U.S. Army general John J. Pershing (1860-1948) commanded the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in Europe during World War I. The president and first captain of the West Point class of 1886, he served in the Spanish- and Philippine-American Wars and was tasked to lead a punitive raid against the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson selected Pershing to command the American troops being sent to Europe. Although Pershing aimed to maintain the independence of the AEF, his willingness to integrate into Allied operations helped bring about the armistice with Germany. After the war, Pershing served as army chief of staff from 1921 to 1924.