February 12, 1893 - General Omar Bradley (left) is born at Clark, MO. Entering West Point in 1911, Bradley saw service in the United States during World War I and later attended the Infantry School, the Command and General Staff School, and the Army War College. Recognized as a gifted student, leader, and tactician, Bradley quickly advanced through the ranks and was guided professionally by Gen. George C. Marshall. With the outbreak of World War II, Bradley prepared the 82nd and 28th Divisions for combat before arriving in North Africa to troubleshoot issues with American troops. While there, he served under Lt. Gen. George S. Patton and ultimately took over II Corps. After successfully leading the unit through North Africa and Sicily, Bradley was tapped by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to lead American troops on D-Day. Commanding the 12th Army Group, Bradley led his men across France and through brutal battles at the Hürtgen Forest, Aachen, and Metz before absorbing the brunt of the Battle of the Bulge. In the war's waning weeks, he skillfully commanded the southern wing of the Ruhr encirclement, before meeting Russian troops at the Elbe. After the war, Bradley oversaw the Veterans Administration before serving as Army Chief of Staff. In 1949, he was made the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and served through the Korean War. Retiring in 1953, he pursued various interests in the private sector until his death in 1981.
Photograph Courtesy of the US Department of Defense