Army Historian to talk about Marshall and the Benning Revolution

Rockbridge County native John Maass will talk about “Marshall and the Fort Benning Revolution” beginning at 5:30 pm on June 2 in the Pogue Auditorium at the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington.

His presentation will be part of the George C. Marshall Legacy Series sequence on Speed and Fury. Guests can see the exhibition “From Machine to Man” that evening.

John R. Maass, Ph.D., is a historian with the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C. Dr. Maass received his doctorate in early American history from Ohio State University where he also studied military history and Native American history. He received a bachelor’s degree in history with distinction from Washington and Lee University, where he was also an Army ROTC distinguished military graduate.

The public is invited. Call Leigh McFaddin at (540) 463-7103, ext. 138 or send an email to to register. Members will be admitted free; non-members will pay $15 at the door. Seating will be first come, first served. See the Foundation’s website for more information.

Lt. Col. George C. Marshall arrived at Fort Benning, home of the army’s Infantry School, in November 1927 to serve as assistant commandant and head of the academic department. Almost immediately Marshall introduced significant changes to the school’s structure and content to more closely align with the skills the visionary Marshall believed infantry officers would need in future conflicts.

He overhauled both the method and the content of the instruction, and within a few years he had transformed the Infantry School into an institution that developed flexible, effective leaders for the modern battlefield. He increased the number of hours of instruction devoted to tactics, used Fort Benning’s entire 100,000 acres as a tactical classroom, and taught the art of tactical improvisation and creativity. He said, “We must develop a technique and methods so simple and so brief that the citizen officer of good common sense might be able to handle.”

Nearly 200 future generals known later as “Marshall’s Men” attended the Infantry School as students or instructors with Marshall. He would rely on many of them to carry out his strategy for winning WWII.

This event is a part of the Speed and Fury sequence of the Marshall Legacy Series and is being presented with sponsorship from L-3.

The George C. Marshall Legacy Series interprets General Marshall’s legacy through a multi-year series of exhibitions, speakers and programs centered on key themes or episodes from General Marshall’s career.