David M. Shoup
|General David Monroe Shoup|
22nd Commandant of the Marine Corps (1960–1963)
December 30, 1904|
Battle Ground, Indiana
|Died||January 13, 1983
|Place of burial||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1926–1963|
|Commands held||2nd Marine Regiment
Service Command, FMF, Pacific
USMC Inspector General
1st Marine Division
3rd Marine Division
MCRD Parris Island
Commandant of the Marine Corps
|Awards||Medal of Honor
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Purple Heart (2)
|Other work||Anti-war activist|
David Monroe Shoup (December 30, 1904 – January 13, 1983) was a decorated general of the United States Marine Corps who won the Medal of Honor in World War II, became the 22nd Commandant of the Marine Corps and, after retiring, became one of the most prominent critics of the Vietnam War.
Born in Indiana to an impoverished family, Shoup joined the military for financial reasons. Rising through the ranks in the interwar era, Shoup saw two deployments to China during the civil war there. Serving in Iceland at the beginning of U.S. involvement in World War II, Shoup later served as a staff officer during the Pacific War. He was unexpectedly given command of the 2nd Marines and subsequently led the initial invasion of Tarawa, for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Order. Shoup later served in the Marianas campaign and later became a high-level military logistics officer.
Solidifying his reputation as a hard-driving and assertive leader, Shoup rose through the senior leadership of the Marine Corps, overhauling fiscal affairs, logistics, and recruit training. Shoup was selected as commandant by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and later served in the administration of John F. Kennedy. He subsequently overhauled the Corps, emphasizing combat readiness and fiscal efficiency against what he saw as undue politicking among its officers.
Shoup was opposed to what he saw as undue military escalation in events such as Cuban missile crisis and the Bay of Pigs invasion, but Shoup's strongest opposition was to involvement in South Vietnam. This criticism escalated after he retired from the military in 1963. He escalated his criticism not only to the strategy of the conflict, but to what he saw as undue influence of corporations and military officials in foreign policy. Shoup's high-profile criticisms later spread to include the military industrial complex and what he saw as a pervasive militarism in American culture. Historians consider Shoup's criticisms to be among the most pointed and high-profile leveled by a veteran against the Vietnam War.
Early years 
David Monroe Shoup was born on 30 December 1904 in Battle Ground, Indiana. The family lived on a farm in Ash Grove, Indiana, but moved to Covington, Indiana to live on a new farm in 1916. At age 12 he was enrolled in Covington High School, a competitive high school with an advanced curriculum. Shoup was an excellent student, maintaining high marks in French, English, physics and history. Additionally, he was involved in several extracurricular activities including basketball and was class president his senior year. He graduated in 1921. Shoup later affectionately referred to his impoverished upbringing as that of an "Indiana plowboy."
Shoup was very sociable, and met Zola De Haven in his freshmen year, claiming to have instantly been attracted to her. Despite their competitive natures, the two dated throughout high school and were married in 1931.
After high school, Shoup attended DePauw University where he was one of 100 awarded the Edward Rector Scholarship, giving him full tuition. Majoring in mathematics, he joined the Delta Upsilon fraternity and maintained high marks, narrowly failing the selection criteria for Phi Beta Kappa Society. He was on the track and field and rifle teams, also competing in the wrestling and football teams. He won the Indiana and Kentucky Amateur Athletic Union marathon in 1925. Shoup waited tables, washed dishes and worked in a cement factory to help pay his expenses. He had to take a year off after his junior year to teach school, and his expenses were further strained when he contracted a severe case of pneumonia and incurred hospital bills. Shoup opted to enroll in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) to offset his living expenses, later recalling this was the only reason he joined the military. Shoup graduated from DePauw in 1926.
From an early age, Shoup was molded by progressive ideas of Indiana politicians, sympathizing with rural progressives' fighting with the interests of big businesses. He developed an anti-imperialist attitude. His skepticism about American foreign policy influenced by a small-town background would make him an outspoken opponent of the unnecessary use of military force. Shoup felt the use of troops for what he considered economic or imperialist consideration were wrong, and would be a viewpoint he would carry for his entire career.
Junior officer 
While at a Scabbard and Blade conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, Shoup heard a speech by Major General John A. Lejeune, the Commandant of the Marine Corps offering commissions in the U.S. Marine Corps for any interested officer candidates. Shortly after being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve in May 1926, Shoup applied and was offered a commission in the Marine Corps. In August 1926 he resigned his commission in the Army and traveled from Camp Knox, Kentucky to Chicago, Illinois for physical exams. On 25 August 1926, Shoup arrived at the Marine Corps barracks in Philadelphia Navy Yard and was commissioned a second lieutenant and began Marine Officers Basic School. In spite of this success, Shoup maintained that he had never previously considered a military career, and had only chosen to become a military officer for the pay. Throughout his service, Shoup excelled in athletics and marksmanship, and during his early career he would coach recreational athletic teams in addition to his regular assignments. Shoup quickly established himself as an assertive and demanding leader, impressing both his commanders and his subordinates. Despite his no-nonsense demeanour, those he commanded later recalled his ability to keep morale with his sense of humor. He often sported a clenched cigar, which became something of a trademark during his front-line combat.
On 1 April 1927 Shoup and nine other officers were pulled from training to accompany a detachment of Marines sent to China to protect American interests during the instability of the Chinese Civil War. Embarking from San Diego with the 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines, Shoup's contingent was to play a primarily defensive role, not to engage in military action. Still, Shoup was personally opposed to the mission, feeling the Americans in China were exploiting its people. The contingent landed in Shanghai on 10 June aboard USS Chaumont. Initially they conducted shore patrol around American sections of the city. On 5 July the battalion was moved to Tientsin to protect American interests there should Chinese Nationalist troops threaten them. Shoup became seriously ill here, and remained hospitalized until it was announced U.S. troops would leave. Shoup briefly returned to Shanghai to oversee foreign troop departures with the 4th Marines. Shoup departed China on 7 December 1928.
Following this assignment, Shoup returned to the United States and completed his training. Shoup then served short stints in Marine bases at Quantico, Virginia, Pensacola, Florida, and San Francisco, California. From June 1929 to September 1931 he served with the Marine detachment aboard USS Maryland, where he coached the boxing and wrestling squads. Following this duty he was assigned to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. In May 1932 Shoup was ordered to Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton, Washington. He was promoted to first lieutenant one month later. He served on temporary duty with the Civilian Conservation Corps in Idaho and New Jersey from June 1933 to May 1934. After this he returned to Seattle, Washington.
Shoup returned to China in November 1934, again with the 4th Marines in Shanghai briefly. He was quickly reassigned as a legation guard in Peiping. In this post, Shoup taught the post's pistol and rifle teams to shoot competitively. They won at least one major competition. During this time, he also had time to observe the troops of the Empire of Japan, gaining great respect for their discipline. In 1936, he came down with a serious case of pneumonia and had to be evacuated from China. His next duty was at Puget Sound Navy Yard. In October 1936, he was promoted to captain. In July 1937 he entered Junior Course, Marine Corps Schools in Quantico, which he completed in May 1938. Shoup then served as an instructor at Quantico for two years. In June 1940 Shoup joined the 6th Marines in San Diego and was promoted to major in April 1941.
World War II 
Staff officer 
Shoup was assigned to the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, which was moved to Iceland in May 1941, supporting an occupation there to prevent Nazi German forces from threatening it. Replacing an outgoing British division, the brigade continued to garrison the country for several months, and Shoup remained there with the Headquarters Company at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. With the country preparing for war, Shoup was quickly reassigned, and in February 1942 he was given command of the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines. In March, the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade moved to New York City, New York and disbanded, and Shoup moved with the battalion to Camp Elliott in San Diego. For his service in Iceland, he was awarded the Letter of Commendation with Commendation Ribbon.
In July 1942, Shoup was named as operations and training officer (G3) for the 2nd Marine Division. In August 1942, Shoup was promoted to lieutenant colonel. In September of that year, Shoup accompanied the division to Wellington, New Zealand aboard SS Matsonia and oversaw much of its training there. Shoup was also briefly attached to the 1st Marine Division as an observer during the Guadalcanal campaign in October 1942, then attached to the 43rd Infantry Division on Rendova Island in the summer of 1943. During the latter assignment, Shoup was wounded in action and evacuated. Still, from these experiences he observed amphibious warfare techniques which would later be useful in the war.
In mid-1943, Shoup was transferred to the staff of Major General Julian C. Smith, commander of the 2nd Marine Division, and tasked to help plan the invasion of Betio on Tarawa Atoll. Shoup's aggressive leadership style would complement the offensive strategy his superiors were seeking in taking the atoll. He drew up initial plans for an invasion strategy. Shoup was also tasked with designating the landing beaches for the 2nd Marines on Betio, and oversaw some rehearsals at Efate. However, after Colonel William W. Marshall, commander of the 2nd Marines, suffered a nervous breakdown before invasion, Smith promoted Shoup to colonel and gave him command of the regiment, in spite of Shoup's lack of combat experience.
The invasion commenced on 20 November 1943, with Shoup disembarking from Maryland, the flagship for the invasion. Shoup's force met heavy resistance on the beaches. Shoup's LVT was destroyed by shore fire, and he had to proceed without transportation. As he was wading ashore around 11:00, Shoup was wounded by Japanese fire as he was struck by shrapnel in the legs and received a grazing wound from a bullet in the neck. In spite of these wounds, Shoup rallied the Marines and led them to shore. Shoup was able to coordinate the troops on the beaches and organize them as they began to push inland against an anticipated Japanese counterattack. He continuously organized offensives and aggressive attacks on the defenders as his troops were heading ashore, and was later noted for his bravery and intensity during the conflict. On the second day of the attack, Shoup organized an advance inland, despite heavy casualties for American troops. By the afternoon, the U.S. troops were winning the battle, and reinforcements began to arrive in force. That night, Shoup was relieved by Colonel Merritt A. Edson, the division's chief of staff. He continued to command the 2nd Marines throughout the campaign.
Shoup was highly regarded for his preparation and leadership in the Tarawa attack. For his planning, he was awarded the Legion of Merit with "V" device. For his leadership during the initial assault, he was awarded the Medal of Honor, the British Distinguished Service Order, and the Purple Heart. Ten years after the assault, Shoup remarked of the operation, "there was never a doubt in the minds of those ashore what the final outcome of the battle for Tarawa would be. There was for some seventy-six hours, however, considerable haggling with the enemy over the exact price we would have to pay." In 1968, he returned to Tarawa to dedicate a memorial to the battle and to the American and Japanese troops who had died there.
Subsequent wartime service 
In December 1943, Shoup became Chief of Staff of the 2nd Marine Division, which was then assigned to an upcoming attack on the Marianas, as part of the Allied island-hopping strategy. Shoup's role in these attacks was not as central as his leadership at Tarawa, but he continued to perform well in planning and strategic thinking during the battles for Saipan and Tinian. During one instance, he was trapped in a forward observer post in Saipan with fellow commander Wallace M. Greene. Greene later recalled that in the midst of the Japanese attack, Shoup remained impressively calm. Shoup was later awarded a second Legion of Merit with "V" device for his work in this campaign. After the end of operations on the Mariana Islands, Shoup returned to the United States in October 1944. For the remainder of the war, Shoup served as logistics officer for the Division of Plans and Policies, Headquarters Marine Corps.
Cold War era 
In August 1947, Shoup became Commanding Officer, Service Command, Fleet Marine Force (FMF), Pacific. In June 1949, Shoup was reassigned to the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton as Division Chief of Staff. Shoup then transferred to Quantico where he served as Commanding Officer of the Basic School from July 1950 until April 1952.
He was then assigned to the Office of the Fiscal Director, Headquarters Marine Corps, serving as Assistant Fiscal Director. In this position, Shoup served under Major General William P. T. Hill, the Quartermaster General. Ordered by Marine Corps Commandant General Lemuel C. Shepherd to establish a new fiscal office independent of Hill's authority, Shoup and Hill clashed frequently but Shoup was nonetheless able to establish a new, independent Fiscal Division. He was promoted to brigadier general in April 1953. In July 1953, Shoup was named Fiscal Director of the Marine Corps. He became involved in fiscal strategy hearings before the U.S. Congress and in this time established a programming system where officers researched and thought out programs before bringing them to congress. This idea met with resistance from Marine leaders, who favored going to the hill to figure out the details of programs. While serving in this capacity, he was promoted to major general in September 1955.
In May 1956, he began a brief assignment as Inspector General for Recruit Training, ordered to do so by General Randolph M. Pate following the Ribbon Creek incident, the accidental drowning of six recruits during a training march. As Marine leaders were investigating the incident, they favored Shoup's ideas, as he favored not covering up the incident. Shoup supported an overhaul of recruit training for the Marine Corps in response to the incident.
Following this, he served as Inspector General of the Marine Corps from September 1956 until May 1957. He returned to Camp Pendleton in June 1957 to become commanding general of the 1st Marine Division. Shoup then became commanding general of the 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa in March 1958 as Commanding General. Following his return to the United States, Shoup served as Commanding General of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, from May to October 1959. During this time, he also served as president of the 2nd Marine Division Association.
Commandant of the Marine Corps 
While still a Major General, Shoup was unexpectedly named Commandant of the Marine Corps by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, at the behest of Secretary of Defense Thomas S. Gates, Jr.. On November 2, 1959, he was promoted to lieutenant general and assigned duties as Chief of Staff, HQMC. He was then quickly elevated to general on 1 January 1960, upon assuming the post as the 22nd Commandant of the Marine Corps. He would later serve under the administration of John F. Kennedy from 1961 to 1963, and then the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson.
While Eisenhower appreciated Shoup's financial experience and apolitical outlook, Shoup was most called upon by Kennedy. With Kennedy's relations with the Joint Chiefs of Staff strained, particularly following the Cuban Missile Crisis, he called upon Shoup privately for many consultations. Biographer Howard Jablon wrote that Shoup was Kennedy's favorite general. In turn, Shoup was the most supportive of Kennedy of all of the Chiefs of Staff. Kennedy had asked Shoup to remain as commandant for a second term in 1963, but Shoup refused, in order to allow the advancement of other Marine generals.
Leadership overhaul 
Shoup was chosen to replace Pate because of a view among Gates and other officials that the Corps was fraught with internal squabbling, alienation from the other services, as well as a bad reputation gained from the Ribbon Creek incident. Gates believed Shoup a strong leader who could steer the Corps in the right direction. Shoup was selected over three other officers senior in rank. Lieutenant General Merrill B. Twining was considered the likely appointee to the position, and lieutenant generals Edward Pollock and Vernon E. Megee were also aspiring for the position of commandant. Twining openly vied for the position and retired immediately after Shoup was selected, reportedly in protest, as did several other officers. Shoup emphasized military readiness, training, and inter-service cooperation, which differed from the political climate of the time. Because of this, he rapidly gained a reputation as being extremely demanding and critical of poor performance, especially by Marine generals and leaders. He was sometimes blunt in his criticism of what he saw as poorly-performing officers, to the extent that some considered him a bully.
Eisenhower favored Shoup's leadership decisions because he feared other officers spent too much time in political affairs, and felt Shoup would reduce the influence of the military industrial complex. Immediately after his appointment, Shoup sought to place new officers in key positions, in an attempt to overhaul the leadership of the Marine Corps. He and Pate disagreed over some of the new appointments, as Shoup rearranged many senior leaders and encouraged others to retire. Shoup later wrote he felt the Joint Chiefs of Staff had an undue weight in the direction of military strategy. He also sought to curtail politicking by lower-level Marine officers seeking career advancement.
Budget strategy 
During the first year of Shoup's service as commendant, he served under the Eisenhower administration, in which military budget policy was dominated by the "New Look" policy, a strong nuclear deterrent was favored over conventional warfare forces. Eisenhower sought an overall focus on containment without entangling the United States in proxy wars such as the Korean War. The end result of this was spending cuts and force reductions within the Marine Corps. The 1960 Presidential Election and the election of Kennedy, saw a major change in military strategy with the "Flexible Response" strategy which saw a return of conventional military forces as a deterrent to nuclear war. This policy saw more civilian participation in defense policy-building as new Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara sought more inter-service cooperation.
Shoup favored a more frugal approach to the military budget, feeling the military was too prone to influence from large corporations arguing for expensive and unnecessary programs. As the Kennedy administration brought more emphasis on conventional warfare, Shoup sought to use increased funds to improve military logistics. He is credited with formulating an entirely new system of financial management, supply, and inventory management. He also formulated a new Data Processing Division to centralize the data processing functions of several combat service support branches.
Cold War conflicts 
Shoup's outlook on Cold War conflicts was greatly influenced by his upbringing, and he was frequently an opponent of military action against the Soviet Union. He refused to fall into what he referred to as the "hate the Communists movement," indicating he would fight them if required by circumstances, but avoided undue prejudice. When U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond criticized the military for not training its troops about communism, Shoup regarded the criticism as interference. Shoup appealed to Secretary of the Navy Fred Korth and the matter was dropped. At the behest of the Kennedy administration, Shoup integrated counterinsurgency warfare into combat doctrine. Though Shoup was not in favor of the idea, he appointed Major General Victor H. Krulak as an adviser.
He also opposed military action against Cuba, warning against any attempt to intervene there militarily against Fidel Castro. Shoup was initially not involved or aware of the plans for the Bay of Pigs invasion and was asked by the Central Intelligence Agency to furnish an officer, but became furious when he learned the CIA was requisitioning Marine supplies without his permission. He finally learned the intent of the CIA when the officer, Colonel Jack Hawkins, contacted him the night of the invasion pleading to him to appeal to Kennedy for air support. Following the failure of the operation, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were blamed for the operation, which Shoup though was unfair, as they hadn't been aware of the early planning. He later warned against an armed response during the Cuban missile crisis, noting how difficult it would be to invade the country. Still, he prepared a team of Marines to attack should it be necessary. Kennedy subsequently sought Shoup's advice in evaluating the implications of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. While Shoup's position in the Joint Chiefs of Staff was intended to be limited, he had gained Kennedy's confidence and was called on often for private consultations. Shoup supported the ban, seeing it as a deterrent to nuclear war.
Shoup was very opposed to military intervention in Indochina from the beginning. In 1961, when the Pathet Lao threatened the American-backed government of Laos, Shoup rejected calls for armed intervention. He deployed Task Unit Shufly to Saigon in 1962 only because he was ordered to by superiors, and cautioned against further involvement in South Vietnam. Shoup toured the city in October 1962. He opposed the Strategic Hamlet program, as well as efforts to train the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. He opposed any plans for combat in Vietnam and later said "every responsible military man to my knowledge" was against the war as well. Before Kennedy's assassination on 22 November 1963, he indicated in the days before his death that he wanted to end U.S. involvement there, seeing it as an internal struggle. Shoup's staunch opposition to involvement there had a great impact on Kennedy.
Later life and opposition to the Vietnam War 
Retiring from the military in December 1963, Shoup then took a job at a life insurance company, but remained influential in the administration. Johnson considered taking Shoup as an adviser on a February 1964 trip to Vietnam, but did not, either because he never made the invitation or because Shoup declined the offer. Johnson appointed Shoup to the National Advisory Commission on Selective Service in early 1966. It disbanded on 1 January 1967 after submitting a report.
He was unable to influence the Johnson administration directly, which expanded U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Shoup became increasingly wary of what he felt was undue influence by the CIA and big businesses on foreign policy. In 1964 during the debate over the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Senator Wayne Morse wanted to call Shoup to testify against the measure, but was blocked by Senator J. William Fulbright. On 14 May 1966, Shoup began publicly attacking the policy in a speech delivered to community college students at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, California for their World Affairs Day.
I believe that if we had and would keep our dirty, bloody, dollar-soaked fingers out of the business of these nations so full of depressed, exploited people, they will arrive at a solution of their own—and if unfortunately their revolution must be of the violent type because the "haves" refuse to share with the "have-nots" by any peaceful method, at least what they get will be their own, and not the American style, which they don't want and above all don't want crammed down their throats by Americans.
The forum was relatively small and initially received little publicity, however in February 1967 Shoup submitted the speech to Senator Rupert Vance Hartke who entered it into the Congressional Record. The speech grew in popularity, and Shoup did an interview for ABC News where he elaborated that, while he was not a pacifist, he felt the war was "not worth the life of limb of a single American." Shoup remained firmly opposed to the involvement in Vietnam for his entire life. He was joined in this by other high-ranking officers, including generals James Gavin and Matthew Ridgway. Shoup's pointed criticism, though, regularly made the front pages of newspapers as his criticism went beyond the war and to American government, business, and military leadership. Shoup feared the conflict had endangered the nation's historical identity. Shoup argued increasing the troop levels in Vietnam would only aggravate the strategic problems there. Shoup's original argument was that the Vietnamese forces involved in the civil war there were nationalists and opposed to foreign military intervention. He subsequently opposed many of the strategies associated with troop escalation, notably the air campaign over North Vietnam, which he saw as an aggressive measure causing civilian casualties. Shoup also states that widening the air campaign could draw the People's Republic of China or the Soviet Union into the conflict, which could have dire consequences. He also feared that other American interests, including the economy, were suffering through U.S. involvement in the war and that the U.S. was losing prestige internationally as it was drawn further into the conflict. Historian Robert Buzzanco noted that Shoup may have been the most vocal former military member to oppose the war.
Shoup's opposition to the war increased over time; he initially pushed for a negotiated settlement but later supported a unilateral pullout from the country. As Vietnamization strategy took effect and the U.S. increased its air war, he remained opposed to any strategy that risked a nuclear war with China or the Soviet Union. His criticism attracted more press as the war became a stalemate. It also became highly publicized discourse among the Anti-war movement. In 1968, he testified before Congress, reiterating his 1966 speech, saying he felt opposition to the war had likely increased since then. In April 1969, Shoup, along with retired Colonel James Donovan, broadened his criticism to national security policy. In an article published in Atlantic Monthly, Shoup accused America of becoming militaristic and aggressive, and was a country ready to "execute military contingency plans and to seek military solutions to problems of political disorder and potential Communist threats in areas of our interest." He said that anticommunism had given way to a new, aggressive defense establishment in the United States. In a book titled Militarism U.S.A., Shoup and Donovan elaborated their criticisms. Shoup said the country was seeking military solutions to issues that could be resolved politically. He accused military leaders of propagating the war for their own career advancement, and accused the Veterans of Foreign Wars of propagandizing for the armed forces establishment. Shoup finally blamed the American education system for what he saw as discouraging independent thought and stressing obedience. Shoup joined the Business Executives Move for Vietnam Peace. By 1971, Shoup publicly endorsed the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. As Vietnamization had reduced the visibility of the anti-war movement, and Shoup's criticism was not as prominent in the public arena. Fulbright and other senators urged the White House to listen to his criticisms, but Shoup's broader critique of American society and militarism was seen as more extreme than other officers who had simply criticized the strategy of the war.
His opposition to the war was met with resentment from many of the other officers in the Marine Corps, and Shoup was met with criticism that he was becoming mentally unfit or was treasonous in his actions. He was sharply criticized by journalist and former Marine Robert Heinl in several articles of the Detroit News where Heinl said Shoup was "going sour." General Rathvon M.C. Thompkins, one of Shoup's close friends, stopped speaking to him for several years. By December 1967, Shoup lost favor with the Johnson administration, his activities were monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and his patriotism was called into question in the media.
After 1971, Shoup's speaking and writing diminished and he faded from the public eye after the U.S. military withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973. After the war, he stayed out of the public spotilight. Shoup suffered from illness late in life, and he died on 13 January 1983 in Alexandria, Virginia. He was buried in section 7-A of Arlington National Cemetery.
Honors and decorations 
Medal of Honor citation 
Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, commanding officer of all Marine Corps troops on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, and Gilbert Islands, from 20 to November 22, 1943.
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
COLONEL DAVID M. SHOUP
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of all Marine Corps troops in action against enemy Japanese forces on Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands, from 20 to November 22, 1943. Although severely shocked by an exploding enemy shell soon after landing at the pier and suffering from a serious, painful leg wound which had become infected, Col. Shoup fearlessly exposed himself to the terrific and relentless artillery, machine gun, and rifle fire from hostile shore emplacements. Rallying his hesitant troops by his own inspiring heroism, he gallantly led them across the fringing reefs to charge the heavily fortified island and reinforce our hard-pressed, thinly held lines. Upon arrival on shore, he assumed command of all landed troops and, working without rest under constant, withering enemy fire during the next 2 days, conducted smashing attacks against unbelievably strong and fanatically defended Japanese positions despite innumerable obstacles and heavy casualties. By his brilliant leadership, daring tactics, and selfless devotion to duty, Col. Shoup was largely responsible for the final decisive defeat of the enemy, and his indomitable fighting spirit reflects great credit upon the U.S. Naval Service.
See also 
- Tucker 2011, p. 1036.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 362.
- Jablon 2005, p. 10.
- Jablon 2005, p. 11.
- Anderson 2000, p. 159.
- Douglass 2004, p. 182.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 115.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 124.
- Jablon 2005, p. 18.
- Jablon 2005, p. 19.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 363.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 125.
- Jablon 2005, p. 21.
- Jablon 2005, p. 22.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 364.
- Jablon 2005, p. 37.
- Alexander 1993, p. 7.
- Jablon 2005, p. 28.
- Jablon 2005, p. 29.
- Jablon 2005, p. 30.
- Jablon 2005, p. 32.
- Jablon 2005, p. 36.
- USS Shoup: Ship's namesake, General David M. Shoup, USMC, Washington, D.C.: United States Navy, 2013, retrieved 24 February 2013
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 126.
- Jablon 2005, p. 33.
- Alexander 1993, p. 2.
- Alexander 1993, p. 1.
- Jablon 2005, p. 38.
- Alexander 1993, p. 4.
- Alexander 1993, p. 5.
- Jablon 2005, p. 41.
- Alexander 1993, p. 33.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 114.
- Jablon 2005, p. 46.
- Alexander 1993, p. 17.
- Jablon 2005, p. 42.
- Jablon 2005, p. 44.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 119–120.
- Jablon 2005, p. 45.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 122.
- Jablon 2005, p. 49.
- Alexander 1993, p. 51.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 123.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 365.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 366.
- Banning 1988, p. 22.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 110.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 378.
- Douglass 2004, p. 22.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 127.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 367.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 368.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 370.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 371.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 369.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 373.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 374.
- Jablon 2005, p. 115.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 375.
- Anderson 2000, p. 161.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 112.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 111.
- Douglass 2004, p. 304.
- Millett & Shulimson 2004, p. 379.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 128.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 131.
- Anderson 2000, p. 162.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 129–130.
- Anderson 2000, p. 157.
- Anderson 2000, p. 166.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 134.
- Anderson 2000, p. 168.
- Anderson 2000, p. 169.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 133.
- Anderson 2000, p. 172.
- Anderson 2000, p. 171.
- Mikaelian 2003, p. 132.
- Tucker 2011, p. 1037.
- Banning 1988, pp. 27–28.
- Alexander, Joseph H. (1993), Across the Reef: The Marine Assault of Tarawa, Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Library, ISBN 978-1-4819-9936-6
- Anderson, David L. (2000), The Human Tradition in the Vietnam Era, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 978-0-8420-2763-2
- Banning, William (1988), Heritage Years: 2nd Marine Division Commemorative Anthology, 1940–1949, New York City, New York: Turner Publishing Company, ISBN 978-0-938021-58-2
- Douglass, James W. (2004), JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, New York City, New York: Touchstone Books, ISBN 978-1-4391-9388-4
- Jablon, Howard (2005), David M. Shoup: A Warrior Against War, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 978-0-7425-4487-1
- Mikaelian, Allen (2003), Medal of Honor: Profiles of America's Military Heroes From the Civil War to the Present, New York City, New York: Hyperion Books, ISBN 978-0-7868-8576-3
- Millett, Allan Reed; Shulimson, Jack (2004), Commandants of the Marine Corps, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, ISBN 978-0-87021-012-9
- Tucker, Spencer (2011), The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, ISBN 978-1-85109-960-3
- "Col David M. Shoup, Medal of Honor, 1943, Commanding Officer, Betio Island, Tarawa (Medal of Honor citation)". Marines Awarded the Medal of Honor. History Division, United States Marine Corps. Archived from the original on 2007-02-20.
Gen. Randolph M. Pate
|Commandant of the United States Marine Corps
Gen. Wallace M. Greene, Jr.