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FADM C. W. Nimitz Papers, Box 118, Archives, Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, D.C.

Document Type
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

Letter from President Harry S. Truman to Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal regarding the Five-Star Rank



August 2, 1946

My dear Mr. Secretary:

You will recall that when I approved Public Law 333, authorizing the permanent appointing in the grades of General of the Army, Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy, General in the Marine Corps, and Admiral of the Coast Guard, respectively, who served in these grades during the Second World War, I stated it was my desire that they be regularly available to the Government for consideration on matters pertaining to national security.

I anticipate that numerous occasions will arise when benefit will be sought of their knowledge and experience gained as key officials of the armed forces. It is my intention as Commander-in-Chief to call upon them from time to time individually and as a group for information and advice. It would seem advisable for the War, Navy, and Treasury Departments to do the same. The officers in question will necessarily, therefore, have a continuing responsibility for study, correspondence and counsel, and will require reasonable assistance from their respective Departments.

Will you please see that those pertaining to your Department are officially advised in this respect. The respective Departments should provide them such facilities and personal assistants as may be deemed proper after consideration with each individual involved. I should think that only in exceptional circumstances involving special assignments from the President or the appropriate Secretary, would more than three such assistants be required.

Very sincerely yours,

/s/ Harry Truman

Published: Fri Jul 20 07:55:23 EDT 2018