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Remarks of Mr. Stimson at General Marshall’s Birthday Party1
December 31, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
As a result of my experience during a somewhat long life, I have become accustomed to placing the various holders of public office with whom I come in contact in one or the other of two categories—first, those who are thinking primarily of what they can do for the job which they hold; and second, those who are thinking primarily of what the job can do for them. I think that General Marshall stands at the very top of my list of those whom I would place in the first category, namely those who are always seeking to see what they can do to make effective the work of their office regardless of its effect upon themselves personally. I feel, General Marshall, that you are one of the most selfless public officials whom I have ever known. In spite of your deep feelings and affections you have always been able to consider first the requirements of the job and to disregard all other considerations.
To you may well be applied the language of the phrase in Proverbs, “He who controlleth his spirit is better than he who taketh a city”. I feel that it has been a great privilege to have been associated with you and I devoutly hope that you will continue your leadership until the victory is attained.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Office of the Chief of Staff (OCS), 201 Marshall, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed draft.
1. The surprise party was held at noon and attended only by members of Marshall’s immediate staff, chief subordinates, Secretary Stimson, Assistant Secretary McCloy, and Field Marshal Dill. Stimson’s remarks were made as a toast and written later. He noted in his diary, “Apparently it went off very well and seemed to please him very much.” (December 31, 1942, Yale/H. L. Stimson Papers [Diary, 41: 133].)
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. 499-501.