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Letter Accepting Resignation of General George C. Marshall as Secretary of Defense.

September 12, 1951

[Released September 12, 1951. Dated September 11, 1951]

Dear General Marshall:

It is with very great reluctance that I accept your resignation as Secretary of Defense effective, in accordance with your wishes, on September twelfth.

I have stated many times, both publicly and privately, my high regard for your many services to the country throughout your long and distinguished career as a government servant. At this time I wish particularly to mention the tremendous strides that have been made, under your direct leadership, in establishing a sound basis for our military manpower and production program which already has tremendously increased our defensive strength.

I understand fully and am sympathetic with the reasons for your resignation at this time, and I am most appreciative of your willingness to remain two months beyond our agreement in order to complete your activities concerning the Universal Military Training Act.

In again accepting your resignation from a position of high responsibility I realize how many times previously you have sought to retire to private life. But one time after another you have responded to the call to public service.

To all of these offices you have brought great talent and wisdom. In fact, no man ever has given his country more distinguished and patriotic service than have you.

On behalf of our country I want to thank you for all you have done. On my own behalf, I want to tell you of my deep personal appreciation for the wise counsel and the unwavering support you have given me in these trying days.

You have earned your retirement many fold and I wish you many good years at Leesburg.

With every good wish,

Gratefully and sincerely,


[Honorable George C. Marshall, The Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C.]

Note: General Marshall served as Secretary of Defense from September 21, 1950, until September 12, 1951. His letter of resignation, dated September 1, was released with the Presidents reply.

Harry S Truman, Letter Accepting Resignation of General George C. Marshall as Secretary of Defense. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230767

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