Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American soldier and politician. During World War II, he served as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe, with responsibility for planning and supervising the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944-45. In 1949 he became the first supreme commander of NATO. As a Republican, he was elected the 34th President of the United States (1953–1961). As president he ended the Korean War, kept up the pressure on the Soviet Union during the Cold War, reoriented the defense budget toward nuclear weapons, launched the space race, enlarged the Social Security program, and began building the interstate highway system. Eisenhower enrolled at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, in June 1911. His parents were pacifists but did not object to his entering West Point as they were strong proponents of education. Eisenhower was a strong athlete, but his football career came to an end after he injured his knee attempting to tackle Jim Thorpe. Eisenhower graduated in 1915. He served with the infantry until 1918 at various camps in Texas and Georgia. During World War I, Eisenhower became the #3 leader of the new tank corps and rose to Lieutenant Colonel in the National Army. He spent the war training tank crews in Pennsylvania and never saw combat. (In his whole career he never was in field combat.) During the late 1920s and early 1930s Eisenhower's career in the peacetime Army stagnated; many of his friends resigned for high paying business jobs. He was assigned to the American Battle Monuments Commission, directed by General John J. Pershing, then to the Army War College, and then served as executive officer to General George V. Moseley, Assistant Secretary of War, from 1929 to 1933. He then served as chief military aide to General Douglas MacArthur, Army Chief of Staff, until 1935, when he accompanied MacArthur to The Philippines, where he served as assistant military adviser to the Philippine government. This assignment would prove valuable preparation for handling the egos of Winston Churchill, Patton and Bernard Law Montgomery during World War II. Eisenhower was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1936 after sixteen years as a major. He also learned to fly, although was never rated as a military pilot. Eisenhower returned to the U.S. in 1939 and held a series of staff positions in Washington, D.C., California, and Texas. In June 1941, he was appointed Chief of Staff to General Walter Krueger, Commander of the 3rd Army, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He was promoted to brigadier general in September 1941. Although his administrative abilities had been noticed, on the eve of the U.S. entry into World War II he had never held an active command and was far from being considered as a potential commander of major operations.