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To Edwin C. Johnson
June 8, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
Dear Senator Johnson:
Relative to the recent debate in the Senate on the Army Promotion Bill, I want you to know that I read very carefully your comments, and particularly those regarding the elimination of so-called “dead wood”. Although you and I were not in complete agreement as to the best method of approaching the promotion problem, we had the same general end in view and I was glad to read your concluding comments regarding the further improvement of officer personnel. I think when the smoke of this present discussion has cleared away, and Congress is again in session, the War Department can approach Congress with a more practical plan for bettering the efficiency of the Officer corps than is now on the books.1
Please accept my thanks for the courtesy with which you treated my presentation of this matter.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Johnson, a Democrat from Colorado, and Tom Connally, a Democrat from Texas, had led the efforts in the Senate to amend the promotion bill. Johnson was displeased with what he considered a large amount of “dead wood” in the officer corps and with the army’s difficulty in cutting this group. He also believed that the new bill permitted the army far too many lieutenant colonels, and he did not like the provision setting the mandatory retirement age as low as sixty. (Congressional Record, 76th Cong., 3d sess., vol 86, pt. 7:7591.)
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. 239-240.