|George Marshall Biography||
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General of the Army (United States) George Catlett Marshall, Order of the Bath, US Army (December 31 1880 – October 16 1959) was an United States military leader, United States Secretary of State, and the third United States Secretary of Defense best remembered for his leadership in the Allied victory in World War II and for his work establishing the post-war reconstruction effort for Europe, which became known as the Marshall Plan.
George C. Marshall was born into a middle-class family in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, about 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was educated at Virginia Military Institute. He entered the US Army after graduation, rising to the position of Chief of Staff of the United States Army, and served continuously, including in World War I (on the staff of General John Pershing) and World War II, until his retirement in 1945. In 1964, The George C. Marshall Foundation was established at the Virginia Military Institute to honor Marshall's character and career.
After graduating from the Virginia Military Institute, where he was initiated into the Kappa Alpha Order, in 1901, Marshall entered the United States Army, where he was to have a long and distinguished career. Until World War I, he was posted to various positions in the US and the Philippines, and was trained in modern warfare. During the war, he had roles as a planner of both training and operations. He went to France in the summer of 1917 as the director of training and planning for the U.S. 1st Infantry Division. In mid-1918, he was promoted to American Expeditionary Forces headquarters, where he was a key planner of American operations. He was instrumental in the design and coordination of the Meuse-Argonne offensive, which contributed to the defeat of the German Army on the Western Front. In 1919, he became an aide-de-camp to General John J. Pershing. Between 1920 and 1924, while Pershing was Army Chief of Staff, Marshall worked in a number of positions in the US Army, focusing on training and teaching modern, mechanized warfare. Between WWI and World War II, he was a key planner and writer in the United States Department of War, spent three years in China, and taught at the Army War College. In 1934, then-Col. Marshall directed the publication of Infantry in Battle. a book that codified the lessons of World War I. Infantry in Battle is still used as an officer's training manual in the Infantry Officer's Course, and was the training manual for most of the infantry officers and leaders of World War II. Marshall was promoted to Brigadier General in October 1936. On September 1 1939, the very start of World War II in Europe, he was selected by Franklin D. Roosevelt to be Chief of Staff of the United States Army, a position he held until 1945. In 1944, he became the second U.S. General to be awarded 5 star rank rank, otherwise known as General of the Army, after John Pershing who was awarded the rank in September 1919. This position is the American equivalent in rank to Field Marshal. Marshall once joked that he was glad the U.S. never created a "Field Marshal" rank during World War II, since he would then have to be addressed as "Marshal Marshall". During World War II, Marshall was instrumental in getting the U.S. Army and Army Air Corps reorganized and ready for combat. Marshall wrote the document that would become the central strategy for all Allied operations in Europe, selected Dwight Eisenhower as Supreme Commander in Europe, and designed Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy. His success in working with Congress and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, along with his refusal to lobby for the position, ultimately resulted in his being passed over as the Supreme Allied Commander in charge of the D-Day invasion. At the time, the President told him: "I couldn't sleep nights, George, if you were out of Washington." Throughout the remainder of the World War II, Marshall coordinated all Allied operations in Europe and the Pacific. He was characterized as the organizer of Allied victory by Winston Churchill. Time Magazine named Marshall Man of the Year in 1943. Marshall resigned from his post of Chief of Staff in 1945 but did not retire as regulations stipulate that Generals of the Army remain on active duty for life.
After World War II, Marshall was sent to China to negotiate a truce and build a coalition government between the Kuomintang and Communist Party of China fighting the Chinese Civil War. His efforts failed and he was recalled in January 1947. Upon his return, Marshall was named United States Secretary of State in 1947. In this role, on Thursday June 5 1947 at a speech at Harvard University, he outlined the U.S. government's preparedness to contribute to European recovery. The European Recovery Plan, which became known as the Marshall Plan, helped Europe quickly rebuild and earned Marshall the honor of being named TIME's Man of the Year in 1948 and receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. As Secretary of State, Marshall strongly opposed recognizing the State of Israel telling President Truman, "If you (recognize the state of Israel) and if I were to vote in the election, I would vote against you."http://www.wrmea.com/backissues/0591/9105017.htmhttp://www.trumanlibrary.org/hst/h.htm In 1949, he resigned from the United States Department of State and was named president of the American Red Cross. Marshall was hastily named United States Secretary of Defense in 1950 in an effort to restore morale after the disastrous tenure of Secretary Louis A. Johnson. He served in that post for less than one year, retiring from politics for good in 1951 after Senator Joseph McCarthy made a speech on the Senate floor stating that "if Marshall was merely stupid, the laws of probability would dictate that part of his decisions would serve America's interests." Marshall died on Friday October 16 1959. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
He married Elizabeth Carter Cole of Lexington, Virginia in 1902. She died in 1927. In 1930, he married Katherine Boyce Tupper. George Marshall maintained a home, known as Dodona Manor (now restored), in Leesburg, Virginia.
Dates of rank
Awards and decorations
United States: military honors
Foreign military honors
Courtesy of: http://www.wikipedia.org/