World War I did not make the world safe for democracy, as President Woodrow Wilson hoped when he asked Congress to declare war in 1917. As we now know, the war with Germany that started for the United States on April 6, 1917, did not end all wars. However, it made the U.S. a leading world power and created five important legacies that continue to shape our Army.Among the war’s lasting legacies:
Compulsory military service and organization of state militias into an organized federal army deployable beyond the nation’s borders happened because of the Selective Service Act of 1917.
The concept of a planning staff, first introduced in the early 1900s by then-Secretary of War Elihu Root, matured under the leadership of Wilson’s brilliant secretary of war, Newton D. Baker.