A Negro cavalry regiment was John J. Pershing’s “home” in the service. From it came his nickname, and he never lost his affection for—or failed to champion—the valorous colored troopers he led.
If there is a military stereotype in United States history, it must closely resemble the public impression of John J. Pershing, who was accorded the highest possible rank—General of the Armies—after commanding the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. “Brass hat” was written all over him: the jutting jaw, the cold, direct gaze, the bluntly authoritarian manner, the stiff back and square shoulders. Most people believed that his sobriquet “Black Jack” was bestowed because of the forcefulness of his character.
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