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Memorandum for General McNair
October 1, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
I am sending you a statistical graph showing retirement periods for general officers of the Regular Army.1 I wish you would examine in particular that portion from my red check on Page 5 to the bottom of Page 6. Page 7 is also involved but not as impressively as the other portions. I am growing more and more concerned with the fact that promotions are being held in one age group and I see few if any evidences of reaching down for younger men unless I press the issue myself personally. I believe a great deal of the difficulty comes out of the fact that most of the senior staff officers are out of this age group and therefore resist any departures from it. I fear we are suffering again from the same hump that has exercised a profound influence on the Army during the past 20-odd years.
Most of the officers I know best are in this group but I feel we must take more positive measures to introduce younger blood. In using the word “younger” I suggest youth but actually I am dealing with middle age, which will have a hard time in fast-moving ground Army operations.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. The editors have not found the eight-page statistical chart prepared by the Statistical Branch.
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. 377-378.