Dennis E. Nolan

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Dennis Edward Nolan
Dennis E Nolan.jpg
Gen. Dennis E. Nolan
Born (1872-04-22)April 22, 1872
Akron, New York
Died February 24, 1956(1956-02-24) (aged 83)
New York, New York
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service 1896–1936
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Commands held
  • Chief, Intelligence Services, American Expeditionary Force
  • 55th Brigade – 28th Infantry Division
  • Director, Military Intelligence Division G-2
  • 2nd Infantry Division
  • Fifth Corps Area
  • Second Corps Area
  • First United States Army
Battles/wars
Awards
Other work President, U.S. Military Academy Association of Graduates

Dennis E. Nolan (April 22, 1872 – February 24, 1956) was a career officer with the United States Army through three wars. He distinguished himself by heading the first modern American military combat intelligence function during World War I. Nolan served as the head football coach at the United States Military Academy in 1902, compiling a record of 6–1–1.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Akron, New York, outside of Buffalo, New York, Nolan was the son of an Irish immigrant. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1896.[1]

During the Spanish-American war[edit]

He was commissioned a second lieutenant and joined the Third Infantry. Nolan served with the Sanitary Corps, during the Spanish–American War.[2]

Football coaching career[edit]

In 1902, Nolan coached the Army football team to a record of 6 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw.[3] The New York Times of 1930s noted that many contemporary U. S. Generals (Nolan, Leon Kromer, Malin Craig, Paul Bunker) were connected by past football experience at West Point.[4][5]

Later military career[edit]

During World War I, Nolan organized the Intelligence Section for the American Expeditionary Forces' general headquarters.[6]

Starting in August 1920, Nolan, then a brigadier general, served for a year as the War Department Chief of Military Intelligence Division.[7]

From 1927 to 1931, Nolan was commander of Fifth Corps Area, headquartered at Fort Hayes at Columbus, Ohio,[8] one of and geographically the largest of nine corps areas established in the continental United States for the administration of the regular army and reserves by the National Defense Act of 1920. As a corps area commander, he oversaw peacetime training for Army Reserves and the National Guard. In time of war, the corps areas would theoretically have ready made corps combat command structures in place to administer regiments of Regular Army, Reserve and National Guard. During the lean post-war and Great Depression years of military spending, he as well other corps commanders were expected to maintain good relations with the public and civilian officials.

Nolan accepted his final posting as commanding general of Second Corps Area, in charge of army units and facilities in New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Puerto Rico on December 1, 1931. On October 1, 1933, U.S. First Army was reestablished, co-located and co-staffed with Second Corps Area at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York. Nolan became First Army's first peace time commander. Nolan ended his active duty army career upon retirement on April 30, 1936.[9]

Awards[edit]

Nolan received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, and 2 Silver Star Citations.[10] He also received the Croix de Guerre with Palm and the Medal of Solidaridad from Panama. He was made a Commander of the Order of the Bath, a Commander of the Legion of Honour, and a Commander of Order of the Crown.[11]

Personal life[edit]

He married Julia Grant Sharp on August 21, 1901. They had two children: Dennis and Ellen Honora.[12]

Death and legacy[edit]

Nolan died on February 24, 1956 in New York City[13] and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.[14] General Nolan is a member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Army Cadets (Independent) (1902)
1902 Army 6–1–1
Army: 6–1–1
Total: 6–1–1

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Davis Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 284. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151. 
  2. ^ Davis Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 284. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151. 
  3. ^ "Dennis E. Nolan". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on 2016-08-09. 
  4. ^ Many of Army's Football Stars Now Hold High Rank in Service. The New York Times, October 16, 1935.
  5. ^ Many West Point Athletes Who Became Generals. The New York Times, August 2, 1931.
  6. ^ Davis Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 284. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151. 
  7. ^ Davis Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 284. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151. 
  8. ^ Davis Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 284. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151. 
  9. ^ Davis Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 284. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151. 
  10. ^ "Valor awards for Dennis Edward Nolan". 
  11. ^ Davis Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 284. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151. 
  12. ^ Davis Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 284. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151. 
  13. ^ Davis Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. p. 284. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151. 
  14. ^ Patterson, Michael Robert. "Dennis Edward Nolan, Major General, United States Army". 

Further reading[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Hunter Liggett
Commanding General of the First United States Army
1 October 1933 to 30 April 1936
Succeeded by
Fox Conner