Pershing, John, GEN

Deceased
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
General
Last Service Branch
Cavalry
Primary Unit
1895-1899, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade (Horse) 1st Cavalry Division
Service Years
1886 - 1924

Cavalry

General



Eleven Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Missouri
Missouri
Year of Birth
1860
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SP 4 Steven Ryan (LoneWolf) to remember Pershing, John (Black Jack), GEN.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Laclede

Date of Passing
Jul 15, 1948
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Army Staff Identification


 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Association Memberships
The Army and Navy Union USA
  1919, The Army and Navy Union USA - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity






Brigadier General, U.S. Army
Commander
Date of Action: June 15, 1913
Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to John J. Pershing, Brigadier General, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action against hostile fanatical Moros at Mount Bagsak, Jolo, Philippine Islands, on June 15, 1913. Brigadier General Pershing personally assumed command of the assaulting line at the most critical period when only about 15 yards from the last Moro position. His encouragement and splendid example of personal heroism resulted in a general advance and the prompt capture of the hostile stronghold.

   
Other Comments:



John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing, GCB (September 13, 1860July 15, 1948) was an officer in the United States Army. Pershing is the only person to be promoted in his own lifetime to the highest rank ever held in the United States ArmyGeneral of the Armies (George Washington was granted this posthumously). Pershing led the American Expeditionary Force in World War I and was regarded as a mentor by the generation of American generals who led the United States Army in Europe during World War II, including George C. Marshall, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley and George S. Patton.

GENERAL OF THE ARMIES

No one currently holds this rank, and it has never been used by an active duty Army officer at the same time as General of the Army, so it is not entirely clear how the two ranks would legally compare to each other. 

Three star Lieutenant Generals and four star Generals were reauthorized temporarily during World War I.
Tasker H. Bliss and John J. Pershing were promoted to General in October 1917, and Peyton C. March was promoted in May 1918. Hunter Liggett and Robert Lee Bullard were promoted to Lieutenant General on October 16, 1918. On September 3, 1919 Pub.L. 66-45 granted Pershing the rank of "General of the Armies" in recognition of his performance as the commander of the American Expeditionary Force. After the war, in 1920, the Lieutenant Generals and Generals reverted to their permanent ranks of Major General[1], except for Pershing. Pershing retired from the United States Army on September 13, 1924, and retained his rank of General of the Armies of the United States until his death in 1948.[2] Pershing wore four gold stars during his tenure as General of the Armies. Four star Generals were reauthorized in 1929, starting with Charles Pelot Summerall, and five star Generals of the Army were created in 1944. Pershing was deemed senior to both of those ranks, but it remains unclear as to if General of the Armies was considered a five or six star rank.

Six Star Rank

 Insignia

 

General Pershing was offered the option to create his own insignia for the position General of the Armies. He chose to continue to wear the four stars of a General, but in gold, instead of the four silver stars used by a regular general. Army Regulations 600-35, Personnel: The Prescribed Uniform, October 12, 1921, and all subsequent editions during General Pershing's lifetime, made no mention of insignia for General of the Armies but prescribed that generals would wear four stars.

On December 14, 1944, when the rank of General of the Army was established, Army Regulations 600-35 were changed to prescribe that Generals of the Army would wear five silver stars. General Pershing continued to wear only four gold stars, but he remained preeminent among all Army personnel until his death in 1948.

Conjectural Design for General of the Armies
 
Conjectural Design for General of the Armies

In 1945, the Institute of Heraldry prepared a conjectural insignia which would have incorporated a sixth star into the five-star design of General of the Army. As no proposal to appoint a new General of the Armies was ever firmly developed, the United States Army has never officially approved a six-star general insignia

Seniority

During World War II the United States Army established the five-star rank of General of the Army. By order of seniority, it was decided that General Pershing (still living when the rank of General of the Army was created in 1944) would be senior to all the newly appointed General of the Army officers. The then Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson was asked whether Pershing was therefore a six-star general. Stimson stated:

It appears the intent of the Army was to make the General of the Armies senior in grade to the General of the Army. I have advised Congress that the War Department concurs in such proposed action.

Official Army regulations do not presently declare General of the Armies as a six star rank; however, some military historians and enthusiasts alike have interpreted General Pershing's seniority to five-star generals to mean that General of the Armies is a six-star rank.  However, it could alternatively be said that General of the Armies is a five-star rank, and Pershing's seniority is merely a result of the fact that he achieved his rank earlier than the other five-star generals.

However, it has been speculated that if the United States ever created a six-star rank, it might be called General of the Armies

 

 

   
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World War I
Start Year
1917
End Year
1918

Description
The United States of America declared war on the German Empire on April 6, 1917. The U.S. was an independent power and did not officially join the Allies. It closely cooperated with them militarily but acted alone in diplomacy. The U.S. made its major contributions in terms of supplies, raw material and money, starting in 1917. American soldiers under General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), arrived in large numbers on the Western Front in the summer of 1918. They played a major role until victory was achieved on November 11, 1918. Before entering the war, the U.S had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to Great Britain and the other Allied powers. During the war, the U.S mobilized over 4 million military personnel and suffered 110,000 deaths, including 43,000 due to the influenza pandemic. The war saw a dramatic expansion of the United States government in an effort to harness the war effort and a significant increase in the size of the U.S. military. After a slow start in mobilising the economy and labour force, by spring 1918 the nation was poised to play a role in the conflict. Under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, the war represented the climax of the Progressive Era as it sought to bring reform and democracy to the world,[citation needed] although there was substantial public opposition to United States entry into the war.

Although the United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, it did not initially declare war on the other Central Powers, a state of affairs that Woodrow Wilson described as an "embarrassing obstacle" in his State of the Union speech.[26] Congress declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire on December 17, 1917, but never made declarations of war against the other Central Powers, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire or the various Co-belligerents allied with the central powers, thus the United States remained uninvolved in the military campaigns in central, eastern and southern Europe, the Middle East, the Caucasus, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

The United States as late as 1917 maintained only a small army, smaller than thirteen of the nations and empires already active in the war. After the passage of the Selective Service Act in 1917, it drafted 2.8 million men into military service. By the summer of 1918 about a million U.S. soldiers had arrived in France, about half of whom eventually saw front-line service; by the Armistice of November 11 approximately 10,000 fresh soldiers were arriving in France daily. In 1917 Congress gave U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans when they were drafted to participate in World War I, as part of the Jones Act. In the end Germany miscalculated the United States' influence on the outcome of the conflict, believing it would be many more months before U.S. troops would arrive and overestimating the effectiveness of U-boats in slowing the American buildup.

The United States Navy sent a battleship group to Scapa Flow to join with the British Grand Fleet, destroyers to Queenstown, Ireland and submarines to help guard convoys. Several regiments of Marines were also dispatched to France. The British and French wanted U.S. units used to reinforce their troops already on the battle lines and not to waste scarce shipping on bringing over supplies. The U.S. rejected the first proposition and accepted the second. General John J. Pershing, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) commander, refused to break up U.S. units to serve as mere reinforcements for British Empire and French units. As an exception, he did allow African-American combat regiments to fight in French divisions. The Harlem Hellfighters fought as part of the French 16th Division, earning a unit Croix de Guerre for their actions at Château-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and Séchault.
Impact of US forces on the war

On the battlefields of France in spring 1918, the war-weary Allied armies enthusiastically welcomed the fresh American troops. They arrived at the rate of 10,000 a day, at a time when the Germans were unable to replace their losses. After British Empire, French and Portuguese forces had defeated and turned back the powerful final German offensive (Spring Offensive of March to July, 1918), the Americans played a role in the Allied final offensive (Hundred Days Offensive of August to November). However, many American commanders used the same flawed tactics which the British, French, Germans and others had abandoned early in the war, and so many American offensives were not particularly effective. Pershing continued to commit troops to these full- frontal attacks, resulting in high casualties against experienced veteran German and Austrian-Hungarian units. Nevertheless, the infusion of new and fresh U.S. troops greatly strengthened the Allies' strategic position and boosted morale. The Allies achieved victory over Germany on November 11, 1918 after German morale had collapsed both at home and on the battlefield.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1917
To Year
1918
 
Last Updated:
Oct 16, 2017
   
Personal Memories
   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
In France 1918
General of Armies

  1428 Also There at This Battle:
  • Adkison (MOH), Joseph Bernard, Sgt, (1917-1921)
  • Agee, Alfred, PFC, (1918-1919)
  • Agee, Joseph, Cpl, (1917-1919)
  • Alcorn, Floyd R., SFC, (1912-1918)
  • Alexander, Upton, 1st Sgt, (1898-1933)
  • Anderson, Howard, WAG, (1917-1919)
  • Arch, Alexander Louis, Sgt, (1913-1920)
  • Arnold, Clifford Hood, COL, (1910-1945)
  • Baesel, Albert (MOH), 2LT, (1917-1918)
  • Balentine, Herman Dwight, Cpl, (1918-1919)
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