"Americans never quit."
In such words could a legendary military commander such as General Douglas MacArthur be understood. Although US history is full of many courageous and outstanding military leaders, few have managed to achieve as much as General MacArthur. Further, although General MacArthur is best remembered for his Pacific commandership during World War II and particularly for his criticism of President Harry Trumna's handling of the Korean War, his rise to worldwide fame as an unrivalled military commander was a gradual process over years. Today, I am going to commemorate General Douglas MacArthur by highlighting major milestones in his military career.
General MacArthur belonged to a military family. His father was a captian and was decorated for his service during Civil War. His mother's brothers were also active conscripts in the South during Civil War. During early years, he continued to move from one military post to another, offering him an insight into demands and drills of military life. Following his graduation from West Point – in which he achieved academic excellence – MacArthur pursued a successful military career in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His academic excellence as well as his practical experience acquired from deployments at different world posts helped shape his military vision and hone his international commandership skills.
MacArthur's accomplishments in World War I recommended him as West Point Superintendent and reformer. His efforts helped not only lead West Point into more modern war strategies but also steered military new joiners from great economic woes which plagued the country at large. Again, MacArthur was promoted to U.S. Army Chief of Staff. Few years later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt picked him as an adviser on Philippines and, later, asked by President of Philippines Manuel Quezon to form a Philippine Army. MacArthur completed his service dutifully and retired in 1937.
However, he was later recalled to active duty during World War II. He led Pacific-based U.S. forces. His extensive experience in Philippines helped him change initial defeats into a series of military successful attacks against Japanese forces. MacArthur continued to show exceptional military leadership during war which recommended him to superintend efforts of rebuilding Japan after Tokyo's surrender in 1945.
During his Japan assignment, General MacArthur supervised Japan's transition into a modern democracy. Politically, for example, he helped enfranchise women and guarantee basic human rights. Economically, he introduced major land reforms which radically changed land ownership and empowered farmers by reselling and redistributing farmlands.
General MacArthur stepped down from leading efforts to rebuild Japan in 1949 and well placed himself uniquely in Japan's modern history as Foreign Military Leader.
The eruption of Korean War brought General MacArthur back again into military front scene. Appointed by President Harry S. Truman as Supreme Allied Commander, General MacArthur managed to defend South Korea by counter-attacking North Korean forces. However, a surprise Chinese attack forced him to pull out again. Moreover, his conflicting views with President Harry S. Truman over handling of the Korean War led to his being relieved from service.
Like many retired military leaders, General MacArthur settled in his home country and engaged in different civil activities including, but are not limited to, leading a major typewriter and computer company and writing his memoirs. General Douglas MacArthur died in Washington, D.C. on April 5, 1965.
Overall, General Douglas MacArthur's background is a rich one which one cannot simply sum up in one single speech, of course. His personal and military life is full of many incidents which worth referring to. Yet, like one of his most memorable quotes mentioned on very first line says – "Americans never quit" – General Douglas MacArthur's could best be remembered not only for his spectacular military achievements but also for his resilience and steadfastness in face of hardships and resistance.
Admittedly, General Douglas MacArthur represents an admirable example of U.S. military history continuation. For, not only had he continued his family's rich military tradition during America's Civil War, but he established himself as an extension of his family's as well as his military peers' struggle for a stronger, more developed American military. General Douglas MacArthur will remain one of America's Founding Fathers of modern military warfare. Thank you.