From disobeying Truman’s orders in commencing with the amphibious landing during the Korean War to being labeled as “Dugout Doug” during his command in the Philippines in World War II, one might have suspected MacArthur to be a rebellious general that did not think of his soldiers of his commanders; however, this is far from the truth. On the opposite, MacArthur would spend much time preparing and seizing the opportunity to strike at his enemy in order to save potential lives and expedite the end of the war. General MacArthur is the man who spent a majority of his life in the Philippines and gained the natives’ trust and love for his dedication to serving and bettering their country. During the time, he was labeled “Dugout Doug”; he still refused to live his position at the Philippines and still clung onto what little hope there was left until he was forced to live his position. Because of his compassion for his soldiers and his common man, MacArthur went into a once intimidating country in the attempt of guiding it onto the path of democracy and opportunity. Due to his major successes in the military and his drive to end bloodshed in wars, MacArthur almost appeared as if he were born into conflict just to overcome all evils. With his enormous achievements and impacts from the battles during both World Wars, to initiating the counter-offensive in the Korean War, General MacArthur’s efforts had a lasting impact on America as well as the South-East Pacific countries.
II. Early Life and Education
A. Early Life with Captain MacArthur and West Point
Douglas MacArthur spent his childhood on the frontier from the age of four to nine where he accompanied his father, Captain MacArthur, from fort to fort living in adventure and excitement (www.answers.com/topic/douglas-macarthur). The frontier provided MacArthur insight on battle tactics and stories of heroics that would carry on with him his whole life. In 1889, Captain MacArthur was sent to Washington D.C, where Douglas MacArthur attended school in an actual city for the first time. The lifestyle in frontiers caused Douglas MacArthur a tough life in the city. Because of his upbringing, MacArthur desired to follow his father’s footsteps and attended West Point where he “graduated first in his class” (McPherson 12). Through his graduation, this led to his first military posting to the Philippines which would also be where his father was serving as brigadier general. The ties and connections MacArthur built here were huge stepping stones in his life. There were huge stepping stones not because it was his first military posting, but because these ties and connections helped build a bond to the Philippines which would bring MacArthur back to serve in an important role later on his life during World War II. After serving in the Philippines, MacArthur then spent time with his father visiting Japan and other Asian countries to investigate the Russo-Japanese war. The time that MacArthur spent with his father “went beyond battle tactics and strategy. They were aware that Japanese victory over Russia did not mean Russia’s elimination from the Far East. This vast complex area, restless under the boot of European domination, might well be the arena of future world struggle” (MacArthur 48). This analysis proved to be certain and a foreshadowing of war in future. Soon after MacArthur came back from Asia, MacArthur’s father passed away and World War I broke out with America teetering on the age of war. MacArthur, who felt strongly in having a strong military experience in his whole life, argued that America should be prepared for war and was chosen by Secretary of War Newton Baker to lead and train the 42nd division (http://darto.tripod.com/macarthur/macarthur.html). This division was designed to “stretch over the whole country like a rainbow” and was then later known as the “Rainbow Division” (MacArthur 61). By bringing in troops from the Peace Corp over all the states, the