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To Lieutenant General Hugh A. Drum
November 3, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
Personal and Confidential
I have just this moment read your letter of October 31st regarding the 28th and 29th Divisions. I believe I sent you with my letter of October 27th copy of a letter I wrote to General Martin and his reply.1 I did this merely to give you one method I had attempted to devise for lessening the embarrassment of these reliefs. I thought if it proved acceptable to Martin we could probably have somewhat a similar procedure with Reckord. I had two purposes, the one just mentioned, and the one mentioned by you—that is to give the new Commanders experience in seeing the divisions operate in large maneuvers.
Your reply puzzles me in regard to Ord.2 He was the principal choice of General Martin for the Pennsylvania job of Instructor just as I became Chief of Staff, and I think we brought him back from the Philippines for that purpose. They liked him and I believe he liked them; so I thought other things being equal, he was a good choice. Personally, I have never served with Ord and know him only by reputation.
I have no doubt at all regarding Gerow, either as to his temperament or as to ability as a leader, tactician, etc.
Gullion is going to see me today to talk over a proposal I made to him that he select Reckord to be Provost Marshal General of the Third Corps Area. Those posts will be very important in the future as Gullion develops his job, which has many ramifications including relations with the LaGuardia organization, responsibility in these strike matters, etc.3
Whom would you have in mind to replace Russell in case his relief is indicated?4 I have several men on a tentative list that I think have special qualifications. Omar Bradley, now Commandant of the Infantry School, who is outstanding for any job in the Army. Terry Allen, of the Second Cavalry Division, who is now attached to the 4th Division to learn more of the Infantry game. He took the Infantry School course, was weapons instructor at Riley, in fact wrote their pamphlet on this subject, and is outstanding as a leader. And his work in this regard during the recent maneuvers was so notable as to excite comment. He can do anything with men and officers, though unprepossessing in appearance and apparently casual in manner. Christian, of the Field Artillery, has done a particularly fine job at a Training Center, but I do not know how well suited he would be at the present time for a division commander.5 I feel that the men selected to command these National Guard divisions should be of such outstanding character that no one could possibly question their efficiency, and what is even more important, they should be of a type to win the devoted loyalty of the entire command.
In this respect, I have been disturbed by the frequent rumors I hear regarding Muir, particularly relating to his statements regarding reliefs and purges. They come to me from many different directions and I am filled with considerable concern regarding his development of the 44th Division. He has a hard job, it is but he has been given three Regular subordinate commanders which should help him to put his house in order without so many indications of arbitrary and vocal methods. I trust I am being misled by the exaggerations of those adversely affected.
I will give your message to the Secretary,6
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. Marshall had written to Drum to ask the First Army commander’s informal and confidential advice as to the best method of relieving National Guard Major Generals Edward Martin and Milton A. Reckord and placing them in acceptable posts after they had been retired for reaching the age limit of sixty-two. Marshall wrote that he feared that they would “hold on like grim death to their divisions, but we cannot make exceptions on this age business.” (Marshall to Drum, October 27, 1941, GCMRL/G.C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected]. Marshall enclosed a copy of his letter to Martin of October 9, 1941, pp. 634-35.) Drum replied that he thought the two men should be permitted to take their divisions to their home stations after the maneuvers, as immediate relief “would be quite unfortunate,” but he did not offer any suggestions as to future jobs for Martin and Reckord. (Drum to Marshall, October 31, 1941, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
2. Marshall had told Drum that he had Brigadier General J. Garesch