1 September 1917 through 10 June 1918

Daddy, what did you do in the Great War?

(LEFT) July20, 1917, Sec of War Baker (blindfolded) draws the first number for the first draft in the USA since the Civil War.

(RIGHT) A poster reflecting the common feeling of the population.

The 5th Division was officially activated for the first time on 1 September 1917. Among the active duty units designated to form the division was the 61st Infantry Regiment. While the 61st REGT had been constituted 15 May 1917 in the Regular Army at Gettysburg PA, it was in training at Camp Green, NC at the time of assignment to the 5th Division. Training continued for the 61st at Camp Green where replacements, inducted into service by the newly established draft, were brought to Regular Army standards. Due to the lack of equipment and the cold winter, training was limited. Machine-guns were not available nor were artillery pieces. With plenty of time and a large issue of rifle ammunition, training emphasized individual combat and the development of snipers. Artillery training would wait until the units reached France where they would be equipped with French cannons. Morale was high. This was a "Just War", "The War to End All Wars" and was supported by the public and the soldiers.