Just six weeks after the surrender of Germany.
The Military Order of the World Wars was founded by officers who had served in the Allied Expeditionary Force to perpetuate those ideals for which they had fought the Great War, and was officially incorporated by an act of Congress on January 27, 1919. The Order was intended to be the...
The Military Order of the World Wars was founded by officers who had served in the Allied Expeditionary Force to perpetuate those ideals for which they had fought the Great War, and was officially incorporated by an act of Congress on January 27, 1919. The Order was intended to be the successor to the Society of the Cincinnati for George Washington's officers of the Continental Army and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of Union officers who served in the Civil War. Its goal was to advance the welfare and national security of the United States, and to promote patriotism, good citizenship and service to country. As the Preamble of its Constitution states, it seeks: “To cherish the memories and associations of the World Wars waged for humanity; To inculcate and stimulate love of our Country and the Flag; To promote and further patriotic education in our nation; Ever to maintain law and order, and to defend the honor, integrity and supremacy of our National Government and the Constitution of the United States;…To encourage and assist in the holding of commemorations and the establishment of Memorials of the World Wars; and To transmit all these ideals to posterity…”
General Douglas MacArthur served as the Order’s Commander-in-Chief from 1926 to 1927. General George C. Marshall was named the Order's Man of the Year for 1943. The Order has had many other illustrious members,including Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Arleigh Burke, ‘Vinegar Joe’ Stilwell, and Nathan Twining.
Typed Document Signed, two sides of the same sheet and signed by Ike on each side, being General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s application to be a Life Member of the Order. It is fascinating that the Supreme Allied Commander had to fill in an application like anybody else, and the information Ike provided is of interest as well. It relates that he was elected to membership on June 25, 1945, just six weeks after the surrender of Germany. The application date is August 31, 1945, while the Second World War had yet to end in the Pacific. Eisenhower recites that he was a graduate of West Point and was first commissioned an officer at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, on June 12, 1915. His highest rank attained is listed as General of the Army, and his last commission as dated December 20, 1944. He gives his address as War Department and states that he is “still in service.” His service record shows that America’s greatest general in its greatest foreign war spent part of World War I as an ROTC instructor stateside. Ike also sent a copy of a detailed, four page biography along with the application, and that is included. Above his signature on the verso is his pledge “to maintain the Constitution of the Order, conform to the By-Laws and Rules and use my best endeavors to promote its objects and advance its interests.”
The name of Eisenhower will be forever linked in history with victory in World War II, and to find his signed application to the foremost veterans organization for officers of that war is nothing short of extraordinary.
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