JFK+50: Volume 7, No. 2393PERSHING WANTS WELL TRAINED MEN WHO USE THEIR NOODLES
Paris, France (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, August 7, 1917, Major General John J. Pershing told Associated Press of the necessity that his American army of conscripts be "in excellent condition, well-disciplined and capable of individual action."
The General added...
"Our men must keep their morals clean (and be) capable of meeting the trying conditions of modern warfare."
While Pershing said that he expected his boys to "learn to obey orders promptly, implicitly and willingly," he did not want their obedience to be "automatic."
The commanding general wanted "thinking men...capable and ready to assume command...should their officers be killed or incapacitated..."*
"The men must...realize war is...serious work, demanding the utmost energy and attention to insure success..."
Pershing compared his army to a disciplined, well-trained football team which is also "capable of brilliant individual action in a crisis."
*A prime example of the importance of Pershing's philosophy is in the case of Alvin C. York of Tennessee. His commanding officer was killed leaving him to assume leadership responsibilities. York's well-documented performance on the Western Front included accolades from General Pershing himself who pinned on him the Medal of Honor.
"Pershing Wants Men In Trenches Who Use Noodles," The Chicago Daily Tribune, August 8, 1917."