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Memorandum for Colonel Smith1
November 6, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
One of my orderlies, Private Charles R. Thompson, 5th Class Specialist, A.S.N. R-6062214, has been with me almost two years. I have delayed in making him a sergeant because of the unfortunate effects these promotions seem to have when given to orderlies. However, Thompson has had twenty three years’ service, he has been very faithful, and is quite important to the smooth running of my establishment. Added to this, I find that his predecessor, or rather the man who was his senior in the house, and who was fired by me for neglecting his duties and was reduced from sergeant to private, was transferred to Fort Meade and almost immediately made a staff sergeant, then a technical sergeant, and is now a first sergeant.
Under these circumstances I wish to have Thompson promoted to the grade of staff sergeant.
I also wish to have my horse orderly, whose name can be obtained from the Detachment, made a sergeant. He is now a corporal. Mickelsen handled this direct with the Detachment commander,2 and we hesitated to promote this man. But the fact remains that under existing circumstances anyone who stays with me loses heavily in rank if he belongs to the negro personnel. It is, therefore, difficult to hold a good man in contentment.
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. Walter B. Smith was secretary of the General Staff.
2. Lieutenant Colonel Stanley R. Mickelsen, formerly an assistant secretary of the General Staff, was stationed at Camp Pendleton, Virginia, at this time.
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), p. 666.