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To Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt
August 11, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
Dear Mrs. Roosevelt:
I received your letter of August 3d relative to the promotion and rotation of personnel in Australia.1
There will always be some cases where an individual from his personal and limited viewpoint is apparently justified in complaining of the treatment he receives. An unusual number of such complaints is indicative of a condition demanding thorough investigation.
In recognition of the conditions to which you refer, an Officer Candidate School was established in Australia to provide promotion opportunities to men who, because of military necessity or lack of transportation facilities could not be returned to the United States. This school has been operating since October, 1942, and in January of this year was expanded to a capacity of 500 students for each 4-month period.
Selection of personnel to be returned to the United States under our rotation policy is a function of the theater commander concerned. I am confident that General MacArthur’s selections are designed to return the most deserving officers and men and are not influenced by the rank of the individual. For your information I inclose a copy of the War Department Circular governing the rotation and return of military pesonnel from outside the United States.
I will see that officers visiting the Southwest Pacific Theater look into this particular matter.
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. Mrs. Roosevelt had written that she was receiving letters from the families and friends of some of the younger men in the Thirty-second Division complaining that these men had no opportunity for promotion, as men who had had training in the United States were being sent out and put in charge. In addition, the soldiers believed that only officers above the rank of major were allowed furloughs or schooling in the United States. “Among the privates particularly, there is growing a feeling that this is undemocratic procedure.” She suggested that for considerations of morale, Marshall “might ask some one going out there to really try to investigate it.” (Eleanor Roosevelt to Marshall, August 3, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), p. 89.