close
Canadian army

What are the two important military appointments granted to Eisenhower?

What are the two important military appointments attributed to Eisenhower? The short answer is Commander (SHAPE) Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force and Commander (SACEUR) Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

But there is more detailed information worth discovering. So, keep reading.

background background

Who is Dwight D. Eisenhower?

Fast facts

as-british-and-american-forces-crossed-italy-in-1943

  • Date of Birth: October 14, 1890
  • Place of birth: Denison, TX
  • Date of death: March 28, 1969 (aged 78)
  • Place of death: washington d.c.
  • Resting place: Presidential library, museum and childhood home

What war did General Eisenhower fight in? – Brief of Eisenhower’s military career

Eisenhower was sworn in as a cadet in 1911 at the United States Military Academy at West Point. After graduating in 1915, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army.

Eisenhower was assigned to Fort Sam Houston in the 19th Infantry Regiment and entered World War I on the Continental side.

Eventually, he became a brevet lieutenant-colonel and commanded a unit in the national army. His unit trained tank crews at Camp Colt at “Pickett’s Charge” on the Gettysburg battlefield.

He received a Distinguished Service Medal but was disappointed that he missed out on war front and combat duty.

After the war, Eisenhower returned to his usual rank of captain, but was promoted to major a few days later. From there he had several missions (to name a few):

  • 1919 – Vehicle testing and road improvement work during a transcontinental army convoy
  • Until 1922 – Command a tank battalion at Camp Meade, Maryland
  • 1920 – Served under Generals Fox Conner, John Pershing, Douglas MacArthur, George Marshall
    • He became general manager to General Conner and served until 1924
    • He studied at the Command and General Staff College from 1925 to 1926.
    • Until 1927 he served as a battalion commander at Fort Benning, Georgia.
  • 1928 – He graduated from the Army War College.
  • From 1929 to February 1933, he was General George V. Moseley’s executive officer.
  • 1933 – He graduated from the Army Industrial College i. washington d.c.
  • He was later appointed Chief Military Assistant to General Douglas MacArthur, Army Chief of Staff.
  • 1932 – He helped clear the Bonus March encampment in Washington, D.C. l
  • 1935 – He went with MacArthur to the Philippines and served as deputy military adviser to the Philippine government.
  • December 1939 – He returned to the United States and became commander of the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment at Fort Lewis, Washington.
  • March 1941 – He becomes colonel and chief of staff of the new IX Corps under the command of Major General Kenyon Joyce.
  • June 1941 – He becomes chief of staff to General Walter Krueger, who was the commander of the Third Army, at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.
  • October 1941 – He becomes a brigadier general after taking part in the maneuvers in Louisiana.

1. World War II

after-serving-as-commander-of-us-forces-in-europe

  • He became the General Staff in Washington after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and served until June 1942.
    • Eisenhower was tasked with creating the main war plans against Japan and Germany.
    • He was responsible for the defenses of the Pacific as Deputy Chief under the Chief of the War Plans Division (WPD), General Leonard T. Gero.
    • Eventually, he succeeded General Leonard T. Gerow as head of the war planning division.
    • Subsequently, he became Deputy Chief of Staff. In this position, he was responsible for the operations division which replaced WPD. He was under General George C. Marshall, who was the Chief of Staff.
  • Late May 1942 – He went with Lieutenant General Henry H. Arnold, who was the Commanding General of the Air Force, to London. There they assessed the effectiveness of the theater commander, Major General James E. Chaney in England.
  • June 1942 – He returns as Commanding General of the European Theater of Operations.
  • A month later, he was promoted to lieutenant general.
  • November 1942 – He became Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force North African Theater (NATOUSA) through the new Allied Force (Expeditionary) Headquarters (A(E)FHQ).
  • February 1943 – His command of AFHQ expanded to include the British Eighth Army across the Mediterranean basin, and he played a key role as British and American forces crossed into Italy in 1943.
  • December 1944 – He becomes an army general. In this command, he displayed his great diplomatic and leadership skills and earned the respect of many although he never saw action.

Eisenhower’s command in World War II was not the end, however.

2. After the World Wars

  • After the surrender of the Germans, he became military governor of the American occupation zone.
  • He ordered crews to document Nazi concentration camp evidence for the Nuremberg trials
  • He reclassified German prisoners of war so that they would no longer be subject to the Geneva Convention
  • He also organized the distribution of food and medical supplies to German civilians.

All of his actions echoed the new American view that the Germans were Nazi victims and the bad guys were just the ex-Nazis.

  • November 1945 – Replaced Marshall as Army Chief of Staff to demobilize soldiers

President of Columbia University and Supreme Commander of NATO

  • 1948 – He becomes president of Columbia University
    • He became the adviser to the United States Secretary of Defense for the unification of the armed forces
    • He then became the informal Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington
  • December 1950 – He becomes Supreme Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and given operational command of NATO forces in Europe

3. 1952 presidential campaign

  • June 1952 – After much persuasion, he resigns his command at NATO to campaign as full-time president
  • He beat Taft for the nomination with his “I Like Ike” campaign
  • He defeated Adlai Stevenson II (his Democratic nominee), marking the first Republican comeback in 20 years

4. Election of 1956

  • November 1956 – He successfully runs for re-election

5. Presidency (1953 – 1961)

  • He raced against Adlai Stevenson again and won again

Eisenhower’s 2 most important missions

1. Commander Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF)

SHAEF is the headquarters of the Commander of Allied Forces in North West Europe. It was founded in 1943 and remained active until 1945.

He commanded formations on the Western Front with various forces, including the American and French Liberation Army and the British and Canadian Army. Additionally, SHAEF commanded Allied airborne forces and two tactical air forces. More precisely:

  • The First Allied Airborne Army
  • The British 21st Army Group
    • The 1st Canadian Army and the 2nd British Army
  • The US 12th Army Group
    • The 1st, 3rd, 9th, and 15th United States Armies
  • The US 6th Army Group
    • The 1st French Army and the 7th American Army
  • The Ninth United States Air Force
  • The RAF’s Second Tactical Air Force

Dwight D. Eisenhower, then General of the Army, assumed SHAEF’s highest post: Supreme Allied Commander. In this position, he planned and led many invasions, including that of Normandy in France. Today we consider it “D-Day”.

He was tasked in these positions with planning and carrying out the Allied assault on the Normandy coast in June 1944 under the code name Operation Overlord, the liberation of Western Europe and the invasion of Germany.

Eisenhower’s appointment was the result of a steady military rise, beginning with his command of all American troops in the European theater of World War II in 1942.

2. Commander of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)

This is the Allied Command (ACO) Operations Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). She is based in Casteau Belgium. Within NATO, SACEUR occupies the second highest military position in terms of precedence. He is therefore just below the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.

Eisenhower became commander of SACEUR in December 1950. After assuming this role, he activated Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and formed a separate staff. He was in office for about 1 year.

During this time he was also authorized by President Harry Truman to command all US forces in theatre.

Conclusion

As you have read this article about the two important military appointments that were awarded to Eisenhower, the two critical appointments of Eisenhower are Commander SHAEF and Commander SACEUR. The first was after serving as commander of US forces in Europe, while the second was in December 1950.

Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.