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Notes for the Secretary of War’s Press Conference1
[August 8, 1945] [Washington, D.C.]
Here is another suggested paragraph for the Secretary’s press conference:
Regarding the demobilization or the release of high score men in continental United States who are reported in the press or have reported themselves to members of Congress or representatives of the radio and press as not being employed in critical work, of the following should be said:
There are 3,000 posts, cantonments or depots in continental United States, all of which are involved one way or another with the redeployment of troops to the Pacific, many of which are heavily engaged in the demobilization of soldiers or in the movement of supplies to the Army in general and the Pacific theater in particular. Until replacements can be found for these men they must continue to do the work on which they are now engaged for these installations are working under heavier pressure than at any other period in the past two years.
There are only two sources of replacements. One would be men recently inducted into the service who are now being trained as replacements for the long-term in the Pacific and for prospective casualties resulting from disease or battle. To assign these men to installations in the United States would immediately provoke a much more serious situation in the Pacific both as to morale and as to the support of pending operations. The other source, and the one which will be utilized as soon as the men can be made available in continental United States, consists of low score men surplus to the requirements of the European Theater. Shipping for the return of these men to the United States will not be available until two other groups have preceded them—first, those required for operations in the Pacific, that is, according to the redeployment schedule; and second, the high score men in Europe who are entitled in our opinion to return to the United States before the high score men already in the United States are released.
The situation is not at all simple and conclusions should not be drawn from the case of a single individual or small group here or there. It would not be exaggeration to say that if, under the present public pressure, the Army started to release immediately all of the men now on duty in the United States who have sufficient points, the redeployment of troops to end the Pacific War and the release of highest point men only now returning from overseas would suffer critically. For the past year the War Department has exercised great pressure on installations in the United States to replace men who have had no overseas experience with combat veterans who have done their share. Consequently, 78,000 of the troops in this country handling the vital work of redeployment and processing the highest point men out of the army, have themselves enough points for discharge.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed notes.
1. No press conference was held; see the following document (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-189 [5: 262]).
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. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 261-262.