Communication

(We invite all men in the University to submit communications on subjects of timely interest, but assume no responsibility for sentiments expressed under this head.)

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

In June, 1917, when Captain Cordier, the commanding officer of the Harvard R. O. T. C., who had done so much for military training at the University, was called to Washington, the regiment suffered a severe blow. The organization and preliminary training had, indeed, been ably accomplished, Colonel Azan and his distinguished associates were ready to begin their instruction; but arrangements for the Barre Camp which was to be the culmination of three months' intensive training had to be carried through Captain James A. Shannon, 11th Cavalry, U. S. A., took up the work as commanding officer and carried the difficult task to a most successful conclusion. The problem was not a simple one, even for an efficient army officer. The men were not enlisted, but were voluntarily present for instruction. Discipline depended largely on their good will, and instruction had to combine the old fundamentals of the training of an American soldier and the new lessons of the western front. To those who appreciated the difficulties of the problem Captain Shannon made it all seen easy. In fact the work was easier for him than for most men for he had the faculty of at once inspiring co-operation and trust in those who worked with him and under him. His older associates trusted him and gave him their best efforts. But the most striking thing about him was the quickness with which he won the affection and respect of the students. Unfortunately much of his time at first had to be spent in the office; he could take little part in the field work until towards the end. And yet he never stood upon the platform of Sanders Theatre to make even a simple announcement without prolonged hand clapping. Few commanding officers have made such a quick, positive, unanimous appeal to the men under them. He was simple, alert, intelligent, straight-forward, kind, with fire and spirit underneath ready to enforce obedience, if it was possible that anyone could ever disobey him. Many a young officer in France today is the better for having as his ideal of what an American officer should be Lieutenant Colonel Shannon. The graduates of the Harvard 1917 summer military camp and the University itself owe him a great debt. His last words to the Harvard regiment on the platform of Sanders Theatre in August, 1917, were: "If I ever get any of you in my outfit, I won't let you go." The University is proud of having had him in its outfit, and will not let his memory go. JOSEPH WARREN '97