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To Cadet Clarence E. Gooding
March 20, 1933 Fort Screven, Georgia
My dear Gooding:
Your letters of February 16th and March 17th have been received. I especially enjoyed your February letter with the interesting items of cadet life and your own progress.1
I am sorry not to be able to give you the data requested in your March letter. The demonstration you saw did not involve much in economy of time, as I recall it. On the contrary, I think it was so carefully and methodically done that considerable time was involved. I will endeavor to get you, from Benning the exact data.
This much I can tell you now. The time required to train recruits is variable, depending on several conditions. If the recruit is to serve in a veteran unit the time required can be shortened materially—I would say about 50 percent. If the organization is entirely new except for a few trained N.C.O.’s then the recruit period must be much more thorough, and therefore longer.
Again, if our new drill is used the time required can be very much shortened, again, I believe almost 50 percent. This old drill—as you now have it—required an interminable period.
Another consideration,—if you are dealing with peace time recruits, the time required is materially lengthened over that required for war time recruits. In war you get men of better education, mentally more alert—and all are keen to progress because of the pressure and patriotism of war time.
I will see what data I can locate at Benning.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Fort Screven File, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Cadet Gooding was a member of the United States Military Academy class of 1936. His February 16 letter is not in the Marshall papers. Gooding had briefly been Marshall’s office orderly at Fort Benning. Marshall had helped to secure Gooding’s appointment to West Point. His March 17 letter requested information regarding recruit training for an article in the West Point magazine comparing American and German training methods. See also Marshall to Pershing, June 2, 1936, below (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-406 [1: 493]).
Recommended Citation: ThePapers 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. 389.