Robert Charlwood Richardson, Jr., born in Charleston, South Carolina on October 27, 1882, and was admitted as a cadet at the United States Military Academy, from that state, on 19 June 1900. His military career spanned the first half of the 20th Century. He was a veteran of the 1904 Philippine insurrection, World War I, and an outstanding field commander of World War II. He commanded the U.S. Army, Pacific (Hawaiian Department) during the height of World War II in 1943 until his retirement in 1946. During that time he was also the military governor of Hawaii (which was at that time still a US Territory) and Commanding General of U.S. Army Forces in the Pacific Ocean Areas.
Commissioned from the United States Military Academy in 1904, Richardson also attended the University of Grenoble, France, as well as the Army War College. During World War I he was a liaison officer in the American Expeditionary Force. Afterward he was a military attaché with the U.S. Embassy in Rome. He was the author of "West Point-An Intimate Picture of the National Military Academy".
Prior to World War II, Richardson commanded the 1st Cavalry Division from 1940-1941. He then directed the War Department Bureau of Public Relations before becoming Commanding General of the VII Corps in Alabama, moving it to setup the defense of California immediately following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In 1943 he was made Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department, Military Governor of Hawaii, and all Army personnel in the Pacific Ocean and Mid-Pacific Areas. As Commander of all Pacific Army personnel, he had administrative or what is called UCMJ authority of all Army units, while tactical or what is called today operational Joint control fell to Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. He was responsible for all Army disciplinary, training, and tactical unit preparations. He was the first senior Army general officer to ever serve as Joint forces subordinate commander under a non-Army flag officer, Fleet Admiral Nimitz.