The Muhlenberg Memories Project

Military Promotions

William C. Wilber, Jr. left Muhlenberg to join the Army as a private in 1943 and after going through training and Officer’s Candidate School, was promoted to Second Lieutenant in 1944.
William F. Fritz left Muhlenberg, a graduate of the Navy V-12 program, in 1944 as a corpsman in the Philadelphia Naval Hospital. He began medical school at Johns Hopkins, at the age of 19, as a Navy Ensign in 1945.
In a turn of luck, Marvin R. Geiger ‘37, was employed by Bethlehem Steel when he was “volunteered” for service as an enlisted man in March 1941. By July 1944, he was promoted to a First Lieutenant (28 July 1944).
For U.S. Army men, a point system, called the Adjusted Service Rating score, was used to determine when troops were sent home, whether their unit would be disbanded, or when troops needed to be retrained for action in other theaters. Men frequently mentioned the points they earned that moved them closer to returning back to the States. Seymour Best ‘44 wrote in October 15, 1945 an explanation of the point system and how he earned 40 points toward going home on points—“15 points for 3 battle stars, an additional 15 points for an air medal, oak leaf cluster and a purple heart. Oh yes, and 10 points for overseas service up to V. J. day.”
Many men longed to return to the United States, counting the days and the points to resume their American ways of life. However, just as many took the opportunities to experience the cultural uniqueness of wherever their assignments took them.