George Washington (1732-1799) was an officer in Virginia's provincial militia, the commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, and the first president of the independent United States of America.
As a young officer in the Virginia provincial militia, Washington was dispatched in 1753 and 1754 to warn the French out of the Ohio Valley. The second mission led to his defeat at Fort Necessity. In 1755, he returned with General Edward Braddock and the army of British regulars that would be defeated at the Battle of the Wilderness (Battle of Monongahela). For the next three years, Washington served as the commander of the Virginia Regiment, defending British settlements in the Shenandoah Valley.
Washington earned recognition in America and England for his bravery during the British defeat at the Battle of the Wilderness. By the war's end, he had become a symbol for American colonists of the military prowess of their militia.