Pershing, John, GEN

Deceased
 
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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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 Unit Assignments
United States Military Academy West Point (Staff)10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade (Horse) 1st Cavalry Division
  1882-1886, United States Military Academy West Point (Staff)/Support Personnel
  1895-1899, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade (Horse) 1st Cavalry Division
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1865-1891 Indian Wars (US)
  1898-1898 Spanish-American War
  1898-1898 Spanish-American War/Kettle Hill
  1898-1898 Spanish-American War/Battle of San Juan Hill
  1899-1913 Moro Rebellion (Philippines)
  1911-1919 Mexican Service Campaign (1911-1919)
  1917-1918 World War I2
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1880-1882, Truman State University
  1882-1886, United States Military Academy1
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