Butler was a celebrated army veteran. He joined the army on his own accord in 1898 going against his father’s wishes at a time when he was too young, had to bluff his way in and only had a few months till he graduated, displaying a deep sense of patriotism (Schmidt). For his efforts in the army he was awarded two Medal of Honors during the course of his service, a feat achieved by a mere 19 people in total and one Marine Corps Brevet Medal, and considering how only 2 others marines have ever managed to receive both the Marine Corps Brevet and the Medal of Honor together, that alone put him in an exclusive league on its own (Shetterly). His practical experience extends further with him being appointed as the Director of Public Safety in Philadelphia, a post he actively served for 2 years.
For his rather audacious war time performances, he came to be known as The Fighting Quaker and Old Gimlet Eye (Zabecki). His adherence to the American flag and his loyalties to his job could hardly be doubted. He once led a platoon while stationed at Nicaragua while running a 104 degree fever. His list of awards include the “Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal and the French Order” of the Black Star (United States Marine Corps). Butler was continually promoted in ranks throughout his years in service and ended up as a Major General in 1929. It was his interaction with the Chinese on a foreign peacekeeping mission in the late 1920s, his experiences in World War I and the many wars he fought prior to those that began to alter his views about the way American leaders handled the intricacies of war (Zabecki).
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