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Citation for Distinguished Service Medal1
[November 26, 1945] [Washington, D.C.]
In a war unparalleled in magnitude and in horror, millions of Americans gave their country outstanding service. General of the Army George C. Marshall gave it victory. By the favor of Providence, General Marshall became Chief of Staff of the United States Army on the day that Germany attacked Poland. His was the vision that brought into being the greatest military force in history. Because he was able to make the Allies understand the true potentiality of American greatness in personnel and materiel, he was able to exercise greater influence than any other man on the strategy of victory. It was he who first recognized that victory in a global war would depend on this Nation’s capacity to ring the earth with far-flung supply lines, to arm every willing Ally and to overcome the aggressor nations with superior fire power. He was the first to see the technological cunning and consequent greater danger of the Nazi enemy. He was the master proponent of a ground assault across the English Channel into the plains of Western Europe directed by a single Supreme Allied Commander. He insisted on maintaining unremitting pressure against the Japanese, thereby preventing them from becoming entrenched in their stolen empire and enabling our timely advances across the Pacific. He obtained from Congress the stupendous sums that made possible the atomic bomb, well knowing that failure would be his full responsibility. Statesman and soldier, he had courage, fortitude, and vision, and best of all rare self-effacement. He has been a tower of strength as counsellor of two Commanders in Chief. His standards of character, conduct, and efficiency inspired the entire Army, the Nation and the world. To him, as much as to any individual, the United States owes its future. He takes his place at the head of the great commanders of history.
Harry S. Truman
Document Copy Text Source: Research File, Medals, Military, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed citation signed.
1. Since Marshall had received the medal in mid-1919 for his World War I efforts, this award was an Oak Leaf Cluster on that medal. The ceremony was held in the central courtyard of the Pentagon Building.
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 365-366.