2-450 To Lieutenant General Hugh A. Drum, May 14, 1941

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: May 14, 1941

To Lieutenant General Hugh A. Drum

May 14, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]

Dear Drum:

With reference to your letter of May 5, the purpose in establishing the Morale Branch and more particularly in making the Morale Officer in the various echelons, down to and including division, a special staff officer was intended to bring forcibly to the attention of all Army personnel and Commanders the extreme importance of the matter. Also, we had examples of serious failures or omissions in meeting this problem, and examples of outstanding performances in maintaining morale under distressingly unfavorable conditions.1

Training has been properly the principal consideration, but some leaders and chiefs of staff have allowed this to cloud the issue of cause and effect as to morale.

When the Morale Officer under our former organization was assistant to the Adjutant General the function of morale became fixed in the minds of some commanders as of secondary importance. Since it is rather intangible, it requires considerable initiative, authority, and imaginative thinking. It usually happened that the other more tangible duties were carried out, and little time was left for the much more important question of morale.

Under current conditions the Army and Corps officers will have less specific duties to perform than would be the case in the field, yet the effect on the lower echelons will be more pointed if even in this stage special staff officers be available to you and your Corps Commanders for whatever suggestions, assistance, and coordination they may be able to achieve. Their inspection and supervision duties will require a great deal of work and travel. Incidentally, every time your friend Jimmie Ulio goes on the road, and he travels pretty continuously, he finds deficiencies that should have been picked up locally and corrected long since.

Faithfully yours,

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. The editors have not found Drum’s letter. For an earlier discussion of the problem of morale, see Memorandum for the Secretary of War, February 6, 1941, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-361 [2: 407-8].

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. 501-502.

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