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Using examples from past American wars, and in particular, the U.S. Civil War, this paper examines some of the precedents for a program that puts fairly young officers in high command. The author points out both the advantages and disadvantages of a system that promotes young officers to command positions, outlines the basis of the current promotion and command selection systems in the U.S. armed forces, and concludes that there is little justification for changing the present arrangement.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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