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Douglas MacArthur was born in the arsenal barracks in Little Rock in 1880. At the time his father, Arthur MacArthur was serving as a colonel and commander of the barracks. Douglas remained with his mother and father as the latter took on various military positions throughout the country. In 1889, however, Douglas was sent to the West Texas Military Academy and spent the next seven years there. The Academy had a strict, rank based structure that allowed students to attain rank equal to that of tutors. Within six months Douglas had been promoted to cadet first class. In 1894 he was promoted to senior cadet, and 1896 (his final year at the academy) he achieved the rank of first cadet (the highest rank attainable by students). With this rank he was able to obtain a scholarship to West Point. During his time there he built up an impeccable record for great mental and physical strength and quick tactical thinking. He graduated from West Point with the rank of Lieutenant in 1900. He served with several garrisons before being appointed chief of staff to the 29th Infantry Regiment. He served with the 29th for the next five years, becoming the US's youngest captain in 1903. In 1905 he was posted to Hawaii and took part in the crushing of a revolt there, he subsequently served in Cuba, alongside future president Theodore Roosevelt Jr. The two formed a strong friendship, and they spent the next four years in Cuba. In 1909 Roosevelt was posted to Jefferson, meanwhile MacArthur remained in Cuba. In June of that year MacArthur was wounded and had to be invalided home.
In 1911 MacArthur served under General Pershing during the US invasion of Mexico. On November 16th 1911 MacArthur led a company into the village of San Pueblo, to form a reconnaissance outpost. However his force was surrounded by revolutionary troops and MacArthur had to hold out for four weeks, outnumbered four to one. For his action MacArthur and three of his men were issued with the medal of honour and promoted to Major.MacArthur then toured the country as a war hero, speaking at numerous public meetings and receiving a personal congratulation from President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1913 MacArthur returned to active service, being posted to West Point, as commanding officer, a post at which he remained until August 1914. Upon the USA's declaration of war upon the French Empire he resigned and requested a front line command. In December 1914 he commanded a battalion of infantry in Great Britain, and in March 1915 he led the battalion during the flemish landings. He remained in command during the battles of the islands and the so called "Flat Campaign" of 1915/16.
He was promoted to Colonel in March 1916. MacArthur became known as a man who led from the front, and he was wounded in June during the battle of Arnhem, returning to New York to recover. He was awarded the Medal of Honour a second time and promoted to Brigadier General (the youngest serving US general at 36). He returned to Flanders in 1917 and became commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 24th Division. When in September 1917 the divisional commander was killed, MacArthur was made acting divisional commander. This became permanent in December. However MacArthur had a somewhat sour relationship with the supreme commander, General Pershing. In July 1918 MacArthur lead his division from the front line during the allied summer offensive, and in one incident was nearly captured. This gave Pershing the mandate to transfer MacArthur to chief supply officer for the 4th army, a post that he maintained until the end of the war.
Following the armistice MacArthur wanted to resign his post and return to front line command, even if this meant a demotion, however President Roosevelt refused his resignation, making him chief US administrator in Britain, responsible for the withdrawal of American troops. By 1920 this job was done, and MacArthur returned to the US, a two star general with no active command. His one hope of rescue was lost when General Pershing won the 1920 Presidential election. Pershing posted MacArthur to the isolated US garrison at Hong Kong. A General in command of three regiments, plus an artillery detachment. Despite the small command MacArthur stayed on until 1924, when he resigned in favour of a desk job in Washington. MacArthur became adjutant general to east coast supply command, a lengthy title for a job that was more appropriate for a accountant than a general. In 1924 MacArthur even went as far as putting his name forward for the republican nomination, as an alternative to Pershing, however he received only two delegates.
In 1927 MacArthur was finally given command of the 3rd infantry division, based at Los Angeles. In 1929 he was promoted to Lt General and made commander of the west coast forces, he ruthlessly put down several strikes in 1930. During this time MacArthur wrote two books "Fighting Defense" and "The necessaries of a commander", both were to become must reads for military officers. In 1931 MacArthur was responsible for Operation Akar, a plan of campaign for a series of assaults on mainland Japan from bases on the west coast. In February 1932 MacArthur was informed that he had been chosen by President Franklin Roosevelt as the next Chief of Staff of the US army.
As soon as MacArthur became Chief of Staff he began cooperating with Roosevelt's ideas. A plan put forward by General Pershing in 1919 of a vast integral infrastructure primarily for military use, that would cut the transport time from east to west coast down to three days was enacted, and was built by volunteers. MacArthur also argued for more tanks and amphibious landing craft for the army, and more planes for the air force. MacArthur also warned of the great danger he believed the USSR posed the US. He ordered several plans to be made for a preemptive strike on the USSR. In late 1938 MacArthur demanded that more public money be put into defense and warned that "there will be a war, we must be ready or the United States will lose!". Many politicians found this too much and a month later MacArthur resigned as CoS, taking up command of Northern Command.
After two months at Northern Command MacArthur was put in command of the 5th army, a force of one corps of four divisions. MacArthur commanded this until 1941. In 1941 his old friend Theodore Roosevelt Jr became President, and appointed MacArthur commander of the West Coast Forces. On December 7th, 1941 Japan attacked the US base at Pearl Harbor. MacArthur immediately sent infantry and marines to the various American pacific possessions and he was able to defend most of them. He then sent troops to China and together with Chiang Kai Chek led an aggressive war on the Chinese mainland. In 1943 he masterminded the attack on Formosa and led American forces there in 1943-44. In June 1944
|Lieutenant||July 15, 1900|
|Captain||June 2, 1903|
|Major||December 27, 1911|
|Lieutenant Colonel||September 5, 1914|
|Colonel||March 17, 1916|
|Brigadier General||November 30, 1916|
|Major General||December 7, 1917|
|Lt General||April 14, 1929|
|General||March 5, 1932|
|General of the Army||June 1, 1944|
|General of the Armies||December 18, 1945|