Here’s a synopsis of video, “Marshall and His Generals.

As a General Officer, George C. Marshall was:

  • Cold, with ruthless efficiency in professional setting.
  • Very kind to people and soldiers.

How did Marshall select generals?

Overall: he sought out sturdy, aggressive fighters and not tactical geniuses.

Marshall’s top categories for selecting general officers:

  1. Character (integrity, devotion, sturdy bearing, self-sacrifice for the common good)
  2. Education (continual, not necessary professional. Value: what did you do with it?)
  3. Energy (not old people)
  4. Reputation/referral. You must be trusted by him or by people who he knows.

Categories considered not essential in Marshall’s selection:

  1. Background (Race, income, upbringing, pedigree did not count as nearly as much)
  2. Position (in cliques, factions or branches)
  3. Combat experience (this is the line v. staff controversy, where the Army traditionally puts a premium – and advantage in promotion – on this rare, coveted opportunity)
  4. Personality (You did not need an affable persona to be selected; teamwork, not personality, was the standard)

Metrics (how do we know Marshall was successful in his selection?)

First and foremost, he won.

Second, there are metrics in the selection:

  • Turnover of General Officers 14/38 generals (5 relieved – 2 by Hodges, 2 by Clark, 1 by Marshall.)
  • Commander Assessments (Overall very positive relationships among generals, team-players. This is in contrast to common bickering among officers).
  • Overall success (light casualties in perspective to the entire war).