World War I Commemorative 22-cent Stamp: Gen. Blackjack Pershing Masonic First Day Cover #2154
|August 22, 2012||Posted by Lars under 1980s, Masonic, Military, U.S. History|
Gen. John ‘Blackjack’ Pershing: Mason and ‘General of the Armies’
General John Pershing (1860-1948) attained the highest rank possible in the U.S. Army , being appointed to ‘General of the Armies’ after Congress created this honor specifically for him in 1919. It was only in 1976 that George Washington, also a Mason, was elevated to the same rank but with higher seniority and with assurance that he would never be outranked. This edict was signed by President Gerald Ford–another Mason.
Having graduated from West Point in 1886, Pershing quickly established himself as a military leader and moved up the ranks. He attained the rank of General in 1917. The numerous campaigns he led include the Indian Wars (Apache and Sioux), Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War, Russo-Japanese War, Mexican Revolt, and World War I where he commanded the Western Front.
Pershing served as an instructor at West Point beginning in 1897. He was somewhat unpopular with the students due to his strict and rigid approach. They referred to him by a number of derogatory terms, which evolved to ‘Blackjack’ from his service as 1st Lieutenant with the 10th Calvary Regiment during the Spanish-American War–otherwise known as the Buffalo Soldiers.
Here’s some good reading on Gen. Blackjack Pershing: