My grandfather was in the Branch Immaterial in WWII, what is that?

It says under his branch: Branch Immaterial- Warrant Officers, USA

What does this mean?

Also, I'm trying to find his unit.

It says we enlisted @ Fort Jay in NYC.

What is the best way to approach this?

Update:

He was in the Army / Infantry.

I have his B-day & dog tag #

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There were not many warrant officers back in the day.

    Army Officers belong to a branch (e.g. Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery, etc.)

    Although considered officers, prior to the 1980's no warrant officer held a commission. In 1989, the ranks of W-2 and higher were commissioned. The army still uses the W-1 rank, which is not commissioned (although addressed as sir, saluted, and generally accorded all priviledges of officer status, they hold warrants signed by the secretary of the army versus a commission from the president).

    Anyways, until recently, Army warrant officers were not "branched". They did not wear the insignia of the branch, but wore a distinctive insignia that only warrant officers wore. Nowadays they wear the branch insignia like any commissioned officer.

    Your grandpa being a warrant officer in the infantry in WW2 says a lot about him, you should be proud of him.

    We have warrant officers in the USMC, and those who serve in an infantry MOS were guys I came to respect.

  • 4 years ago

    Branch Immaterial Warrant Officers Usa

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    My grandfather was in the Branch Immaterial in WWII, what is that?

    It says under his branch: Branch Immaterial- Warrant Officers, USA

    What does this mean?

    Also, I'm trying to find his unit.

    It says we enlisted @ Fort Jay in NYC.

    What is the best way to approach this?

    Source(s): grandfather branch immaterial wwii that: https://biturl.im/7wLD7
  • 4 years ago

    Immaterial Meaning

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • The word "immaterial" means "it doesn't matter."

    If he was in the Army, for example, he may not have been assigned to a specific branch of THAT service; that means they could assign him to Signal Corps OR Quartermaster Corps OR Corps of Engineers OR Aviation, etc.

    Do you have ANY more information than that? Any photos of him with any emblems or 'patches' on his uniform, any letters sent home, etc.?

    You might try contacting the Second World War Museum (or maybe it's called the World War Two Museum... I've only heard about it but wasn't curious enough to look at their site) in New Orleans... go to their website and snoop around, I'm sure they have a 'Help' section, or at the very least, you can supply them his name and other relevant info and maybe they can help you find out more.

    You can also try snooping around in the Veterans' Administration website; there is a National records Office in St. Louis, I think. You may need some kind of letter, notarized, that you are a relative of W.O. 'Smith' (use the real name, of course) and you are compiling a family history of relatives who have served in the Armed Forces. His dog tag info will be crucial in finding out more, and it may take some time. There was also a fire at some time in the past and a LOT of records were destroyed; hopefully, your grandpa's info is still available.

    Good Luck.

    .

    Source(s): . Vietnam vet... our records are only 40 years old, not 60... a bit easier to access.
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/IiSi4

    He appears to have been in the Quartermaster Corps; Branch Code is the equivalent of today's Military Occupational Speciality that a soldier was trained to perform. Warrant Officers were non-commissioned officers, a step below officers and quite a way up from enlisted ranks. Warrant Officers were experts in a specialty the Army needed such as Quartermasters, Ordnance, Transportation, Aviation. They were usually men warranted from the senior enlisted grades, but also men called up during the war that had a particular expertise in a skill the Army needed.

  • 5 years ago

    I was searching for answer to basically the same question. My grandfathers records say he was PVT Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA. Army. I know he served under General Patton in Tank Div. Not sure what the things are on front of uniform??? Would like to know. His headstone says his final rank was PFC.

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  • 6 years ago

    My father Carlos D. Sanchez was a pvt. in the Branch Immaterial warrant officers , USA WWII we thought he was a cook which we have pictures; but we also have a picture in a MP uniform in Tokyo. We found the later picture and we are confused , because we did not think he left the states.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    "Branch immaterial" (BI) meant "not assigned to any particular arm or service. The term is applied to commissioned officers and to replacement training centers not as assigned to any particular arm or service." (Dictionary of United States Army Terms; 1944). The Code List for the World War II Army Enlistment Records may be found at NARA’s Access to Archival Databases site.

    Ostensibly, a soldier in a branch may be "branch immaterial" because they were assigned to a branch but did not have an assignment "directly related to that branch, such as an infantry or aviation assignment" but rather "a more general, branch-immaterial functional area skill" (Stipak, 1986). So e.g., the 5th armored division shortly after WWII had "5 branch immaterial companies" (Troop Topics, 1953).

    However, there are other possible reasons for your grandfather's BI classification. For example, my grandfather's record also reads "Branch Immaterial- Warrant Officers" but his skill set was quite specific and he did not belong to any division's "immaterial company". He was "attached" to the 5th army and then to the USAF because he was part of Army intelligence. Although not without precursors, the modern US intelligence community really began in WWII and included the selection of hundreds of academics. Also, by 1944 many officers were classified as "branch immaterial" to better facilitate their assignment (Greenfield et al., 1987). So if your grandfather had a doctorate or rare skill set this could also explain the rank and classification on his record.

    Finally, there's the possibility of error. Under education, my grandfather's record has "4 years in college". It's true he spent 4 years in college, but out of a total of 8 (4 for his A.B., 2 for his A.M., and another 2 for his Ph.D). As he was recruited into Army intelligence solely for his academic background, the error is a bit ironic.

    Source(s): TM 20-205: Dictionary of United States Army Terms. War Department: 18 January 1944. Stipak, P.A. (1986). CAESAR: Commissioned Assignments Executive Support for the US Army (UNCLASSIFIED). Thesis: Naval Postgraduate School). Troop Topics: Decorations and Awards (Department of the Army Pamphlet No. 20-158). Dept. of the Army: 1953 Greenfield, K.R., Palmer, R.R., & Wiley B.I. (1987). The Organization of Ground Combat Troops (United States Army in World War II: The Army Ground forces)
  • 5 years ago

    So was mine. But he only had 2 years of HS, but he spoke fluent German. He was a machine gunner and only reached a PFC rank. Fought in Italy. Other than that I don't know much and can't find much on him. He's gone now and he would never talk about it if we asked him.

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