Reuben Ellis Jenkins

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Reuben Ellis Jenkins
Reuben Ellis Jenkins.jpg
General Ellis (far right) with other Korean War senior commanders
Born February 14, 1896 (1896-02-14)
Cartersville, Georgia
Died July 29, 1975 (1975-07-30) (aged 79)
Columbus, Georgia
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1917–1954
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Commands held
  • Joint U.S. Military Advancement and Planning Group, Greece
  • IX Corps
  • X Corps

Reuben Ellis Jenkins (February 14, 1896 – July 29, 1975) was a Lieutenant General in the United States Army.

Early life[edit]

Jenkins was born in Cartersville, Georgia on February 14, 1896. In April, 1917 he enlisted as a Private in the Georgia National Guard.[1]

World War I[edit]

In August, 1918 Jenkins as commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He served throughout World War I, commanding companies in the 31st, 77th and 1st Infantry Divisions.[2]

Post-World War I[edit]

Jenkins remained on active duty after World War I. In 1920 he was stationed at Camp Taylor, Kentucky. In 1922 he graduated from the Infantry Officer Course.[3]

During the 1920s and 1930s Jenkins served in assignments of increasing responsibility. He graduated from the Command and General Staff College in 1936. In 1937 he was assigned to Fort Moultrie, South Carolina.[4][5]

Jenkins graduated from the Army War College in 1938, afterwards serving as an instructor at the Command & General Staff College.[6]

In 1941 Jenkins was assigned to the office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, G-1 in Washington, D.C.[7]

World War II[edit]

In 1943 Jenkins became Chief of the Officer Branch for the Army Services of Supply.[8]

From 1944 to 1945 Jenkins was assigned to the 6th Army Group as a Brigadier General.[9] As Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations (G-3), he took part in planning the organization’s combat operations, including its advance through Bavaria into Austria and post-war occupation duty.[10][11]

Post-World War II[edit]

In 1946 General Jenkins was assigned as President of the Army Ground Forces Board.[12]

Jenkins was named Assistant Director of the Joint U.S. Military Advancement and Planning Group in Athens, Greece in 1948, advanced to Director with promotion to Major General, and remained in Greece until 1951.[13][14][15] In this assignment he took part in the successful U.S. effort to defeat a communist insurgency by rebuilding, equipping and training the Greek Army, which had been degraded by non-stop combat during World War II.[16]

From 1951 to 1952 General Jenkins was the Army’s Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, G-3.[17]

Korean War[edit]

Jenkins was assigned to command IX Corps in Korea, receiving promotion to Lieutenant General and serving until he was wounded, after which he was evacuated to the U.S. to recuperate. In October, 1952 Jenkins led a successful counterattack in the Chorwon Valley to defeat a North Korean attack, for which he received the Distinguished Service Cross.[18][19]

In 1953 Jenkins returned to Korea as commander of X Corps, serving until his 1954 retirement.[20]

Awards and decorations[edit]

In addition to the Distinguished Service Cross, Jenkins was a recipient of two Distinguished Service Medals, the Legion of Merit and the Purple Heart.[21]

Citation for Distinguished Service Cross[edit]

The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Lieutenant General Reuben E. Jenkins, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Commanding General, IX Corps. Lieutenant General Jenkins distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces in the Republic of Korea on in the vicinity of Chorwon, Korea, on 9 October 1952. On that date, the Ninth Korean Army Division was attacked by a superior and fanatical enemy force intent upon destroying the division and capturing Hill 395 (White Horse Mountain), a vital terrain feature dominating the Chorwon Valley. General Jenkins, taking with him his subordinate commanders, moved to the critical area in order to personally assess the situation and direct the forces under his command. Despite the extreme dangers from intense and continuous enemy artillery and mortar fire, General Jenkins remained in the danger area and served as a constant inspiration to his subordinate commanders and soldiers throughout the first phase of the battle, during which the friendly troops fought the superior and fanatical enemy to a standstill. After the enemy attack was successfully stopped, General Jenkins remained in the battle area, prepared and launched a counterattack. Through his continued presence in the battle area throughout the day, on foot, or in a helicopter at low altitude, in calm defiance of the enemy, he was an inspiration to his entire command and by these actions was able to supervise and closely direct the counterattack which resulted in annihilation of the determined, powerful and fanatical enemy. The skillful leadership and prolonged outstanding demonstration of personal courage shown by General Jenkins under extremely hazardous conditions constituted vital elements in the successful conclusion of the battle.

Name: Jenkins, Reuben E. Service: Army Rank: Lieutenant General Unit: Headquarters, Eighth U.S. Army, Korea Order: General Orders No. 801 Date: December 27, 1952[22]

Retirement and death[edit]

Jenkins lived in the area around Fort Benning and was active in several veterans’ organizations and civic groups, including the Rotary Club.[23]

General Jenkins died in Columbus, Georgia from a self-inflicted gunshot on July 29, 1975.[24]

The Reuben E. Jenkins Papers are part of the collections of the U.S. Army’s Military History Institute in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.[25]


  1. ^ 10,000 Famous Freemasons, By William R. Denslow and Harry S. Truman, A to J, Part One, 1957, pages 293 to 294
  2. ^ 10,000 Famous Freemasons
  3. ^ U.S. Army Register, published by U.S. Army Adjutant General, 1954
  4. ^ 1936–1937 Annual Report, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1937, page 6
  5. ^ U.S. Army Register, published by U.S. Army Adjutant General, 1937
  6. ^ U.S. Army Register, 1954
  7. ^ U.S. Army Register, published by U.S. Army Adjutant General, 1941
  8. ^ U.S. Army Register, 1954
  9. ^ 10,000 Famous Freemasons
  10. ^ Newspaper article, Haislip Succeeds Devers as 6th Army Group Head, Chicago Tribune, July 21, 1945
  11. ^ Newspaper article, Twelve Generals Return from Europe in One Day, Los Angeles Times, June 25, 1945
  12. ^ Magazine article, Private to General, published in Life of the Soldier and the Airman, 1949, volumes 35–36, page 9
  13. ^ Outposts and Allies: U.S. Army Logistics in the Cold War, 1945–1953, by James Alvin Huston, 1988, pages 180 to 181
  14. ^ Magazine article, Foreign News: Anti-Communist Defense in the Balkans, published in Time Magazine, April 2, 1951
  15. ^ Newspaper column, Washington Merry Go Round: American Impact on Greece, by Drew Pearson, published in St. Petersburg Times, March 12, 1951
  16. ^ The Will to Win: the Life of General James A. Van Fleet, by Paul F. Braim, 2001
  17. ^ The National Guardsman, 1952, Volume 6, page 44
  18. ^ Military Times, Hall of Valor, Alphabetical Index of Distinguished Service Cross Recipients
  19. ^ Newspaper article, General and 2 Colonels Receive D.S.C. in Korea, Associated Press, published in New York Times, January 5, 1953
  20. ^ U.S. Army Register, 1954
  21. ^ U.S. Army Register, 1954
  22. ^ Military Times, Hall of Valor, Distinguished Service Cross Citation, Reuben E. Jenkins
  23. ^ The Rotarian, June, 1963, page 42
  24. ^ Newspaper article, Fatally Wounded, Rome (Georgia) News-Tribune, July 30, 1975
  25. ^ WorldCat Library, Reuben E. Jenkins Papers page