“There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life – happiness, freedom, and peace of mind – are always attained by giving them to someone else.” – Gen Peyton C. March
General Peyton Conway March was born on December 27, 1864 in Easton, Pennsylvania. As the son of an academic, General March received a full education, graduating from Lafayette College in 1884 with a major in classics before attending the United States Military Academy at West Point.
General March proved himself to be a leader early on in his career during the Battle of Manila in 1898. This accomplishment allowed him to move up in the ranks and become the army chief of staff during World War I in 1918. He established the primacy of the chief of staff in the army hierarchy. His duties included presiding over the buildup of American forces in World War I, centralizing control over supply, creating an Air Service, Tank Corps, and Chemical Warfare Service, and supervising the demobilization at war’s end. His actions played a large role in designing the powerful position of the chief of staff in the 20th century.
Frederick Palmer, a famous war correspondent during this time period, was amazed by March’s ability to focus on tasks. In turn, March expected this type of razor focus from his men. While working with him, most officers worked longer hours and increased overall efficiency. Although some people describe General March as a know-it-all, his leadership skills were never affected by his pride.
He retired as a Major General in 1921, and was advanced to General on the retired list. He had married Cora V. McEntee in 1923. He died in Washington, D.C. on 13 April 1955, and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery