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To Lieutenant General Ben Lear
December 3, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
I have gradually gotten the reactions from the various Armistice Day parades of the Second Army, and today came your note on Ridley’s letter transmitting the clippings covering the parade of the Sixth Division in St. Louis. It is evident that you did a grand job in this business of carrying the Army back to the people, and I anticipate that it will have both beneficial and lasting effects.1 Here in the East, the First Army was closely occupied, and therefore, made no appearance, but there will be considerable military movement of units from south to north, which will partially accomplish the same purpose.
I am sorry I was not able to join up with you during the maneuvers. As usual I was under heavy pressure, though this time more imperative than during the Louisiana affair. I had so little time at my disposal that I could make no appointments which might prevent my seeing the troops in operation, so I confined myself to moving rapidly all day long and seldom saw other than corps command posts, though I did see a great deal of first line action.
I have been considering a get-together of higher commanders, but whether this will be in two echelons, one here and one later at some point in the field, such as Benning, I do not know. In any event, however, I shall certainly see you then.
My attention now is closely focused on the Philippines and the possibilities of that situation.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. In mid-October Marshall had directed that when the Carolina maneuvers ended, army, army corps, corps area, Armored Force, and division commanders make an effort to stimulate athletic, educational, and entertainment activities in their commands and to see that soldiers presented “a more military appearance when on pass. It is now highly desirable to bring the public to an appreciation of the present army and an understanding of its requirements. This can best be accomplished by taking advantage of favorable opportunities, not involving serious interference with training, by authorizing the appearance of troops in parades or exhibitions in the large centers of population. The coming Armistice Day presents an opportunity of this character.” (Marshall Memorandum of General Instructions, October 17, 1941, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 19246-67].)
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. 692-693.