Whether or not the nation has manhandled its manpower, it is doing a smart job of mobilizing its boy-& -girl power. Last week Manpowerman Paul V. McNutt sent a directive clear-as-a-school-bell to the nation's 28,000 high schools: No boy or girl was left in doubt about his or her place in the war effort. The directive launched a High School Victory Corps, complete with uniform (a service cap) and specific military assignments. National chief of the Corps is popular Captain Eddie Rickenbacker. ace in the last war (26 planes) and head of Eastern Airlines.
All 6,500,000 U.S. high-school and prep-school youngsters are eligible but not required to join the Corps. To wear a plain red V on his sleeve, a student must take courses in physical fitness and a war-useful subject (e.g., math), must enroll in at least one home-front job (e.g., air warden, scrap collector, farm worker).
High-school juniors and seniors may join one of five special branches of the Corps depending on whether they are preparing respectively for the Army, Air Forces, Navy, war industry or professions. War veterans are to be enlisted to supervise drill and teach marksmanship; even parents will take part, as members of policy-making councils.
The Corps is jointly sponsored by WMC, Army, Navy, CAA, the U.S. Office of Education Wartime Commission. But the main push came from the high schools themselves for months they have urged such a scheme upon the Office of Education. Many a high school has already started its own unofficial victory corps. In Sandy Spring, Md., for example, the principal tore up his old curriculum, got his youngsters busy drilling, exercising, apple picking, bandage rolling, taking care of working mothers' children, doing the school's janitor work, studying flying.