"Ulysses S. Grant's death marked the end of a military era ... The American Iliad ended on that August day along the Hudson, and the American Odyssey was about to begin. Its first Odysseus would be the young cadet captain who brought the corps to present arms."

-- Quote from Richard Goldhurst --

Learning through Experience

The young men and women of the Pershing Rifles, Pershing Angels, and Black Jacks learn of Pershing's storied past through a combination of classic education and first hand experiences. The Pershing Project is an attempt to share those experiences with a wider audience through photos, videos, and interactive media.

Video Clips

Historical footage and extended scenes from the documentary help tell the story of General Pershing.


Classroom Resources

From discussion, essay, and researc topics to photo archives and recommended reading lists.


Interactive Features

Interactive maps, timelines, and mobile applications designed to put history in the hands of each student.


An Old Story for a New Generation

In 2017 and 2018, the United States celebrates the centennial of its involvement in World War I, recognizing the contributions of over 4 million men and women who fought to preserve liberty and freedom from the forces of tyranny and oppression in 1917 and 1918. On November 11, 2018 the Pershing and Pacific Film Foundations, in partnership with the World War I Centennial Commission, present a documentary film about the life of one of the nation’s most successful commanders, and America’s leading in World War I, General of the Armies John J. "Black Jack" Pershing.

Today, the legacy of General John J. Pershing lives on every day through the cadets, midshipmen, and members of the National Society of Pershing Rifles and its partners, the National Society of Pershing Angels and the National Society of Black Jacks. Together, the Pershing family is made up of high school and collegiate level students, students who are learning of Pershing’s life as they travel the world, retracing the footsteps of their patron from the fields of Laclede, Missouri to the trenches of France.

U.S. in World War I

Militarism, nationalism, entangling alliances, colonialism, and deep mistrust of neighboring countries are often seen as the root causes of the war to end all wars. The powder keg, set alight by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, the Duchess of Hohenberg brought about the death of over 20 million men, women, and children in Europe and across the globe. An ocean away, the United States, which had declared itself neutral in 1914, was eventually dragged into the war. While a combatant for only 18 months, the United States' overwhelming ability to recruit, train, and deploy fresh Soldiers and Marines to the front lines eventually broke the back of the Axis Powers, bringing about the end of one of the bloodiest wars in human history. However, that hard fought vistory came at a cost. Helping educate young audiences about that cost is one of the key components of the Pershing Project's mission.

By the Numbers

Service Members:

Total Casualties

Total Wounded

Cost in 2018 Dollars $ Billion

Our Partners

Pershing Foundation

The Pershing Foundation's mission is to preserve the history of the National Society of Pershing Rifles; to promote unique and innovative endeavors in youth leadership development, academic scholarship and military science; and to promote the legacy of General of the Armies John J. Pershing through service.


Pacific Film Foundation

Joe Hartnett and Dayle D. Hartnett, Ph.D. founded the nonprofit Pacific Film Foundation to educate audiences about areas of history, social justice, and medical science, and to encourage discourse about the positive benefits of multiculturalism and sustainability.


Pershing Rifles Group

The mission of the Pershing Rifles Group is to provide advice, assistance, and support to our partnered and member organizations. Our goal is to bring together the entire Pershing Family of organizations into a communitythat mutually supports one another and our various missions.