Famous American Military Leaders

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The smooth functioning of any country is as much dependent on its political and economic system as it is on its military. Courageous, valiant and heroic, both on and off the field, military personnel secure the country and its country men and help in safeguarding from enemies and rivals. Today, history is full of leaders and revolutionaries who through their sheer brilliance and daring spirit became most famous military figures of all times. It is due to their dauntless audacity that they helped change not just the future of the country but the world at large. Every country boasts of umpteen military leaders and revolutionaries who helped in securing their land. The United States of America has had numerous military leaders who have left an indelible mark on human civilization with their acts of courage. Some of the illustrious American military leaders include Dwight Eisenhower, General Patton, George Washington, Douglas MacArthur, George Dewey, David D Porter, Winfield Scott, Henry H Arnold and so on. Explore this section and find out in details about the life, conquests, battles and wars of great American military leaders. Their act of bravery and courage is sure to leave you startled!
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 1 
George Patton
(One of the Most Successful Combat Generals in United States History)
George Patton
31
Birthdate: November 11, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Gabriel, California, United States
Died: December 21, 1945

George Patton was a general of the US Army, remembered for his work as a commander of the Seventh United States Army during World War II. He is also remembered for commanding the Third Army in the Western Front in June 1944 after the Allied invasion of Normandy. His life and work inspired the 1970 epic biographical war film Patton.

 2 
Douglas MacArthur
(Military officer)
Douglas MacArthur
38
Birthdate: January 26, 1880
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Died: April 5, 1964
American five-star general Douglas MacArthur was the field marshal of the Philippine Army. He and his father were the first father-son duo to win the Medal of Honor. after World War II, he became the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Japan and contributed to Japan’s reconstruction.
 3 
William Tecumseh Sherman
(Former Commanding General of the United States Army (1869 - 1883))
William Tecumseh Sherman
12
Birthdate: February 8, 1820
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lancaster, Ohio, United States
Died: February 14, 1891
William Tecumseh Sherman served as the Union Army general during the American Civil War. He is best remembered for his “scorched earth” military policy and was known as "the first modern general.” His 1875 book Memoir, related his war experiences. He was associated with wildlife conservation in his later years.
 4 
Stonewall Jackson
(One of the Best-Known Confederate Commanders During the American Civil War)
Stonewall Jackson
15
Birthdate: January 21, 1824
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Clarksburg, West Virginia, United States
Died: May 10, 1863

Stonewall Jackson was a commander of the Confederate States Army. He played a major role as a Confederate general in the American Civil War, winning several significant battles in the Eastern Theater of the war. Considered one of the most tactically sound commanders in the history of the US, Jackson was idolized by George Patton, Chesty Puller, and Alexander Vandegrift.

 5 
Robert E. Lee
(Confederate General in the American Civil War)
Robert E. Lee
30
Birthdate: January 19, 1807
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Stratford, Virginia, United States
Died: October 12, 1870

A commander of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, Robert E. Lee commanded the Army of Northern Virginia. He was a skilled tactician who served in the US Army for 32 years. Brilliant from a young age, he was a top graduate of the US Military Academy. In his later years, he became president of Washington College.

 6 
John J. Pershing
(Former Military Officer Who Served as the Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces During World War I)
John J. Pershing
7
Birthdate: September 13, 1860
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Laclede, Missouri, United States
Died: July 15, 1948

John J. Pershing was a senior United States Army officer who served as the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in World War I. In his later years, he mentored generals who led the United States Army during World War II.  He was promoted to General of the Armies rank, the highest possible rank in the United States Army. 

 7 
Dwight D. Eisenhower
(34th President of the United States (1953–1961))
Dwight D. Eisenhower
6
Birthdate: October 14, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Denison, Texas, United States
Died: March 28, 1969

The 34th president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower held office from 1953 to 1961. An army officer During World War II, he was part of many successful operations. He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, and his two terms as president saw widespread economic prosperity in USA. He is ranked high among American presidents.

 8 
Chester W. Nimitz
(American Admiral Known for His Role as Commander in Chief of US Pacific Fleet in World War II)
Chester W. Nimitz
5
Birthdate: February 24, 1885
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fredericksburg, Texas, United States
Died: February 20, 1966

Chester W. Nimitz was part of the United States Navy where he served as a fleet admiral. He played a key role during World War II, commanding the US Pacific Fleet and the Allied air, sea, and land forces. He also played a crucial role in acquiring approval to develop USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine in the world.

 9 
Richard Winters
(Army officer)
Richard Winters
10
Birthdate: January 21, 1918
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New Holland, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 2, 2011
Richard Winters is best remembered for his act of parachuting into Normandy on D-Day. He was recalled to the army from the inactive list during the Korean War. Following his retirement, he started selling Hershey Company by-products to animal-feed manufacturers and also taught at the U.S. Military Academy.
 10 
Sitting Bull
(Warrior)
Sitting Bull
6
Birthdate: 1831 AD
Birthplace: Grand River
Died: December 15, 1890
Hunkpapa Lakota leader Sitting Bull is symbolic of the Native American resistance against the U.S. government. After the Battle of the Little Bighorn, he surrendered and performed at Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. The U.S. government, fearing he might join the Ghost Dance Movement, killed him during an attempted arrest.
 11 
Chesty Puller
(Military officer)
Chesty Puller
8
Birthdate: June 26, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: West Point, Virginia, United States
Died: October 11, 1971
Chesty Puller was a U.S. Marine Corps officer who was part of the Banana Wars in Haiti and Nicaragua, and later served in World War II and the Korean War. He became the most decorated U.S. Marine, winning five Navy Crosses and an Army Distinguished Service Cross.
 12 
Geronimo
(Leader)
Geronimo
6
Birthdate: June 16, 1829
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Arizpe Municipality, Mexico
Died: February 17, 1909
Native American hero Geronimo is remembered for his heroics in the Apache Wars against the U.S. and Mexico. After his surrender in 1886, he lived as a U.S. prisoner of war and spent the rest of his life being exhibited at various events and selling his belongings for money.
 13 
Paul Revere
(American Military Officer & Silversmith Who Warned Boston-Area Residents that the British Were Coming During His Midnight Ride)
Paul Revere
4
Birthdate: January 1, 1735
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 10, 1818
Paul Revere was a silversmith from Boston and a Patriot in the American Revolution who is remembered for alerting his fellow Patriots, during a midnight ride, about the approaching British forces prior to the battles of Lexington and Concord. He remains immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem Paul Revere's Ride.
 14 
George Marshall
(3rd United States Secretary of Defense)
George Marshall
3
Birthdate: December 31, 1880
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Uniontown, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: October 16, 1959

George Marshall was an American statesman and soldier who played a key role in the Allied victory during the Second World War. Marshall served as the third US Secretary of Defense from 1950 to 1951. As Secretary of State, George Marshall advocated economic recovery programs to aid post-war European countries, for which he was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize.

 15 
William Halsey Jr.
(Military officer)
William Halsey Jr.
5
Birthdate: October 30, 1882
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States
Died: August 16, 1959
 16 
Glenn Miller
(Trombonist)
Glenn Miller
9
Birthdate: March 1, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Clarinda, Iowa, United States
Died: December 15, 1944
 17 
Stanley A McChrystal
(Retired Armed Force Officer)
Stanley A McChrystal
6
Birthdate: August 14, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, United States

Retired United States Army general, Stanley A McChrysta,l is best known for his command of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) during the 2000s. He was described as "perhaps the finest warrior and leader of men in combat I ever met" by Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Following his retirement, he began teaching courses in international relations at Yale University.

 18 
Omar Bradley
(1st Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1949-53))
Omar Bradley
5
Birthdate: February 12, 1893
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Clark, Missouri, United States
Died: April 8, 1981
 19 
John Paul Jones
4
Birthdate: July 6, 1747
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Arbigland, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland
Died: July 18, 1792
John Paul Jones was an American Revolutionary War naval commander. Named the Father of the American Navy, he was part of the Continental Navy against the Kingdom of Great Britain. He later joined the Imperial Russian Navy and became a rear admiral. His life later inspired an Alexandre Dumas novel.
 20 
H. R. McMaster
(25th United States National Security Advisor (Feb 2017 - Apr 2018))
H. R. McMaster
6
Birthdate: July 24, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Herbert Raymond McMaster is a former U.S. army lieutenant general and has previously also been the U.S. national security advisor. He is renowned for his participation in the Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. He now teaches at Stanford and has authored the book Dereliction of Duty.
 21 
George Armstrong Custer
(United States Army Officer and Cavalry Commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars)
George Armstrong Custer
14
Birthdate: December 5, 1839
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Rumley, Ohio, United States
Died: June 25, 1876

George Armstrong Custer was a US Army officer. He played an important role as a cavalry commander in the American Indian Wars and the American Civil War. His death at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, commonly referred to as Custer's Last Stand, went on to become a well-known episode of the American Indian Wars.

 22 
Herbert Sobel
(U.S. Army Officer)
Herbert Sobel
8
Birthdate: January 26, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: September 30, 1987

Herbert Sobel was an American military man who commanded Easy Company during World War II. Although he played a key role during the war, Sobel was despised by his soldiers due to his arrogance. In the 2001 war drama miniseries Band of Brothers, Herbert Sobel was portrayed by David Schwimmer.

 23 
Samuel Alito
(Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States)
Samuel Alito
6
Birthdate: April 1, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States

The current associate justice of the Supreme Court of the US, Samuel Alito is only the second Italian American to serve on the court. Samuel Alito's journey from being an adjunct professor to one of the most powerful men in the American justice system is quite inspirational.

 24 
Alvin York
(One of the Most Decorated United States Army Soldiers of World War I)
Alvin York
4
Birthdate: December 13, 1887
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pall Mall, Tennessee
Died: September 2, 1964

One of the most decorated United States Army soldiers of World War I, Alvin York is best remembered for leading an attack on a German machine-gun nest. The son of a poor blacksmith, he started working as a child to contribute to his family income. After joining the army, he became known for his courage and valor.

 25 
Jimmy Doolittle
(Military General)
Jimmy Doolittle
5
Birthdate: December 14, 1896
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Alameda, California, United States
Died: September 27, 1993

Jimmy Doolittle was an American aviation pioneer and military general. Apart from winning many flying races, Doolittle also helped develop instrument flying. He was the brains behind the Doolittle Raid, the air raid that served as retribution for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II. His work during the raid earned him the prestigious Medal of Honor.

 26 
Kit Carson
(Explorer & Soldier)
Kit Carson
5
Birthdate: December 24, 1809
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Madison County
Died: May 23, 1868

A frontiersman and a fur-trapper, Kit Carson played a major role in the US’s westward expansion. Mostly known for guiding explorer John C. Frémont, he was criticized for his contribution to the displacement of native Americans as an Indian agent. He became part of folk legend for his exploits as a fighter, too.

 27 
Hal Moore
(Former lieutenant colonel in command of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, at the Battle of Ia Drang in 1965, during the American War in Vietnam)
Hal Moore
6
Birthdate: February 13, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bardstown, Kentucky, United States
Died: February 10, 2017
 28 
David Petraeus
(4th Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2011 - 2012))
David Petraeus
11
Birthdate: November 7, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, United States
David Petraeus was the director of the CIA from 2011 till his resignation in 2012 due to his extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. He was also charged with mishandling classified information. He had previously been the commander of U.S. Central Command and of the International Security Assistance Force
 29 
Nathan Bedford Forrest
(Confederate General During the American Civil War)
Nathan Bedford Forrest
15
Birthdate: July 13, 1821
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bedford County, Tennessee, United States
Died: October 29, 1877
Nathan Bedford Forrest, or the "Wizard of the Saddle", served as a Confederate general during the American Civil War. He was charged with war crimes at the Battle of Fort Pillow, where his forces killed Black prisoners of war. He was the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
 30 
Robert Gould Shaw
(Military Personnel)
Robert Gould Shaw
6
Birthdate: October 10, 1837
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: July 18, 1863
Union Army officer Robert Gould Shaw commanded an all-Black regiment, the 54th Massachusetts, during the American Civil War. A staunch abolitionist, he died in the Second Battle of Fort Wagner in 1863, but became a hero after his death, especially among the Black community. He inspired the 1989 film Glory.
 31 
Jim Mattis
(26th United States Secretary of Defense (2017 - 2019))
Jim Mattis
15
Birthdate: September 8, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pullman, Washington, United States

Jim Mattis is a retired American Marine Corps general and served as the Defense Secretary from January 2017 to January 2019. He avowed the commitment of US to defending South Korea and was a known opponent of China and Russia. He was also known to disagree with certain policies of the Trump administration which finally led to his departure.

 32 
Curtis Lemay
(General)
Curtis Lemay
9
Birthdate: November 15, 1906
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: October 1, 1990
 33 
Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.
(United States Army General)
Norman Schwarzkopf Jr.
5
Birthdate: August 22, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States
Died: December 27, 2012
 34 
Smedley Butler
(United States Marine Corps officer)
Smedley Butler
5
Birthdate: July 30, 1881
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: West Chester, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 21, 1940
 35 
Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
(Military Leader)
Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
6
Birthdate: September 13, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, USA
Died: July 12, 1944
 36 
John F. Kelly
(28th White House Chief of Staff (2017 - 2019))
John F. Kelly
5
Birthdate: May 11, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
John F. Kelly served as the White House Chief of Staff from 2017 to 2019, and as the Secretary of Homeland Security in 2017. He is part of the board of Caliburn International. The former U.S. Marine Corps general has also won awards such as the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.
 37 
David Farragut
(Military officer)
David Farragut
3
Birthdate: July 5, 1801
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Farragut, Tennessee, United States
Died: August 14, 1870
 38 
William H. McRaven
6
Birthdate: November 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pinehurst
 39 
Paul Tibbets
5
Birthdate: February 23, 1915
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Quincy, Illinois, United States
Died: November 1, 2007
 40 
Michael Flynn
(24th United States National Security Advisor (Jan 2017 - Feb 2017))
Michael Flynn
18
Birthdate: December 24, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Meade, Maryland, United States

Michael Flynn is a retired US Army lieutenant general who played a key role in dismantling insurgent networks in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He also helped shape the US counterterrorism strategy in the wars. He also played a major role in the 2016 US presidential election, serving as Donald Trump's senior advisor throughout the latter's presidential campaign.

 41 
Billy Mitchell
(Military General)
Billy Mitchell
7
Birthdate: December 29, 1879
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nice, France
Died: February 19, 1936
 42 
Ulysses S. Grant
(Civil War Hero and the 18th President of the United States)
Ulysses S. Grant
5
Birthdate: April 27, 1822
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Point Pleasant, Ohio, United States
Died: July 23, 1885

The 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant held office from 1869 to 1877. He led the Union Army as Commanding General of the United States Army during the American Civil War and was a war hero. As president, he stabilized the post-war national economy and created the Department of Justice. Historians generally recognize his presidential accomplishments.

 43 
George Lincoln Rockwell
(American Far-right Political Activist and Commander of the American Nazi Party (1959 - 1967))
George Lincoln Rockwell
6
Birthdate: March 9, 1918
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bloomington, Illinois, United States
Died: August 25, 1967

George Lincoln Rockwell was an American politician. A neo-Nazi, Rockwell was discharged from the US Navy due to his political views. He denied the Holocaust and considered Hitler 'the White savior of the 20th century'. He also joined hands with other neo-Nazi groups and led the World Union of National Socialists. He is credited with founding the American Nazi Party.

 44 
Dan Crenshaw
(Politician)
Dan Crenshaw
16
Birthdate: March 14, 1984
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Aberdeen, Scotland

Former US Navy Seal officer Dan Crenshaw is now a Republican politician and a US Representative from Texas’s 2nd District. The Harvard alumnus now wears an eye patch, having lost his right eye in an explosion in Afghanistan. In late 2021, he came under fire for stating his party had liars.

 45 
Richard E. Byrd
(American Naval Officer and Explorer Known for His Expedition of the Antarctic Plateau)
Richard E. Byrd
5
Birthdate: October 25, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Winchester, Virginia, United States
Died: March 11, 1957

American naval officer Richard E. Byrd is remembered for his pioneering expeditions to Antarctica, using airplanes. Though he was awarded a US Congressional Medal of Honor for completing the first flight over the North Pole, it was later revealed that he had returned when he was 150 miles away from the destination.

 46 
Raymond A. Spruance
(Navy admiral during World War II)
Raymond A. Spruance
4
Birthdate: July 3, 1886
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: December 13, 1969
James R. Jordan, Sr.
10
Birthdate: July 31, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: July 23, 1993
 48 
Christopher Dorner
(Police Officer)
Christopher Dorner
10
Birthdate: June 4, 1979
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: February 12, 2013
 49 
Rob Riggle
(Actor)
Rob Riggle
16
Birthdate: April 21, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
 50 
Matthew C. Perry
(Naval Officer)
Matthew C. Perry
4
Birthdate: April 10, 1794
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Died: March 4, 1858