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Memorandum for the Assistant Chiefs of Staff,
G-l [Shedd] and G-3 [Twaddle]
January 16, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
In conversation with General Lynch this morning, I was impressed with several suggestions, or comments he made:
He told me of one regiment that had had 60 company commanders in four months, and that he did not believe that was unusual.
He remarked, for example, that he was recently called upon to furnish officers for training as observers with the Air Corps, and that this meant taking them away from troops. Along with this he made the suggestion that we should have a surplus of Reserve Officers in training. In other words, at the present time we have no fat meat, and the set-up is so lean that replacements are not available for sickness, for details away, for this and that.
He felt that Benning was reaching the saturation point and yet that we had not provided sufficiently for the training of the large number of lieutenants in the National Guard who had recently been commissioned from the ranks. We discussed the proposition of having each division run a school for this purpose. My reaction to this was that it might be well done in some places, but probably would be poorly done in others, especially as each division would be busy with a special grouping for the handling of selectees.
We thought that it might be desirable to establish branch schools, with a modest outfit at the start, at places such as Meade, San Antonio, Rolla, Missouri, and Ord. Where tent camps have been vacated, the shelter problem might be met without great difficulty. This would not be the case at Rolla, Missouri, where everything has to be built.1 It does appear to me that we will have to provide additional training facilities for the improvement of officer personnel, along with the provision of sufficient Reserve officers to prevent too serious an absenteeism from units during this special period of training.
Will you please look into this and discuss it with me informally prior to preparing any detailed report.
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. Rolla was the nearest large town to the new Fort Leonard Wood, which held its groundbreaking ceremony on December 3, 1940, and was officially named a month later. The other posts and locations mentioned are: Fort George G. Meade, near Baltimore, Maryland; Fort Sam Houston, at San Antonio, Texas; and Fort Ord, near Monterey, California.
Recommended Citation: ThePapers 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), p. 390.