Who Got To Use Jeeps?

I know that the old Beetle Bailey comic was based on Mort Walker’s experiences as a World War Two officer, though the actual scenario began in the 1950’s and took place back in the USA. My late father did say the Armu was really like that in that era. I was thinking about how Sergeant Snorkel, a drill sergeant, had his own jeep and wondered who would get the privilege of having one in that era.

1 Like

Reddit - In WW2, who decided which soldier/officer could use a jeep?

^^^Saw this thought it would be of interest.

Jeeps became so prevalent late in the war that it was one of the things that eventually gave away Skorzeny’s men during Operation Greif - they had such a shortage of US vehicles that they piled dudes into the Jeeps. Something American GI’s did not have to do.

1 Like

Interesting that the article mentioned Generals getting Cadillacs or Packards . I recall reading at one time that during the fall of the Philippines
MacArthur diverted resources to save his Packard at the expense of his troops. If there is any truth to this no wonder that Roosevelt didn’t think highly of him .
Sucks but I suppose rank has it’s privilege.

His mom was no help either.


A lot of people, then and now, thought MacArthur was a poor general. Even if he was supposed to have done very well as the postwar governor of occupied Japan.

1 Like

MacArthur definitely had some high and low points in his generalship. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor he had plenty of time to get the Philippines ready for their attack. He didn’t and wound up having almost all of his (obsolete in many cases) aircraft destroyed. And despite the pre-war plan to immediately fall back and defend the Bataan peninsula, he hesitated and by the time the decision was made, he’d lost too many troops and did not have sufficient supplies to withstand a long battle.

Then his campaign in New Guinea and the Southwest Pacific was brilliant.

After the war, his “rule” in Japan set the stage for the economic and political miracle that took place in that country.

But he did not keep the forces he had in fighting shape to respond the North Korea’s attack and the initial battles were a disaster.

But then he followed up by one of the most brilliant operations in history, the Inchon landings, which caught the enemy totally by surprise and resulted in not only a restoration of the pre-war boundaries, but pushed the North Koreans almost to the Chinese border.

And THEN he let his ego get in the way, thought he was not only invincible but also the Commander in Chief. He IGNORED clear evidence that the Chinese were going to intervene and then decided that HE should make military policy instead of the President. And justly got relieved of his command for ignoring the orders from Washington AND speaking out about it.


The “textbook” answer is that there is a Table of Organization and Equipment (TO&E) for every unit in the Army from the Company Level on up. It specifies the exact mission that unit is supposed to be able to accomplish, and lists precisely how many soldiers of each grade and Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) that unit is allocated for that purpose, as well as EVERY piece of equipment including vehicles the unit is to have as well. That document will show which section (and therefore which individuals) have what type of vehicles. For example, in my Mechanized Field Artillery Battery in the 1970’s there were 4 Jeeps allocated: The Battery Commander got one, and each of the three Forward Observer Sections (we never actually had more than one due to the post Vietnam personnel shortage) had one. In garrison, if the First Sergeant wanted to use the Jeep, (since it was “his” ride as well as the BC’s) you know he got it. If anybody else wanted to use a military vehicle for some OFFICIAL duty, they had to check it out first through the orderly room and then the Motor Pool. Generally people just used their own Privately Owned Vehicles (POV).

In the FIELD, that vehicle belong to the BC/1SG, and the OTHER ones either were gone with the Forward Observer to support some other unit or stayed back in the motor pool because there was no reason for it to be in the field, and nobody to drive it anyway because everyone else had their own mission and vehicle.

But that’s peacetime “by the book” stuff. In combat, all bets are off!

1 Like