The Interwar Years
Upon returning home from serving in World War I, Rose initially worked as a civilian. During this time, he met and married Venice Hanson. The couple had one son together before their divorce in 1929. Rose furthered his professional career by attending various service schools from 1920 through 1939, developing skills that would be particularly applicable to his future career in armored warfare. In 1934, while stationed in Panama, Rose married Virginia Barringer. The Roses moved around the country for Maurice’s career and welcomed a son in 1941. That same year, Maurice was assigned to an armored regiment in preparation for World War II.
Following World War I, the Army downsized drastically, leaving many of its former soldiers and officers to seek work elsewhere. Maurice Rose served a brief stint as a traveling salesman. While traveling in Utah, Rose met a young woman named Venice Hanson. The two were married on June 12, 1920. While still a salesman, Rose met with a major with whom he had served in France. “Maurice!” the soldier remarked, “I’m surprised that a soldier like you would wear that kind of garb.” The interaction was enough to inspire the born soldier to return to the Army, and soon Rose headed to New Mexico to enlist once again.16 On July 1, 1920, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant of infantry in the regular Army, with promotions to 1st Lieutenant and Captain on succeeding days.17 Maurice Rose was now a career soldier.
Initially, Captain Maurice Rose attended general service schools in Fort Benning, Georgia. While he was attending, Venice gave birth to their son, Maurice “Mike” Rose on December 29, 1925. Six months later, Rose graduated from the Infantry School. After graduation, Rose was assigned to the 38th Infantry Division in Fort Logan, Colorado. Though he served as a post adjutant at Fort Logan, a primarily clerical role, Rose’s impressive leadership shone through. While at Fort Logan, Rose almost single handedly organized the first local Citizens Military Training Camp. In September 1927, Rose gained a position as a professor in an ROTC program in Kansas. However, despite this positive career move, his personal life behind the scenes was less than perfect– Maurice and Venice’s marriage was struggling. In late 1928 or early 1929, Venice filed for divorce, and soon moved back to Utah with their son, leaving Maurice in Kansas.18
The interwar years were an interesting time for warfare. Increasing mechanization and rapidly changing technologies were shaping a new battlefield, and Maurice Rose knew he wanted to be on the cutting edge of it. In 1930, Rose was assigned to the Cavalry Special Service School, which was, in his opinion, the best place to learn and develop tactics relevant to modern large scale movement, mechanizations and indirect strategy.19 As a consummate horseman, the cavalry was an ideal position for the ambitious young officer. A 1931 graduation was followed by a brief stint as a company commander in the 8th cavalry at Fort Bliss, Texas. However, Rose was soon moved to Panama in what was primarily a clerical position. Despite spending too much time behind a desk for his liking, Panama was a turning point in Rose’s life. While in the jungle, he met an officer’s daughter, Virginia Barringer. The two were married on September 12, 1934.20 Rose also found ways to impress in the field, notably leading a wildly successful raid behind “enemy” lines during a defense exercise in March 1935.21
In August of 1935, Rose was appointed a troop commander in the 6th Cavalry Regiment, and the Roses moved to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. In America, the young couple moved frequently, following Maurice’s career. On January 1, 1936, Maurice Rose received his long-awaited promotion to Major, making him a field grade level officer. The following year, Rose was selected to attend a one year Command and General Staff College (CGSS) course at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This was an exciting opportunity, signaling confidence in Rose and essentially “marking him for higher command”, as well as providing an opportunity to connect with fellow officers with whom he would serve in Europe during World War II.22 Following the completion of CGSS, Rose served as an instructor to the 103rd Cavalry Regiment in Tyrone, Pennsylvania, then was ordered to DC in 1939 to attend the Army Industrial College.23 Despite conflict in Europe, this was a happy time for the Rose family: Maurice and Virginia’s son, Maurice “Reece” Roderick Rose, was born on January 30, 1941.
By this time, war had broken out across the Atlantic. As Germany proved the efficacy of tank divisions–armored ground warfare with tactical air support–Rose requested a transfer to the newly-formed armored force. Assigned as commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 13th Armored Regiment in Fort Knox, Kentucky in 1940, a new chapter of his career had begun. 24
16. Robert Gamzey. “Life Story of Gen Rose, Chapter Four.” Intermountain Jewish News, May 10, 1945.
17. “Denver Boy Gains His Captaincy,” Denver Jewish News, October 1, 1919.
18. Stephen L Ossad and Don R Marsh. Major General Maurice Rose: World War II’s Greatest Forgotten General (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2006), 84-92.
19. Marshall Fogel. Major General Maurice Rose: The Most Decorated Battle Tank Commander in U.S. Military History, (2018), 91.
20. Marriage license #8728, US District Court of District of the Canal Zone, Sept 15, 1934. In Major General Maurice Rose: World War II’s Greatest Forgotten General by Stephen Ossad and Don R Marsh, (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2006), 100.
21. Maurice Rose. “Panama’s Irregular Cavalry,” in The Cavalry Journal 44, no 90 (July-Aug 1935), 26-27.
22. Truscott, Lucian K. Twilight of the US Cavalry: Life in the Old Army, 1917-1942, (University of Kansas, 1989), 142.
23. Stephen L Ossad and Don R Marsh. Major General Maurice Rose: World War II’s Greatest Forgotten General (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2006), 114.
24. Ibid, 116.