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Memorandum for Assistant Chief
of Staff, G-3 [Andrews]
October 6, 1939 [Washington, D.C.]
Training of Reserve Officers at Training Schools. (G-3/41500)
I have signed the letter proposed in your memorandum of September 26th for Senator Elbert D. Thomas,1 but in this connection I wish several points to be considered, and reference to be made to the ideas in future letters of this kind.
We are going about the concentration of divisions in the South for a period of special training with large units this winter. After these reorganized divisions have gotten well under way with their divisional training, these concentrations will present wonderful opportunities for the schooling of senior National Guard commanders and key staff officers, as well as the younger fry of Reserve officers. I suppose we would have to include Reserve officers of other ranks for short periods.
I would like these possibilities carefully considered, having in mind two or three considerations:
(1) The procedure to be carried out on such a basis that the proper type of citizen soldier can manage to take the training—that is, a successful business man, and he is the one we want, cannot absent himself from his business for long periods. Division commanders and key staff officers, for example, should fly in, say on Friday afternoon, follow through the procedure Saturday and Sunday before taking over actual jobs on Monday, and fly home Tuesday morning. During such periods we would have to arrange our Regular Army training for Saturdays and Sundays and leave the holiday period to Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or some such arrangement.
(2) Young second lieutenants can stay for longer periods without the probability that we are merely supporting men so lacking in efficiency that they cannot secure jobs in civil life. Young lieutenants brought in on this basis could be made good use of, and I want this suggestion to be taken seriously. I know it is a fact because I have done it time and again, yet in most cases in the Army we either demand a repeater on the basis of his previous experience, or we only permit the officer to follow along, with a great lack of interest and instruction for him, and interference and irritation to everybody else. I think in this coming situation we should make actual use to our own advantage of the 2d lieutenant Reserve material.2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. Thomas, Democrat from Utah, was a member of the Military Affairs committee. Andrews’s September 26 memorandum and the letter for senator Thomas are not in the Marshall papers.
2. Attached to this memorandum was a typewritten note to Brigadier General Frank M. Andrews signed by Marshall: “For evident reasons I do not wish this informal memorandum of mine given general circulation in the section.
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 75-76.