Lt. Gen. Michael Shannon Davison
Deputy Commander-in-Chief and Chief of Staff
U.S. Army, Pacific

Lt. Gen. Michael Shannon Davison

     Gen. Davison graduated from West Point in 1939 and was commissioned in the Cavalry. His first tour of duty took him to Fort Brown, Texas, with the 12th Cavalry Regiment. Within two years of graduation he commanded Troop A of the 12th Cavalry and a year later, as a captain, he was appointed executive officer and later commander of the 1st Squadron, 12th Cavalry.

     Davison reported to the Operations Division, War Department General Staff Theater Group, in January 1943. Two months later he was reassigned to the 45th Infantry Division in North Africa as Assistant G-2 (Intelligence). During the next year, the then Major Davison served with the 45th Division in Sicily and Italy in some of the most intense and bitter fighting of the war.

     The 45th Infantry Division suffered heavy casualties as they spearheaded the landings at Anzio in March 1944, and despite having no prior command experience with infantry units, and just two weeks before his 27th birthday, Davison was chosen to command the 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment. Promoted to lieutenant colonel four months later, he remained in command of the battalion through the heavy fighting of the Italian campaign and the landing in southern France. During his service with the 45th Division, he was wounded twice and awarded both the Silver Star for gallantry in action and the Bronze Star Medal with V device. During the final year of the war in Europe, Lt. Col. Davison served as G-2 (Intelligence) and G-3 (Operations) at Headquarters, VI Corps.

     Col. Davison was assigned to the Plans Section, Headquarters Army Ground Forces at Fort Monroe, and later commanded the 18th Mechanized Cavalry Squadron in Puerto Rico. In 1951 he received a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. After a tour in the Office, Chief of Legislative Liaison, he was assigned to West Point as Commander, First Regiment, United States Corps of Cadets in 1954.

     Davison graduated from the National War College in 1958, and returned to the Pentagon where he served as Chief, Combat Materiel Division, Office, Chief of Research and Development until 1960. Subsequently, Col. Davison commanded Combat Command A, 3rd Armored Division in Germany, and was later named Chief of Staff for V Corps and promoted to Brigadier General.

     In 1963, Gen. Davison became the 51st Commandant of Cadets at West Point. Greater responsibility for upper classmen, an improved physical education program, and increased emphasis on leadership training marked Gen. Davison's tour as Commandant.

     Appointed to the prestigious position as Commandant of the Army's Command and General Staff College, he was instrumental in preparing America's professional officers for the Vietnam conflict. Promoted to lieutenant general in 1968, Gen. Davison was appointed Deputy Commanding General, US Army Pacific, and subsequently as Chief of Staff for Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Command. In 1970, he assumed command of II Field Force, Vietnam, and was responsible for conducting the vitally important campaign in Cambodia.

     In May 1971, Davison was promoted to General and assigned as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Army Europe, and concurrently as Commander, Central Army Group, NATO. As the senior United States officer in Europe, Gen. Davison placed special emphasis on race relations and equal opportunity during his command tour. As a result of these seminal efforts, the NAACP presented him with its Meritorious Service Award in 1976. The citation reads:

"In recognition of his leadership, courage, and dedication to the principles of human relations, equality of opportunity and justice, which has been the hallmark of his numerous commands in the Army of the United States."

     Following his retirement from the Army in 1975, Mike Davison was President of the USO; Vice President of Joseph R. Loring Associates; a board member of Mercedes-Benz of North America; Vice Chairman of the Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association; President, Shannon Enterprises; and a member of the Advisory Board, International Security Council. Elected to the Board of Trustees of the Association of Graduates, USMA, in 1980, he became President in 1983.

     Gen. Davison served six years as President of the Association of Graduates - longer than any other elected President. His dynamic and innovative leadership was directly responsible for a major expansion in private funds raised for the benefit of the Military Academy; for a four-fold increase in the number of active West Point Societies; for the initiation of a program to create a ten million dollar alumni center solely through private financing; and the production, in coordination with NFL Films, of a 45-minute video, shown on national television, on Army football and the superb leadership and courage shown by Army football players as they served on active duty after graduation.

     Gen. Davison's decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters; the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster; the Silver Star; the Bronze Star with V for Valor and oak leaf cluster; the Air Medal with eight oak leaf clusters; the Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster; the French Legion of Honor; the French Croix de Guerre; the German Grand Cross of Merit; the Bavarian Grand Cross of Merit; and the Royal Order of the King of Thailand, Knight First Class. He held an honorary degree of Doctor of Law from the University of Maryland, and is an honorary citizen of Meximieux, France.

     Gen. Davison died on September 7, 2006.


USARPAC postures and prepares the force for unified land operations, responds to threats, sustains and protects the force, and builds military relationships that develop partner defense capacity in order to contribute to a stable and secure U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.


General Vincent K. Brooks Commanding General

Vincent K. Brooks

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