Malin Craig

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Malin Craig
General Malin Craig, official Army portrait
Birth name George Malin Craig
Born (1875-08-05)August 5, 1875
St. Joseph, Missouri.
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Washington, D.C.
Allegiance United States United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1898–1939
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
IX Corps
Battles/wars China Relief Expedition
World War I
*Meuse-Argonne Offensive
World War II
Awards Distinguished Service Medal (3)

Malin Craig (August 5, 1875 – July 25, 1945) was a United States Army general who served as Army Chief of Staff from 1935 to 1939. He was recalled to active duty during World War II.

Early life

Craig was born in St. Joseph, Missouri. He entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York on June 20, 1894.

Early career

Craig graduated West Point on April 26, 1898 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry branch. He transferred to the Cavalry on June 23.

He served in the China Relief Expedition and in the Philippine Insurrection. He was promoted to first lieutenant on February 2, 1901 and to captain on May 7, 1904.

World War I

Craig was promoted to major on May 15, 1917 - shortly after the United States entered World War I in April of the same year. He was promoted to temporary lieutenant colonel on August 17 and temporary colonel on March 27, 1918.

He served in France during World War I as Chief-of-Staff to General Hunter Liggett in the 41st Infantry Division and later in I Corps where he was promoted to temporary brigadier general on July 11, 1918. He then became Chief-of-Staff of the 3rd Army.

He received the Distinguished Service Medal for his service during the First World War. His citation reads as follows - "General Craig served in turn as Chief of Staff of a division, a corps, and an Army, in each of which capacities he exhibited great ability. His personal influence, aggressiveness, and untiring efforts were repeatedly displayed in the operations of the 1st Corps in the vicinity of Chateau-Thierry, on the Oureq, and the Vesle during the St. Mihiel and Argonne-Meuse offensives."

Interwar period

After the war, Craig reverted to his permanent rank of major on August 15, 1919 but was promoted to colonel on July 1, 1920 and to brigadier general only 15 days later.

He served as Chief of Cavalry with the rank of major general from July 24, 1924 to March 20, 1926. He also commanded the Panama Canal Zone.

Chief of Staff

Craig served as president of the Army War College in 1935 and served as the U.S. Army Chief of Staff from October 2, 1935 to August 31, 1939, succeeding General Douglas MacArthur, and preceding George C. Marshall. That appointment carried with it a temporary promotion to full (four star) general.

As Chief of Staff of the Army, Craig pointed out to Congress the Army's lack of preparedness in manpower and material, stressed the necessity of lead time in military preparedness, focused attention on Army planning, and, within governmental constraints, prepared the Army for World War II. He retired, in his permanent rank of major general, on August 31, 1939 - after forty-one years of active duty. Upon his retirement, he received a second Distinguished Service Medal for his service as Army Chief of Staff.

World War II and death

General Craig's retirement was short-lived, however. On September 26, 1941, with war on the horizon he was recalled to active duty to head the War Department's Personnel Board, a body responsible for selecting individuals who were to receive direct commissions in the Army. He headed the board in his permanent rank of major general until shortly before his death in Washington, D.C., on July 25, 1945. He was posthumously awarded a third Distinguished Service Medal and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


United States decorations and medals

Foreign orders and decorations

Dates of rank

No insignia Cadet, United States Military Academy: June 20, 1894
No pin insignia in 1898 Second Lieutenant, Regular Army: April 26, 1898
US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant, Regular Army: February 2, 1901
US-O3 insignia.svg Captain, Regular Army: May 7, 1904
US-O4 insignia.svg Major, Regular Army: May 15, 1917
US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel, National Army: August 5, 1917
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel, National Army: February 6, 1918
US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General, National Army: June 26, 1918
US-O4 insignia.svg Major, Regular Army (reverted to permanent rank): August 15, 1919
US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel, Regular Army: July 1, 1920
US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General, Regular Army: April 28, 1921
US-O8 insignia.svg Major General, Regular Army: July 24, 1924
US-O10 insignia.svg General, Regular Army, for service as Army Chief of Staff: October 2, 1935
US-O10 insignia.svg General, Retired List: August 31, 1939


  • Official Register of the United States Army. 1945. The Adjutant General. Washington, D.C. pg. 1135.
Military offices
Preceded by
Douglas MacArthur
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Succeeded by
George C. Marshall