George Catlett Marshall, born at Uniontown, Pa., 31 December 1880, was commissioned Second Lieutenant 2 February 1901 upon graduation from the Virginia Military Institute. After serving in the Philippines from 1902 to 1903 and at various posts in the Western United States, he went to the Army Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kans., in 1908. Graduating at the head of his class, he Instructed in the school until 1910.
Assignments with the Massachusetts National Guard and the 4th Infantry in Arkansas and Texas preceded his return to the Philippines in 1913. There his brilliance on maneuvers won him prophetic praise from General James Franklin Bell, who called him: "one of those rare men who live and dream in their profession, a soldier who is not satisfied with daily duty superbly done.... the greatest military genius of America since Stonewall Jackson."
When the United States entered World War I, Marshall accompanied the 1st Division to France in July 1917. In the summer of 1918, he was transferred to the A.E.F. Headquarters where he helped to formulate plans for the St Mihiel offensive and to transfer some 500,000 troops to the Argonne front in 2 weeks without the enemy's knowledge. In October Marshall became Chief of Operations of the 1st Army during the final action on the Meuse-Argonne sector, which helped greatly to force Germany to capitulate.
Outstanding service in a number of important assignments during the years between the wars won Marshall appointment as Chief of Staff of the Army in September 1939 when Nazi aggression plunged the world into World War II He directed the mobilization of an army of some 10 million men which operated with the Navy and Allied forces in crushing the Axis powers. He was appointed General of the Army 16 December 1944.
After World War II, Marshall served as Secretary of State from 21 January 1945 to 21 January 1949 and was Secretary of Defense from 12 September 1950 to 12 September 1951. He died in Washington 16 October 1959.
George C. Marshall (SSB(N)-654) was laid down by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. 2 March 1964; launched 21 May 1965; sponsored by Mrs. George C. Marshall, widow; and commissioned 29 April 1966, Comdr. Warran Rich Cobean (blue crew) and Comdr. Willard Edward Johnson (gold crew) in command.
Following shakedown, George C. Marshall prepared for duty as one of the Navy's nuclear powered Polaris submarines silently and invisibly roving the seas as a mighty deterrent against aggression, preserving peace and protecting freedom. At her launching former Secretary of State Dean Acheson eloquently described the mighty submarine's role in the turbulent cold war: "... the waves set up by this launching will go to the furthest reaches of our foreign relations. The very existence of this ship, her power, her mission, her orders, her competence to execute them, will effect more computations, more decisions, than we can readily imagine. Far beyond the Pentagon, the State Department, and the White House she will add a new factor, a new magnitude, to the correlation of forces by which the communists determine their decisions."