Statement Issued by the War Department1


By direction of the President, the following regulations will govern in raising troops for a Slavic Legion, to be composed of Jugo-Slavs, Czecho-Slovaks and Ruthenians (Ukrainians):

They will be organized, armed and equipped as infantry regiments. Companies will, if practicable, be composed of members of the same race, which will also be true so far as practicable of battalions and regiments. At present there will be no units larger than regiments.

After regiments have been formed and assigned to divisions, a sufficient number of officers and enlisted men will be retained in [Page 828] replacement and training camps to provide for the training of replacements, the units formed being limited by this consideration.

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All officers, except field officers, of these regiments will be, so far as practicable, of those races of which the units are composed, and will be appointed after a special course of training to be instituted at the Central Officers’ Training School at Camp Lee, Va.

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Aliens commissioned as officers in the Slavic Legion must furnish proof of their loyalty to the United States, and of their desire to fight the Imperial Governments of Germany and Austria-Hungary and the allies thereof, and must execute the following oath of office:

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Enlisted men will be obtained by voluntary induction. They must be Jugo-Slavs, Czecho-Slovaks, or Ruthenians (Ukrainians) belonging to the oppressed races of the Austro-Hungarian or German Empire resident in the United States but not citizens thereof nor subject to the draft, and must be qualified for general military service (Group A, sec. 282, Selective Service Regulations, Sept. 16, 1918). Only applicants possessing the foregoing qualifications and between the ages of 18 and 45 will be received. Applications will be made to the local draft boards which will be authorized through the Provost Marshal General to induct applicants possessing required qualifications. Draft boards in coal-mining districts will not entertain applications for the Slavic Legion.

Draft boards will require satisfactory proof of loyalty to the United States and that the applicant desires to fight the Imperial Governments of Germany, Austria-Hungary and their allies.

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  1. Published in The Official U.S. Bulletin, Washington, Oct. 5, 1918 (vol. 2, No. 430), pp. 5 and 7.