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November 1, 1941


JAMA. 1941;117(18):1540-1541. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820440048012

Recently much has been written about morale, an invisible and intangible factor which, like a vitamin, a ferment or a hormone, has vast potentialities. The United States Army in supervising and directing the habits and lives of over a million of our young men of impressionable age is not only building a fighting force but shaping the morale of this nation for years to come.

Various definitions have been used to describe the elusive nature of morale. A playwright in a recent popular play1 had his hero call it "a dirty French word." The outgoing chief of the Morale Branch of the Army2 preferred the definition "a state of mind with reference to confidence, courage, zeal and the like—especially of a number of persons associated in some enterprise, as troops." A philosopher3 with Army World War experience used various terminologies. A psychologist4 who was a morale