In 1937, Ronald Wilson Reagan, who had just begun his Hollywood film career, enlisted in the Army as a Second Lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps. Ordered to active duty in April 1942, he was found to have visual problems and was classified for limited service only with exclusion from overseas duty.
His first assignment was liaison officer of the Port and Transportation Office in San Francisco, California. He was transferred to the Army Air Force in May 1942 and assigned to AAF Public Relations and subsequently to the 1st Motion Picture Unit in Culver City, California. In January 1943, Reagan was promoted to First Lieutenant and sent to the Provisional Task Force Show Unit of This Is The Army at Burbank, California. Following this duty, he returned to the 1st Motion Picture Unit, and in July 1943 was promoted to Captain.
In January 1944, Captain Reagan was ordered to temporary duty in New York City to participate in the opening of the sixth War Loan Drive. In November 1944, he was assigned to the 18th AAF Base Unit, Culver City, California, where he remained until the end of the war. By the end of the war, his units had produced ~ 400 training films for the Army Air Forces.