Andrew Davis Bruce received a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A & M University in 1916. In June 1917, he entered the Army as a second lieutenant while serving in the First Officers Training Camp at Leon Spring, Texas.
In World War I he served in all ranks to lieutenant colonel (temporary), in all actions of the 2nd Division near Verdun, Chateau Thierry, Soissons, Nancy, San Mihiel, Blanc Mont, and the Muese-Argonne in France and in the Army of Occupation in Germany.
After World War I, the General instructed at The Infantry School, served in the Infantry Board, served foreign duty in Panama and later was professor of Military Science and Tactics at Allen Academy in Bryan, Texas. Bruce served on the War Department General Staff involving the revision of textbooks on doctrine, the development of modern instructional aids, the revision of extension courses and the initiation of a section on Research and Development at Army War College. During this time General Bruce attended The Infantry School, the Field Artillery School, the Command and General Staff College, the Army War College, and the Naval War College. In 1941, he organized, built, and administered the Tank Destroyer Center at Fort Hood, Texas. This Center included the Tank Destroyer School, the Tank Destroyer Board, the Tank Destroyer Basic Unit Training Center, the Tank Destroyer Advanced Unit Training Center, the Tank Destroyer Training Brigade, and the Tank Destroyer Replacement Training Center. While there he introduced several methods of instruction in training later adopted by the entire Army.
A. D. Bruce became a major general on September 9, 1942. In May 1943, he assumed command of the 77th Infantry Division which fought in the Guam Operation. Later he served as the first Governor of Hokkaido, Japan, while the Division occupied this island. In 1946, he took command of the 7th Division in the Occupation Forces of Korea.
In October 1947, he became Deputy Army Commander of the Fourth Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, primarily engaged in the vast training activities of five states in ROTC, National Guard, and Organized Reserve Corps.
On July 6, 1951, he became Commandant (President) of the Armed Forces Staff College at Norfolk, Virginia, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general on July 30, 1951. This institution conducts the joint education of selected senior officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. He completes his duty at this College on June 30, 1954, and retired from the army on July 31, 1954.
His decorations include Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Navy Distinguished Service Medal Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Commendation Ribbon, Purple Heart, and many service ribbons. In World War I he received the Legion of Honor, three Croix de Guerre, Individual Fourragere from France; and in World War II received the Philippine Legion of Honor, the Philippine Liberation Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation from the Philippine Government.
August 31, 1954, A. D. Bruce retired as a Lieutenant General from the U.S. Army.
A. D. Bruce, U. S. Army Lieutenant General, Retired, took office as President of the University of Houston on September 1, 1954. In December 1956, he became Chancellor of the institution.
Bruce retired from academia during the 1960-1961 school year and moved to North Carolina. He died on July 28, 1969, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1972, the state of Texas erected a historical marker in his memory in Killen at Fort Hood.