Major General James A. Ulio

How the Adjutant General of the U.S. Army Enabled Allied Victory

Alan E Mesches

The first full biography of James Ulio, the adjutant general of the U.S. Army in WorldWar II.
Date Published :
August 2020
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Illustration :
15 photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612008264
Pages : 216
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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$37.95
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Overview
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Major General James A. Ulio helped win World War II, though his war was fought from the desk. As adjutant-general throughout the war years, many American families would have recognized his name from one of nearly 900,000 telegrams he signed—all of which began with the words: "…regret to inform you...” However, his role was far wider than overseeing these sad communications.

Ulio faced the task of building an Army large enough to fight wars in Europe, North Africa and the Pacific. Through his efforts, the Army increased in size from around 200,000 soldiers to eight million—in less than five years. He advocated and navigated around lowering the draft age to eighteen. He led and oversaw training efforts that quickly and efficiently prepared soldiers. The general correctly projected that those methods would be a positive outcome of the war. His team identified the appropriate allocation for incoming troops. In order to field sufficient troops to ensure an Allied victory, Ulio had to address and challenge commonly held beliefs on race and gender. It was his order in 1944 that ended segregation on military transportation and in recreational facilities on Army posts.

In many ways, Ulio became the face of the Army during the war, through radio addresses, newspaper interviews, and public appearances. He served as troop morale booster, advocate, and cheerleader for the war effort. Finally, he led demobilization planning to bring home millions of soldiers after the war, transitioning them back into civilian life.

The son of an immigrant career soldier, General Ulio grew up on Army posts and had an eleventh-grade education. A West Point alternate, Ulio enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army in 1900. In 1904, he earned his commission as a lieutenant, and served in France during World War I. Without a college degree, he graduated from the Army's Command and Staff School and the Army War College and five colleges would eventually award him honorary doctorates. Ulio’s military career spanned 45 years and he served as military aide to two presidents. This biography sets Ulio’s achievements in context and explores the magnitude of his part in facilitating an Allied victory World War II.

About The Author
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First-time author Alan Mesches is a 71 year-old retired sales and marketing executive. Mesches is a Western New York native who graduated from Gowanda Central School outside of Buffalo in 1967. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science along with his commission in the United States Air Force through ROTC from Grove City (PA) College in 1971. In 1972, he received his Master of Science in journalism from Ohio University. He served in the Air Force as a public affairs officer with the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing as Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, NC. Following service in the Air Force, he held sales, management and marketing assignments with Procter and Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Coca-Cola Amatil in Poland, and Naturally Fresh. He retired from Naturally Fresh as Vice President Distributor Sales and Marketing in 2011. During his 36-year business career, he worked in Florida, Georgia, Texas and Poland. Since retiring, Mesches has been an active community volunteer. Since 2013, he taught English as a Second Language classes to adults. That program is part of the Little Elm (TX) Library’s adult literacy program. He graduated from Leadership Frisco and served as a member of the group’s advisory council since 2015. Appointed by the City Council to Frisco’s Urban Forestry Board, he served for four years. In addition, he served on the Frisco Veterans Advisory Council since 2018. For four years, he was a program manager with the Frisco Young Entrepreneur’s Academy. Known as YEA, the international program takes 12 to 18 year olds from students to CEOs during a year-long-process of building a business. Mesches became interested in World War II human-interest stories when he and his father began research to learn more about a missing soldier who was in his father’s high school class. Their efforts resulted in the soldier be honored in his hometown and posthumously awarded nine medals including the Bronze Star and POW medals. Colleges and universities attended, with degrees (include year received), and honors:
BA Political Science with honors from Grove City College, Grove City, PA
MS Journalism from Ohio University in Athens, OH with an internship at the Sandusky Register, Sandusky, OH. He grew up in Gowanda, NY, about 40 miles south of Buffalo.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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1. Ulio’s Early Years
2. From World War I up to World War II
3. The Role of the Adjutant General
4. The Telegram
5. V-Mail
6. Juggling the Generals
7. Facing up to Prejudice in the Army
8. Women in the Army
9. On the Home Front
10. Completion of a Career

Epilogue: Today’s Adjutant-General
Endnotes
Index

REVIEWS
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“Alan’s well-researched biography of General Ulio honors the Army Adjutant General responsible for expanding and administering services to soldiers and their families during World War II.  Ulio was the officer responsible for sending notices to families about the status of their sons and daughters. He was a soldier’s general who understood the needs of privates and the duties of officers in caring for them. Ulio did this in a prejudicial society, which questioned the roles of gays, African Americans, and women in military service.  I applaud Alan’s dedication to proclaiming General Ulio’s achievements. “Hooah!”

- Allen Mesch, educator and historian, author of “Teacher of Civil War Generals” and “Preparing for Disunion.”

"...a singularly important addition World War II military histories and memoirs -- bringing out of obscurity one of the critically important positions that helped win the war and the man who filled it so capably."

- Midwest Book Review

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