Background Overview

In 1894, a young Army Lieutenant at the University of Nebraska was recognized for the tremendous impact he had through instilling leadership and comradery in the cadet corps. Upon his departure from the University, a group of students known as the Varsity Rifles changed their name to honor the Lieutenant. Today, that group is known as the Pershing Rifles.

The Lieutenant went on to serve his country on active duty for three more decades, and in 1919, after commanding the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, he created an organization called the 

Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW). Through the MOWW, he encouraged the officers under his command to continue a commitment to service following The Great War. He became the U.S. Army Chief of Staff in 1921, and in 1924, the former Lieutenant was awarded the highest-rank in American military history—General of the Armies of the United States.

The General’s legacy lives on today through members of the Pershing Rifles and MOWW, and on October 2, 2019, exactly 125 years after Pershing Rifles was established, we are pleased to announce the formation of the John J. Pershing Memorial Foundation. The JJPMF is a public charity recognized under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, and it is the official foundation of the Pershing Rifles Group and its member organizations. But our mission does not stop there! The Foundation seeks to expand the reach of General Pershing’s legacy and to support programs that share his story and impact the lives of young leaders across the country.