Gen. Chen Cheng received his military training at the Paoting Military Officers' College.
Upon his graduation, Mr. Chao successively served as instructor in the Whampoa Military Cadets' Academy, company commander, regiment commander and field-commander of the artillery corps of the Nationalist Revolutionary Forces. Later he was a chief of military education bureau of the Military Council.
Mr. Chao worked as a departmental director in the Canton Military Government. In 1930 he was appointed commander of the 18th Nationalist Army. Then Chen Cheng became a commander of the 4th Nationalist Division with headquarters at Nanchang, Kiangsi.
Chen Cheng served as a Field Commander of the Northern Route of the Communist Suppression Forces for the Provinces of Kiangsi, Kwangtung, Fukien, Hunan and Hupeh in 1934.
He held the post of a Director of the Military Readjustment Committee of the Wuchang Provisional Headquarters of the President of ths Military Affairs Commission. Chen Cheng participated in practically all the battles of the Northern Punitive and Anti-Rebel Expeditions and rendered meritorious services to the Nationalist cause.
Besides devoting himself to military duties he is also interested in the study of political science and economics.
Through the introduction of Gen Chiang Kai shek, Chen Cheng married Miss Tan Chang, daughter of the late President Tan Yen-kai of the Executive Yuan in January 1932.