2-496 Memorandum for General Peterson, June 27, 1941

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: June 27, 1941

Memorandum for General Peterson1

June 27, 1941 Washington, D.C.


CCC: Please arrange to have your inspectors who happen to be in the various corps areas cover the management of the CCC at each corps area headquarters. I would like to have them check the apparent activity and quality of the man in charge, determine the number of changes in district commanders and the average number of changes in company commanders during the preceding six months, the character of the school for the training of CCC leaders to assist company commanders—there has been a belief these were of too short duration in some corps areas—and any other items that would give an indication as to whether or not this activity is being treated with sufficient care and supervision. I do not want to worry the corps area commander about this in the midst of his tremendous military involvements, but I want to be certain that lame ducks are not running this part of the show.

MANEUVERS: I would like your inspectors to check up on whether or not the enlisted men are kept advised of the changing situations in the maneuvers. Do they know what is going on and why? There have been reports that the men are doing the job without much knowledge of the reason why, and this is building up, from the attendant newspaper men, a tendency to criticize the conduct of the maneuvers, along with the deficiency in materiel, and the fact that some divisions have much more materiel than others (due to logical priorities). I have sent instructions to each Army Corps regarding this last matter.2

RELATION BETWEEN CANTONMENT COMMANDERS, UNIT COMMANDERS, AND HIGHER COMMANDERS:I would like all your inspectors to keep their eye on this subject and submit any ideas that

may occur to them. The matter is exceedingly complex and doesn’t seem to admit of a clear-cut solution. We have a corps area commander directly in charge of ground troop training centers, for example, responsible for the up-keep of all cantonments and military settlements within the corps area, and yet not in direct command of the people involved, and they, in turn, representing variety of higher control, GHQ Air, Army Corps and Chief of the Air Corps. This becomes still more complicated in cases such as at Fort Bragg, where the senior officer has a huge establishment, commands a division that is part of a corps command,—General Shedd and General Drum,—has a separate artillery brigade under him that is under Army command, I believe; has a training center and a reception center that is under corps area command, etc. The army and then the corps, and the corps area, all may want certain things, which build up into a very complicated situation. No one has suggested a solution. So long as the field army is superimposed on the zone of the interior, and so long as we have major air units scattered through the United States in the zone of the interior, it will be a difficult situation. However, I think we will have to arrive at a little more definite demarcation than we have at present.

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. Major General Virgil L. Peterson (U.S.M.A., 1908) had been the inspector general of the army since February 27, 1940.

2. When inspection reports showed that lack of knowledge of the maneuver situation was still common among enlisted men and even among some officers (see Peterson Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, July 16, 1941, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 14440-395]), Marshall again sent messages directing the commanding generals of maneuvers to concern themselves with this problem (see Marshall to Lieutenant General Walter Krueger, Telegram, September 12, 1941, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 14440-394]). After the maneuvers were completed, Marshall praised Lieutenant General Ben Lear, commanding general of the Second Army: “Apparently your idea of issuing simple Army news bulletins did a great deal to bring about this improvement over conditions existing in previous maneuvers.” He directed that Lear’s methods be brought to the attention of other commanders. (Draft by Colonel Walter S. Smith of Marshall to Lear, October 7,1941, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 14440-403].)

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), pp. 549-551.

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