make good, as one of the principal objects of Army training is to develop individual initiative and qualities of leadership.


Organization commanders are very liberal in the granting of passes. These passes may extend over a period of days if a request is reasonable.

Under normal conditions men are also allowed a month’s furlough a year on full pay.

Soldiers are encouraged to visit their parents when practicable and to keep up a correspondence with their relatives and friends. Mother’s Day is featured by the Army as an event.

Our Major Sports

Our Major Sports


The American soldier is smartly clothed and equipped. There is an adequate clothing allowance which insures each man plenty of underwear of best quality, shoes, shirts, uniforms, overcoat, etc.

Moreover, a soldier who exercises average care in the use of his clothing, can effect a saving on his allowance. Any sum so saved will be turned over to him, in cash, at the expiration of his enlistment period.


Athletics are featured in post activities and are so arranged as to insure the greatest good for the greatest number.

Whatever an individual’s preference in the field of sports may be, he will find congenial companions to join him in his recreation, whether his favored sport be football, baseball, basketball, boxing, tennis, swimming, track and field events, ice hockey or other pastime.


Upon discharge from the service a soldier is given a discharge certificate signed by his commanding officer. Among other entries, notation is made of the character of the recipient. A discharge with “Character Excellent” is a testimonial of which any man may be justly proud and it should prove of valuable assistance to him throughout his career whether in the Army or in civil life.


At each large post religious services are conducted by an ordained clergyman who is a chaplain in the Army. He is in close contact with members of the command at all times and looks after, not only spiritual welfare, but any private difficulties that may arise. Attendance at religious services is voluntary.


An honorable discharge from the Regular Army after at least one year of continuous service makes it possible for those returning to civil life to remain with the colors and become modern “Minute Men” by enlisting in the Regular Army Reserve, provided they are less than 36 years of age and physically qualified.

An Air Corps Student and His Instructor

An Air Corps Student and His Instructor


Aloha! Soldiers aboard Army Transport off for Service in the Tropics

Aloha! Soldiers aboard Army Transport off for Service in the Tropics

Applicants for enlistment must have the following qualifications:

  • Limiting ages for original enlistment—18 to 35 years.
  • If under 21 years of age they must have consent of their parents or guardian.
  • Must he at least 5 feet 4 inches in height..
  • Minimum allowable weight 115 pounds.
  • A good moral character, certified to by a reputable citizen.
  • Must be of sound health and free from any organic disease.
  • Applicants must have sufficient teeth in good condition to perform the function of mastication.
  • Must be able to pass the prescribed intelligence test.
  • Must be citizens of the United States,
  • Must be single and without dependents.

Brochure Number: LX-20—RPB—1-7-39—200M

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