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Problems of 2 NZEF



In the initial stages, the personnel in base units, whether sent out from New Zealand with the unit or later recruited in Maadi, were all fit for field service. It was later ruled that all personnel should see some field service, and as opportunity offered and other personnel became available, most of those who had started in base units did serve for a while in the field. It was unfortunate that Second Echelon had on its establishment an exceptionally large number of sergeants and staff-sergeants. When the rule was made, it was difficult to place these NCOs, for the resistance from field units was fierce. With the years the problem ceased to exist, as the staff was by that time made up of men who had seen service.

It is a difficulty arising in the early stages only, and it could be avoided altogether if the staff of base units was recruited at the outset either as a whole or in large part from personnel of the second medical category, i.e., men not fit for service in the field, but fit for service in sedentary employment. An alternative is to recruit from personnel just above the age limit for field service. Such a scheme effects an economy in men of the top medical grade, and would be justified for this reason alone. It is a waste of good manpower to have fit men working in base offices when there is an adequate alternative. A second alternative is to employ women; and this is discussed further in Chapter 14.

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