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November 19, 1941

Fort Stotsenburg,
November 19, 1941.

This has been a trying day. I have worn a path between North Luzon Force Headquarters, Post Headquarters, Del Pilar Headquarters, and the Scout Brigade Headquarters, and accomplished little. The oral orders for an advance detail of the cadre of my regiment to go to the Induction Center at Bayambang tomorrow, November 20th, has been confirmed – by more oral orders. Montgomery telephoned USAFFE in Manila and found that the orders and copies of the induction instructions, telling me what to do, telegrams to send, reports to render, etc., had been mailed several days before — but not yet received. Montgomery said that was all right — I could stop at the headquarters in Manila on my way through and pick up a spare set. I am afraid I was a little sarcastic when I inquired how I would go through Manila, 80 kilometers south, on my way to Bayambang, 80 kilometers north. Montgomery dug up a copy of the September instructions which I have — and which I hope are unchanged. From him I also obtained the interesting information that I would take 10 Scout NCO’s with me as assistant instructors. He thought we would go by truck but wasn’t sure. After several round trips between Montgomery at Force Headquarters, Oddenberg at Post Headquarters, Thomas at Scout Brigade Headquarters, and Hirsch at Del Pilar, I got the names of the 10 NCO’s and the information that we go by trucks which will be at Scout Headquarters at 6:00 AM tomorrow. In getting this information I put 55 miles on my new car, which I bought from Sergeant Hubbard.

When I left Montgomery he heaved a sigh of relief, and I am sure he hoped he wouldn’t be bothered with me again. It wasn’t his job at all, but he was the only one of the entire she-bang who could give or get a decision. Without him we would have been hopelessly snowed under. I hope I never again bump into such a stone wall of confusion, indifference, and don’t-give-a damness.

As my status as an Instructor has never been clarified I reported this afternoon to General King and asked if written orders would emanate defining an Instructor’s status, his duties, responsibility, and authority.

The General’s answer was very illuminating.

“Absolutely not. That would be too dangerous. This instructor business is dynamite. You must be the epitome of tact. Be careful. Under no circumstances issue any orders. You must get your objectives by suggestion and recommendation. You have no command status. You have no authority. But you are directly responsible for the success or failure of the regiment. If you cannot get full cooperation from Catalan write me a confidential letter or come in and see me. Remember I am holding you directly responsible for the efficient functioning of that regiment.

I have a very caved-in feeling. There is so much to be done in the regiment. I am very eager to wade in and get results. The prospect of going around the barn instead of using direct methods is most distasteful.

I am all packed and ready to go. My cook, Bernabe Montoya, goes with me. I would like to take Mariano — my cook during my 1926-29 tour — who returned to the States with us for 5 years — but he is working for John Cook and also, I don’t want to take him away from Tomasa and his family.

I am taking a now boy named Tomas and the other officers have a boy, Jesus. The house seems dead with everything except bedrolls packed, and I have a very despondent feeling that it will be a long time before I again occupy the normal habitation of an “officer and gentleman”. Johnny Ball and Tom Willson will give us diner tonight and an early breakfast — and at 6:00 AM we will be off — incidentally, it will be Thanksgiving Day.