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To Major Lloyd D. Brown1
January 25, 1938 Vancouver Barracks, Washington
I have just read your letter of January 20th and was delighted to hear from you and of you. I have noted your detail to the National Guard tour and intended to write you a line regarding it. You should be able to make a very valuable contribution from a desk in that office, but I imagine it will be six months or a year before most of them will understand what you are talking about.2
I am coming more and more to find, in the army, that if a thing has not been done it is tremendously hard to get anyone today in favor of doing it or opposed to stirring from the routine methods. Also, each thing they plan in the way of training is usually so damned elaborate in conception that if it is done at all, all is abandoned after one tremendous effort. They all preach about simplicity, and elasticity, but the burden of technique developed has submerged everybody, particularly as we apply training to the National Guard.
I know of your hopes and disappointments regarding the War College, and despite the fact that these things are settled seemingly on a cut and dried basis, I hope eventually to find the opportunity to help you to that detail.
With warm regards to Mrs. Brown and yourself,
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Vancouver Barracks, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Brown, a graduate of the 1927-28 Advanced Course at the Infantry School, had been an instructor with the Illinois National Guard’s 131st Infantry in Chicago since 1934. Beginning on March 15, 1938, he was assigned to the Organization and Training Division of the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C.
2. In his letter to Marshall, Brown mentioned the planned division command post exercise. “This year they have a night withdrawal from action to a defensive position. The Division Staff made the decision and selected the position without being steered. The position is not so good, but I do not believe they will ever improve further if they are always to be led around." (Brown to Marshall, January 20, 1938, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Vancouver Barracks].)
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. 577.