General Omar Nelson Bradley
February 12th, 1893- April 8th, 1991
“Soldiers General” of WWIIby Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003
General Omar Nelson Bradley, born on the 12th of February, 1893, was always reaching for high places. As one of the men at West Point said, he was always “getting there.” From the low rank of Lieutenant fresh out of West point to General of the Army he certainly did “get there”. His life was full of accomplishments, and proved that persistence and hard work can turn a poor poverty stricken Missouri boy into a five star commander of four field Armies.
The General’s childhood was tough. He ended up being the only child in his family, and had to work hard by hunting to bring in the money and food his family needed. Yet, he was a brilliant young man. He learned so quickly, and retained knowledge so successfully that his parents allowed him to skip a grade in school. Finally, under the recommendation of his Sunday School superintendent, he decided to join the army and go to school at West Point, the military academy. He loved the life, and did well at both the academics and sports.
Unfortunate in Bradley’s eyes was the fact that he missed World War I, graduating in 1915 and being sent to a regiment that was never deployed to France. During this time however, he was promoted to Captain, Major, Lt. Colonel, and, skipping a rank, Brigadier General. Finally, in 1920 he was sent to be an instructor at West Point. He worked from Hawaii to Fort Leavenworth, all the while enhancing his tactical abilities, and honing in on his leadership skills. These skills were tested in World War II.
Throughout World War II, Bradley really began to shine. Not only did the Generals he served under recognize his abilities, but the men he commanded loved and respected him. They referred to him as the “Soldier’s General”, for even when the enemy was close at hand he would always stay with his troops, boosting moral and watching the combat from a close and personal viewpoint. His first military deployment was to Africa in 1943. There he and General Patton showed the British and the Germans that the American’s were warriors to be feared.
After the conquest of Sicily in the Mediterranean sea, Omar Bradley went to see Eisenhower. There he was told the following simple words that "I've got good news for you Brad. You've got a fancy new job." He was given command of the US First Army and Army group. With this army he would eventually attack the beaches of Normandy and move into the heartland of France. He continued to gain prestige as a general and a tactician, but always, he kept up his humility and never known to brag about his accomplishments.
After the war, Bradley took the job of Army Chief of Staff. Later he would also be the Veteran’s Administrator, dealing with all the Veterans and helping them in the after years of World War II. During these years he said "We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount… The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants." Although the quote shows that he knew some of the Bible's teachings, Bradley’s true faith remained hidden. He once said that "America today is running on the momentum of a godly ancestry, and when that momentum runs down, God help America." This would lead one to believe that he at least recognized the fact that there was a God, and that He reigned supreme. Yet, recognizing God's existence and believing in him as a personal Lord are entirely two different things. However, only God knows the heart.
Even if Bradley’s faith remains hidden, his accomplishments certainly were used by God. He lead the American soldiers from the sands of Africa, to the shores of Normandy, and finally into the heart of Germany. His iron heel helped to destroy the Nazi killing machine that raged across Europe, killing thousands of innocents and causing the death of millions in the war that followed. With the downfall of the regime much of Europe was again free to produce and read the Bible.
In the end, General Omar Nelson Bradley lived a very successful and instrumental life. His knowledge and expertise helped to bring about victory in Europe. Upon his death on April 8th, 1981, American not only lost a soldier, but a symbol of what one can do when he sets his mind to it, and decides to pursue his dreams and duties. God used this man to further his kingdom, and make Europe safe for the spread His word.
Arlington National Cemetery Website “Omar Nelson Bradley, General of
the Army” December 10, 2004
Tony Cooke Ministries “Tony Cooke Ministries - Quotes Stories, and Illustrations
for July 4th” December 10, 2004
Jay Hollister “Bradley” December 10, 2004