Fort Polk Guardian 01-10-2020

Editor’s note: This is the next in a series of book reviews by retired Lt. Col. Mark Leslie, Directorate of Emergency Services deputy director. The books are part of the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Professional Reading List and can be found on- line at books/105/105-1-1/index.html . In keeping with the Joint Readiness Training Center’s motto of “Forging the Warrior Spirit,” Leslie will rate each book by rating them using anvils, from one to five — this book received 3 1/2 anvils.. FORT POLK, La. — This review is on a book that is part of a four-vol- ume set by Forrest C. Pogue. Pogue did a magnificent job in writing a comprehensive biography on one of the most influential leaders our na- tion has ever produced. The set in- cludes: • Volume 1: George C. Mar- shall, Education of a General 1880-1939 with a foreword by Gen. Omar N. Bradley • Volume 2: George C. Marshall, Ordeal and Hope 1939-1942 • Volume 3: George C. Marshall, Organizer of Victory 1943-1945 • Volume 4: George C. Marshall, Statesman 1945-1959 On the CSA reading list is volume 3. I won’t lie to you; it is a daunting book of almost 600 pages. But, once you read the foreword by Gen. Omar Bradley and the preface by the au- thor, I think you will be convinced why the CSA considers this neces- sary reading. As soon as you dive into it, the ed- ucation begins on the daily duties and many efforts Marshall worked to win World War II. Sadly, although several institutions and places have been named in his honor, Marshall’s name is not as well known or even readily connected to World War II as other World War II generals by to- day’s Army. Names like Eisenhower, Patton, MacArthur, Bradley, Gavin and Stillwell dominate discussions, books and movies on World War II, whereas Marshall is somewhat of an enigma. Many of the well-known names of World War II are tactical or opera- tional level leaders and earned their notoriety through significant contri- butions. Regrettably, the contribu- tions of General Marshall at the strategic level seem to be largely un- known or forgotten. This is disap- pointing, considering that we likely could not have won World War II without him and his contributions, nor would we have the incredible Army we have today. As I read this book, it became ap- parent that Marshall lived the Army values before they were conceived and put on paper. In fact, after read- ing this book (and two others be- cause I became so intrigued by Mar- shall after reading this one), I think the Army values could have been written using his character and virtue as a model for all Soldiers to emulate. In addition to his contributions as the General of the Army and Army Chief of Staff, later, he was Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense; truly, a lifetime of service. Maybe we don’t know as much about Marshall as we should because he refused to write memoirs or authorize an auto- biography, or because he was so humble and modest, or maybe (and I think most likely) because he did not see himself as important as the mis- sion he was charged with or the Army he was leading. It is clear in this book that General Marshall was a man consumed by selfless service and devotion to duty. The author manages to define Mar- shall with carefully and well-written chapters that capture his integrity, loyalty to the nation and Army, re- spect for others and personal courage to do the right thing, with- out seemingly idolizing him as some other authors do when writing of their heroes. Pogue leaves in the im- pressions of many others of the time, that while not negative, they do present some of Marshall’s qualities that may not have endeared him to them. In doing so, the author shows us the human side of the general without erasing the humanity of the man. This book provides the reader with some unique insight into the strategic duties of the Chief of Staff of the Army and the battles as the CSA in World War II that made vic- tory possible. He was exercising mission com- mand long before this was a term in the Army vernacular. He had no choice in a world war with multiple fronts, literally across the globe: He had to have trust in his subordinates and he did. He fought daily to en- able, empower and equip his gener- als with the tools and authority they needed to win. This was not easy, he had to appease a president, a nation, generals, the U.S. Navy, industry, the American public and allied partners, their militaries and their public and civilian leadership as well. That is a tall order for any one man, but Mar- shall excelled in this role and had a natural ability to know where he should be on his battlefield, truly demonstrating the “art” part of lead- Viewpoint 2/ Guardian Jan. 10, 2020 The Guardian , a civilian enter- prise newspaper, is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of the Guardian are not necessarily official views of, or en- dorsed by, the U.S. Government, De- partment of Defense, Department of the Army or Fort Polk. The Guardian is published weekly by the Public Affairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. Printed circulation is 13,000. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage with- out regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user or patron. A confirmed violation of this policy of equal opportunity by an ad- vertiser will result in the refusal to print advertising from that source. All editorial content of the Guardian is prepared, edited, pro- vided and approved by the Public Af- fairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. The Guardian is printed by the Natchitoches Times , a private firm in no way connected with the Depart- ment of the Army, under exclusive written contract with Fort Polk. The civilian printer is responsible for com- mercial advertising. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts and supplements, does not constitute en- dorsement by the Department of the Army or the Natchitoches Times of the products or services advertised. Guardian Editorial Staff Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk commanding general Col. Ryan K. Roseberry Garrison commander Kim Reischling Public affairs officer Chuck Cannon Command information officer Angie Thorne T.C. Bradford Keith Houin Staff writers Editorial Offices Building 4919, Magnolia Street Fort Polk, LA 71459-5060 Voice (337) 531-4033 Fax (337) 531-1401 Email: Trading post ads: Fort Polk Homepage Advertising For advertising contact (337) 404-7242 Email: Author highlights Marshall’s contributions to Army By Retired Lt. Col. MARK LESLIE DES Leslie Please see Marshall , page 6 For advertising contact Theresa Larue ( ) E ail: s les t efort ol ar ia .co