“An officer should never speak ironically or sarcastically to an enlisted man, since the latter does not have a fair chance to answer back. The use of profanity and epithets comes under the same headings. The best argument for a man keeping his temper is that nobody else wants it; and when he voluntary throws it away, he loses a main prop to his own position.”
Brigadier General S.L.A Marshall (1900 to 1977)
S.L.A. “Slam” Marshall (full name, Samuel Lyman Atwood Marshall) served in World War I and then embarked in a career in journalism. In World War II, he was chief combat historian in the Central Pacific (1943) and chief historian for the European Theatre of Operations (1945). He authored some 30 books about warfare.
He startled the military and civilian world in 1947 by announcing that, in an average infantry company, no more than one in four soldiers actually fired their weapons while in contact with the enemy. His contention was based on interviews he conducted immediately after combat in both the European and Pacific theatres of World War II.
To remedy the gunfire imbalance he proposed changes to infantry training designed to ensure that American soldiers in future wars brought more fire upon the enemy. His studies during the Korean War showed that the ratio of fire had more than doubled since World War II.