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Memorandum for General McNair1
June 8, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
A copy of the attached mimeograph was sent you, I was told, by Eisenhower. If so please return my copy.2
General Alexander told me that the most impressive training instruction he had seen was the brief pamphlet gotten out embodying the notes taken by Colonel Reeder on Guadalcanal.3 Alexander referred to this two or three times as the sort of stuff the soldiers will read, whereas the ordinary instruction bores them.
Now I think this paper by Private Sargent of the 34th Division is along the same lines. The fact that it was written by him, that it was noted by his Division commander, by General Eisenhower and by me personally, if stated in the pamphlet, would fasten the attention of the enlisted man to a degree not possible by ordinary instructional methods.
If you agree please have such a pamphlet prepared, see that they do it promptly, and see to it that it gets the necessary distribution. Have it put up as being mainly for enlisted men.
I suppose some comments pro or con might be included in italics in parentheses if you see fit and if it seems wise to do so.4
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. Lieutenant General Lesley J. McNair was head of Army Ground Forces.
2. The Training Section at Allied Force Headquarters in Algiers had distributed 475 copies of an eight-page paper written by Private Frank B. Sargent of the Thirty-fourth Division concerning the lessons of the North African fighting, especially as they applied to training intelligence personnel. (Brigadier General Lowell W. Rooks Memorandum, May 20, 1943, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 353].)
3. Concerning the pamphlet Fighting on Guadalcanal, see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-493 [3: 525-26], Russell P. Reeder, Jr., had been promoted to colonel on January 29, 1943.
4. McNair replied that he was having Sargent’s remarks prepared for distribution and that he had personally written a foreword for the pamphlet. (McNair Memorandum for General Marshall, June 15, 1943, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 353].) See Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-260 [4: 308], Marshall to Krock, February 17, 1944.
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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), p. 5.