America’s involvement in WWI marked its first major entry into European politics. The final cost of that involvement required the U.S. to supply a force to occupy part of the German Rhineland after the war. The force provided was first known as Third Army and then later as the American Forces in Germany (AFG). It consisted of the best divisions in the American Army. With a starting strength of a quarter million doughboys, the Americans marched to the Rhine and began their occupation period in December 1918. When the American phase of the occupation ended in 1923, the force consisted of one thousand soldiers. Many future WWII leaders of the Army and Marine Corps served in this force; including five who would become Marine Commandant, four Army Chiefs of Staff, ten four-star Generals, and, surprisingly, a National Football League Head coach.
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