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Maxwell D. Taylor
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Military Personnel
    (August 26, 1901-April 19, 1987)
    Born in Keytesville, Missouri
    Four-star General
    Commanded the 101st Airborne Division (1944-45)
    Superintendent of West Point (1945-49)
    US Army Chief of Staff (1955-59)
    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1962-64)
    US ambassador to South Vietnam (1964-65)
    He took the entrance exams for both West Point and Annapolis, flunking the geography portion of the Naval Academy exam. ('If the Strait of Malacca had been in Europe, I might have wound up an admiral instead of a general.')
    He recommended sending 8,000 combat troops to Vietnam, escalating US commitment to the war.
    In the book 'Dereliction of Duty,' he was accused of deliberately misrepresting the views of the other Joint Chiefs of Staff in reports to Robert McNamara and President Kennedy.
    He said one the lessons the US should learn from Vietnam was 'You should never let television on the battlefield.'
    He went on a mission behind enemy lines to assess the feasability of an airborne landing on Rome, of which General Eisenhower said, 'The risks he ran were greater than I asked any other agent or emmisary to take during the war.'
    He parachuted with the 101st in Normandy, becoming the first Allied general in France on D-Day.
    He drafted the first officially published honor code at West Point.
    He commanded the 1,000 troops sent to Little Rock to enforce school desegregation.
    He said the most important lesson of Vietnam was 'Before we ally ourselves to another country, we must ascertain to what extent they can exploit our help. We know the great effort we expended on Vietnam. The large percentage of the effort was unusable.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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