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To General Dwight D. Eisenhower
August 7, 1943 Radio [Washington, D.C.]
From Marshall for Eisenhower’s eyes only.
When Congress reconvenes a new list of nominations for promotion will be submitted. Are there any individuals who gave conspicuous evidence in combat of qualities of leadership qualifying them for the grade of brigadier or major general.
In connection with the recommendations in your letter of July 27th McNair states Ratay would not be promoted in Army Ground Forces;1 that he was relieved from regimental command because of maltreatment of his soldiers. Further, in July 1942 he was reprimanded for placing official classified information in the hands of civilians to which he replied: “The redundant phrases of the administrative reprimand may be a delight to WD [War Department] clerk but they choke with disgust a field soldier”, for which he was again reprimanded. Incidentally this last did not come to my attention or it would have been something other than a reprimand. Do you still feel this man should be honored with high command?2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. Eisenhower had requested that seven colonels, all in service or technical posts, be placed on the promotion list. Colonel John P. Ratay was commanding the Atlantic Base Section, a position normally filled by a brigadier general. Eisenhower praised the job Ratay had been doing, while admitting that he had “the feeling that this officer’s past, peace-time record may be spotty.” (Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, 2: 1279-8L)
2. Ratay was not again proposed for promotion until mid-December 1943, when Eisenhower noted that he “has proven a thoroughly competent commander, has continued to maintain a high state of discipline and has shown exceptional capacity in handling problems in connection with relations with the French and Arabs in Morocco.” Ratay’s promotion was effective on May 24, 1944. (Ibid., pp. 1602-3.)
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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 83-84.