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Douglas MacArthur was born on January 26, 1880 to Arthur and Mary Hardy MacArthur. He was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on an Army base, and was Mary and Arthur’s third son. Arthur was a captain in the Army at the time of Douglas” birth. Arthur was a decorated soldier from the Union Army during the Civil War. Mary was from Virginia, and had brothers that had fought for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. When Douglas was thirteen years old, he and his family moved to San Antonio, Texas. In San Antonio, Douglas went to school at the West Texas Military Academy. He was a good student, and played multiple sports in high school. After graduating from the West Texas Military Academy, MacArthur moved on to the United States Military Academy at West Point. MacArthur excelled at West Point, and even played on the school’s baseball team. He graduated from the Academy with honors in 1903.
After his graduation, MacArthur was assigned to be a junior officer in the Army Corps of Engineers. He spent the next decade providing service in many different locations. MacArthur received numerous promotions during his first decade of service. MacArthur spent time serving in the Philippines, Mexico, Japan, and France. He spent several months in Veracruz, Mexico with the U.S. troops that were occupying the location. At the start of World War I, he received another promotion to major, and was assigned to intelligence and administrative units. When the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, MacArthur was promoted to colonel of the 42nd Division. This was a National Guard unit made up of troops from different states.
In 1918 MacArthur showed his leadership capability in the St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and Sedan offensives. When he returned from duty in Europe, MacArthur became the superintendent at West Point. He held this position for three years, and also was promoted to brigadier general during this time. In 1922, MacArthur married his first wife, Louise Cromwell Brooks. MacArthur spent the rest of the decade in many different positions in the Army. He also was head of the American Olympic Committee during this time. In 1929, he divorced Louise Cromwell Brooks. In 1930, Douglas MacArthur received another promotion to general, and he was also selected as chief of staff of the Army.
In 1935, he was selected as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s military adviser to the Philippines. MacArthur was sent to the Philippines to set up a defensive military force in the area. Two years later, he married his second wife, Jean Faircloth. A year later, she gave birth to their only son, Arthur. Arthur was born in Manila. In 1941, MacArthur was called back to active duty. In July, he became the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific. He led numerous successful operations against the Japanese in the Philippines.
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