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Memorandum for General Somervell1
December 29, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
I don’t think we have followed the most efficient and economical system in regard to the organization of service troops. Where a complete Engineer regiment is required, for example, then the present organization is satisfactory. But in the numerous cases where smaller groups are required, then I think our methods are extravagant and do not promote coordinated direction and leadership, particularly during critical moments of operations.
It seems to me that we should have these service units so set up that we can put together composite battalions, composite regiments, and composite brigades, so that they will have one directing head and we shall avoid unnecessary and complicating overhead of various higher headquarters.
I also think we should have a standard arrangement whereby in sending units to a region that can supply cooks, laborers, orderlies, and what-not, these should be automatically screened out of our organizations before shipment. Furthermore, as soon as the primary work has been done involving a great deal of technical skill, and the necessity for the latter is no longer urgently apparent, that personnel should be screened out and passed on to more active employment.
Please give this your consideration and let me have, through G-3, your reactions.2
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. This document was also addressed to Generals McNair and Edwards.
2. The editors have not found responses to this document.
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. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 495.