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To Colonel Charles F. Thompson
April 28, 1938 [Vancouver Barracks, Washington]
Congratulations and many of them.1 It is splendid to see men like you to be given appropriate rank in time to do something material for the Army. I will congratulate you even more heartily if I find that you are determined to throw away half the paper submitted by your staff, get rid of most of your mimeograph machines, and carry out training without months and miles of preparation and overpowering programs of procedure. I have gone through two army maneuvers, commanding the inferior “Reds” in each case, and am about fed up on fads and fancies.2
With my love to Laura and affectionate regards and congratulations to you both,
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Vancouver Barracks, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Assistant commandant at the Infantry School since February 1, 1937, Thompson was promoted to brigadier general effective September 1.
2. Thompson replied: “Your denunciation of our armament of mimeograph machines in our simulated warfare these days rings within me a sympathetic echo. I was on the Fourth Army Staff for the CPX in 193s and I have thumbed the report on last year’s maneuvers.
“The same bug is working in our schools. Here at Benning I flatter myself that we have made some progress in a campaign against elaborate written orders. You deserve some of the credit for what we may be accomplishing for I recall that you were sounding alarm on that subject when I had the good fortune to spend two weeks under your wing here in 1929.” (Thompson to Marshall, May 4, 1938, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Vancouver Barracks].)
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), pp. 589-590.