U.S. Army chief of staff during World War II, George C. Marshall is the only person to have been both U.S. secretary of state and secretary of defense. During World War I he served as a staff officer in France, winning recognition for his direction of the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensives. Moving through the military ranks between the world wars, he became army chief of staff in 1939. Predicting American involvement in World War II, he was a strong advocate of military preparedness.
Named secretary of state by President Harry Truman in 1947, Marshall led the country in adopting a strong anti-Soviet policy. Principal parts of the approach were the Truman Doctrine of aid to nations threatened by communism and the Marshall Plan for the economic reconstruction of Western Europe. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.