Skip to main content

Shoup, David

Shoup, David (1904–1983), general and Marine Corps commandant.The son of an Indiana farmer, Shoup graduated from DePauw University in 1926 with an ROTC commission. After a month as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, he was transferred to the Marines. He served on expeditionary duty in Tientsin, China, in 1927–28, and returned to China on various duties, 1934–36. In 1941, he accompanied a Marine brigade to Iceland.

In the Pacific during World War II, Colonel Shoup was twice wounded in action and won the Congressional Medal of Honor for rallying his troops and leading a charge at Betio atoll, Tarawa, in the Gilbert Islands in 1943. He was chief of staff of the 2nd Marine Division in the battles of Saipan and Tinian.

After the war, Shoup served in logistical, fiscal, and training positions. In 1956, he led an investigation of the drowning of six Marine recruits on a disciplinary night march at Parris Island, South Carolina. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed him Marine Corps commandant in 1960. Always outspoken, Shoup criticized attempts to indoctrinate troops with anticommunism, chastised the services for overemphasizing their own interests, argued against introducing U.S. ground forces in the crises with Cuba in 1961 and 1962, and advised against a massive buildup of U.S. forces in Vietnam. In retirement after 1963, he became an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War.
[See also Cuba, U.S. Military Involvement in; World War II, U.S. Naval Operations in: The Pacific.]


David M. Shoup , The Marines in China, 1927–1928, 1987.
Robert Buzzanco and and Asad Ismij , Informed Dissent: Three Generals and the Viet Nam War, 1988.

John Whiteclay Chambers II

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Shoup, David." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . 15 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Shoup, David." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . (February 15, 2019).

"Shoup, David." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved February 15, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.