Service summary of George S. Patton

George S. Patton served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for 36 years. He served in three major conflicts (Mexican Punitive Expedition, World War I and World War II) during his military career.

Major assignments

  • 15th Cavalry, Fort Sheridan, Illinois - June 1909
  • 15th Cavalry, Fort Myer, Virginia - Late 1911
  • Member, United States Olympic Team - Summer 1912
  • Master of the Sword, Mounted Service School, Fort Riley, Kansas - September 1913 to June 1915
  • Troop A, 8th Cavalry, Fort Bliss, Texas - c. July 1915 to April 1916
  • Troop C, 13th Cavalry - April 1916 to May 1916
  • 10th Cavalry - May 23, 1916 to May 15, 1917
  • Aide to Commanding General, AEF Headquarters - May 15, 1917 to September 1917
  • Commanding Officer, Headquarters Company, AEF - September 1917 to November 10, 1917
  • Commanding Officer, AEF Light Tank School – November 10, 1917 to August 1918
  • Commanding Officer, 1st Provisional Tank Brigade – August 1918 to November 6, 1918
  • Commanding Officer, 304th Tank Brigade – November 6, 1918 to September 30, 1920
  • Commanding Officer, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Cavalry – September 30, 1920 to November 20, 1922
  • Student officer, Advanced Class, Cavalry School, Jan. 1, 1922, to June 6, 1923
  • Student officer, General Service Schools, Sept. 12, 1923, to June 12, 1924 (Honor Graduate)
  • Assistant Chief of Staff, G‑1, 1st Corps Area, July, 1924, to Mar. 4, 1925
  • Assistant Chief of Staff, G‑1‑2‑3, Hawaiian Division and Hawaiian Dept., Apr., 1925, to Apr., 1928
  • Office, Chief of Cavalry, Plans and Training, Apr. 14, 1928, to Aug. 17, 1931
  • Student officer, Army War College, Aug. 18, 1931, to June 25, 1932
  • Executive Officer, 3d Cavalry, June 25, 1932 to April 15, 1935
  • Assistant Chief of Staff, G‑2, Hawaiian Department, May 21, 1935 to July 12, 1937
  • Director of Instruction, Cavalry School, August, 1937 to July, 1938
  • Commanding Officer, 5th Cavalry Regiment, July 24, 1938 to December 1938
  • Commanding Officer, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, December 1938 to July 16, 1940
  • Commanding Officer, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Armored Division, July 16, 1940 to April 4, 1941
  • Commanding Officer (acting), 2nd Armored Division, November, 1940 to April 4, 1941
  • Commanding Officer, 2nd Armored Division, April 4, 1941 (acting since November 1940) to January 15, 1942
  • Commanding Officer, I Armored Corps, January 15, 1942 – March 5, 1943
  • Commanding Officer, II Corps – March 5, 1943 to April 16, 1943
  • Commanding Officer, I Armored Corps, April 16, 1943 to July 9, 1943
  • Commanding Officer, 7th Army, July 9, 1943 – January 26, 1944
  • Commanding Officer, 1st U.S. Army Group (fictitious), January 26, 1944 to June 6, 1944
  • Commanding Officer, 3rd Army, January 26, 1944 to October 7, 1945
  • Military Governor of Bavaria, July 1945 to October 7, 1945
  • Commanding Officer, 15th Army, October 7, 1945 to December 21, 1945

Orders, decorations and medals

Distinguished Service Cross

1st award - 26 September 1918;

CITATION: The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Colonel (Armor) George Smith Patton, Jr. (ASN: 0-2605), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with Tank Corps, A.E.F., near Cheppy, France, 26 September 1918. Colonel Patton displayed conspicuous courage, coolness, energy, and intelligence in directing the advance of his brigade down the valley of the Aire. Later he rallied a force of disorganized infantry and led it forward, behind the tanks, under heavy machine-gun and artillery fire until he was wounded. Unable to advance further, Colonel Patton continued to direct the operations of his unit until all arrangements for turning over the command were completed.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 133 (1918)[1]

2nd award - 19 August 1943;

SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant General George Smith Patton, Jr. (ASN: 0-2605), United States Army, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Commanding General of the 7th Army, in action against enemy forces on 11 July 1943. Lieutenant General Patton's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 7th Army, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army-North African Theater of Operations, General Orders No. 80[1]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Service Cross ribbon
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal ribbon
Navy Distinguished Service Medal ribbon
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver Star Medal ribbon
Legion of Merit ribbon Bronze Star Medal ribbon width= Silver Lifesaving Medal ribbon
Mexican Border Service Medal ribbon
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
World War I Victory Medal ribbon
American Defense Service Medal ribbon
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon
World War II Victory Medal ribbon Army of Occupation ribbon Grand Officer Ordre de LeopoldUK MID 1920-94.svg Croix de Guerre 1940-1945 with palm (Belgium) - ribbon bar
TCH CS Vojensky Rad Bileho Lva 1st (1945) BAR Czechoslovak War Cross 1939-1945 Ribbon Legion Honneur GO ribbon CroixdeGuerreFR-BronzeStar
Croix de guerre 1939–1945 stripe bronsepalme French Liberation Medal ribbon LUX Order of Adolphe Nassau Grand Cross BAR LUX Croix de Guerre ribbon
Ordre de l'Ouissam Alaouite GC ribbon (Maroc) Order kutuzov1 ribbon Order of the Bath UK ribbon Order of the British Empire (Military) Ribbon
1st Row Distinguished Service Cross
with one oak leaf cluster
Army Distinguished Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters Navy Distinguished Service Medal Silver Star
with one oak leaf cluster
2nd Row Legion of Merit Bronze Star Medal Purple Heart Silver Lifesaving Medal [2]
3rd Row Mexican Border Service Medal World War I Victory Medal
with four bronze campaign stars
American Defense Service Medal European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
with one silver and two bronze campaign stars
4th Row World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal
with "Germany" clasp (posthumous)
Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold with palm (Belgium) Croix de Guerre with palm (Belgium)
5th Row Military Order of the White Lion, Grand cross
Czechoslovak War Cross
Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor
Croix de Guerre, 1914–1918
with bronze star (France)
6th Row Croix de Guerre, 1939–1945
with palm
French Liberation Medal (1947) (posthumous) Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau
Luxembourg War Cross
7th Row Grand Cross of Ouissam Alaouite
Order of Kutuzov
(1st class)

British Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE)
  • Note: The rows 1-4 are American medals unless otherwise noted. Rows 5-7 are foreign medals and noted where required.

Dates of rank

Insignia Rank Component Date
No insignia Cadet United States Military Academy July 1, 1905
No insignia in 1909 Second Lieutenant 15th Cavalry, Regular Army June 11, 1909
US-O2 insignia.svg
 First Lieutenant 10th Cavalry, Regular Army May 23, 1916
US-O3 insignia.svg
 Captain Cavalry, Regular Army May 15, 1917
US-O4 insignia.svg
 Major Cavalry, Temporary January 26, 1918
US-O5 insignia.svg
 Lieutenant Colonel Tank Corps, National Army April 3, 1918 [3]
US-O6 insignia
 Colonel Tank Corps, Regular Army October 17, 1918
US-O3 insignia.svg
 Captain Cavalry, Regular Army June 30, 1920
(Discharged and recommissioned.)
US-O4 insignia.svg
 Major Cavalry, Regular Army July 1, 1920
US-O5 insignia.svg
 Lieutenant Colonel Cavalry, Regular Army March 1, 1934
US-O6 insignia
 Colonel Cavalry, Regular Army July 24, 1938
US-O7 insignia.svg
 Brigadier General Army of the United States October 2, 1940
US-O8 insignia
 Major General Army of the United States April 4, 1941
US-O9 insignia
 Lieutenant General Army of the United States March 12, 1943
US-O7 insignia.svg
 Brigadier General Regular Army (bypassed) August 16, 1944 [4]
US-O8 insignia
 Major General Regular Army August 16, 1944 [5]
US-O9 insignia
 Lieutenant General Regular Army December 4, 1944
US-O10 insignia
 General Army of the United States April 14, 1945



  1. ^ a b "George Smith Patton , Jr". Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  2. ^ "United States Coast Guard". Retrieved 2012-03-21.
  3. ^ Official date of rank of March 20, 1918
  4. ^ Official Date Of Rank of September 1, 1943
  5. ^ Official Date Of Rank of September 2, 1943
  6. ^ Official Register of Commissioned Officers of the United States Army, 1941. pg. 659.
George S. Patton

George Smith Patton Jr. (November 11, 1885 – December 21, 1945) was a General of the United States Army who commanded the U.S. Seventh Army in the Mediterranean theater of World War II, and the U.S. Third Army in France and Germany following the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.

Born in 1885 to a family with an extensive military background that spanned both the United States and Confederate States armies, Patton attended the Virginia Military Institute and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He studied fencing and designed the M1913 Cavalry Saber, more commonly known as the "Patton Saber", and was sufficiently skilled in the sport of modern pentathlon to compete in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden.

Patton first saw combat during the Pancho Villa Expedition in 1916, taking part in America's first military action using motor vehicles. As part of the newly formed United States Tank Corps of the American Expeditionary Forces he saw action in World War I, commanding the U.S. tank school in France before being wounded while leading tanks into combat near the end of the war. In the interwar period, Patton remained a central figure in the development of the Army's armored warfare doctrine, serving in numerous staff positions throughout the country. Rising through the ranks, he commanded the 2nd Armored Division at the time of the American entry into World War II.

Patton led U.S. troops into the Mediterranean theater with an invasion of Casablanca during Operation Torch in 1942, and soon established himself as an effective commander through his rapid rehabilitation of the demoralized U.S. II Corps. He commanded the U.S. Seventh Army during the Allied invasion of Sicily, where he was the first Allied commander to reach Messina. There he was embroiled in controversy after he slapped two shell-shocked soldiers under his command, and was temporarily removed from battlefield command. He then was assigned a key role in Operation Fortitude, the Allies' disinformation campaign for Operation Overlord. Following the invasion of Normandy in June 1944, Patton was given command of the Third Army, which conducted a highly successful rapid armored drive across France. Under his decisive leadership the Third Army took the lead in relieving beleaguered American troops at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, after which his forces drove deep into Nazi Germany by the end of the war.

During the Allied occupation of Germany Patton was named military governor of Bavaria, but was relieved over his aggressive statements towards the Soviet Union and trivializing denazification. He commanded the United States Fifteenth Army for slightly more than two months. Severely injured in an auto accident, he died in Germany twelve days later, on December 21, 1945.

Patton's colorful image, hard-driving personality and success as a commander were at times overshadowed by his controversial public statements. His philosophy of leading from the front and ability to inspire troops with attention-getting, vulgarity-ridden speeches, such as a famous address to the Third Army, met with mixed receptions, favorably with his troops but much less so among a sharply divided Allied high command. His strong emphasis on rapid and aggressive offensive action proved effective, and he was regarded highly by his opponents in the German High Command. An award-winning biographical film released in 1970, Patton, helped solidify his image as an American folk hero.

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