Xerox 2606 To Mr. Nelson From Marshall; Disabled Personnel

Date: January 19, 1951

Subject: Postwar

Letter from Marshall to Congressmen Charles Nelson in response to Nelson’s letter requesting the utilization of disabled personnel of the Armed Services. Both letters are included in the file. Excerpts appear below:

Dear General Marshall,

The present policy of the Armed Services seems to be that when a service man is disabled seriously enough to bring his physical condition below that required for active duty in the field, he is either discharged and receives disability compensation from the Veterans Administration or he is retired and receives retirement pay from his branch of service. There is no working program to utilize the knowledge and ability of these men and no use is made of them. It took much time and money to train these service men and, upon retirement or discharge, another sum of money is spent for their disability pay. We incur a double loss because other men must be trained to take their places.

My suggestion is that a selective program be set up whereby use is made of these men…It is my belief that these disabled men can work in the Armed Services with the same efficiency as non disabled men, if they are placed in selected jobs.

Sincerely yours,
Charles P. Nelson

Dear Mr. Nelson,

Thank you for your thoughtful letter of 20 December in which you suggest that a selective program be set up so that disabled former military personnel who volunteer to serve may be used in the Armed Services. This is a subject of much interest to me both as Secretary of Defense and as an associate member of the President’s Committee on National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In endorsing the program for the selective placement I pointed out that in the Armed Services we already have thousands of disabled persons, especially veterans, on civilian jobs and in certain categories of military assignments. Still greater use of this type of personnel is planned as the needs for their services develop.

Because of the pertinency of your letter, however, I have referred it to the Chairman of the Personnel Policy Board. That Board is continually considering questions involving policies with respect to the determination of standards for the procurement, induction and utilization of military and civilian personnel.

Faithfully yours,

G. C. Marshall