2-165 To Major General Benjamin A. Poore, May 4, 1940

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: May 4, 1940

To Major General Benjamin A. Poore

May 4, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]


Dear General Poore:

General Harbord brought to my attention your letter to him of April 30th, enclosing a statement of the services of Colonel Robinson, and I think it best to reply to you direct.1

The situation, and this must be confidential, is this: The President insists on a certain length of service availability for brigadier generals, and up to the present time he has declined to make any exception. Once an officer has passed the age of fifty-seven, we can do nothing to advance him, except in the case of a Chief of Arm on a four-year detail; he must have a full four years to serve. I have picked men up who have been passed over, but in each instance they had more than six years to serve. Normally, they will not reach the grade of brigadier general. The more critical the situation in the world, the more adamant the President has become.

I was familiar with Colonel Robinson’s services, and am sorry that he is at an age which, short of an actual war situation, prevents anything being done in the matter.

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. General Poore (U.S.M.A., 1886) was the father-in-law of Colonel Donald A. Robinson (U.S.M.A., 1906), who had been chief of staff of the First Cavalry Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, since July 1939. General Poore hoped that Robinson might be considered, despite his age (59), for one of the four new brigadier general positions that Congress was considering. In January 1941 Robinson was promoted to brigadier general.

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), p. 207.

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