Omar Bradley

Omar Bradley

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General of the Army
Omar Bradley
1st Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
In office
August 19, 1949 – August 15, 1953
PresidentHarry Truman
Dwight Eisenhower
Preceded byWilliam Leahy (as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief)
Succeeded byArthur Radford
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
In office
February 7, 1948 – August 15, 1949
PresidentHarry Truman
Preceded byDwight Eisenhower
Succeeded byJ. Lawton Collins
Administrator of Veterans Affairs
In office
August 15, 1945 – November 30, 1947
PresidentHarry Truman
Preceded byFrank Hines
Succeeded byCarl Gray
Personal details
BornOmar Nelson Bradley
February 12, 1893
Clark, Missouri, U.S.
DiedApril 8, 1981 (aged 88)
New York City, U.S.
Resting placeArlington National Cemetery
EducationUnited States Military Academy (BS)
Military service
The G.I.’s General
AllegianceUnited States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Years of service1915–1981[1]
RankGeneral of the Army
CommandsChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
12th Army Group
First Army
II Corps
28th Infantry Division
82nd Infantry Division
United States Army Infantry School
Battles/warsWorld War II
Korean War
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Complete list

General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley (February 12, 1893 – April 8, 1981) was a senior officer of the United States Army during and after World War II. Bradley was the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and oversaw the U.S. military’s policy-making in the Korean War.

Born in Randolph County, Missouri, Bradley worked as a boilermaker before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated from the academy in 1915 alongside Dwight D. Eisenhower as part of “the class the stars fell on.” During World War I, Bradley guarded copper mines in Montana. After the war, Bradley taught at West Point and served in other roles before taking a position at the War Department under General George Marshall. In 1941, Bradley became commander of the United States Army Infantry School.

After the U.S. entrance into World War II, Bradley oversaw the transformation of the 82nd Infantry Division into the first American airborne division. He received his first front-line command in Operation Torch, serving under General George S. Patton in North Africa. After Patton was reassigned, Bradley commanded II Corps in the Tunisia Campaign and the Allied invasion of Sicily. He commanded the First United States Army during the Invasion of Normandy. After the breakout from Normandy, he took command of the Twelfth United States Army Group, which ultimately comprised forty-three divisions and 1.3 million men, the largest body of American soldiers ever to serve under a single field commander.

After the war, Bradley headed the Veterans Administration. He became Chief of Staff of the United States Army in 1948 and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1949. In 1950, Bradley was promoted to the rank of General of the Army, becoming the last of only nine people to be promoted to five-star rank in the United States Armed Forces. He was the senior military commander at the start of the Korean War, and supported President Harry S. Truman‘s wartime policy of containment. He was instrumental in persuading Truman to dismiss General Douglas MacArthur in 1951 after MacArthur resisted administration attempts to scale back the war’s strategic objectives. Bradley left active duty in 1953 (though remaining on “active retirement” for the next 27 years), then continued to serve in public and business roles until his death in 1981.[1]


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