Introduction

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“Military map of the United States of America showing location of all forces in training,” 1917. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth.

To prepare the nearly three million new soldiers who had joined the ranks through the drafting process, the US military used training camps across the United States. By 1918, the US Army had established thirty-two of these units to expedite the flow of experienced soldiers into the conflict. In many cases, soldiers arrived at camps before the camps were ready for them. Early images of these camps show the buildings in disarray, with windows yet to be installed and tools scattered around those in training.

Further, 157 educational institutions opened military training units—for example, the Student Army Training Corps (SATC) at Springfield Collegewhich granted students military status as part of their existing academic education.