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To General John J. Pershing
January 16, 1941 Washington, D.C.
Dear General Pershing:
I have had G-1 canvass every possibility under which Curtin might be commissioned with the net result of zero as far as any acceptable solution is concerned. All appointments in The Adjutant General’s Department reserve are suspended except in the case of enlisted men in the Regular Army who are eligible for appointment in the grade of captain, and Curtin is too old for this grade. We have declined so many applications for Reserve commissions from persons of influence including important members of Congress that if we now make an appointment in violation of policy we will be placed in an impossible situation. I would be glad, as you know, to do anything possible for Curtin, even if you were not personally interested, but the circumstances are such that I cannot consistently approve his application.1
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, General Correspondence, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. Sergeant Ralph Curtin had been Pershing’s orderly during the World War and continued in that service afterwards. Sergeant Crawford C. Shaeffer was also on Pershing’s staff and was considered by Marshall, at Pershing’s request, for an appointment as a warrant officer. Marshall could not immediately appoint Shaeffer, but he informed Pershing that the sergeant might be eligible to take the examination for warrant officer after “several months.” (Marshall to Pershing, January 14, 1941, LC/J. J. Pershing Papers [General Correspondence].)
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. 390-391.