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Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur Profile

Full Name Douglas MacArthur
Titles General in the US Army

Chief of Staff of the US Army

Born 26 January 1880

Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

Allegiance United States
Political Party Unaffiliated

Douglas MacArthur (born 26 January 1880) is an American General and the current Chief of Staff of the United States Army.

Early life and education

Douglas MacArthur, the youngest of three brothers, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1880 while his parents were stationed there. His parents were Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur, Jr. (at the time a captain), a recipient of the Medal of Honor, and Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur (nicknamed "Pinky") of Norfolk, Virginia. Douglas MacArthur was the grandson of jurist and politician Arthur MacArthur, Sr., a Scottish immigrant. He was baptized at Christ Episcopal Church in Little Rock on May 16, 1880.

MacArthur's father was posted to San Antonio, Texas, in 1893. There, Douglas attended West Texas Military Academy, where he became an excellent student. After two rejections, MacArthur entered the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1898. An outstanding cadet, he graduated first in his 93-man class in 1903. For his prowess in sports, military training, and academics he was awarded the coveted title of First Captain Of The Corps Of Cadets. Upon graduation MacArthur was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Douglas MacArthur Profile 2

MacArthur as a West Point cadet

After leaving West Point, MacArthur served his first tour of duty in the Philippines. Later, MacArthur served as an aide-de-camp to his father, and visited Japan during the Russo-Japanese war. In 1906 he was aide-de-camp to President Theodore Roosevelt. Leaving the White House in 1907, MacArthur performed engineering duties in Kansas, Milwaukee, and Washington D.C. until his assignment to the General Staff (1913-1917).

Vera Cruz Expedition

MacArthur distinguished himself by several acts of personal bravery in the Vera Cruz Expedition of 1914, including a railroad chase back to American lines. For these he was recommended for the Medal of Honor, although this was denied on the grounds that his actions had exceeded the scope of his orders.

These duties were performed while he was serving on the Army General Staff. MacArthur was later in charge of dealing with the National Guard Bureau within the War Department. In early 1917, MacArthur was elevated two grades in rank from major to full colonel. Upon his promotion to full colonel, he transferred his basic branch from the Corps of Engineers to the Infantry.

After the Weltkrieg

Douglas MacArthur Profile 3

MacArthur shortly before becoming Superintendent of West Point

In 1919, MacArthur became superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, which had become out of date in many respects and was much in need of reform. MacArthur ordered drastic changes in the tactical, athletic and disciplinary systems; he modernized the curriculum, adding liberal arts, government and economics courses. He also took the first major step to formalizing the as yet unwritten Cadet Honour Code when, in 1922, he formed the Cadet Honour Committee to review all honour allegations.

In October 1922, MacArthur left West Point for the Philippines. From 1922 to 1930, MacArthur served two tours of duty in the Philippines, the second as commander of the Philippine Department (1928–1930); he also served two tours as commander of corps areas in the states. In 1925, he was promoted to major general, the youngest officer of that rank at the time, and served on the court martial that convicted Brigadier General Billy Mitchell.

Chief of Staff of the United States Army

By 1930, MacArthur was still, at age 50, the youngest of the U.S. Army's major generals, and most well known. He left the Philippines on September 19, 1930 and for a brief time was in command of the IX Corps Area in San Francisco. On November 21, 1930 MacArthur was sworn in as Chief of Staff of the United States Army, with the rank of general. MacArthur's main programs included the development of new mobilization plans. He grouped the nine corps areas together under four armies, which were charged with responsibility for training and frontier defense. In March 1935, MacArthur activated a centralized air command, General Headquarters Air Force under Major General Frank M. Andrews.

MacArthur's support for a strong military and his public criticism of pacifism and isolationism, made the general popular with the Hoover administration. The President extended MacArthur's term as Chief of Staff and MacArthur was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for his service.

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