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General John Pershing Essay

1076 words - 5 pages

General John “Black Jack” Pershing
General John Pershing was arguably one of the most creative, tactical commanders and of the last century. His commitment to his troops, his duty, and his loyalty to the United States and his sense of honor fashioned one of the greatest leaders our country has ever seen. His contributions to the modern army is beyond reproach (Perry, 2011).
John J. Pershing was brought forth on 13 Sept. 1860, to the son of a railroad boss in Laclede, Linn County Missouri (Pershing, 2013). He was from a family with Alsatian origins, spelling their name "Pforsching" (Vandiver, 1977). At 17, Pershing would begin educating at an African American school in Laclede, to give the ...view middle of the document...

Pershing would be instrumental during the conflict in the Philippines in 1903, mopping up the Moro insurrectionists. It was at this time that he served as an adjutant, engineer, customs officers and cavalry commander. His dedication and hard work would eventually lead him to be promoted to Captain (Pershing, 2013). Later Pershing would serve alongside the Japanese army throughout the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-5 (Perry, 2011). John “Black Jack” Pershing was promoted to Brigadier General in 1906 (Channel, 2014). After the tragic death of his wife and kids, Pershing allows himself only enough time to tend to their burial, and then yields, returning to his post. Soon after one of his more famous exploits, the Mexican Punitive Expedition would begin (Pershing, 2011). This Units mission was go out and to capture a single man; Pancho Villa (Vandiver, 1977). Pancho Villa ransacked a town in New Mexico, and as reprisal, Pershing and his Commanding Officer were organized to follow Villa into Mexico, and arrest him. Succeeding the U.S. declaration of war with Germany in 1917, now General Pershing was selected as the Commander-in-Chief of the newly formed and experimental American Expeditionary Force, now commonly known as the AEF (Pershing, 1989). On 19 May 1917, President Wilson directs General Pershing "to proceed to France at as early a date as practicable" (Creel, 1917). Because this was experimental and unheard-of, Pershing considered it necessary to recruit, organize, and deploy 500,000 men (Perry, 2011). Pershing introduced the first tank battalion used in battle by the American armed forces and made effective use of detailed operational orders that enabled his combat commanders to interpret his intentions on the field (Perry, 2011). From this necessity, the National Army expanded. Then, over the period of a year and a half – there were nearly 3 million men in the U.S. Army in some capacity (Pershing, 2011). This new AEF Commander-in-Chief personally guided the successful Meuse-Argonne offensive of 1918 (Vandiver, 1977).
In 1921 General John J. Pershing became the U.S. Army Chief of Staff. He would retire from active duty in 1924, his 64th...

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