Tasker H. Bliss
Tasker Howard Bliss GCMG
Order of St Michael and St George
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is an order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later George IV of the United Kingdom, while he was acting as Prince Regent for his father, George III....

 (December 31, 1853 – November 9, 1930) was Chief of Staff of the United States Army
Chief of Staff of the United States Army
The Chief of Staff of the Army is a statutory office held by a four-star general in the United States Army, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Army, and as such is the principal military advisor and a deputy to the Secretary of the Army; and is in...

 from September 22, 1917 until May 18, 1918.


Tasker Howard Bliss was born on 31 December 1853 in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to George Ripley Bliss
George Ripley Bliss
Reverend George Ripley Bliss was president of Bucknell University from 1857–58 and 1871–72.His initial training was for the Baptist ministry. He taught Greek , Latin, and biblical exegisis at Bucknell and at Crozer theological seminary.One of his 13 children, General Tasker Howard Bliss, became...

 and Mary Ann (née Raymond) Bliss. He attended Bucknell (then Lewisburg) University for one year before entering the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 (USMA) at West Point, New York. At the USMA, he excelled in languages, mathematics and tactics and graduated eighth in his class on 16 June 1875.


Upon graduation he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Artillery and performed routine garrison duties in Georgia and New York. On 14 September 1876 he was appointed to the USMA as an Assistant Professor of French until 1882. While assigned to the USMA, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Bliss married Eleanor (or Eleanora) E. Anderson on 24 May 1882. In late 1882 he was assigned to Fort Mason, California and Fort Monroe, Virginia. Their first child, Eleanor F. was born in January 1884. In 1885 he was an instructor at the Naval War College
Naval War College
The Naval War College is an education and research institution of the United States Navy that specializes in developing ideas for naval warfare and passing them along to officers of the Navy. The college is located on the grounds of Naval Station Newport in Newport, Rhode Island...

 where he was sent to England, Germany and France to study their military schools. The purpose of the trip was to determine if United States military schools were teaching similar and relevant material. He returned to the United States and on 16 May 1888 he was assigned to be Aide-de-Camp
An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state...

 to U.S. Army Commanding General John M. Schofield. A concurrent assignment while Aide-de-Camp was Inspector of Artillery and Small Arms. During this time period, the Blisses' son Edward Goring was born in June 1892.

On 20 December 1892, while Aide-de-Camp, he was promoted to Captain, Staff, Commissary of Subsistence and on 26 September 1895 he was assigned to special duty at the Office of the Secretary of War. On 4 March 1897 he was assigned as the Quartermaster and Commissary at Fort Monroe, Virginia. On 2 July 1897 he was sent to Spain as the Military Attaché
Military attaché
A military attaché is a military expert who is attached to a diplomatic mission . This post is normally filled by a high-ranking military officer who retains the commission while serving in an embassy...

 to the United States Legation. When war was declared between Spain and the United States, Captain Bliss was ordered to return to the U.S., via Paris, France, on 21 April 1898.

Spanish-American War

On 30 April 1898, Bliss was promoted to Major, Staff, Commissary of Subsistence and on 9 May to Lieutenant Colonel and Chief, Commissary of Subsistence, U.S. Volunteers
United States Army Reserve
The United States Army Reserve is the federal reserve force of the United States Army. Together, the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard constitute the reserve components of the United States Army....

. Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, a lieutenant colonel is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of major and just below the rank of colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of commander in the other uniformed services.The pay...

 (LTC) Bliss was then assigned to the 6th Army Corp as Chief Commissary, 23 May 1898 and then Camp George H. Tomas, in Chickamauga, Georgia until ordered to Santiago, Cuba and then Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 on 20 July 1898. LTC Bliss arrived in Ponce, Puerto Rico in early August and was appointed as the Chief of Staff, 1st Division, I Army Corps, under Major General James H. Wilson
James H. Wilson
James Harrison Wilson was a United States Army topographic engineer, a Union Army Major General in the American Civil War and later wars, a railroad executive, and author.-Early life and engineering:...

. Concurrent assignments included being a board member to select camp sites in Cuba and Chief Commissary of the I Army Corps.

Time in Cuba

Bliss was ordered to Havana, Cuba on 15 December 1898, as Collector of Customs for the Island of Cuba and the Port of Havana. On 13 June 1899 LTC Bliss received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Volunteers and returned to the Regular Army. While serving as Chief, Collector of Customs for the Island of Cuba and the Port of Havana he was also the President of the Commission to Revise the Cuban Tariff Treaty in 1901 and was appointed to the Army War College Board as Special Envoy to Cuba to negotiate the treaty ratification in November and December 1902. The Treaty was ratified and signed on 17 December 1903.

General Staff (1st tour)

Lieutenant Colonel Bliss was commissioned as a Brigadier General in the Regular Army by an Act of Congress
Act of Congress
An Act of Congress is a statute enacted by government with a legislature named "Congress," such as the United States Congress or the Congress of the Philippines....

 under direction of the U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

. On 15 August 1903 Brigadier General
Brigadier general (United States)
A brigadier general in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, is a one-star general officer, with the pay grade of O-7. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. Brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed...

 (BG) Bliss was appointed a member of the General Staff, Chief, 3rd Division and President of the Army War College. In September 1904 he participated in the Manassas Maneuvers in Virginia.

Philippine Islands

On 7 June 1905 BG Bliss was ordered the Philippine Islands to Command the Department of Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

. On 9 January 1906 he was assigned as Commander of the Department of Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

 and appointed Governor of the Moro Province. While still Governor of the Moro Province
Moro Province
Moro Province is the name of the province of the Philippines consisting of the current provinces/regions of Zamboanga, Lanao, Cotabato, Davao, and Sulu...

, BG Bliss was ordered to command the Philippine Division on 14 December 1908. He relinquished all Philippine Islands commands on 6 April 1909, and returned to the U.S. after touring China and Manchuria.

General Staff (2nd tour) and Pre-WWI

BG Bliss was assigned to the General Staff and President of the U.S. Army War College
U.S. Army War College
The United States Army War College is a United States Army school located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on the 500 acre campus of the historic Carlisle Barracks...

, 19 June 1909. On 12 August 1910 he was assigned to Command the Department of California, in San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

. On 13 August 1911 he was assigned as Commander, Department of the East, Fort Totten, New York and subsequently assigned to Commander, Department of the South, Fort Sam Houston
Fort Sam Houston
Fort Sam Houston is a U.S. Army post in San Antonio, Texas.Known colloquially as "Fort Sam," it is named for the first President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston....

, San Antonio, Texas on 26 February 1913.

WWI and Paris Peace Conference

On 13 February 1915 BG Bliss was detailed to the General Staff as Assistant Chief of Staff, Army until his promotion to Chief of Staff on 22 September 1917. He was promoted to Major General
Major general (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force, major general is a two-star general-officer rank, with the pay grade of O-8. Major general ranks above brigadier general and below lieutenant general...

 (MG), U. S. Army on 20 November 1915 and to full General on 6 October 1917. On 17 November 1917 he was assigned as the American Permanent Military Representative, Supreme War Council
Supreme War Council
The Supreme War Council was a central command created by British Prime Minister David Lloyd George to coordinate Allied military strategy during World War I. It was founded in 1917, and was based in Versailles...

, concurrent with the U.S. Army Chief of Staff position.
General Bliss was forced to retire due to age limitations, 31 December 1917 but by order of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

, was recalled to active duty on 1 January 1918 and sent to Versailles, France, 23 January, to better carry out his duties on the Supreme War Council. He was relieved as U.S. Army Chief of Staff, 19 May 1918 and returned to the grade of Brevet General
General (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, general is a four-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. General ranks above lieutenant general and below General of the Army or General of the Air Force; the Marine Corps does not have an...

 on 20 May 1918. After the signing of the Armistice ending World War I, on 11 November 1918, General Bliss held two titles, the American Permanent Military Representative, Supreme War Council, and also, Plenipotentiary at the Paris Peace Conference
Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

. This assignment was concluded on 10 December 1919.

Post WWI

On 1 May 1920 Bliss was assigned as Governor of the U.S. Soldiers Home
Armed Forces Retirement Home
The Armed Forces Retirement Home , formerly the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home, the U.S. Soldiers' Home, and the U.S. Military Asylum, is an independent establishment in the executive branch of the federal government of the United States...

, Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 He retired from active duty on 1 May 1927. He was reinstated as a full general, retired, on 21 June 1930 and died on 9 November 1930. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

, Washington, D.C.


Bliss was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant-16 June 1875, 1st Lieutenant-ca. November 1881, Captain (Commissary of Subsistence)-20 December 1892, Major (Commissary of Subsistence)-30 April 1898, Lieutenant Colonel (Commissary of Subsistence)-9 May 1898, Lieutenant Colonel (Regular Army)-13 June 1899*, Brigadier General-21 July 1902, Major General-20 November 1915**, General-6 October 1917

Bliss was never commissioned as a colonel. He was promoted to brigadier general from lieutenant colonel by an act of Congress at the President's request.

Bliss was also never commissioned as a lieutenant general. He was appointed a general by the U.S. President under U.S. Code, Title 10, Subtitle A, Part I, Chapter 6, § 164.


Edward Goring Bliss was the son of Tasker and Eleanor E. Bliss. Born on 2 June 1892 he graduated from the USMA in 1916 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Engineer Corps. He saw service in Siberia in 1918-1919
Siberian Intervention
The ', or the Siberian Expedition, of 1918–1922 was the dispatch of troops of the Entente powers to the Russian Maritime Provinces as part of a larger effort by the western powers and Japan to support White Russian forces against the Bolshevik Red Army during the Russian Civil War...

 and through World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. He retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Eleanor F. Bliss was Tasker H. and Eleanor E. Bliss’ daughter, born in 1885, who attended Bryn Mawr Girls School and later married Adolph Knoff.

Awards and decorations

  •   Army Distinguished Service Medal
    Distinguished Service Medal (Army)
    The Distinguished Service Medal is a military award of the United States Army that is presented to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the United States military, has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great...

  •   World War I Victory Medal
  •   Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
    Order of St Michael and St George
    The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is an order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later George IV of the United Kingdom, while he was acting as Prince Regent for his father, George III....

  •   Grand Croix Légion d'honneur
    Légion d'honneur
    The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

  •   Grand Cross Order of the Crown (Belgium)
    Order of the Crown (Belgium)
    The Order of the Crown is an Order of Belgium which was created on 15 October 1897 by King Leopold II in his capacity as ruler of the Congo Free State. The order was first intended to recognize heroic deeds and distinguished service achieved from service in the Congo Free State - many of which acts...

  •   Grand Cross Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
    Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
    The Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus is an order of chivalry awarded by the House of Savoy, the heads of which were formerly Kings of Italy...

  •   War Cross
    War Cross
    War Cross is the name for a military decoration in various countries, including:* Croix de guerre, of France* Croix de guerre * War Cross also known as Croix de guerre or Oorlogskruis...

  •   Grand Cordon Order of the Rising Sun
    Order of the Rising Sun
    The is a Japanese order, established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji of Japan. The Order was the first national decoration awarded by the Japanese Government, created on April 10, 1875 by decree of the Council of State. The badge features rays of sunlight from the rising sun...

  •   Polonia Restituta
    Polonia Restituta
    The Order of Polonia Restituta is one of Poland's highest Orders. The Order can be conferred for outstanding achievements in the fields of education, science, sport, culture, art, economics, defense of the country, social work, civil service, or for furthering good relations between countries...

  • Medal of Solidarity, 1918 (Panama)

External links

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