General Malin Craig, official Army portrait
|Birth name||George Malin Craig|
August 5, 1875|
St. Joseph, Missouri.
|Died||July 25, 1945
|Buried at||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1898–1939
|Commands held||Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
|Battles/wars||China Relief Expedition
World War I
World War II
|Awards||Distinguished Service Medal (3)|
Craig graduated West Point on April 26, 1898 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry branch. He transferred to the Cavalry on June 23.
World War I
Craig was promoted to major on May 15, 1917 - shortly after the United States entered World War I in April of the same year. He was promoted to temporary lieutenant colonel on August 17 and temporary colonel on March 27, 1918.
He served in France during World War I as Chief-of-Staff to General Hunter Liggett in the 41st Infantry Division and later in I Corps where he was promoted to temporary brigadier general on July 11, 1918. He then became Chief-of-Staff of the 3rd Army.
He received the Distinguished Service Medal for his service during the First World War. His citation reads as follows - "General Craig served in turn as Chief of Staff of a division, a corps, and an Army, in each of which capacities he exhibited great ability. His personal influence, aggressiveness, and untiring efforts were repeatedly displayed in the operations of the 1st Corps in the vicinity of Chateau-Thierry, on the Oureq, and the Vesle during the St. Mihiel and Argonne-Meuse offensives."
After the war, Craig reverted to his permanent rank of major on August 15, 1919 but was promoted to colonel on July 1, 1920 and to brigadier general only 15 days later.
He served as Chief of Cavalry with the rank of major general from July 24, 1924 to March 20, 1926. He also commanded the Panama Canal Zone.
Chief of Staff
Craig served as president of the Army War College in 1935 and served as the U.S. Army Chief of Staff from October 2, 1935 to August 31, 1939, succeeding General Douglas MacArthur, and preceding George C. Marshall. That appointment carried with it a temporary promotion to full (four star) general.
As Chief of Staff of the Army, Craig pointed out to Congress the Army's lack of preparedness in manpower and material, stressed the necessity of lead time in military preparedness, focused attention on Army planning, and, within governmental constraints, prepared the Army for World War II. He retired, in his permanent rank of major general, on August 31, 1939 - after forty-one years of active duty. Upon his retirement, he received a second Distinguished Service Medal for his service as Army Chief of Staff.
World War II and death
General Craig's retirement was short-lived, however. On September 26, 1941, with war on the horizon he was recalled to active duty to head the War Department's Personnel Board, a body responsible for selecting individuals who were to receive direct commissions in the Army. He headed the board in his permanent rank of major general until shortly before his death in Washington, D.C., on July 25, 1945. He was posthumously awarded a third Distinguished Service Medal and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
United States decorations and medals
- Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
- Spanish Campaign Medal
- China Relief Expedition Medal
- Philippine Campaign Medal
- Mexican Border Service Medal
- World War I Victory Medal
- Army of Occupation of Germany Medal
- American Defense Service Medal
- American Campaign Medal
- World War II Victory Medal
Foreign orders and decorations
- Venezuelan Order of the Liberator, Knight Commander
- British Order of the Bath, Companion
- Belgian Order of the Crown, Commander
- Italian Order of the Crown, Commander
- French Legion of Honor, Officer
- French Croix de Guerre with two palms
Dates of rank
|No insignia||Cadet, United States Military Academy: June 20, 1894|
|No pin insignia in 1898||Second Lieutenant, Regular Army: April 26, 1898|
|First Lieutenant, Regular Army: February 2, 1901|
|Captain, Regular Army: May 7, 1904|
|Major, Regular Army: May 15, 1917|
|Lieutenant Colonel, National Army: August 5, 1917|
|Colonel, National Army: February 6, 1918|
|Brigadier General, National Army: June 26, 1918|
|Major, Regular Army (reverted to permanent rank): August 15, 1919|
|Colonel, Regular Army: July 1, 1920|
|Brigadier General, Regular Army: April 28, 1921|
|Major General, Regular Army: July 24, 1924|
|General, Regular Army, for service as Army Chief of Staff: October 2, 1935|
|General, Retired List: August 31, 1939|
- Official Register of the United States Army. 1945. The Adjutant General. Washington, D.C. pg. 1135.
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|Chief of Staff of the United States Army
George C. Marshall
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