Charles H. Buford served as Chairman of the Reserve Forces Policy Board from 1952 to 1953.
Charles H. Buford was sworn in by Mr. Ralph Stohl, Director of Administration, and at the behest of Secretary George C. Marshall at the Pentagon, June 14, 1951 as the First Chairman of the Reserve Forces Policy. Mr. Buford replaced Edwin H. Burgess, the last chairman of the Civil Components Policy Board which was transformed into the Reserve Forces Policy Board. Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson established the Civilian Components Policy Board and on June 13, 1951, Secretary of Defense George Marshall redesignated the Civilian Components Policy Board as the Reserve Forces Policy Board in July 1952 as the result of Congress passing the Armed Forces Act of 1952.
Mr. Buford was the former president of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad companies as well as federal manager of railroads when Truman nationalized the industry in May 1946 in an attempt to avoid a strike.
Mr. Buford served with the railroad for over 40 years as a civil engineer after graduation from the University of Arkansas. He became general manager of the Milwaukee’s lines west in 1927, and held that post until 1937 when he was granted a leave of absence to become Vice President of the Association of American Railroads serving with Edwin H. Burgess, who was the President. In this capacity, throughout the World War II, he was in effect, “Mister American Railroads” with respect to dealings on operating matters with all government agencies, including the Armed Forces. the Office of Department of Defense, Transportation and Interstate Commerce Commission. Mr. Buford was appointed federal manager of the nation’s railroads when, in 1946, the country faced a nationwide strike of engineers and trainmen and federal seizure was invoked. Following the end of the two-day work stoppage, and the return of the railroads to their private owner, Mr. Buford came back in March 1946 to the Milwaukee and post to which he had been elect in March of that year --Executive Vice President. In May 1947, he was elected to the Office of President of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad companies until his retirement in 1950.
Mr. Buford passed away in 1960 at the age of 74.