Commander In Chief Franklin De Essay

1986 words - 8 pages

Franklin D. Roosevelt, as President of the United States of America, held the highest leadership position in this country. What set him apart from other leaders is that he held this office during the most trying times our country faced in this century. He was elected president in 1933 during the Great Depression and remained in office for four consecutive terms until his death in 1945, one month before the end of World War II. His leadership through these historical times was controversial. While some saw greatness, others saw deception. In this writing, I will look at how he led the individual military leaders, which were his lieutenants, and the leadership style and personality he demonstrated as Commander in Chief. Roosevelt ran his presidency the way he saw fit. He might of confided in others for their opinion, but made his own decisions when the time came for one to be made. He felt that he was the best man for every job and his decision was of more value than another's; even if an opposing opinion came from someone more experienced in a matter than he. He displayed uncommon self-confidence in his words and actions. This was not a power game to him, but a reality at its most crucial moments. The first American offensive in WW II against the Germans, which was the decision to invade North Africa, was made by Roosevelt against the wishes of his Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall. "The first test in the great enterprise for which Marshall's army was being schooled, would be conducted not as he wished it, but as Roosevelt wished it."(Pg. 133) Neither man allowed instances as this to interfere with the respect each held for the other. They were both far too professional and dedicated to victory for pettiness derived through differences of opinion. An historical moment where these two great men became formidable allies came to be from a difference of opinion. During the second week that Marshall held the position of Deputy Chief of Staff, which was his first appointment where he interacted directly with the president, Roosevelt held a formal meeting at the White House. Roosevelt gave a proposal that would affect the growth of the military. He barely knew Marshall at that time, but called him by his first name and asked for his agreement on the proposal. Marshall did not agree and proceeded to say what he thought. "He got a startled look from his Commander in Chief and, as they were leaving, expressions of sympathy from the others (the cabinet members) at so quick an ending to so promising a tour of duty in Washington."(Pg. 96) Although, this did not end his career, but caused the president to later pass down 34 names on a list to pick Marshall as the Chief of Staff in 1939. He treated Marshall with respect, but subsequently never called him by his first name again. Roosevelt respected Marshall's ability to speak his truth when he felt it his duty. He saw in him a man he could trust even when they did not agree. "He wanted an inventive...

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