Born on February 12, 1893 in Clark, Missouri, Omar Bradley came from a poor family. He was the son of a school teacher and at an early age it was stressed to him the importance of a good education. He was educated at the local public schools but upon graduating high school he applied and was excepted to West Point. He entered the academy in 1911 at the age of 18 and graduated in 1915. Besides himself, his class contained many future generals giving the West Point Academy class of 1915 the name "The class the stars fell upon.".
Upon leaving West Point he joined the 14th Regiment but never seen action in Europe during World War I. During this time he served on the Mexican border and it was here that he was promoted to captain. After the war he taught math at West Point from 1920 to 1924 and was promoted to major. As a major he briefly served in Hawaii then went on to school at Fort Leavenworth, Texas at the Command and General Staff School from 1928 to 1929. It was not until 1936 that Omar Bradley was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In February of 1941 he was promoted to Brigadier General and became commander of Fort Benning.
During World War II General Bradley was known as "The Soldiers General" because of his care and compassion for the soldiers under his command. During the war he served as one of the main field commanders in North Africa and Europe. General Omar Bradley commanded the 12th Army group that in 1945 included 4 field armies, 12 corps, and 48 divisions with a total of 1,300,000 men. This was by far the largest field command ever in America's history. Bradley served his country well during WWII and was a key factor in the Allied victory in Europe.
After the war General Bradley became head of Veterans' Affairs for a short time. It was in 1949 he became the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the government new Department of Defense. His career in the service of his country continued for several years in different capacities till his retirement from active duty in August 1953. On April 8th 1981 retired army General Omar Bradley died at the age of 87 in New York city.
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