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To Brigadier General Asa L. Singleton
August 27, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
I have just received your letter of August 24th, and am glad to hear what you have to say about the matter of supply.
The searching investigations which I instigated after my return from Benning and other points on my recent inspection trip have developed quite a few valuable points which should be productive of better results in the future. Every time I go into the field I find something of the same nature and invariably the Staff can prove to me that I am wrong; but sooner or later they themselves find a repetition of the same condition. This happened just a few days ago to one of the men who was explaining why there was no shortage at Benning; he ran into a worse shortage at another post which could not be explained away—so I think we are gradually getting organized on a basis that will enable us to handle large numbers of men without the complications and delays of past experience of this nature.1
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Singleton, the commandant of the Infantry School, had written to Marshall that the reported shortages of supplies at Fort Benning were not serious, that remedial action was under way where problems did exist, and that “you have nothing to worry about insofar as relates to clothing and individual equipment of the soldiers at Fort Benning.” (Singleton to Marshall, August 24, 1940, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) The day after he returned from his inspection trip, Marshall reported to those officials concerned with supply the various problems that he wished investigated and solved. He instructed the quartermaster general to direct his officers at all levels to anticipate the needs of units in the field rather than waiting until they complained of shortages. (Orlando Ward Report of Conference held in the Chief of Staff’s office, August 15, 1940, NA/ RG 165 [OCS, Chief of Staff Conferences File].)
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), pp. 294-295.