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:
- Character (integrity, devotion, sturdy bearing, self-sacrifice for the common good)
- Education (continual, not necessary professional. Value: what did you do with it?)
- Energy (not old people)
- Reputation/referral. You must be trusted by him or by people who he knows.
Categories considered not essential in Marshall’s selection:
- Background (Race, income, upbringing, pedigree did not count as nearly as much)
- Position (in cliques, factions or branches)
- 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)
- 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).