JFK+50: Volume 7, No. 2397COMMISSIONS GRANTED TO NEW OFFICERS OF NEW U.S. ARMY
Fort Sheridan, Illinois (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, August 11, 1917, the first list of newly commissioned U.S. Army officers was made public by the War Department giving the men their first opportunity to pass the good news along to friends and relatives.
The list published represented only the Michigan-Wisconsin Regiment leaving the members of the Illinois Regiment waiting in the wings.
Immediately upon announcement of the commissions, a thousand telegrams went out from Fort Sheridan* while long lines formed to make telephone calls.
The camp was to go on a 12 day vacation beginning on Wednesday of the following week, but the Chicago Sunday Tribune reported that Colonel W. J. Nicholson** had "no idea of the program for Monday and Tuesday."
One hundred officers had been selected to go to a 4 week post-graduate course in highly technical combat led by French army officers and held in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
*Fort Sheridan's reserve training camps provided a logical expansion into an active duty training camp following the U.S. declaration of war in April 1917. FS became an induction center & midwest training camp for the states of Illinois, Michigan & Wisconsin.
**Colonel W. J. Nicholson, commander of Fort Sheridan training center in 1917, stood 13th in line on a list of cavalry colonels. The Chicago Tribune reported on 8-14-17 that "it is almost certain (WJN) will be one of the officers advanced to the grade of Brigadier General."
"New Officers Swamp Lines To Tell Their News," by Parke Brown, The Chicago Sunday Tribune, August 12, 1917.
"The Fort's Military Activities," The Town of Fort Sheridan, www.fortsheridan.com/