George Washington's Military Career

Words: 1072
Pages: 5

George Washington is probably most notable for being the first President of the United States of America, but prior to holding this prestigious position as this nation's first leader, he served a long military career that spanned over forty years and with three different armed forces: The Colonial Militia, the Continental Army, and the United States Army. Throughout his decades of service, Washington’s ranks included Major, Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, General, Lieutenant General, and General of the Armies of the United States. Because of his noteworthy military career, George Washington is credited for his key importance in the early history of the United States. A career that can be divided into three significant periods: The French …show more content…
As a young boy Washington’s family moved to Ferry Farm; a plantation on the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg, where Washington spent most of his youth. Years later his father passed; he inherited Ferry Farm and set off to live with his half brother Lawrence who married into the Fairfax family, a very high-up and influential Virginian family who facilitated Washington's profession by appointing him official surveyor for Culpeper County, a well-paid position which enabled him to purchase land. As the younger son in a family of the landed gentry, George Washington appeared destined by birth and education to a career as a farmer and land surveyor. But the untimely death of his older brother Lawrence would ultimately alter the course of his life. When his brother died in 1752, Washington inherited the Mount Vernon estate and was appointed by Governor Dinwiddie as one of the four district adjutants responsible for militia training. In February 1753, at the age of 21, Washington was sworn in as a major in the Virginia militia. It was not surprising that he would volunteer for active duty some ten months later. During this period, Washington also became a freemason. For George Washington, joining the Masons was a rite of passage and an expression of his civic responsibility and lead to the beginning of his honorable military career (Wright,