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Memorandum for the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3 [Andrews]
September 27, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
Yesterday I was before the Military Affairs Committee of the House for about two hours, being questioned regarding a number of subjects.1 One of these was brought up in different forms by various members of the Committee, and related to the war worn subject of officers’ training schools.
I told them that we were studying the proposition of conducting candidate schools in the last three months of the volunteer or trainees’ service; that it would involve of course only selected men who had been conspicuous for their evident qualities of leadership[;] that it would apply only to men who were in ranks; and that for commissions with the combat branches of the Army such procedure would undoubtedly be very necessary.
I became involved in the commissioning of Elliott Roosevelt which brought up the point that for non-combatant posts men of certain specialistic qualifications might be commissioned outright in grades above that of Second Lieutenant as was done in the case of young Roosevelt.2
The question was asked me, what about young men who have completed three years CMTC? Would they be denied any further opportunity and would their previous three months’ effort be ignored? I had not considered this at all but I hazarded the statement that we would consider that and it might be that such a young man if found evidently possessing special qualifications might be permitted to enter a candidate school of the character previously referred to. There were a number of other slants on this particular proposition but I am passing this along to you for your consideration.
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. The committee did not publish the testimony heard during this session.
2. Elliott Roosevelt, the president’s second son, was inducted into the Air Corps Specialists Reserve on September 23 with the rank of captain. Charges of favoritism were immediately raised, to which Roosevelt replied on September 25. (New York Times, September 26, 1940, p. 25.) Orlando Ward’s comment in his diary perhaps reflected the opinions of many in the war Department: “The Air Corps have put the WD in an embarrassing position by going too far with Elliott Roosevelt before taking it up with the Chief of Staffs office so on the say of the White house we commissioned him a Captain. It has been followed by a mass of similar applications as well as some hot editorial[s] particularly those by Hugh Johnson. Little does he know that the White House concurred and that they are pushing two others just as raw.” (September 26, 1940, Orlando Ward Diary, photocopy in GCMRL/Research File.)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers 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. 317-318.