The Most Important Military Leaders In US History

Over 6.7K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Most Important Military Leaders In US History
Voting Rules
American military leaders only. Vote based on their military leadership only, not other political achievements.

America's legendary military history is dotted with some of the greatest generals and admirals to ever put on a uniform. While there have been thousands of high-ranking U.S. Army generals and and military leaders in American history, only a few have truly changed the world with their bravery, intelligence, strategic planning ability, and the way they look wearing a uniform full of medals. Some of the best American generals are also the top military leaders in history

The army leaders and generals in the US Army on this list all either held the most important positions in the US military or were immortalized in the history books for their actions in war. To be a great US Army officer takes great courage and leadership. Who has had the most impact and led his men and women to historic triumphs? Leading the ranks of the army is no easy feat, but throughout army history, many great men have made a name for themselves.

Vote for who you think are the most important leaders from the United States Army, armed forces, and other military branches on this list, and vote down the ones you think might be a little overrated. And feel free to add generals and admirals who you feel were unfairly forgotten.
Photo: Reǵnier / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
Ranked by
  • George Washington
    2,971 votes
    Dec. at 67 (1732-1799)
    George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He presided over the convention ...more
  • George S. Patton
    3,151 votes
    Dec. at 60 (1885-1945)
    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. ...more
  • Ulysses S. Grant
    2,801 votes
    Dec. at 63 (1822-1885)
    Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) was an American soldier, politician, and international statesman who served as the 18th president of the United States from ...more
  • Chester W. Nimitz
    2,026 votes

    Chester W. Nimitz

    Dec. at 80 (1885-1966)
    Chester William Nimitz, Sr. (; February 24, 1885 – February 20, 1966) was a fleet admiral of the United States Navy. He played a major role in the naval history of World War II as Commander in Chief, ...more
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
    2,655 votes
    Dec. at 78 (1890-1969)
    Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower ( EYE-zən-how-ər; October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. ...more
  • George Marshall
    1,964 votes
    Dec. at 78 (1880-1959)
    George Catlett Marshall Jr. (December 31, 1880 – October 16, 1959) was an American soldier and statesman. He rose through the United States Army to become Chief of Staff under presidents Franklin D. ...more