Maj. Gen. Briant H. Wells

Briant H. Wells

Maj. Gen. Briant H. Wells commanded the US Army, Pacific (Hawaiian Department) from 1931-1934. A graduate of the US Military Academy in 1894, he was commissioned into the Infantry. During World War I he served on the staff of Gen. T.H. Bliss as part of the American Expeditionary Force.

After the war Wells served as commandant for Fort Benning, Georgia. There he established the Wells Plan that emphasized permanent buildings, landscaping, and sound forest management. He also emphasized the importance of recreation for the troops, directing the construction of multiple sporting facilities. Much of this legacy is still evident today at Fort Benning.

As commander in Hawaii, Wells turned his enthusiasm for hiking into a plan to defend the Island of Oahu. He oversaw the clearing of trails that could be used as enemy avenues of approach and he established a hiking club to regularly patrol the trails. At one point Gen. Joseph Stilwell visited Gen. Wells in Hawaii and asked him about the Japanese-American population. Like Gen. Herron after him, Wells took the unpopular stand that they were loyal Americans and should not be treated any differently.

For his valor in battle in World War I, Gen. Wells received the Distinguished Service Medal. He retired in 1935 and died on 10 June 1949.



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