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Memorandum for Chiefs of all War Department and Special Staff Divisions1
August 15, 1945 Washington, D.C.
SUBJECT: War Department Policies for the Period Following V-J Day
1. Since December, 1941, the nation has depended upon the Army and Navy to build up and direct the power to bring us victory and peace. With the capitulation of Japan the nation now looks forward to the demobilization of the Army and its installations as rapidly and efficiently as practicable. In some respects our responsibility is just as heavy as during the critical days of 1942. The same imagination, energy and devotion to duty which characterized the activities of the Army during the past four years must now be turned to the vast task of demobilization.
2. The mission of the War Department during the period immediately following V-J Day is stated as follows:
a. To demobilize the Army and eliminate and curtail the activities of the War Department to the maximum extent and with the greatest rapidity consistent with national commitments for occupational forces.
b. To provide the occupational forces in conquered and liberated areas with sufficient trained personnel, supplies and equipment to assure the proper performance of their missions and to assure their maintenance at standards befitting American soldiers.
c. To make reasonable provisions for fundamental post-war military requirements. Such provisions must not interfere with demobilization and the elimination and curtailment of War Department activities.
3. In the performance of its mission, the War Department will be guided by the following general principles:
a. Every expenditure which is not directly and vitally necessary to the performance of its mission must be eliminated. During the War Congress has been liberal in providing the War Department with funds. A serious obligation is now imposed on the Department to cut expenditures to the minimum. The current requirements must be met to the fullest possible extent with the supplies, equipment and facilities now available.
b. Every member of the Army will be treated as an individual. Primary emphasis will be placed upon the rapid discharge of military personnel in their order of priority as determined by their critical scores. Emphasis will be given to the educational programs and problems concerning personal readjustments to civilian life.
c. All officials will combat natural tendencies to continue activities, demand services and retain personnel, supplies, equipment or facilities which are not clearly necessary to the announced mission of the Army and the War Department. This must be kept in mind in making all decisions.
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.
1. This memorandum was also directed to the commanding generals of U.S. Army Air, Ground, and Service forces.
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. 278-279.