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Memorandum for Theater Commanders in Continental United States
January 16, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
In the organization of sectors under the instructions governing the establishment of the Eastern and Western Theaters of Operation, selected over-age officers may be employed for staff positions, and possibly for sector command positions. However, each case should be decided by the theater commander, having in mind the tremendous pressure which is now being exerted on the War Department to break down the present “age-in-grade” policy governing combat command assignments.1 This policy has not yet been fully applied and there has been a growing pressure, since the declaration of war, to involve the Department in destructive exceptions to the rule. It is, therefore, important that any exceptions made for the purpose of utilizing over-age officers in sector organizations should be scrutinized by theater commanders. The War Department will make no exceptions to the age-in-grade policy for the field armies, or for mobile troops within such sectors as may be established.
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. The maximum age for an officer in a particular rank serving with troops had been established in mid-1940: major general, 62; brigadier general, 60; colonel, 55; lieutenant colonel, 52; major, 47; captain, 42; first lieutenant, 35; second lieutenant, 30. (See Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-154 [2: 192-93].)
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. 67.