Gen. George C. Marshall

Receiving the Distinguished Service Medal at The American Legion's national convention in 1942, Marshall, the Army's chief of staff, said of his job, "My consideration is for the American soldier, to see that he has every available means with which to make successful war: that he is not limited in ammunition, that he is not limited in equipment, and that he has sufficient training and medical care ... to see that for the first time, for once in history, he is given a fair break in the terrible business of making war."

The effort to help Europe rebuild after World War II was commonly known by the name of one of its principal architects: Marshall. Starting in 1948, Congress spent more than four years and $13 billion on the European recovery. During that time, Marshall served as secretary of state, secretary of defense and director of the American Red Cross. In 1953, he received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Marshall's service spanned three wars and peacetime. Toward the end of World War I, he served with the American Expeditionary Force in France. Gen. John Pershing tapped him as his aide-de-camp, a post he held for five years. He taught at the Army War College before serving as the Army's chief of staff from 1939 to 1945. During the Korean War, he did a one-year stint as secretary of defense.

Marshall died in Washington, D.C., in 1959, at 78.

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