It means that when the individual entered the US Military, they joined the Army of the United States. Not the Regular (Standing) Army, nor the National Guard. The individual was to serve for the duration of WW 2 plus six months. Since the US Military did not become actively involded in WW 2 until December 7, 1941, "other emergencies" covered our pre-December 7, 1941 activities in Iceland, The Philippines, etc.
Richard V. Horrell
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