The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Holcomb, had indicated in October 1940 that one battalion of each Marine regiment would be designated as "air troops," to be transported by aircraft.
Each of these air troop battalions would include one company of parachutists. The remaining troops in each battalion would be air-landed, and it was as an air delivery system for these forces that Marine interest in gliders developed. The glider idea offered economy over powered aircraft, and permitted the landing of forces on terrain unsuited for general flight operations.
The Commandant of the Marine Corps issued his call for volunteers in July 1941, advising all officers through the grade of captain that the Marine Corps intended to train 50 officers and 100 noncommissioned officers as pilots and co-pilots during fiscal year 1942 (July4l-June42). Initially training would be at civilian schools and would be restricted to officers until service schools were set up.
The Marine Corps planning at this time indicated a requirement for about 75 12-man gliders, each with pilot and copilot, to transport one "Air Infantry Battalion."