There are many qualities that I consider when evaluating who, out of all the great men that have lived, stands higher than the rest and should be considered a “hero.” So far we’ve seen presidents, writers and poker players. Today we’ll be looking at someone who is not only a true badass, but also happens to be one of our own.
Unlike many people who rise from nothing into greatness, George S. Patton was born with a standard for his life already established. His grandfather was a decorated colonel in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and died a soldier’s death in the Third Battle of Winchester. Patton grew up knowing that he would need to strap on a pretty big set of balls to live up to his family name. Instead of dicking around on the Xbox, he spent his time listening to his father tell stories about his war hero friends, and decided at a young age that he wanted to be a general. When it was time to leave for college, he selected the Virginia Military Institute. While a big reason for his attendance there was likely that his grandfather went there, I’m going to assume that he did it solely to pledge and become a brother of the Kappa Alpha Order. After finishing his pledgeship (which undoubtedly made all of ours look like a bunch of Care Bears in a tickle fight), he transferred to West Point.
Not satisfied with simply being an officer in the Army, he participated in the 1912 Olympics. It would probably be just a cool fact if he’d done something like a foot race, but no, he participated in the pentathlon. The modern pentathlon is a competition designed completely around skills that a soldier should have: fencing, pistol shooting, swimming, horseback riding, and cross country running. Not satisfied with finishing fifth place (in spite of not being a trained athlete), Patton traveled to France to “brush up” on his skills with the sword. And by “brush up,” I mean he trained with a master swordsman, wrote a treatise about it, came back to the US and became the Army’s youngest ever “Master of the Sword,” and then proceeded to completely overhaul the Army’s saber fighting techniques…all before the age of 28. And you thought shotgunning three beers in one minute was impressive…
While technically a cavalry officer, Patton realized that horses were well on their way out of usefulness in modern warfare. Since the US wasn’t producing tanks at the time, he again traveled to France and learned to drive their tanks. This later proved useful when the US caught on to the whole “oh yeah tanks are fucking awesome” idea. Patton was quickly promoted up to colonel and put in charge of an entire tank brigade at the age of 33. He finished out the end of the First World War in a hospital due to the unfortunate circumstance of having been shot several times by a fucking machine gun.
In between the two wars, Patton spent his time writing papers on strategy, kicking it with Eisenhower, and driving his “battle tank” through dozens of young women (probably). Also, he stood up to Douglas MacArthur for using force on veterans protesting their lack of payment for their services in the war on two grounds: first, one of the guys in the protest was the soldier who saved his life, and secondly because MacArthur was, according to Patton, “being a huge douchefuck.”
Not content with writing papers and the general lack of action going on (and because he figured charging into machine gun fire wasn’t enough excitement for one lifetime), Patton decided to get back on the ole’ war horse and take over command of the North African campaign in WWII. Without getting boringly specific, let’s just say that his intense speed style of tank warfare ended up making the Germans and the Italians run back to their countries crying for strudel and gelato.
In perhaps his most intense (and most controversial) moment, Patton went into a battlefield hospital to visit his wounded soldiers. Everyone, including those who were extremely injured, jumped to attention out of respect for their general, except one guy. The private in question didn’t salute Patton and wasn’t physically injured. When Patton asked him some form of “What the fuck is your problem?” the private said something to the effect of “Yeah, I’m just not feeling it today.” Your average general might have reprimanded him or sent him to the brig. Intead, Patton just slapped him in the fucking face and dragged him by his collar out of the tent and then literally kicked him in the ass before walking off. So, next time there’s an idiot pledge not showing proper respect, handle the situation properly. If administration doesn’t like it, just remind them, WWGMFPD (What Would George MotherFucking Patton Do?).