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Memorandum for Assistant Chief
of Staff, G-3 [Andrews]
September 12, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
Attached is a memorandum submitted to me personally by Mr. Dole, Chairman of the National Ski Patrol, who has been in contact with Colonel Huebner in your Section, and with the Chief of Infantry’s Office. Mr. Dole came to me through the efforts of Mr. Palmer, Special Assistant to the Secretary of War, and is very highly spoken of. He is evidently quite a person, and the organization is not a fly-by-night affair.1
I do not see our way clear at the moment to entering into the ski business on a large scale, but I do think that we ought to approach this from two points of view. In the first place, for troops like the First Division at Devens, those at Ethan Allen, the Third Division in the Northwest, and possibly those in Alaska, and in other units in the northern latitude of central United States, the problem of morale during the winter is going to be a difficult one. Skiing with proper instructors and with available equipment would be very helpful to morale, and for that reason alone it merits serious attention. The matter of the proper type of equipment, its availability; the question of suitable instructors, etc. could easily be arranged through this organization.
In the second place, I should think that the First Division and the Third Division might well receive some ski training, in view of possible missions— particularly the First Division in regard to Canada. The same thing holds with the 44th Division to be concentrated at Dix, though the first problem there is purely one of hardening and seasoning the people. Later on as the winter develops, it might be well to start week-end skiing detachments for instruction at some camp selected in the Adirondacks or other available region. In due time, after the straight or disciplinary training has gotten under way, but this winter, a more extensive skiing program could be gotten under way. Confidentially, we also have the possibility of some duty in Greenland; we have right now the possibility of having to send a battalion of infantry to Newfoundland. This last unit will undoubtedly have a very hard time for quarters and anything that would pick up morale would be very important.
I do not want to embarrass you with my reaction, so please go ahead as seems wise to your section. My interest in the first place is with regard to morale, especially for the troops in the northern latitude.2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. The chief of the Training Branch was Lieutenant Colonel Clarence R. Huebner. Arthur E. Palmer, a young lawyer from Secretary of War Stimson’s New York City law firm, was a special assistant to the secretary. C. Minot Dole, also from New York City, was chairman of the National Ski Patrol committee, a branch of the National Ski Association of America; he had met with Marshall on September 12. Marshall did not retain a copy of Dole’s memorandum volunteering the patrol’s assistance in organizing winter training and recreation.
2. Marshall soon directed the Training and Operations, Supply, and War Plans divisions to begin planning, estimates, and instructions for winter training and equipment. (Lieutenant Colonel Orlando Ward Memorandum for the Assistant Chiefs of Staff, G-3, G-4, WPD, October 10, 1940, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 21112-13].) See Memorandum for G-3, May 16, 1941, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-457 [2: 510-11].
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 303-304.