Eli Alva Helmick

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Eli Alva Helmick
Eli A. Helmick (US Army General).jpg
Born(1863-09-23)September 23, 1863
Quaker, Indiana, United States
DiedJanuary 13, 1945(1945-01-13) (aged 81)
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
AllegianceUnited States United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1888–1927
RankUS-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Service number0-213
UnitUSA - Army Infantry Insignia.png Infantry Branch
Commands held8th Division
11th Brigade
Battles/warsSpanish–American War
Moro Rebellion
Border War (1910–19)
World War I
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Allen Clarke[1]

Major General Eli Alva Helmick (September 23, 1863 – January 13, 1945) was a United States Army officer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He served in World War I, among other conflicts, and received the Distinguished Service Medal.[2]

Military career[edit]

Helmick was born in Quaker, Indiana[3][4] on September 23, 1863. He graduated from the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York, in June 1888.[1][5] Among his classmates there were several men who would, like Helmick himself, eventually attain the rank of general officer, such as James W. McAndrew, William M. Morrow, William Robert Dashiell, Robert Lee Howze, Peter Charles Harris, Peyton C. March, Henry Jervey Jr., William Voorhees Judson, John Louis Hayden, Edward Anderson, William H. Hart, Charles Aloysius Hedekin and William S. Peirce.

Helmick was commissioned into the 11th Infantry Regiment on June 11, 1888, and he did frontier duty from 1888 to 1892.[1] He was serving in Idaho when the labor union riots in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, occurred from September to November 1892.[6] He served on duty at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and he then worked as a Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Hillsdale College from 1894 through 1896. Helmick commanded Fort Reno from 1898 to 1899.[7][5]

Helmick participated in the Spanish–American War, serving from 1899 to 1901 as a provost marshal and inspector of the Rural Guard of Cuba, and receiving a Silver Star for his efforts.[3] He then went to the Philippines, commanding a battalion on Mindanao in 1902 against the Moros during the Moro Rebellion. After returning to the U.S., Helmick did recruiting duty in Springfield, Massachusetts from 1903 to 1906, and he commanded Fort Liscum from 1906 to 1907. He graduated from the School of the Line in 1909, from the United States Army War College in 1910, and later from Kansas State Agricultural College with an LL.D.[5] Helmick then served along the border with Mexico from 1915 to 1916.[7][5]

On August 8, 1918, during World War I, Helmick was promoted to the rank of major general. He commanded the 8th Division from September to November 1918 and afterward commanded Base Section Number Five Service of Supply in Brest, France, receiving the Army Distinguished Service Medal for his service in the latter position. The citation for the medal reads:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Major General Eli Alva Helmick, United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility during World War I. As Commanding General, Base Section No. 5, General Helmick has displayed brilliant administrative ability in successfully directing the manifold activities under his supervision. By his energy in expediting the completion of the various engineering projects necessitated by the enlargement of the Pontanezen Camp and the development of Brest as a foremost embarkation camp, he has rendered invaluable services to the American Expeditionary Forces.[3]

Helmick joined the General Staff on August 24, 1919, and he served as the Chief of Staff of the Central Department from August 23, 1919 to May 10, 1921. He subsequently became inspector general and was reappointed to the position on November 7, 1925.[5] Helmick retired on September 27, 1927.[7][5]

Helmick lived in Honolulu in retirement. He died on January 13, 1945, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[7][8]

Personal life[edit]

Helmick married Elizabeth Allen Clarke on November 20, 1889, and they had three children together.[1][5]


  1. ^ a b c d Davis 1998, p. 173.
  2. ^ "Eli A. Helmick". penelope.uchicago.edu. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Eli Alva Helmick". The Hall of Valor Project – Military Times Media Group. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  4. ^ "Major General Eli Alva Helmick". Geni.com. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Marquis Who's Who 1975, p. 249.
  6. ^ Davis 1998, p. 173–174.
  7. ^ a b c d Davis 1998, p. 174.
  8. ^ "Helmick, Eli A". ANC Explorer. Retrieved February 16, 2022.


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by Commanding General 8th Division
Succeeded by