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To General John J. Pershing
November 19, 1934 Chicago, Illinois
I am enclosing two letters which are self explanatory. Two or three BG vacancies now exist. I want one of them. As I will soon be 54 I must get started if I am going anywhere in the Army.
Up to this moment I have made no move of any kind. Moseley’s and Hagood’s recommendations were unsolicited. I have written to no one regarding promotion, but have received numerous letters on the subject.
I would appreciate your bringing my name to the attention of Mr. Dern, and I would appreciate your merely requesting him to send for my efficiency reports since 1915 and allowing them to decide the issue.
In your files there is a volume listing the recommendations for general officers made in France after the armistice. These recommendations were never placed in the War Department files. Consequently, recommendations of me by Generals Liggett, Bullard, Hines, Summerall and others do not appear in my 201 file. I would appreciate your having Adamson place these in circulation.
I am determined not to exert political influence in my effort to be recognized, and I do not want to follow the usual course of writing to a number of senior officers soliciting letters from them, though a number have offered their services without solicitation by me. Such letters as a rule do not mean much, because the War Department is flooded with them, since few care to offend by declining such requests. I am prepared to gamble on my written record in the War Department before, during and since the war, for I have been told no one else in the list of colonels can match mine.
I have had the discouraging experience of seeing the man I relieved in France as G-3 of the army, promoted years ago, and my assistant as G-3 of the army similarly advanced six years ago. I think I am entitled to some consideration now. But I will confine myself to you.1
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, General Correspondence, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Handwritten letter signed.
1. Robert McCleave, who had preceded Marshall as G-3 of the First Army, A.E.F., had been promoted to brigadier general in December, 1929. Stephen O. Fuqua, who had been Marshall’s assistant as G-3 in troop movement, had the rank of major general by March, 1929. No reply to this letter has been found in the Pershing or the Marshall papers.
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. 446-447.