Harry S. Truman photo

Telegram to General Marshall on the Strength of the U.S. Armed Forces.

March 21, 1951

[Released March 21, 1951. Dated March 20, 1951]

I APPRECIATE your report that, as of March 21, 1951, the strength of the United States Armed Forces will be double what it was nine months ago, when communist forces invaded the Republic of Korea. I wish to commend you and all your associates in the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force for the strenuous efforts which have made such growth possible. This tremendous gain in our strength has been made necessary by the lawless aggression of communist forces in Korea, and by the menace of still further communist attacks against other free nations. The armed forces we are building, and the supplies for them which our factories, farms, and mines are turning out, are for the protection and preservation of our freedoms. The speed with which we have been able to strengthen our defenses should be a source of inspiration and encouragement to men everywhere who love freedom. It is evidence of our determination, in company with. other free nations, to establish and maintain world peace.

I am confident that, under your wise leadership, the Department of Defense will continue to build the strength we need, fully supported by the Congress and by the American people.


[General George C. Marshall, Secretary of Defense]

Note: The text of the telegram from General Marshall follows: Mr. President:

As of tomorrow, 21 March 1951, the strength of our Armed Forces will be exactly double what it was on 25 June 1950. This doubling of our strength has been accomplished less than nine months after the communist aggression against the Republic of Korea. For your information, the strength we have already attained--a total strength in excess of 2,900,000--was not attained in World War II until more than 21 months after our build-up started in June 1940, following the fall of France, and more than 3 months after Pearl Harbor.

Harry S. Truman, Telegram to General Marshall on the Strength of the U.S. Armed Forces. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230288

Filed Under


Simple Search of Our Archives