Service summary of Douglas MacArthur

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Douglas MacArthur, United States Army General began his career in 1899, served in three major military conflicts and held the highest military office of the United States and of the Philippines during that service.

Chronology and summary of military service[edit]

West Point[edit]

Early career[edit]

  • October 1903: Serves with Company I, 3rd Battalion of Engineers in the Philippine Islands.
  • April 1904: Promoted to First Lieutenant.
  • November 1904: Becomes assistant to Chief Engineering Officer for the Army Pacific Division in San Francisco, California.
  • January 1905: Assigned to the California Debris Commission until October 1905.
  • Acting Chief Engineer Officer, Pacific Division, July 1905 to October 1905.
  • November 1905: Reports to Tokyo, Japan to serve as an aide to his father (Major General Arthur MacArthur, Jr.) in the Far East. Sees service in numerous locations in the Far East.
  • August 1906: Takes three month furlough. Returns to United States.
  • November 1906: Assigned to 2nd Engineer Battalion at Washington Barracks.
  • December 1906: Serves as aide-de-camp to President Theodore Roosevelt
  • August 1907: Attends the Engineering School of Application in Washington, D.C. Graduates February 28, 1908.
  • March 1908: Assigned as the Officer-in-Charge (OIC), Improvements Commission, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • April 1908: Appointed as commanding officer, Company K, 3rd Battalion of Engineers. Later that year becomes an instructor at the Mounted Service School, Fort Riley, Kansas
  • April 1909: Becomes Quartermaster for the 3rd Battalion of Engineers.
  • February 27, 1911: Promoted to captain and serves as the Officer-in-Charge of the Engineering Depot at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
  • November 1912: Assigned to the General Staff Corps, for duty as a member and recorder of the Board of Engineering Troops
  • April 1913: Appointed as superintendent of the State, War, and Navy Building in Washington, D.C. as a member of the Army General Staff
  • April 1914: Becomes the assistant engineering officer of the military expedition to Veracruz, Mexico
  • December 11, 1915: Promoted to major, serves as an engineering officer on the Army General Staff.
  • August 1917: Advanced to the temporary rank of colonel in the National Army. Reports to Camp Mills, Long Island, New York to begin forming the 42nd Division.

World War I[edit]

  • August 10, 1917: Becomes chief of staff of the 42nd Division and is credited with naming it the "Rainbow Division". Joins the American Expeditionary Force bound for France. Departs U.S. for France in November 1917.
  • June 26, 1918: Appointed a brigadier general in the National Army and in August is appointed as commander of the 84th Infantry Brigade. Briefly commands the 42nd Division from 10 to 22 November 1918.
  • 1918 – 1919: Receives two Distinguished Service Crosses and seven Silver Star Citations (later converted to Silver Stars) for battlefield leadership and bravery and also is wounded in action and gassed by the enemy. Was known for personally leading troops into battle, often without a weapon of his own. Begins to develop a negative relationship with General of the Armies John Pershing, after feeling that Pershing is wasting the lives of his troops with bad military tactics.
  • May 1919: Returns to the United States as a hero, but is distraught over the lack of recognition his Rainbow Division receives for actions in France.

Inter-war years[edit]

  • June 12, 1919: Becomes the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, West Point.[1]
  • January 20, 1920: Appointed as a brigadier general in the Regular Army.[1] Is one of the few officers who retain their wartime rank. Receives a negative evaluation report from Pershing, now Chief of Staff, who ranks Macarthur 38 out of 45 generals and states that MacArthur has an "exalted view of himself and should remain in his present grade for several years".
  • February 1922: Married socialite Louise Cromwell Brooks in Palm Beach, Florida.
  • November 1, 1922: Becomes Commanding General, District of Manila, in the Philippines.[1]
  • June 29, 1923: While still serving as District of Manila Commander, also becomes commander of the 23rd Infantry Brigade.
  • November 18, 1924: Assigned as commander of the Philippine Division.[1]
  • January 17, 1925: Promoted to major general, becoming the youngest two-star general in the U.S. Army. Returns to the United States to become a corps commander.[1]
  • May 1, 1925: Assigned as 4th Corps Area Commander, encompassing the southeastern states with headquarters in Atlanta.[1] Quickly reassigned as local residents did not welcome MacArthur because his father was a Union officer during the Civil War.
  • July 25, 1925: Relived of assignment as 4th Corps Area Commander.
  • August 1, 1925 – September 3, 1928: Serves as 3rd Corps Area Commander, with headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland.[1]
  • September 16, 1927 to 1928: Serves as president of the American Olympic Committee. Leads the United States Olympic Team to Amsterdam in August 1928.
  • October 1, 1928: Assigned as the Commanding General of the Philippine Department, with headquarters in Manila.[1]
  • 1929: Divorces his wife Louise due to mutual incompatibility.
  • October 2, 1930: Becomes the commander of the Ninth Corps Area with headquarters at the Presidio of San Francisco, California.[1]
  • November 21, 1930: Appointed by President Hoover as Chief of Staff of the United States Army and promoted to the rank of general on the same date.[1]
  • 1931: Proposes the Army General Staff Badge but it is not approved by the War Department until 1933.
  • February 22, 1932: Re-establishes the Purple Heart on the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Previously, wound chevrons were worn on the right sleeve of the uniform.
  • February 27, 1932: Installed as the Supreme Paramount Carabao of the Military Order of the Carabao in Washington, D.C.
  • June 1932: Presides over the dispersal of the "Bonus Army", deemed a low point of his tenure as Army Chief of Staff.
  • July 16, 1932: Establishes the Silver Star decoration for valor in combat to replace the Silver Citation Star which was worn on the appropriate campaign medal.
  • October 1, 1935: Completes his tour as chief of staff and declines retirement from the army. Per Army regulations, reverts to his permanent rank of major general.
  • October 1935: Meets heiress Jean Faircloth on his voyage to the Philippines.
  • October 26, 1935: Arrives in the Philippines and becomes the Chief Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines. Makes his residence at the Manila Hotel.
  • December 3, 1935: Mary Pinkney “Pinkie” Hardy MacArthur (b. 1852) dies in Manila.
  • January 14, 1936: Made a Master Mason at Sight by Samuel R. Hawthorne, Grand Master of the Philippines.
  • August 24, 1936: Commissioned as a field marshal in the Philippine Army. Only person to ever hold that rank in the Philippine Army.
  • April 30, 1937: Marries Jean Faircloth in New York City.
  • December 31, 1937: Retires from the U.S. Army at his own request. Placed on the retired list as a four-star general.
  • 1938 – 1941: Civilian adviser to the Philippine Government on military matters. Begins wearing the "scrambled eggs" cap often associated with him.
  • February 21, 1938: Son Arthur MacArthur IV is born in Manila.

World War II[edit]


  • July 26, 1941: Recalled to active service in the United States Army as a major general and appointed commanding general of United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE).
  • July 27, 1941: Commissioned as a lieutenant general in the Army of the United States.
  • December 8, 1941: Japanese invade the Philippines.
  • December 18, 1941: Promoted to four star general in the Army of the United States.
  • December 24, 1941: Moves headquarters from Manila to Corregidor. Declares Manila an open city.
  • December 1941–May 1942; Allied forces retreat to Bataan and Corregidor
  • January 15, 1942: $500,000 from the Philippine treasury is deposited by wire into MacArthur's personal bank account. It is a gratuity to MacArthur from Philippine President Manuel Quezon for his services to the Philippines.
  • February 22, 1942: Ordered by President Roosevelt to leave the Philippines and go to Australia.
  • March 12, 1942: Departs the Philippines by PT boat and later takes a plane from Mindanao to Australia.
  • March 17, 1942: Arrives at Batchellor Field in Darwin, Australia.
  • March 20, 1942: In Terowie, South Australia, MacArthur promises, "I came out of Bataan and I shall return."
  • April 1, 1942: Awarded the Medal of Honor by War Department General Order No. 16 for his efforts to defend the Philippines.
  • April 9, 1942: Last American and Filipino forces on the Bataan peninsula surrender.
  • April 18, 1942: Appointed Supreme Allied Commander, South West Pacific Area (SWPA). Australian Prime Minister John Curtin gives MacArthur control of the Australian military, which commences the New Guinea campaign. MacArthur also commands American, Dutch and New Zealand forces. Establishes headquarters in Melbourne, Australia.
  • May 6, 1942: Corregidor surrenders.
  • July 1942: Moves headquarters to Brisbane, Australia.
  • September 5, 1942: I Corps, commanded by Lieutenant General Robert Eichelberger, arrives in Australia and is assigned the 32nd and 41st Infantry Divisions. I Corps serves as the headquarters for US ground forces assigned to SWPA and is initially subordinate to the Australian First Army.
  • September 15, 1942: The 126th Infantry Regiment of the 32nd Infantry Division arrives in New Guinea. This marks the beginning of the New Guinea campaign.
  • September 19, 1942: Awarded Distinguished Service Medal by the American Legion.
  • November 6, 1942: Moves headquarters of SWPA to Port Moresby, New Guinea.
  • November 16, 1942 until 22 January 22, 1943: Battle of Buna–Gona. American and Australian forces under MacArthur engaged in a hard fought campaign eliminated a Japanese stronghold in southwestern New Guinea. Allied casualties were high and much was learned about conducting jungle warfare.


  • February 16, 1943: The Sixth United States Army is formed under the command of Lieutenant General Walter Kruger. The Sixth Army serves as the headquarters for all US ground forces in the South West Pacific Area.
  • March 2-4, 1943: Battle of the Bismarck Sea. Allied air forces under MacArthur's command sink 8 transports, 4 destroyers and destroy 20 fighter planes with light casualties. The victory greatly reduces Japan's ability to reinforce its forces on New Guinea.
  • June 30, 1943 to March 1944: MacArthur implements Operation Cartwheel, consisting of 10 individual operations with the goal of isolating the major Japanese base at Rabaul. The operation is based on the principles of avoiding strongly held areas and using "island hopping" to gain positional advantages.
  • 1943 – 1944: Argues with the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding reconquest of the Philippine Islands. Chiefs propose bypass; MacArthur has a conference with President Roosevelt and Admiral Chester Nimitz in July 1944 to argue for invading the Philippines. Due to logistics issues the Joint Chiefs decided to invade only the southern the Philippine Islands. MacArthur again must fight to convince his superiors to invade the entire Philippine Islands. The Joint Chiefs eventually agree that MacArthur is to lead the invasion the Philippine Islands at Leyte Gulf and strike toward Manila.


  • Early 1944: After being approached by Republican Party leaders, considers running for the Republican nomination for the 1944 presidential election.
  • March 29, 1944: Invested as a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath by The Rt Hon The Lord Gowrie VC, GCMG etc., Governor General of Australia.
  • April 30, 1944: Issues a statement asking that no action be taken to nominate him for president. He states, "I do not covet it nor would I accept it."
  • June 1944: Receives one vote for the presidential nomination at the 1944 Republican National Convention.
  • July 28, 1944: Meets with President Roosevelt, Admiral William Leahy and Admiral Chester Nimitz in Honolulu, Hawaii to discuss the alternatives of invading the Philippines or Taiwan prior to an invasion of Japan. MacArthur is successful in convincing Roosevelt to have him lead the invasion of the Philippines.
  • October 20, 1944: MacArthur fulfills his promise to return to the Philippines. U.S. forces landed at Leyte and began reconquest of Philippines.
  • December 18, 1944: Promoted to the newly created rank of General of the Army becoming second highest ranking active duty officer of the U.S. Army after George Marshall.


  • February 5, 1945: Forces under MacArthur's command liberate Manila. Moves headquarters to Manila.
  • March 7, 1945: Returns to Corregidor after its recapture.
  • March 11, 1945: Awarded the Medal of Valor by the Commonwealth of the Philippines.
  • Summer 1945: Begins planning the invasion of Japan (codenamed Operation Downfall) with a tentative starting date of November 1, 1945.
  • July 26, 1945: Briefed by Brigadier General Thomas F. Farrell about the atomic bomb.
  • August 6, 1945: MacArthur stunned by the news of the use of the atomic bomb to destroy Hiroshima, and is quoted as saying that "this apparatus will make men like me obsolete".
  • August 15, 1945: Japan surrenders. MacArthur is appointed Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) and given command of all Allied Forces in Japan. The Philippine Congress bestows on him honorary citizenship and decrees that his name will be carried in perpetuity on the rolls of the Philippine Army.
  • August 27, 1945: Elected as a Compatriot of the Empire State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
  • August 30, 1945: Arrives in Japan and assumes command of the occupation of Japan and is appointed military governor of Japanese home islands with his headquarters at the Dai Ichi Building in Tokyo.
  • September 2, 1945: Presides over the Japanese surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay on board the battleship USS Missouri. Threatens the Soviet Union with armed conflict should Red Army soldiers attempt to occupy any part of Japan.

Occupation of Japan[edit]

  • December 15, 1945: Orders the end of Shinto as the state religion of Japan.
  • 1945 – 1948: Begins sweeping reforms, drafts a new constitution for Japan granting women the right to vote, and puts an end to centuries of Emperor god-worship.
  • January 1946: Decides not to prosecute Emperor Hirohito for war crimes because the Emperor was invaluable to MacArthur's efforts to reform Japan.
  • January 19, 1946: The International Military Tribunal sits in Tokyo to conduct war crimes trials. MacArthur is given final authority to approve convictions and to carry out sentences.
  • March 23, 1946: Permanently promoted to General of the Army.
  • April 10, 1946: First free elections in Japan's history. Japanese women vote for the first time.
  • July 4, 1946: The Philippines become an independent nation. MacArthur, representing the United States Army, attends the celebration in Manila.
  • December 14, 1946: Invested with the Grand Cross of the French Legion of Honor.
  • May 3, 1947: Japan's new constitution, greatly influenced by MacArthur, goes into effect.
  • June 1948: Receives 11 votes for the presidential nomination at the 1948 Republican National Convention.
  • 9 July 1948: Returned to the active list of the Regular Army. (He had officially been a retired officer on active duty since 26 July 1941.)

Korean War[edit]

  • 1950: Elected an honorary member of the New York Society of the Cincinnati.
  • June 21, 1950: Meets with future Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in Tokyo.
  • June 25, 1950: Invasion by North Korea into South Korea.
  • July 8, 1950: Named Commander-in-Chief of all United Nations forces in Korea.
  • July 31, 1950: Travels to Taiwan and conducts diplomacy with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.
  • September 15, 1950: Leads UN forces at the invasion at Inchon, which is seen as one of the greatest military operations in history.
  • October 1, 1950: Calls on North Korean forces to lay down their arms.
  • October 15, 1950: Meets with President Truman on Wake Island after heavy disagreements develop regarding the conduct of the Korean War. When meeting Truman, it is very noticeable that MacArthur does not salute his Commander-in-Chief but rather offers a handshake. Truman awards MacArthur a fourth oak leaf cluster on his Distinguished Service Medal.
  • October 19, 1950: China intervenes in North Korea with 200,000 troops.
  • November – December 1950: With China committed to all-out war against the US on the Korean peninsula, MacArthur advocates for the same in return against China but is prohibited. He is outraged when military leaders in Washington restrict the war to only the Korean theater, meaning that he cannot bomb even the bridges of the Yalu river over which Chinese troops, supplies, and material are streaming across. He is further restricted from bombing their bases in Manchuria. MacArthur expressed his outrage later, saying that "The order not to bomb the Yalu bridges was the most indefensible and ill-conceived decision ever forced on a field commander in our nation's history."
  • March 25, 1951: MacArthur is directed to clear his press releases with Washington prior to making them public.
  • April 5, 1951: Republican Congressman Joseph Martin reads a letter written to him by MacArthur on March 20, 1951 to the House of Representatives. In the letter MacArthur supports Martin's view that Chinese Nationalist forces should be employed in the Korean War. This position is in conflict with the policies of the Truman administration.
  • April 10, 1951: President Truman meets with senior officials regarding MacArthur's insubordination. It is decided that MacArthur should be relived of command of United Nations forces in Korea.
  • April 11, 1951: After several public criticisms of White House policy in Korea, which were seen as undercutting the Commander-in-Chief's position, President Truman removes MacArthur from command and orders him to return to the United States. Some suggest Truman may have exchanged MacArthur for a sound nuclear policy in Korea since he did not trust "Brass Hat MacArthur" with nuclear weapons. Some disagree with this, however, since (as David Horowitz noted in The Free World Colossus) MacArthur later came out against Truman's use of the bomb against Japan and there seems to be no concrete evidence of a major change in his views.

Later life[edit]

  • April 19, 1951: At a farewell address before the United States Congress, MacArthur gives his famous "Old Soldiers Never Die" speech.[2]
  • April 19, 1951: Awarded Gold Commemorative Medal by New York City.
  • April 20, 1951: Honored with a ticker tape parade in New York City.
  • April 25 1951: Addresses a crowd of 50,000 at Soldier Field in Chicago.
  • April 27, 1951: Visits Milwaukee, Wisconsin and accepts honorary degree from Marquette University.
  • April 28, 1951: Awarded Distinguished Service Citizens Medal by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
  • May 1, 1951: Awarded Gold Good Citizenship Medal by the Sons of the American Revolution.
  • May 3-5, 1951: Appears before the Senate committees on Foreign Relations and Armed Services. MacArthur answers questions about the conduct of the Korean War and his relief from command.
  • May 1951: Retires a second time from the U.S. Army, but is listed as permanently on active duty due to the regulations regarding those who hold the rank of General of the Army. For administrative reasons, he is assigned in absentee to the office of the Army Chief of Staff. Makes his residence at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
  • June 13, 1951: Addresses the Texas State Legislature in Austin. Warns against a policy of appeasement.
  • July 25, 1951: Addresses the Massachusetts State Legislature in Boston. He states that it is a dangerous concept for members of the military to owe their primary allegiance to those in temporary authority in the executive branch of government rather than to their country and its Constitution.
  • October 17, 1951: Addresses the National Convention of the American Legion in Miami, Florida.
  • 1952: Allows name to be placed on primary ballots for Republican nomination, but does not campaign or announce as a candidate.
  • July 1952: Delivers the keynote address at the 1952 Republican National Convention. Senator Robert Taft promises supporters to name MacArthur as candidate for vice president, but Taft loses to nomination to Eisenhower at the on the 1st ballot. MacArthur received 10 votes on the 1st ballot before shifts and only 4 votes after shifts.
  • 1952: Nominated for president, without his consent, by the Constitution Party (a.k.a. the America First Party or [[Christian Nationalist Party) with Senator Harry F. Byrd as the nominee for vice president. Receives 17,205 votes nationwide.
  • 1952: Accepts position as chairman of the board of directors of Remington Rand Corporation.
  • December 17, 1952: At the request of President-elect Eisenhower, MacArthur meets with him and Secretary of State designate John Foster Dulles at the Waldorf Astoria to discuss MacArthur's suggestions for ending the Korean War.
  • March 18, 1954: Meets with President Eisenhower at the White House.
  • 1955: Is considered for promotion to the rank of General of the Armies. The promotion does not take place, various difficulties having arisen.
  • July 30, 1957: Addresses stockholders meeting of Sperry Rand Corporation. Comments on the negative economic impact of taxation.
  • December 1, 1959: Addresses Football Hall of Fame dinner in New York City.
  • 1960: Active in U.S. Olympic affairs.
  • June 21, 1960: Invested with the Grand Cordon with Paulownia Flowers of the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun. (This makes MacArthur one of the few generals in history to be honored by a country he fought against.)
  • January 10, 1961: Invested as Chief Commander of the Philippine Legion of Honor.
  • April 28, 1961: Meets with President John F. Kennedy at the Waldorf Astoria.
  • June 6, 1961: Arthur MacArthur IV graduates from Columbia University. Lives a reclusive adult life in New York City under an assumed name.
  • July 4, 1961: Visits the Philippines on the fifteenth anniversary of its independence. This is his last appearance in uniform.
  • July 20, 1961: Meets with President Kennedy at the White House.
  • 1961: Awarded an honorary Combat Infantryman Badge by Army Chief of Staff General George H. Decker. During World War II, Decker served as chief of staff of the Sixth United States Army, which was a major element under MacArthur's command.
  • May 12, 1962: Gives famous Duty, Honor, Country speech at West Point upon accepting the Sylvanus Thayer Award granted by the West Point Association of Graduates.
  • May 25, 1962: Awarded Silver Buffalo Award from the Boy Scouts of America.
  • August 16, 1962: Meets with President Kennedy at the White House.
  • October 9, 1962: Awarded Congressional Gold Medal.
  • September 30, 1963: Awarded the Distinguished Achievement Medal by Freemasonry.
  • March 2, 1964: Goes to Walter Reed Army Hospital for a checkup due to stomach pains.
  • March 6, 1964: Has surgery for removal of his gallbladder and of gallstones, which had been causing obstructive jaundice.
  • March 1964: Visited by President Lyndon Johnson while recovering from surgery.
  • April 5, 1964: General of the Army Douglas MacArthur dies of liver and kidney failure following gallbladder surgery at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. President Johnson orders all US flags be flown at half staff until after MacArthur's burial.
  • April 7, 1964: Lies in honor at the Seventh Regiment Armory in New York City.
  • April 8-9, 1964: Lies in state at the United States Capitol rotunda in Washington, D.C. Eulogies are given by the chaplains of the House and Senate and President Johnson lays a wreath on MacArthur's casket. Admiral George Dewey and General John Pershing are the only other military officers who were not presidents or senators to have lain in state at the Capitol.
  • April 9, 1964: Interred at the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • January 22, 2000: Jean MacArthur dies in New York City and is buried with her husband.

Major assignments[edit]

  • Chief of Staff, 42nd Division - 10 August 1917 to 26 June 1918
  • Commander, 84th Infantry Brigade, 42d Division - 26 June 1918 to 12 April 1919
  • Acting Commander, 42nd Division - 10 November 1918 to 22 November 1918
  • Superintendent, United States Military Academy - 12 June 1919 to 30 June 1922
  • Commander, District of Manila - 1 November 1922 to 29 June 1923
  • Commander, 23rd Infantry Brigade - 29 June 1923 to 17 January 1925
  • Commander, Philippine Division - 18 November 1924 to 30 January 1925
  • Commander, Fourth Corps Area, Atlanta - 1 May 1925 to 26 July 1925
  • Commander, Third Corps Area, Baltimore - 1 August 1925 to 3 September 1928
  • Commander, Philippine Department - 1 October 1928 to September 1930
  • Commander, Ninth Corps Area, San Francisco - 2 October 1930 to 20 November 1930
  • Chief of Staff, United States Army - 21 November 1930 to 1 October 1935
  • Chief Military Advisor to the Philippines - 26 October 1935 to 26 July 1941 (Held position as a civilian from 1 January 1938.)
  • Commander, United States Army Forces in the Far East - 26 July 1941 to 4 July 1946
  • Supreme Allied Commander, South West Pacific Area - 18 April 1942 to 13 August 1945
  • Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, Japan - 14 August 1945 to 11 April 1951
  • Commander in Chief, Far East Command - 1 January 1947 to 11 April 1951
  • Commander in Chief, United Nations Command, Korea - 8 July 1950 to 11 April 1951 [3]

Dates of rank[edit]

Insignia Rank Component Date
None Cadet United States Military Academy June 13, 1899
No pin insignia in 1903 Second Lieutenant, Engineers Regular Army June 11, 1903
US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant, Engineers Regular Army April 23, 1904
US-O3 insignia.svg Captain, Engineers Regular Army February 27, 1911
US-O4 insignia.svg Major, Engineers Regular Army December 11, 1915
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel, Infantry National Army August 11, 1917
(Date of rank was August 5, 1917.)
US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General National Army July 11, 1918.
(Date of rank was June 26, 1918.)
US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General Regular Army February 28, 1920
(Date of rank was January 20, 1920.)
US-O8 insignia.svg Major General Regular Army January 17, 1925
US-O10 insignia.svg General Temporary November 21, 1930
US-O8 insignia.svg Reverted to Major General Regular Army October 1, 1935
US-O10 insignia.svg General Retired list January 1, 1938
US-O8 insignia.svg Major General Regular Army July 26, 1941
(Recalled to active duty.)
US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General Army of the United States July 27, 1941
US-O10 insignia.svg General Army of the United States December 22, 1941
(With date of rank September 16, 1936.)
US-O11 insignia.svg General of the Army Army of the United States December 18, 1944
US-O11 insignia.svg General of the Army Regular Army March 23, 1946


In 1955, legislation was in the early stages of consideration by the United States Congress which would have authorized the President of the United States to promote Douglas MacArthur to the rank of General of the Armies.[5][6] A similar measure had also been proposed unsuccessfully by Stuart Symington in 1945.[7] However, because of several complications which would arise if such a promotion were to take place, the bill was withdrawn.

Orders, decorations and medals[edit]

Throughout his career, Douglas MacArthur earned nearly 100 awards including:

Combat Infantry Badge.svg
Medal of Honor ribbon.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Navy Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg
Air Medal ribbon.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Philippine Campaign Medal ribbon.svg Mexican Service Medal ribbon.svg
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Army of Occupation of Germany ribbon.svg
Bronze star
Silver star
Silver star
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg Army of Occupation ribbon.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
BEL Kroonorde Grootkruis BAR.svg PHL Legion of Honor - Chief Commander BAR.png
Cavaliere di Gran Croce OCI Kingdom BAR.svg TCH CS Vojensky Rad Bileho Lva 1st (1945) BAR.svg POL Polonia Restituta Wielki BAR.svg
SRB-SHS-YUG Orden Belog Orla sa macevima VKrst BAR.svg JPN Toka-sho BAR.svg Order of Precious Tripod with Special Grand Cordon ribbon.png
HUN Order of Merit of the Hungarian Rep (military) 1class BAR.svg Order of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes - Grand Cross (Cuba) - ribbon bar v. 1926.png
Order of Abdón Calderón 1st Class (Ecuador) - ribbon bar.png PHL Order of Sikatuna - Commander BAR.png BEL Militair Kruis 1klasse BAR.svg Philippine Medal of Valor ribbon.jpg
Medaille militaire ribbon.svg
Gold star
BEL Croix de Guerre WW1 ribbon.svgFR CdG palm br.png
Distinguished Conduct Star Ribbon Bar.png Croce di guerra al merito BAR.svg Virtuti Militari Ribbon.png GRE War Cross 1940 ribbon.svg
Noribbon.svg Guatemalan Armed Forces Cross.jpg
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
PHL Independence Medal ribbon.png Ribbon - Pacific Star.png Republic of Korea War Service Medal ribbon.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Combat Infantryman Badge
Medal of Honor Army Distinguished Service Cross
with two bronze oak leaf clusters
Army Distinguished Service Medal
with four oak leaf clusters
Navy Distinguished Service Medal Silver Star
with six oak leaf clusters
Distinguished Flying Cross Bronze Star
with "V" device
Air Medal Purple Heart
with oak leaf cluster
Philippine Campaign Medal Mexican Service Medal
World War I Victory Medal
with five battle clasps
Army of Occupation of Germany Medal American Defense Service Medal
with "Foreign Service" clasp
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
with two silver service stars & arrowhead device
World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal
with "Japan" clasp
National Defense Service Medal
(posthumously eligible for bronze oak leaf cluster)
Korean Service Medal
with three bronze service stars & arrowhead device
Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath
(Military Division)
Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour Belgian Order of the Crown, Grand Cross Philippine Legion of Honor
Degree of Chief Commander
Grand Cordon, Order of the Crown of Italy Czechoslovakian Military Order of the White Lion, Grand Cross Polish Order of Polonia Restituta, Grand Cross Grand Cross Netherlands Order of Orange-Nassau with Swords
Yugoslavian Order of the White Eagle, Grand Cross with swords Japanese Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers Knight Grand Cross of Military Order of Italy Chinese Special Grand Cordon
Order of Pao Ting
(Precious Tripod)
Hungarian Grand Cross
of the Order of Merit
(Military Division)
Grand Cross Order of Romanian Military Merit Korean Taegeuk Cordon of the Order of Military Merit Grand Cross of the Order of Merit "Carlos Manuel de Céspedes"
Ecuadorian Star of Abdon Calderon, First Class Commander, Order of Sikatuna
Belgian Military Cross, 1st class Philippine Medal of Valor
Médaille militaire French Croix de Guerre
with bronze palm and gilt star
French Croix de Guerre
with bronze palm
Belgian Croix de Guerre
with bronze palm
Philippine Distinguished Conduct Star Italian War Merit Cross Polish Virtuti Militari, V Class Greek War Cross, 3rd class
Mexican Medal of Military Merit Guatemalan Cross of Military Merit, First Class Philippine Defense Medal
with one bronze campaign star
Philippine Liberation Medal
with two bronze campaign stars
Philippine Independence Medal United Nations Korea Medal Pacific Star
(United Kingdom)
Republic of Korea War Service Medal
U.S. Army Presidential Unit Citation
with three oak leaf clusters
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation

Note - General MacArthur received every U.S. Army decoration and service medal which he was potentially eligible for except for the Legion of Merit.

Civil awards[edit]

In addition to the military awards listed above, General MacArthur received numerous other honors and awards. Below is a partial listing.

General MacArthur appeared on the cover of Time magazine a total of eight times. He was also featured on the cover of Life magazine six times. In addition, his trademark "scrambled eggs" hat appeared on the cover of Life magazine following his death in 1964.


General MacArthur belonged to several military and hereditary societies including the Society of the Cincinnati (elected an honorary member of the New York Society in 1950), Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (insignia number 15,317), Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Sons of the American Revolution (accepted by the Empire State Society on August 27, 1945, and assigned national membership number 65,843 and state membership number 7,723), Military Order of Foreign Wars, Military Order of the World Wars (of which he served as national commander in 1928), Order of Lafayette, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion (member of Post 23 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin). MacArthur was installed as the Supreme Paramount Carabao of the Military Order of the Carabao at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on February 27, 1932.[8]

In 1942 he received the American Legion's Distinguished Service Medal.[9] On October 13, 1951, he was elected an honorary national president of the Society of American Legion Founders.[10]

MacArthur was also eligible for membership in Sons of the Revolution, Society of Colonial Wars and the Order of the Indian Wars of the United States, however, his membership in these organizations has not been confirmed.

On January 17, 1936, MacArthur was made a Freemason at sight by Samuel Hawthorne, Grand Master of Masons in the Philippines in a two-hour ceremony. After being raised to the degree of Master Mason, MacArthur joined Manila Lodge No.1. On October 19, 1937, he was elected Knight Commander Court of Honor, and on December 8, 1947, he was coroneted to the honorary 33rd Degree at the American Embassy in Tokyo. He was also a life member of the Nile Shrine in Seattle, Washington.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Cullum's Register of Graduates of the USMA. Vol. VII pg. 576.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^*.html
  4. ^ Official Register of Commissioned Officers of the United States Army, 1948. Vol. 2. pg. 2312.
  5. ^ Congressional Research Service (1955). Digest of Public General Bills and Resolutions. 84. Library of Congress. p. dccc.
  6. ^ United States Congress (1955). Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States. 84. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 141, 1276, 1312.
  7. ^ Olson, James C. (2003). Stuart Symington: A Life. University of Missouri Press. p. 408. ISBN 9780826264596.
  8. ^ New York Times. February 28, 1932.
  9. ^ "Gen. Douglas A. MacArthur". The American Legion.
  10. ^ New York Times. October 14, 1951.

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