It is a generally expressed opinion that after the war the former volunteers of the American Field Service should be definitely associated in an organisation in America but this is a matter not requiring immediate discussion which will work itself out "quand la guerre sera finie".
A product of the war, AFS had first developed within the framework of the American Ambulance---an institutional extension of the American Hospital--- and then in coordination with the French and American military administrations. In addition, until militarization, it had its own support infrastructure in the United States.
In 1919, the establishment of the French Fellowships had represented a first step in a peacetime context--with the American Field Service as the sponsoring agency. But what exactly now was the American Field Service?
It was high time to define a new form through which AFS could
continue to carry on the spirit which so many young men had been
initiated to during the War.
At a reunion of some six hundred members of the Field Service held in New York on May 7-9, 1920, the American Field Service Association was organized, a constitution adopted and officers elected. The objects of this Association were defined in the constitution as follows:
The purpose of this Association shall be in general to perpetuate the memory of our life and work as volunteers with the French Army in the years from 1915 to 1917, to keep alive the friendships of those years, and to promote in the future mutual understanding and fraternal feelings between France and the United States, and in particular to arrange for future reunions, to publish and distribute the Field Service Bulletin; to cooperate with the Trustees of the American Field Service Fellowships for French Universities, to provide, through a committee in France, information and assistance for members of the Association and for Field Service Fellows when in France, and, as opportunity offers, to arrange for addresses by, and the entertainment of Frenchmen visiting this country.
A. Piatt Andrew, "The Field Service and the Future", in History of the American Field Service in France, "Friends of France," 1914-1917, Told by its Members. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1920. Volume III.
|The AFS Bulletin of July 6, 1920 gives the details:||A year later, at its second reunion, the AFS Association put the icing on the cake:||Afterwards, the Bulletin ---the voice of the Association--- tended to focus on two things: keeping in touch and promotion of the AFS French Fellowships.|