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To Major General Lewis H. Brereton1
September 14, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
Personal and Confidential
Information, official and otherwise, reaches me indicating that your relations with your secretary have given rise to facetious and derogatory gossip in India and in Egypt. Ordinarily I have little interest in an officer’s personal affairs that are not related to the performance of his military duty. However, your conspicuous position of command in a foreign theater of war makes it imperative that your personal affairs do not give rise to comment detrimental to the prestige of the American Army. I wish to make it clear that anything short of this will destroy my confidence in the effectiveness of your leadership.
I wish you to release your secretary and if practicable see that she returns to her permanent residence. You will not permit members of your command to have their women secretaries accompany them on their official trips. Please advise me personally and confidentially as soon as you have carried out these instructions.2
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. Commanding general of the United States Army Middle East Air Force since June 1942, Brereton had his headquarters in Cairo, where he was supporting the British Eighth Army against Field Marshal Rommel’s forces in the Libya-Egypt campaign.
2. Brereton received the chief of staff’s letter on September 26; he replied that his secretary had resigned and returned home three weeks previously and that he currently had no secretary. (Brereton to Marshall, August [September] 26,1942, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 333 Middle East (8-26-42)].)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 357.