Paul D. Harkins

Ranked #57 on the list Best Military Person of All Time

7.00
Based on 4 votes

About Paul D. Harkins

  • Participated in conflicts: Vietnam War

Paul Donal Harkins (May 15, 1904 – August 21, 1984) was Deputy Chief of Staff during World War II to George S. Patton Jr. and later became a U.S. Army General and the first Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) commander from 1962 to 1964. Harkins was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a West Point graduate, class of 1929. Harkins was deputy Chief of Staff, Third Army, under General Hobart R. Gay. While in that capacity he earned the nickname "Ramrod" for his determination to fulfill Patton's desire to always keep moving. When asked by a fellow officer who asked him "how the devil our G.I.s can remain so cheerful at the front under these frightful conditions?" Harkins is said to have replied, "Well the Old Man knows that as long as they are winning and moving forward they will remain happy and their morale will be high". Harkins, in his capacity as deputy of operations, for the Third Army, was present with Patton at the famous staff meeting called by General Dwight D. Eisenhower to discuss the Allied response to the German attack in the Ardennes, in which Patton promised Eisenhower that Third Army would be ready to disengage his troops from their current eastward attack

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