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Memorandum for the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-11
January 14, 1942 Washington, D.C.
The first paragraph of the attached memorandum I think should read as follows:2
The President, as you know, is not only opposed to adding to the number of general officers in the Army, but has taken a determined stand against the appointment of general officers to staff positions. Urgent recommendations have been submitted by various War Department Chiefs for the promotion to the grade of general of a large number of officers having various subordinate activities. The pressure in this matter is continually increasing, the number growing, and the attitude of the President remains unchanged.
There is a feeling in the field that there are too many generals at desks and not enough with troops. Incidentally, at the present time we have 11 division commanded by brigadier generals and two more in process of organization.
I submit below a list outlining the present status of such requests, and I suggest that the matter be discussed by you with the War Council in order that you may decide the policy to be followed, particularly in the approach to the President.
In your list I think it is important to show the additional officers of those departments on duty in Washington who held the grade of general officer. For example, those in the office of the Under Secretary.
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Personnel Division, General Staff (G1), 16083-174, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.
1. John H. Hilldring was acting head of G-1 (Personnel), although Brigadier General Wade H. Haislip, who had been sent to the Fourth Motorized Division as assistant commander, was still technically assistant chief of staff until January 19. A graduate of the Infantry School’s Officers’ Advanced Course in 1932, when Marshall was head of the Academic Department, Hilldring was to be promoted to brigadier general on January 15, 1942.
2. Hilldring’s ten-page memorandum listed all the existing and proposed new positions (sixty-seven and twenty-six respectively) for general officers in the War Department. The one-paragraph introduction simply stated that “a considerable increase in the number of staff generals” was requested and recommended that the secretary of war discuss the matter with Under Secretary Robert Patterson and with the president.
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), pp. 62-63.