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John Joseph Pershing
  • born near Laclede, Missouri, on 13 September 1860
  • attended the State Normal School, then graduated from the United States Military Academy, 1886
  • was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to the 6th Cavalry, July 1886
  • performed garrison and field duties in the Southwest and Northern Plains, 1886-1890, and participated in the Wounded Knee campaign
  • was professor of military: science and tactics at University of Nebraska, 1891-1895, studying law concurrently and receiving his degree, 1893
  • was promoted to first lieutenant and assigned to the 10th Cavalry, October 1892
  • served in Montana, 1895-1896
  • after a brief tour at Army headquarters, was assistant instructor in tactics at West Point, 1897-1898
  • served with the 10th in Cuba, including operations at San Juan Hill
  • was promoted to major of volunteers, detailed in ordnance, and assigned to Army headquarters and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of War, 1898-1899, where he organized a Bureau of Insular Affairs
  • was reverted to a regular captaincy, June 1901, and assigned successively to the 1st and 10th Cavalry
  • served in the Philippines as a departmental adjutant general and engineer officer, collector of customs, and cavalry squadron commander, participating in actions against Moros, 1899-1903
  • served on the War Department General Staff, 1903-1904, and as assistant chief of staff of the Southwestern Division, 1904
  • attended the Army War College, 1904-1905
  • married Frances Warren, 1905
  • was military attache to Japan and an observer of the Russo-Japanese War, 1905-1906
  • at President Roosevelt's nomination, was promoted to brigadier general over 862 senior-ranking officers, September 1906
  • commanded the Department of California, 1006, and Fort McKinley, 1907-1908 was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Staff, 1908-1909
  • was governor of Moro Province and commander, Department of Mindanao, 1909-1913
  • commanded the 8th Infantry Brigade at the Presidio of San Francisco, 1914-1916, where in 1915 he lost his wife and three daughters in a fire
  • led the Mexican Punitive Expedition, 1916-1917, receiving promotion to major general during the campaign
  • was promoted to general, October 1917
  • commanded the American Expeditionary Forces in France in World War I, 1917-1919
  • was advanced to the rank of General of the Armies, September 1919
  • moved his headquarters to Washington, prepared a report on the war, and made an extended tour of military inspection, 1919-1921
  • was Chief of Staff of the United States Army 1 July 1921-13 September 1924
  • established the War Plans Board
  • pressed for national preparedness a strong Army, increased efficiency and economy, officer schooling, and a well-regulated militia
  • retired from active service, September 1924
  • was chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission, 1923-1948, and headed the Tacna-Arica Boundary Commission 1925,1926
  • died in Washington, D.C., on 15 July 1948

Taken from: COMMANDING GENERALS AND CHIEFS OF STAFF, 1775-1982, William Gardner Bell, Center of Military History, United States Army, Washington, D.C., 1983