PS2: Attitudes in 3 Divisions

To collect data on the attitudes of combat men in training toward various aspects of Army life important to the morale of troops.

a. The general areas covered in the study are:

  1. Branches of Service (all forms)
  2. Civilian treatment of soldiers (B-1 and C-1 only)
  3. Comic strips men prefer (B-1 only)
  4. Company punishment (all forms)
  5. Deferment and the Selective Service System (all forms)
  6. Desire for combat and service overseas (all forms)
  7. Financial status of soldiers (A-1 only)
  8. Food (all forms)
  9. Food - specific likes and dislikes (B-1 only)
  10. Infantry - opinion of (all forms)
  11. Laundry service (B-1 only)
  12. Leisure-time activities (all forms)
  13. Library, Use of (B-1 only)
  14. Medical attention (all forms)
  15. Moral questions (all forms)
  16. Movie favorites (B-1 only)
  17. Need for help in personal affairs (A-1 only)
  18. Non-commissioned officers - a special study of men's attitudes toward them (C-1 and C-2 only)
  19. Officers - commissioned and non-commissioned (all forms)
  20. Officer Candidate School - interest- in (all forms)
  21. Post-war optimism - pessimism (all forms)
  22. Radio programs preferred (B-1 only)
  23. Red Cross (all forms)
  24. Religion and church attendance (all forms)
  25. Segregation of white and Negro soldiers in PX, Recreation Hall and Movies (C-1 and C-2 only)
  26. Singing, need for and interest in (A-1 and B-1 only)
  27. Soldier - war worker preference (all forms)
  28. Sports and athletics (all forms)
  29. Training (all forms)
  30. USO (A-1) Uniform - how well fitted (B-1 only)
  31. Utilization of civilian skills and Army training (all forms)
  32. Wars length of and toughness of fight (all forms)
  33. War Nerves - treatment of by newspapers (all forms)



May '42

Original Size




Sample Method

For the general case, sampling was a two-step process. First, there was sampling of organizations which can be described as purposive or quota sampling. Second, within an organization there was sampling of individuals involving procedures which might be called probability sampling.

  1. Selection of organizations to be included in a study: The selection of units involved purposive rather than strictly random sampling. If a cross-section of enlisted men in the United States or a theater was required, the standard procedure was to select the units such that each branch of service was represented in as nearly as possible the correct proportions. The Research Branch had access to the latest secret data on troop strength and location of units. Within a given branch of service, effort was made to get units in various stages of training or with various types of army experience in correct proportions, in so far as this could be inferred from available data. Having stratified the universe by branch and type of unit, one or more units from each subcell of this stratified universe were drawn. Practical considerations of time and personnel usually prevented a strictly random selection of units within the subcell; it was much faster to get a variety of units at a few posts than one unit at many posts. Preselection of was done in Washington for troops in the United States or at theater headquarters for troops overseas.
  2. Sampling of individuals within a unit: The standard method was to draw the names of every nth man from a duty roster. Or, if the study design called for certain numbers at a given rank or a given age, the research team had access to the soldier’s Form 20 cards containing all such information. For any desired category of men these cards could be sampled at random and the men whose names were drawn could be ordered to appear at a designated time and place.
  3. Questionnaire administration: Normally a sample of about fifty enlisted men were assembled by order of their unit commander at a place convenient for writing. The class leader was almost always an enlisted man trained for the purpose. The questionnaires were filled out anonymously by the men, it having been established that no significant differences occurred in responses with personal interviews. Men with little education or who were having difficulty reading the questionnaire were interviewed individually (personally interviewed Negro troops had Negro interviewers).
  4. Checking the adequacy of the sample after it was taken: After each survey the sampling experts checked the returns to see whether large biases had occurred on variables for which data were available for the universe - such as rank, length of time in the army, age, etc. In a few instances, the sample revealed a bias; when feasible a corrective was drawn immediately. It was felt that biases introduced by sampling designs and their field execution were very small as compared with those attributable to the wording of questions. Much effort was put into improving methods of question design.

Source: Research Branch Survey Codebooks, available in [](American Soldier in World War II Surveys, 1942 - 1945), Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, 1921 - 2008, courtesy of NARA.

Scales and Scores

a. Adjustment Index in Cols. 70 - 71

b. Gang punches in General Card

  1. Extra college sample punched "9" in Col. 9
  2. Date of administering schedule in Col. 51
  3. Type of Service by rank and adjustment index Col. 58
  4. Attitude toward Branch of Service in Col. 73
  5. Attitude toward Infantry in Col. 74
  6. Drinking habits in Col. 75
  7. Attitude toward non-commissioned officers in Col. 76

Location Details

Camp Gordon, GA

Ft. Benning, GA

Camp Livingston, LA

Field Personnel

Felix Moore

Parker Mauldin

William McPeak

Arthur Lumsdaine

Raymond F. McClellan

Samuel A. Stouffer

John B. Stanley

Dean Manheimer

Study Analysts

Jack Elinson
Marion Harper
Arthur Lumsdaine
Dean Manheimer
Parker Mauldin
William McPeak
Samuel A. Stouffer


11 Drinking Habits of Soldiers (Typed)

14 Preliminary Report on Number of Radio Listeners in Three Divisions

17 Estimated Marital Composition of the United States Army

18 Attitudes of White Enlisted Men Toward Sharing Facilities with Negro Troops

19 Attitudes of Enlisted Men toward Training and Combat

20 Use of Camp Library by Enlisted Men

21 How long do Soldiers Think the War Will Last?

23 Utilizations of Civilian Skills in the Army

26 What Infantrymen Think of the Infantry

27 Church and Chaplain in Relation to the Soldiers

29 What Enlisted Men Think of Their Food, Clothing & Laundry

31 What Enlisted Men Think of Their Own Branch

32 Soldier Attitude toward Army Medical Services

33 Manuscript for Film on Need for Orientation of Enlisted Man

37 Drinking Habits of Soldiers (Printed)

39 Reading Habits of Soldiers

44 Attitudes of Troops toward War and Our Allies

45 Attitudes of Enlisted Men toward Their Training and Utilization of Training Time

54 Off-Duty Activities of Enlisted Men in England

What the Soldier Thinks (72 pages)

B-15 Complete List of Movie Actors and Actresses Named by at least 20% of Enlisted Men with Preferences Preliminary Memorandum (A Summary Report on Basic Findings on the Three Divisions Surveyed)

B-58 What the Soldier Thinks #2 (Quarterly Report)

B-87 Memorandum on Comic Strips

Put words or phrases inside quotes to search for an exact match.
If you have any remarks to add to this survey, please write them here just as fully as you like:
I believe more should be done to create a competitive spirit between organizations within the regiment, between regiments & if possible, between divisions. If every man were made to understand that his personal honor were at stake as well as that of his organization and that he would receive public acknowledgement of any success or failure, he would strive much harder to make that acknowledgement one of success.
I don't see why a commanding officer should turn down a fellows transfer when the person knows by getting this transfer he can better himself. After asking for this transfer and if refused, it seems that a persons chances of advancement are very poor, at least in our company it is a fact.

I never complained to anyone about the army. I think most of the fellows are pretty swell guys but no matter what you do or when you do it, there's always a possibility of improvement.
Before a man is made a noncom he should take a test to show just how much he knows. Most of the privates in our company know more about the army than the noncoms do. A Big fellow can handle his men but in war he has to do more than handle them. If he gets seperated from his outfit he must be able to lead the men

I think that the northern boys should be kept together and the Southeners kept together as the Southerns still hate us (the north) and always will, so how can we ever win a war while we are fighting one another in the ranks.
It seems to me that Army delights in sending men as far from their hometown as possible. I'm a "Yankee" from up in a big Northern city, they send me down here to a small southern city where the townspeople are still fighting the War between the states. This holds true for several officers as well. This isn't just my own gripe. All the northern boys down here feel the same way. Northern boys are sent down south, southern boys are sent up north, I don't get it!

The town of Columbus is too small to hold the number of soldiers from Fort Benning, I suggest recreation trips over the weekend to larger southern cities. The curfew on the town of Columbus at present seems to be unfair. One hardly has the time to enjoy a meal, and show in town now, before he has to hurry back to camp.
Don't believe our company has been doing as well in getting leaves and furloughs as other companies have.
The enlist men does not have a chance to better himself, because the officers think that he is important in his own out fit. They stop all application for O.C.S. and Flying Cadits. with out giving the man a chance. I think this is unfair because if a man is not given a chance to better him self he will lose all interest in what is happening around him.
The army should form volunteer's organization for men who really want to go and fight the Japs or Germans.

More men should be given a chance to go out on cadres. The best men and others are kept back because the C.O.'s don't want to loose them, but is not fair on the soldiers' part.
As a boost to morale, I think every man should be given at least one chance to see his home and family before he is shipped overseas. It gives him a fresh memory of what he is fighting for. When a man serves a certain length of time in the army without seeing home, he concludes that since the country doesn't seem to take any interest in him, he can't see why he should take any interest in it.
There are two points which I think should be brought out more in this survey:

One thing to consider if we every have to go to war with our company is to find out what the private thinks of his officiers and non-commissioned officiers as to ability and how he would tend to react under war conditions and also how willing are they to follow them in battle. I believe if they had this type of survey before they send an outfit overseas that it would save several thousands of lives. That every private should be ask suggestion that this survey would help the morale of the Army and in turn would make a better company for the future soldier.
The tendencies of southern men comes towards the northern tends to have a strong biased feeling that is partial towards the men who are superior, mentally and morally because of traditions they still maintain to be right from Civil War days. Soldier doesn't believe in mixing the northerners and southerners together and giving either one dominance through non-commissions over each other as this brings about resentment and failure to execute ones duty as it should be carried out. He suggests that one group be given charge of their own kind and if this is properly done friction between both kinds will be lessened and the general morale for good soldiering will be the first step towards better organization and cooperation.
I think we have the best army in the world. But we are not doing what everybody expects, that includes civilian people and us soldiers. It can be a push over so lets get started. Have the Japs bombed more, cripple up their factories to decrease their output which means a lot. If they don't have the equipment they cannot fight. We can do it but what are we waiting for, Japan has a large army and navy which does not compete with ours. Our navy is accurate which means a lot. But if we sink a ship and it's replaced the war will go on for ever. So lets blast the shipyards and factories where no replacements will be made and you will see the Japs wilt. Then we can over come them that way only, with a quick victory. Do it like Joe Louis does it get them in the first round or they might slip in a lucky one in. Why carry it on 15 rounds if it can be done in 1.
It has been my ill fortune or possibly my good fortune to come under the jurisdiction of a certain company commander Because of the things that I have seen I am resolved that if I ever get a chance to hit at class distinction I will hit it hard. I wish our superiors would read the Bible more. It would do them good. Because of his attitude good men are now serving in the guard house. My defense against him seems to be silence. Like Joe Louis I feel that I must wait for an opening and hit hard when the chance comes. That chance won't come probably until the war is over. We soldiers are only human. "Blessed are the mercifull for they shall receive mercy". Someday, I believe, he will regret that he did not ponder over this beatitude. I love my country but I dont feel that I am serving my country when we go out to drill. That ceaseless yelling of his while we do our best reminds me of Germany. I wonder, am I serving the U.S. or Germany. I wish the War Dept. would transfer its officers more. I wish I had a stern, strong, determined, religious company commander over me. "Give me liberty or give me death." I want to feel that I am fighting for freedom, for our constitution. It would be wise to follow my advice because we must win the war.
There is just one thing I have against the army it does not let a person think clearly for himself. Now I realize that with millions of Soldiers being inducted into the armed forces it may be foolish to let every one voice his opinion but I think to get the greatest good out of an organization the men who compose it should be able to voice there plans as to how it could best be run.
Don't like my first sargent because he doesn't like yanks He favors the southerns more than the yanks and he really never gives a yank a break.
I think that a soldier in the regular army should be given a chance after all we volunteered for the army. He was not ordered in.
In connection with our winning the war here is my idea, we will win the war because we have the best equipment in the world. The men behind the guns and tanks can't be better trained. Each man is a fighting machine in him self. If their officer in charge gets killed or hurt they don't act like a bunch of sheep.

Each man knows what is to be done and what part he plays and they dont know the meaning of the word defeat.
Because of my ambition to become an air cadet I think the age limit for the air corps should be 28 years of age. There are many men equally as agile & more intelligent than the younger ones.

The Army should disregard promotions due to seniority & make the most for the selectees. There are many good men who don't get a chance. Most of the regular army non-coms are uneducated & do not understand the points & views of the men. Most of thier [their] men are so much smarter that they can't hold thier respect.
Army should try more to get men into particular field that they are best qualified for. Many men have qualifications from civilian life that would be useful in Army but are not being used. For example:

I know of a man who was a Radio Technician in a prominent Radio Station and he surely is qualified to teach Radio Theory in Signal Corps. Instead he was sent to a Photography school. Ever since he has applied to everyone he could to see if he could get into Radio work but to no avail. Too many men have useful qualifications but are put into something which is entirely now and hard for them to get.
If a soldier's got to go over the hill to get a rank I dont whon it. I got to do something to make the officer caller me in and let me stay around the barrack for a week or so, a month late I make a ranking. If I got to do it they can keep it for a Southern soldier.
I think my co. would do a whole lot better if we had a good Co Commander

This Bastard dont give us what is coming to us, other co, are on fulroughs as such, but he wants to keep his co up to full strength for no reason at all. He wont put anybody up for a rating either. Please see if something can be done about it. Thank you.
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