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To General John J. Pershing
June 22, 1923 Washington, D.C.
My dear General:
Captain Adamson, after his talk with you on the ‘phone Wednesday, gave me your message regarding preparation of draft for your remarks at the Army War College. It is rather a coincidence that he should have told me this just as I was completing the correction of the last paragraph to the first draft of this proposed speech. There is attached my best effort, which I hope will serve as a base of departure for you. I could not make it run smoothly to my satisfaction, nor could I find apt expressions for the ideas I wished to convey. But I do think that this will be an important opportunity to dwell on the points I have endeavored to make in my draft.
Every day I am surprised to learn how little many of the officers realize what our principal mission is in the new scheme of things. I think you would find this the case among the members of the present class of the Army War College, even though they have had an opportunity to come in contact with the plans of the War Department during the past year. I find officials of the Reserve Officers’ organization quite ignorant of the goal toward which we are driving. They only see the problems and petty ambitions of the officers now in the Reserve Corps who served in the World War and do not visualize a Reserve Corps made up of well instructed graduates from the R.O.T.C. units, and to a certain extent, from C.M.T.C. graduates. They want the regulations to fit the present abnormal make-up of the Reserve Corps rather than the organization made up from those who entered in the normal manner from the bottom. The same misunderstandings and complete failure to look ahead affect the views of the officers in the National Guard. Therefore, I think it quite important for you personally to impress the graduates of this year’s class of the War College with your views on this subject, which will be quoted in all the service papers for the benefit of other officers of the Army.
I know you must be having a fine time at Naushon, and I can picture the delightful rides, picnics, swims and evening parties. Please remember me to my friends there of other summers.
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, Speeches, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter.
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), pp. 230-231.