Army Chemical Review


Army Chemical Review presents professional information about Chemical Corps functions related to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, smoke, flame, and civil support operations.

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By Colonel John M. Riley Every Soldier Has an Enduring Impact M ajor Charles W. Clifford was not necessarily a notable member of the U.S. Army Chemical Corps, but he represents an important part of the history of our Regiment. He might also be an example of what we can expect to see as our Active Army shrinks back to pre-9/11 levels—or smaller. Major Clifford was a veteran of both world wars, and his story carries a message that is relevant to the entire Army as we enter another diffcult transition period for our Nation's ground service. Charles Clifford entered the U.S. Army in 1918, as our country was joining the World War I fght in Europe. After serving as a "sugar chemist" at the Great Western Sugar Company in Colorado, Clifford left his Colorado Army National Guard unit and entered federal service.1 He was a natural ft for an assignment to the rapidly growing Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the CWS. He served throughout the war, performing weapons and protective equipment research in Washington, D.C. Following the armistice, First Lieutenant Clifford was one of several CWS offcers who were placed on detached service to support other federal agencies.2 For a short time, First Lieutenant Clifford provided support to the Federal Bureau of Standards, where he assisted federal inspectors in ensuring that imported agricultural products met U.S. standards. (In sparse fscal times, trained offcers were critical in ensuring that the United States received the highest-quality imported goods for every dollar spent.) First Lieutenant Clifford and his peers also published several articles in scientifc journals before returning to civilian life at the end of their service terms. during the interwar years. He also continued to publish articles in the feld of chemistry throughout the 1920s and 1930s. One of the methods employed by the Army to maintain its professional offcer corps during those lean years was the use of "extension," or correspondence, courses. Clifford was able to pursue his civilian endeavors while also maintaining his Service-related skills in the feld of chemical warfare. Clifford was working as a high school chemistry teacher in California at the outbreak of World War II. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December 1941, he immediately offered his services to the nationally renowned chemist Linus Pauling, suggesting in a letter to the scientist that his services might be useful in support of the U.S. development of offensive and defensive chemical capabilities. Major Clifford was eventually recalled to active duty in 1942; he served the Nation by contributing his lifelong experience in chemistry in support of CWS research and development programs until the end of the war. A close look through the lens of history reveals incredible parallels between the service record of Charles Clifford and the events that are anticipated within the Army over the next 20 years. After leaving the Army, Clifford took a job with the Goodyear® Tire and Rubber Company in Ohio and then later transitioned into the feld of education. As a member of the CWS Reserves, World War I and World War II victory Clifford continued to complete military ribbons and a CWS weapons bar3 are training requirements and periodic drills displayed on Major Clifford's uniform. Summer 2013 Some Things Never Change Following successful combat operations overseas, the Army is returning to its large posts in the continental United States and consolidating its few remaining, forward-stationed outposts. Under economic pressure, the Army is undergoing rapid downsizing while planning to sustain a smaller, more technologically advanced force that has the capacity to expand and engage in larger conficts if necessary. Army planners are scrambling to devise a plan that will meet resource limitations, but will also allow for the continued projection of U.S. power around the globe. We defnitely have a daunting mission ahead of us for the next several years. However, as an Army and as a Nation, we have been down this road of rapid restructuring and force reductions before. 13

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