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  • Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

1. If the old photos in the National Archives are any indication, almost no one made it to a training camp without a train ride.

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  • New York recruits heading to training write messages on the sides of their train.

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

2. Inprocessing and uniform issue would look about the same as in the modern military. Everyone learns to wear the uniform properly and how to shave well enough to satisfy the cadre.

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  • A soldier gets some assistance with shaving his "strong" beard at the Plattsburg, New York, training camp. Note that in World War I, the brown rounds weren't restricted to training cadre.

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

3. Training camps were often tent cities or rushed construction, so pests and sanitation problems were constant.

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  • A U.S. Marine at Marine Corps Training Activity San Juan, Cuba, shows off the tarantula he found. Tarantulas commonly crawled into the Marines' boots at night.

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

4. Unsurprisingly, training camps included a lot of trench warfare. America was a late entrant to the war and knew the kind of combat it would face.

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  • Soldiers make their way through training trenches in Camp Fuston at Fort Riley, Kansas.

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

5. Somehow, even training units had mascots in the Great War. This small monkey was commonly fed from a bottle.

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  • A World War I soldier plays with the unit mascot at Camp Wadsworth near Spartansburg, South Carolina.

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

6. Seriously. Unit mascots were everywhere. One training company even boasted three mascots including a bear and a monkey.

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  • A World War I soldier lets the regimental mascot climb on him.

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

7. Troops in camp built a snowman of the German kaiser in New York.

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  • Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

8. A lot of things were named for the enemy in the camps, including these bayonet targets.

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  • Soldiers training at Camp Devens, Massachusetts, stand with their bayonet targets helpfully named things like "Kaiser Bill" and "Hindenburg." 

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

9. This grave is for another dummy named Kaiser. He was interred after the unit dug trenches in training.

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  • Soldiers in a training camp at Plattsburg, New York, show off the grave they created for a dummy of the German kaiser during training on trench construction. 

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

10. World War I saw a deluge of new technologies that affected warfare. These shavers were preparing for a class in aerial photography.

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  • Soldiers training at the U.S. Army School of Aerial Photography in New York shave before their class.

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

11. Uniform maintenance was often up to the individual soldier, so learning to mend shirts was as important as learning to shoot photos from planes.

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  • Soldiers from the 56th Infantry Regiment mend their own clothes at Camp McArthur near Waco, Texas.

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration)

12. Local organizations showed their support for the troops through donations and morale events.

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  • Soldiers training at Camp Lewis, Washington, grab apples from the Seattle Auto-Mobile Club of Seattle.

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

13. Some donations were better than others. Free apples are fine, but free tobacco is divine.

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  • A thirty-car train carrying 11 million sacks of tobacco leaves Durham, North Carolina, en route to France where it will be rationed to troops. 

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

14. Nothing is better than payday, even if the pay is a couple of dollars.

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  • Troops are paid at Camp Devens, Massachusetts.

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

15. Someone get these men some smart phones or something. Three-person newspaper reading is not suitable entertainment for our troops.

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  • A father, son, and uncle share a newspaper on a visitor's day during training camp. 

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

16. Once the troops were properly trained, they were shipped off to England and France. Their bags, on the other hand, were shipped home.

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  • Soldiers finished with stateside training pose next to the large pile of luggage destined for their homes as they ship overseas.

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

17. Again, trains everywhere back then. Everywhere.

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  • Engineers ready to ship out write motivational messages on the side of their train car just before they leave the Atlanta, Georgia, area for France.

    Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration