3-445 Memorandum for General McNair, December 7, 1942

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: December 7, 1942

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for General McNair

December 7, 1942 Washington, D.C.


I notice in Dr. Rogers’ report that he found the type of men in the Staff class at Fort Leavenworth considerably below what would be desirable.1 I had had this same reaction from other people. I assume that the trouble is that division commanders suffer so much from the emasculations inevitable in further expansions of the Army, that they are unwilling to release the proper men for Leavenworth.

Can’t we improve this situation by stipulating that either the highest caliber officers of rank be sent or carefully selected officers in the middle twenties? I rather think it would be better to concentrate on the men about 24 to 25. Certainly to train mediocrity for staff positions produces a tragic result as well as being a great waste of the machinery.

G. C. M.

[P.S.] One more thing: I gather from Smith and others who followed our troops in the African operation that it is quite important that we have something like the British Battle School to accustom men to the shock and confusion of combat, Smith suggested that Bull should be sent there to have a look at it. It seems to me that it would be an excellent thing if you, Bull and Leven Allen went to England specifically for the purpose of seeing their Battle School, which I believe is in Scotland.2

Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Office of the Chief of Staff (OCS), 353, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.

1. For the inception of James Grafton Rogers’s October inspection of the Field Artillery and the Command and General Staff schools, see Marshall to Rogers, September 24, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-335 [3: 364-65]. After Rogers’s visit to Fort Leavenworth, Marshall told him that he had “read your very fine reports,” hoped the conditions Rogers criticized were “temporary and will be alleviated as we tap the pool of college students and other groups now deferred,” and said that he would have the reports studied by the General Staff and the three principal army commands. (Marshall to Rogers, November 5, 1942, NA/ RG 165 [OCS, 095]; Marshall’s letter was drafted in G-3.)

2. Major General Harold R. Bull was head of the Army Replacement and School Command, and Major General Leven C. Allen was commandant of the Infantry School.

Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), pp. 478-479.

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Holding ID: 3-445

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