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To Brigadier General William H. Cocke
April 18, 1929 Fort Benning, Georgia
My dear General,
I am honored with your invitation to deliver the ROTC commissions to the graduating class this year, and am happy to accept.1 It is very good of Mrs. Cocke to include me as her house guest for that occasion, and I accept with a great deal of pleasure.
I was involved in tentative arrangements for a semi-official trip at this particular time, but I think it will be possible for me to arrange differently, as I am anxious to see the Institute as a going concern before your control ceases.
As to General Lejeune, his appointment appeals to me as an admirable selection. I know him fairly well and believe he will enter into his duties in a very understanding fashion. He is enough of a national figure to be of decided advantage to the Institute, not to mention that his appointment will produce a very solid backing from the entire Marine Corps. Whoever thought of him is long on good judgment.2
G. C. Marshall, Jr.
Document Copy Text Source: Alumni File, Virginia Military Institute Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. As the date for his “finals” speech on June 15 approached, Marshall wrote: “Just now I don’t feel so enthusiastic about your invitation for the 15th. In that connection I am a little in doubt as to just what my role is, but in any event I will make an honest effort to be brief." (Marshall to Cocke, June 8, 1929, VMI/Alumni File.)
Marshall’s address, the V.M.I. student newspaper commented, “was one which stirred and inspired, not only the members of the Graduating Class to whom it was delivered, but also the hundreds of parents, friends and alumni who had gathered in the Hall." (The Cadet, June 15, 1929.)
2. Major General John A. Lejeune commanded the Second Division, A.E.F., from July 28, 1918, to August 8, 1919, and later the Marine Barracks at Quantico, Virginia. From July 1, 1920, until March 5, 1929, he was commandant of the Marine Corps. On March 16, 1929, the V.M.I. Board of Visitors approved his appointment as superintendent, effective July 1.
Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), p. 342.