Coordinating rooks and bishops: an institutional history of the joint army and navy board, 1903-1919



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Texas A&M University


This thesis examines the formative years of the Joint Army and Navy Board, 1903 to 1919. It serves as an institutional history, focusing on the function of the interservice coordination body. The Joint Board is examined within the context of formulating American military strategy and U.S. diplomatic affairs from its creation in July 1903 to its reconstitution in 1919. At present no comprehensive historical study exists focusing on the Joint Board. Currently, interservice cooperation and coordination during this period receive no more than peripheral analysis in war plan studies. Thus, this work begins the first comprehensive history of the precursor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This thesis analyzes the origins and creation of the Joint Board, the Board??s basic duties and responsibilities, and Joint Board actions as they impacted U.S. diplomacy and military strategy concerning the homeland and coast defense, the Caribbean and Cuba, the Panama Canal, as well as the Pacific and the Philippines. Within this geographical framework, this thesis explores the relation of the Joint Board to the Navy General Board and Army General Staff, the cooperation of the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy between the Spanish-American War and World War I, the impact of Joint Board actions on American civil-military relations, and the efficacy of interservice cooperation. This thesis is based largely on unpublished as well as published primary sources, including the records of the Joint Board, Navy General Board records, Army War College Division records, and members?? personal papers housed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In addition, secondary sources are used to place the Joint Board within the larger contextual framework of interservice cooperation, U.S. civil-military relations, and American military history during the early twentieth century.