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John J. Pershing
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Military Personnel
    (September 13, 1860-July 15, 1948)
    Graduated from West Point (1886)
    Commander of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I
    Achieved General of the Armies rank (1919)
    Chief of Staff of the United States Army (1921-1924)
    He admitted that he initially joined the military because he wanted to get into West Point, which was considered an excellent college at the time.
    He almost dropped out of the Army to study law.
    His first commands involved skirmishes against Indians.
    He commanded actions that deported many Indians to Canada.
    As a teacher at West Point, he was a hard ass on cadets.
    He was labelled 'Nigger Jack' by cadets at West Point for his service with the 10th Cavalry, a black regiment.
    This nickname was softened to 'Black Jack' by World War I reporters.
    His military career was aided by a strategic marriage to the daughter of a powerful Senator.
    President Roosevelt convinced Congress to appoint him to Brigadier General when he was still a captain, thus skipping three ranks and shocking the military establishment (1905).
    As commander of American forces, he and Allied Commander Ferdinand Foch hated each other intensely.
    He was critical of commanders who personally led troops onto the battlefield.
    Despite being the most celebrated American leader during World War I, he was mostly a desk soldier far behind the front lines.
    His first command was with the 10th Cavalry Regiment, comprised of black soldiers under white officers.
    He was against segregation of the Army.
    He openly hated the idea of trench warfare.
    He was highly critical of the Treaty of Versailles.
    He was devastated when wife and three daughters died in a house fire in San Fransisco while he was stationed in Mexico (1914).
    Due to a special act of Congress, he is the only officer (other than George Washington, who received his six-star rank posthumously from Gerald Ford) that achieved a six-star General of the Armies rank in the U.S. Army (1920).
    He continued to wear his four star insignia regardless.
    He was so popular, there was a movement to make him president but he refused to actively campaign (1920).
    Many of his assistants later went on to achieve greatness in World War II (like George S. Patton and George C. Marshall).
    His memoirs 'My Experiences in the World War' were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for history (1932).
    The Pershing missile and Pershing tank were named in his honor.

Credit: Captain Howdy

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