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Editorial Note on Postwar Army Planning
December 1918-January 1919
As soon as the fighting ceased, plans began to sprout that sought to reorganize the army in the light of the war’s experiences. At Chaumont, although the Training Section (G-5) had produced a tentative plan by December 6, Fox Conner “recommended that no policy for the reorganization of our Army receive the approval of the Commander-in-Chief at this time.“ There were too many unknown conditions, he told General Pershing. Moreover, it was “unthinkable . . . that any permanent policy will be enacted as law without the Commander-in-Chief’s being consulted.” (Conner to Pershing, January 9, l919, NA/RG 120 [GHQ, AG File].)
In Washington, Chief of Staff Peyton March proceeded to write his own bill without consulting Pershing. (Peyton C. March, The Nation At War [Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran, 1932], pp. 331-33.) March and Secretary of War Newton Baker had Congressman S. Hubert Dent, Jr., of Alabama, chairman of the House Military Committee, introduced the proposal on January 16, 1919. General Pershing sent a copy of the proposed bill to G-5 and to G-3 at Chaumont for comment. Marshall wrote the following for Fox Conner’s signature.
Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), p. 182.