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Memorandum to General McNair
August 4, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
In glancing through the attached report of the Special Services Division of the “sampling” check in six army divisions, dated August 1943, I notice that the infantry stands at the bottom of the lists which reflect pride in organization, and satisfaction with job assignment. If you have not seen this report, I wish you would take a look at it and let me know, most informally, if there is anything we could do to better this situation.1
I think I understand most of the reasons, but we must work on this to improve the situation in some way.
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. Regarding the opinion poll entitled “What a Soldier Thinks,” McNair noted that the problem had shown itself in various forms for a year and that the corrective measures taken had been inadequate. “My frank opinion is that the underlying fault is that the infantry’s role is a dangerous one, also an uncomfortable one.” He made some recommendations regarding Infantry pay, badges, or special medals, but these were rejected for various reasons by the Personnel Division, which recommended a publicity campaign, correction of misassignments, an Infantry Badge, and an increase in the number of grades and ratings in the Infantry. (McNair Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, August 9, 1943, and Major General M. G. White Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, September 14, 1943, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 330.11 (August 4, 1943)].)
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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), p. 79.