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Infantry Day Statement by the Chief of Staff1
June 15, 1944 Washington, D.C.
General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, U. S. Army, issued the following statement on occasion of “Infantry Day,” Thursday, June 15, 1944:
“This is the day of the doughboy, the time for his greatest service. He has already earned a reputation in this war as a skillful and determined fighter. His gallantry and victorious spirit are an increasing inspiration to the entire Army and the Nation.
“Modern warfare places an increased responsibility and burden on the Infantryman. To the dogged courage and fortitude which his fighting requires must be added a high degree of individual initiative. Many weapons must be mastered and many types of warfare, along with the complicated pattern of amphibious warfare.
“Paratroopers and airborne glider troops are Infantrymen who approach the battlefield in spectacular fashion. Once these men touch the ground, they fight as doughboys, though usually far in rear of the hostile line and encircled by the enemy.
“In the vast war in the air, on the sea and over the ground, the Infantry rifleman must take the final and decisive action. He must destroy the enemy or drive him off the battlefield. The dramatic introduction to blitz warfare and powerful air forces caused this fundamental of warfare to be forgotten. Today it is apparent to all and the Nation looks to the doughboy to overwhelm the enemy and administer the knockout blow for the final victory.”
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Speeches, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed draft.
1. General Marshall, who was in England on June 15, had prepared this message before he departed Washington.
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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 482-483.