[[quoteright:300:[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_S._Patton http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GeneralPatton.jpg]]]]

->'''Soldier:''' Where ya goin', General?\\
'''Patton:''' Berlin. I'm going to personally shoot [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler that paper-hangin' sonofabitch]]!
-->-- ''Film/{{Patton}}''

The Four-Star Badass is a badass in a military hierarchy that also happens to be a general or flag officer.

The ColonelBadass page explains that a Colonel is usually more badass than a General because although a General has the higher rank (and may even be a certifiable badass himself) they're usually relegated to desk duty and administrative tasks. This is also the reason why TheCaptain will always be the star of the show even if they don't have the same clout as a Commodore or Admiral.

However, some fiction writers don't subscribe to this notion. They believe that [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority in order to have reached a four-star rank you had to have done some]] ''[[AsskickingEqualsAuthority serious]]'' [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority asskicking once upon a time]]. While some writers feel Badassery is a muscle that [[BadassDecay grows weak]] with disuse, the writers who subscribe to this trope feel it's more like riding a bike; you never forget how to do it. Even after years of sitting behind a desk, filing reports, cashing fat checks, and being saluted by ''everybody''.

The important characteristic of Four-Star Badass is the BADASS. It's not enough for them to be TheBrigadier or a BenevolentBoss (although they tend to share some of the same characteristics, like never saying "WeHaveReserves" and being [[AFatherToHisMen A Father To Their Men]]). They have to actually ''[[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething do]]'' something to earn the title. This usually involves rolling up their sleeves, ditching the desk ([[ImprovisedWeapon heh]]), and mixing it up.

This is a man who will fight alongside his men while co-ordinating the campaign, and is not afraid of getting his own hands dirty in general terms. They will often have been non-commissioned officers for quite some time before being made a General, and as a result of that, fieldwork comes naturally and is more instinctive for them than others. As one on one fighters, they will generally also be superb, with an unusually strong, generalised knowledge of tactics.

This happens in a number of ways:
* '''The Four-Star Badass is the star''' - TheHero of the story also happens to be a General or Admiral, ensuring that they have to get involved in the story's conflicts and adventures.
* '''AwesomeMomentOfCrowning, Business As Usual''' - TheCaptain or ColonelBadass gets promoted. But they're TheHero so they continue to be badass.
* '''The FutureBadass route''' - If its a SpeculativeFiction series, we may get an episode glimpse in which a protagonist, usually TheCaptain, is promoted, probably TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture.
* '''Ten Minute Promotion''' - They're promoted for a moment, but events (or themselves) conspire to demote them right back into a position where they're back in the field.
* '''DaChief To The Rescue''' - The CowboyCop or MilitaryMaverick has gotten themselves in a ''real'' jam. DaChief takes it upon themselves to personally get involved in order to rescue their subordinate. They might say something like ''"Sure X is a loose cannon, but dammit, they're MY loose cannon and I'm gonna get them."''
* '''[[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs Your Base Is Under Attack, Commander]]''' - Enemy troops assault or infiltrate headquarters in a surprise attack, giving the commander an opportunity to shine on his home turf. May or may not involve a LastStand atop a pile of enemy corpses.

Many examples of this trope will probably turn out to be [[BadassGrandpa Badass Grandpas and Grandmas]], and sometimes {{Cool Old Guy}}s and [[CoolOldLady Cool Old Ladies]]. Often a contemporary of the OldSoldier.

While the Four-star thing is in the title, this applies to any character holding any level of [[UsefulNotes/CommonRanks General or Admiral rank, including Commodores]].

Contrast GeneralRipper[[note]]Though sometimes this guy may be badass enough to qualify, especially if his obsession came from leading the fight from the front and snapped after seeing the Enemy's atrocities firsthand.[[/note]] and GeneralFailure. May have a ChestOfMedals.

Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease With thousands of years of recorded history, there are enough of them to crash the entire wiki. Given the fact that being Badass is a requirement, every general in history, [[ModernMajorGeneral excepting]] those in militaries where money or [[BlueBlood family]] connections are considered more important than ability, is an example. [[noreallife]]


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'''s Major General Olivier Mira Armstrong, who once single-handedly took on the superhuman [[OurHomunculiAreDifferent Sloth]] armed only with a sword.
** Plus [[PuttingOnTheReich Führer]] King Bradley.
** [[TheBrigadier Brigadier General]] Roy Mustang. By the end of the manga and ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemistBrotherhood'', he becomes a full on general.
* Field Marshal Tenpou and General Kenren from ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}} Gaiden''.
* The Generals of the Black Order in ''DGrayMan'', thanks to AsskickingEqualsAuthority- they're required to have a greater than 100% synchronization rate to get the post.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'': The Admirals get their position for being the toughest bastards on the planet, sometimes being tasked with taking down entire crews of pirates...if the Pirates are strong enough to warrant such a beatdown.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** The Third Hokage is an old war veteran who generally comes off as a grandfatherly figure, but in the Chunin Exam Arc, he shows how he earned his title "The God of Shinobi" by fighting against both of his [[OurZombiesAreDifferent resurrected predecessors]] plus the most talented of his three legendary students, all at the same time, [[spoiler:successfully defeating them at the cost of his own life.]]
** ''Every'' Kage of one of the five major ninja villages is expected to embody this trope. Candidates need to be one of the strongest ninjas in their village just to be even considered for the position. This requirement seems to hold for minor village leaders and samurai generals as well, if Hanzo and Mifune are any indication.
** The Fifth Kazekage and the Fourth Raikage take this trope to the next level when they're respectively voted in as the Regimental Commander and Supreme Leader of the Allied Shinobi Forces, giving them operational authority over the ''other Kages''.
* Nakago in ''FushigiYuugi''
* By the time ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeedDestiny'' rolls around, both Kira Yamato and Cagalli Yula Atha count as this. The former is an Orb Admiral, while Cagalli is Commander-in-Chief of Orb's forces, though Kira rarely ever uses his position of authority instead having Murrue (A Captain) lead the Archangel.
* General Lawrence, [[spoiler: AKA ''Mr. X'']] in ''Anime/ArgentoSoma''. He's more of a ManipulativeBastard, true, but hanging the outcome of his {{plan}} on ''himself'' and dancing through a GambitPileup (engaging in a serious XanatosSpeedChess along the way) basically unscathed takes serious balls.
* Admiral Dozle Zabi of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', a seven-foot tall GeniusBruiser whose LastStand in the Big Zam killed thousands of Federation troops and bought his men time to escape.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* General ComicBook/NickFury of SHIELD. His appearance in the Ultimate universe is inspired by [[Creator/SamuelLJackson Samuel L. Mutha*** Jackson]].[[note]]Mainstream Fury is still ColonelBadass.[[/note]]
* ''Archangel Michael'' in ''ComicBook/BattlePope''.
* [[ComicBook/RedHulk General T.E. "Thunderbolt" Ross]] in ''Comicbook/IncredibleHulk'' comics.


[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''FanFic/NightOfTheShy'': [[TheBrigadier General Spur]], head of the Royal Guard (in Canterlot, at least) and Twilight's personal combat instructor. When [[BigBad Nightmare's]] armies [[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs attack Canterlot]], he personally leads the defense, and when the city falls he is the last to retreat. This unfortunately causes him to be captured and he ends up [[ColdBloodedTorture tortured]] for information... during which he continues to mock Nightmare to her face. And after he's rescued and hospitalized, Twilight has to ''order'' him to stay in bed and heal.
* ''FanFic/TheImmortalGame'':
** Rarity's father, [[TheDragon General Esteem]]. A monster, yes, but undeniably a badass one. He is TheDreaded to the [[LaResistance Loyalists]], and in the end it takes [[spoiler: Twilight Sparkle becoming a {{Physical God}}dess]] in order to take him down.
** Initially subverted but ultimately played straight with Twilight. While Luna appoints her "General of the Armies of Equestria" about halfway through the story, she's still so traumatized by her time as [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Nihilus]] that she's become an ActualPacifist, leaving all the fighting to the rest of the Mane Cast and Luna. However, after her [[HesBack She's Back]] moment, the badass part definitely comes into play as she [[spoiler: as mentioned above, becomes a {{Physical God}}dess]] and starts kicking ass all over the place. Oh, and she starts her badass streak by demanding (not asking, ''demanding'') that Luna grant her the title of "Master General".
* The ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'' has another villainous example in [[GeneralRipper General-Admiral Makarov]], the BigBad of Shining Armor's side story and one of the [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking strongest fighters]] in the series. [[spoiler: Though he kind of cheats by being an [[HumanoidAbomination Equineoid Abomination]].]]
* ''FanFic/ABriefHistoryOfEquestria'' has several examples: Hurricane, [[GeniusBruiser Wind Whistler]], [[GeneralRipper Sullamander]], and [[HeroicBastard Lady Cripps the Pink]].
* General Hugo Pelwicz from ''FanFic/FriendshipIsOptimalAlwaysSayNo'' is an undisputed Badass, surviving constant assassination attempts by men much younger than him, having amazing strength for a man of his age, and barely being fazed when [[AnArmAndALeg his hand is blown off]] by a sniper.

* General Maximus in ''Film/{{Gladiator}}''. But then, he is RussellCrowe.
* Commodore Norrington, especially in the first ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' movie. Complete with badass sword skills.
* General George ''Film/{{Patton}}'' who is a TropeCodifier if there ever was one. Apparently, he felt he was so badass he could shoot down warplanes ''with a pistol''. But then again he did outsmart the Desert Fox, so maybe he ''was'' pretty badass after all.
* For that matter, the Desert Fox himself - the original MagnificentBastard - Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.
* Admiral James T. Kirk in the first four ''Franchise/StarTrek'' movies, and his TOS crew is GenreSavvy enough to know it. When a new ensign protests Kirk's last minute command orders in ''The Motion Picture'', Uhura coolly and effectively shuts him down with one sentence:
-->'''Lt. Cmdr. Uhura:''' Ensign. The possibilities of our returning from this mission in one piece may have just doubled.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' has a bunch:
** The best known film examples are two Generals who were heroes at the Battle of Endor. You know them popularly as Han Solo and Lando Calrissian. Han [[Literature/TheCourtshipOfPrincessLeia resigned later]]; Lando left the service but retained the rank, because as everyone knows, "General Calrissian" just sounds awesome.
** Also from the battle of Endor, Admiral Ackbar.
** General Maximilian Veers in ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack''. He led the Imperial Forces in their successful attack on the Rebel base at Hoth.
** In the Clone Wars, Jedi Knights, while not soldiers by trade are all commissioned as Generals. Masters are High Jedi Generals or Senior Jedi Generals depending on the size of their Command. Padawans were all made Jedi Commanders, outranking the Clone Commanders.
** He's a villain, yes. But there's no doubt that General Grievous was also a badass. Consider, when the man's cloak holds at ''least'' a dozen lightsabers; his souvenirs from ''slain Jedi''. Think about that....
* General [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast W.R Monger]] in ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens''.
* General Oreius, the centaur commander of Aslan's forces in ''[[Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe]]'' movie is particularly badass, as can be seen in the final battle.
* In ''Film/BehindEnemyLines'', Rear Admiral Leslie Riegart disobeys orders to abandon one of his stranded pilots and personally leads a force of Marines and Navy attack helicopters to rescue him, destroying a small Serbian army in the process. As he's played by Gene Hackman, Badassness must be expected.
* Admiral Greer in ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober''. Played by Creator/JamesEarlJones. Although Ryan, Cmdr. Mancuso, and Capt. Ramius do the heavy lifting, his willingness to gamble and let Ryan do his job resulted in a nuclear war being averted.
* In ''Film/AnAmericanCarol'' we are treated to a scene where General George S. Patton is gunning down zombie ACLU lawyers with a non-automatic rifle. Despite being played for humor, it's pretty badass.
* General Grey, played by Robert Loggia - ''Film/IndependenceDay''. He's the only person in the government who manages to keep a cool head throughout the crisis, besides President Whitmore, who himself is a badass from the UsefulNotes/GulfWar. It's really no surprise that in the movie's second act--by which point the Vice President has been killed off-screen by the alien invaders--General Grey becomes the President's de facto second-in-command and closest adviser. It's likely that in the movie's universe, General Grey emerges from the crisis with a Patton or [[UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower Eisenhower]]-like level of respect, and [[WildMassGuessing it's likely that he's either going to be Whitmore's new VP or Secretary of Defense...and the most likely candidate to be Whitmore's immediate successor once his term of office is up]].
* Kurogane, in ''Film/{{Ran}}'', Akira Kurosawa's adaptation of Shakespeare's ''King Lear''. Kurogane is the general serving Jiro, second son the old warlord Hidetora. He [[spoiler: assassinates the eldest brother Taro during the battle with Hidetora's forces. He refuses Jiro's order to kill his wife Lady Sue after he's been seduced by Taro's widow, the vengeful Lady Kaede who's been orchestrating the destruction of Hidetora's clan. At the end. when all her schemes have come to fruition and she has Lady Sue killed, Kurogane beheads in her in spectacular fashion.]] See ''Film/OverdrawnAtTheBloodBank''.
* The original M, played by Bernard Lee in the ''Film/JamesBond'' films, holds the rank of rear admiral in the Royal Navy as well as being the head of MI6.
* Brigadier General John Buford in ''Film/{{Gettysburg}}'', whose single division of dismounted cavalry held off Henry Heth's forces on the first day of battle until the main Union force could arrive, and whose tactical foresight in battleground selection was a vital factor in the Union's victory.
--> "Got one brigade in position and that's all. We got the best damn ground around and they're hitting me with one brigade... lovely. Lovely!"
* ''Film/IpMan'' has the Japanese General Miura, who is an honourable, honest-to-goodness ass-kicking pugilist. He is contrasted with the SmugSnake Colonel Sato who can't make the cut for ColonelBadass.
* [[AwesomeMcCoolName Brigadier General Francis X. Hummel]], Marines Force Recon from ''Film/TheRock''.
* ''Film/StreetFighter'': General M. Bison not only commands a BadassArmy, he gets up in front to kick ass directly. In LargeHam fashion, of course.
* General Hawk in ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra''.
* Marshall Pentecost in ''Film/PacificRim'' is a former Jaeger pilot and ''very'' badass. [[spoiler:He doesn't flinch at the prospect of suffering fatal radiation poisoning, or even of setting off a nuke strapped to the back of his mecha.]]
* William Stryker. First a Colonel in ''Film/X2XMenUnited'', then a Major in ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'' and ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast''.
* ''Film/ABridgeTooFar'' depicts both General James Gavin and General Roy Urquhart shooting German soldiers; in the latter case this is historical. Also, as depicted in the film, both Gavin and General Maxwell Taylor parachuted into battle, this being the normal practice for U.S. airborne division commanders; paratroopers and the World War II glider forces were badass to begin with.
* Almost any film touching on the BattleOfTheBulge will at least mention Brigadier General Anthony C. [=McAuliffe's=] reply to the German demand for the surrender of Bastogne: "NUTS!" For instance, ''Film/Patton''.

* General Doubleday in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''. Though, as Jake notes, his rank isn't very intimidating to any of the Animorphs; "After you've stared down the likes of Ellimist and Crayak, you don't quiver just because some guy has stars on his shoulder."
* Admiral Literature/HonorHarrington and a fair number of Admirals in the Honorverse.
** Harrington starts the series as a space-naval Commander and, much like her inspiration Horatio Hornblower, [[spoiler: gets promoted through the ranks until she is the supreme field commander of her nation's space navy, as well as one of its dozen or so most powerful citizens]]. Throughout her military career, she commands her battles from the lead ship. She also has a black belt in fictional martial art that was proven effective when she killed group of assassins with bare hands, and skilled shoter who personally killed 2 people responsible for[[spoiler: her boyfriend's death]] in a duel.
** Other examples that are major or supporting characters include Admirals White Haven, Courvosier, Cortez, D'Orville, Kuzak, and Truman, all high ranking by the late installments (some from the start) for Manticore, as well as (sometimes Citizen-) Admirals Giscard, Parnell, and, especially, Tourville (who purposely cultivates this image, in addition to actually being badass) for Haven.
** While Weber's universe features competent commanders as a standard, there are also plenty of examples of (sometimes grossly) incompetent ones.
* Patrick [=McLanahan=] from the books of Creator/DaleBrown. Various other characters get promoted to stars without much loss in badassery too. To be honest, though, while he is still a good bomber crew member and [[PoweredArmor Tin Man]] user if needs must, he now spends more time as MissionControl and fighting off politicians or other generals so that the lower ranks can do their job.
** In the earlier books in the series, Patrick's mentor, Lieutenant General Brad Elliott, is no slouch himself, sometimes personally taking his experimental planes into combat. His deputy, Brigadier General John Ormack, is seen in the cockpit even more frequently, and even took part in a commando raid at one point.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'''s Sam Vimes, Commander of the City Watch and one of the wealthiest if not ''the'' wealthiest man in the city (by marriage) by the end of ''Discworld/MenAtArms'', His Grace, the Duke of Ankh by the end of ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'', and still giving the criminal element a [[GroinAttack good kick in the nadgers]] when he isn't fighting off quasi-demonic forces, foiling dastardly political conspiracies, or reading to his son, Sam Vimes Jr.
* General Serpilin from Konstantin Simonov's WWII epic ''The Living and the Dead'', especially in the first book, when his troops escape being surrounded by Nazis.
* Drauglir, the Calvarian general in command of the Arcasian campaign in ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'' certainly qualifies. He doesn't always get his hands dirty, but when he does . . .
* While the command structure in ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'' can be defined as AuthorityEqualsAsskicking, the Sky Marshal takes the cake. In order to get that promotion, one needs to go through the command structures of both the Navy and the Mobile Infantry, starting from the bottom. Also note that Generals lead from the front. In the book, General Diennes, who planned the disastrous Battle of Klendathu, died there leading a diversionary attack to allow evacuation of the rest of the army. In the movie, he just resigned, being a REMF (Rear Echelon Mother Fucker).
** Neither the MI or the Navy have "commissioned officers", a requirement for the officer academy is going through basic training and surviving multiple combat missions.
* From Creator/DavidDrake's ''The Sharp End'', a minor character: "Hellfire Hank Tedeschi had no manners and no patience. He successfully completed campaigns in minimal time and with minimal casualties among his own troops, because there was absolutely nothing else in the universe that mattered to him. He would cashier an officer in a heartbeat, and he was rumored to have knocked down underlings who didn't jump fast enough to suit him. Tedeschi believed in leading from the front. He'd killed people with his pistol, his knife, and his bare hands."
* Dalinar from ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'' starts reminding people exactly who he is near the end of ''The Way of Kings''. Right after [[spoiler: laying a beatdown on his nephew who just happens to be king. And this is ''after'' giving up his [[CoolSword Magical Sword]] to fulfill an oath to a slave.]]
* The ''ComicBook/XWingSeries'''s Wedge Antilles [[LimitedAdvancementOpportunities put off promotion]] for as long as he could, preferring to be a commander, but eventually Ackbar talked him around. It did come with deskwork, unfortunately, but he still got to fly. His track record, before and after getting that rank, is nothing short of spectacular. During the New Jedi Order he tried to [[ObfuscatingStupidity lose a battle]] so that he'd have a poor Vong commander to deal with, only to very much ''[[SpringtimeForHitler not]]'' lose. Then he ended up facing a very good Vong commander, and still managed to very much not lose.
--->'''Tycho''': "We'll put that in your biography. General Antilles was so good he couldn't fail when he tried to."
** There are actually a fair number of these in the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse, and a lot of them did start as Commanders.
** General Luke Skywalker in ''Literature/LukeSkywalkerAndTheShadowsOfMindor''--the youngest general in his impressively-sized taskforce. The second-youngest is five years older than Han Solo. He's not bothered by the age gap. He's bothered by how the others assume that since he's a Jedi he automatically knows better, and people are afraid to question his plans.
** In ''Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy'', Grand Admiral Thrawn. He was the mysterious alien Grand Admiral who, five years after ReturnOfTheJedi, returned from the Unknown Regions to breathe life back into the flagging Empire, and listing off all the things that make him awesome would take a while, but there's a reason why he was one of the (many, many, many) pictures on the MagnificentBastard page.
*** To further emphasize just how awesome Thrawn is, note that the Galactic Empire is a xenophobic society. That an alien was even in the Imperial Navy is remarkable. That he was promoted to the service's highest rank, a rank only a dozen humans held, is unheard of.
** Supreme Commander Gilad Pellaeon in ''Literature/HandOfThrawn'': "Supreme Commander" is just about the highest military rank in the Empire. This was Vader's rank, back when the Emperor lived. Pellaeon earned it. A dedicated naval officer and [[CommanderContrarian the best second-in-command anyone could hope for]], Pellaeon started service when he was fifteen and died in service when he was in his nineties, having seen the start of the Clone Wars, the rise and fall of the Empire, the subsequent rise of the New Republic and all that that entailed, the Vong invasion, and the unpleasantness that followed. He was the one who was always there to pick up the pieces when the head Imperial died, which happened worryingly often, and he got his rank by being quietly competent, [[KnowWhenToFoldEm knowing when to retreat]], and [[YouAreInCommandNow outliving everyone else who was in charge]]. Pellaeon picked up on some of the tactical skill of his Grand Admiral, and when the time came he pushed for [[PeaceConference peace]] with the New Republic.
* Morgan and Luccio in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. Morgan may be a complete [[JerkAss dick]] but he there is no denying he is a badass. And Warden Commander [[CoolOldLady Luccio]] taught him all he knows. Even resident [[CrazyAwesome insanely]] badass wizard Harry Dresden is slightly scared of them.
** Technically now that he is a [[spoiler: regional Warden commander]] and [[spoiler: Winter Knight]] Harry is one as well.
** (General) Toot-Toot is quite the Five Star Badass,first he is the leader of the Za-Lord's Guard. Secondly in a true Crowning Moment of Awesome he survived fighting an Eldrich Abomination so nasty and powerful that it took a Member of the Senior Council to scare off. He did this after said Eldrich Abomination had wiped the floor with with Harry for the second time. Toot-Toot is a six inch tall Dew Drop Fairy, and was armed with a box cutter and armour made out of garbage scraps and Harry is one of greatest combat focused wizards on the entire White Council of Wizards. Let that sink in for a moment, an fairy with no real magical (or physical for that matter) power came to the rescue of one the greatest wizards in direct combat, who was at the time having was being beaten with in an inch of his life. Toot-Toot was swatted away but only after being a Mosquito from hell for several minutes. He most likely is the physically least threatening person on this page but he is Badass through and through.
* The Literature/VorkosiganSaga's Admiral Miles Naismith of the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet, especially since he's really only a lieutenant in his "real" military identity.
** Apparently, this runs in the family; his father is the bad-ass Admiral Aral Vorkosigan (the [[{{Cincinnatus}} Lord Regent]] turned Prime Minister of Barrayar), whilst his grandfather was the great anti-Cetagandan military leader General Piotr Vorkosigan.
* ''Literature/{{Dragaera}}'''s Sethra Lavode is probably the best example. She's not just a general, she's one of the greatest military minds in history, and she's not just a Badass, she's a [[TimeAbyss 450,000-year-old]] vampire sorceress powerful enough to order gods around. [[CaptainObvious Do not mess with Sethra.]]
* Mat Cauthon from ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''. He becomes a general by ending up in charge of a small group of soldiers, despite being a civilian, and using them to slaughter thousands of the best warriors in the world, and killing the head of the opposing army in single combat ''while trying only to run away so that his band of inexperienced soldiers doesn't get decimated''. His solders know it too. In a later book:
--->'''Reimon:''' If I know Mat, he's planning us a battle. The Band of the Red Hand rides to battle again. It's been too long, if you ask me.\\
'''Tuon:''' A battle won't get you out of Altara.\\
'''Talmanes:''' In that case, he's planning us a war.\\
The other three nodded in agreement as if that were the most normal thing in the world.\\
--''Knife of Dreams''
** In general, the Great Captains are this trope when they get to show their stuff, especially Gareth Bryne and Rodel Ituralde, who are both [[MasterSwordsman blademasters]] as well. Ituralde is practically TheGhost for most of the series while the other great generals have appeared, until ''The Gathering Storm'' where he holds his own with a ragtag, unsupplied army against the Seanchan, who have greater numbers, [[GiantFlyer air forces]], and ''[[FunctionalMagic damane]]''. And Bryne raised an army to besiege the greatest city in the world out of raw recruits. Shame [[VelvetRevolution he didn't get to use it]]].
** Demandred is an evil version- he's universally regarded as the best general on the side of [[DarkIsEvil the Shadow]], and in the last book he proves himself a terror in person on the battlefield as well.
* Richard Hannay from ''Literature/TheThirtyNineSteps'' is promoted quickly to Major-General once his determined badassery becomes apparent. Promotion dulls neither his skills nor his insane perseverance.
* Dujek Onearm, Whiskeyjack and Dasseem Ultor from the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' all qualify in spades.
* In the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' novels the elven princess Laurana is originally appointed a general for political reasons and isn't expected to be anything more than a pretty little figurehead. Instead she proves to be a brilliant tactician and fearless warrior and becomes known as the [[RedBaron Golden General.]]
* Sir Thursday from ''Literature/TheKeysToTheKingdom'' was insanely badass, as well as having a fiery temper. His own soldiers were terrified of him.
* Admiral Rybakov in ''Literature/TheSixthBattle'' subverts this: [[spoiler: He decides to lead his remaining carrier airwing into its last battle. However, he's shot down and can't even take out an AAA gun when he crashes.]]
* Generals in ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'' typically lead from the front, [[JustifiedTrope as troops were mainly peasant conscripts with little training and less morale.]] So Four-Star Badasses abound.
** Lu Bu is known as the mightiest warrior of his day but not very bright when it came to actually leading an army.
** Xiahou Dun [[spoiler: [[EyeScream ripped out his own eye and ate it]] after getting shot in the eye with an arrow. He felt it would be wrong to abandon his eye, since it came from his parents. And then killed the guy who shot him.]] He was forced to withdraw after that, though.
** Guan Yu, who would eventually become a god of war and loyalty.
** Zhao Yun. His resume includes fighting through Cao Cao's entire army (using one of Cao Cao's own swords for much of the fight after killing the weapon bearer) to rescue his lord's child.
* While of course also a real life one, Belisarius goes over the top in the Literature/BelisariusSeries. As does his wife, Antonina and Rao but the Four-Star Badass amongst 6 novels worth of Four-Star Badasses is Rana Sanga: a general so good he worries Belisarius on the battlefield (and comes the closest to killing him, even with Aide boosting Belisarius's reflexes and senses to superhuman levels), a swordsman so good that Valentinian swears he'll surrender immediately before ever facing him again in sword fight following a three hour battle, and the man that went a full day in a fight with Rao (regarded as the greatest assassin in India), ending only when the two men were too exhausted to move. And then continued by debating philosophy until everyone else declared a draw.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' all the major houses have at least one of these. Jon Snow and Dany Targaryen are also both shaping up to become this as well.
* The Literature/TortallUniverse's Lord Sir Raoul of Goldenlake and Malorie's Peak, Commander of the King's Own, most prominently in ''Literature/ProtectorOfTheSmall''. Notorious for finding excuses to stay in the field, even when ordered otherwise by the king. Nicknamed 'Giantkiller' [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin for a reason]]. A desk knight, he ain't.
* General Antonio Vega of Creator/LarryBond's ''Literature/{{Vortex}}'' is the commander of the Cuban Expeditionary Force in Angola. A brilliant commander who leads from the front, he defeats the South Africans and outmanouveres the Americans using second-line and older equipment, and nearly beats the USA to Pretoria. He [[KnowWhenToFoldEm Knows When To Fold 'Em]], cares about his men's lives, braves [[NukeEm nuclear attacks]] when the South Africans truly lose their minds, and is one of the most memorable characters in the book. Being a DeadpanSnarker who'll stand up to Castro himself doesn't hurt either.
* A fair few in the Literature/{{Sharpe}} series. Major-General David Baird in the early ones, based on the real life [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_David_Baird,_1st_Baronet British general of the same name]]. The man personally leads the assault on Seringapatam with a ''[[CoolSword claymore]]''. By the end he is so covered in enemy blood his men don't recognize him.
** Sharpe sometimes steps into this role, usually when he either manipulates ineffective superiors into taking the action he wants or when he simply decides the superior in question isn't up to the job and "promotes" himself.
** General Harris didn't let losing ''part of his skull'' at Bunker Hill stop him crushing the Tipoo Sultan.
** The Tipoo Sultan himself qualifies.
** General Jean-Baptiste Calvet of the Imperial Guard is badass personified. Here are some of his better quotes:
--->'''Calvet:''' In Russia, I ate my own corporal.
--->'''Calvet:''' Human flesh tastes like skate. Did you know that, Ducos? [[HoYay Roast buttock of corporal]], nicely peppered. Next time you eat skate, remember that.
*** His other achievements include getting his corps out of Russia intact (a feat in itself, though he just told us how), and [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice impaling two Cossacks]]. ''At the same time''.
* Colonel-General Pavel Alekseyev[[note]]Colonel-General being equivalent to four-star general in NATO[[/note]] of ''Literature/RedStormRising'', the main Soviet viewpoint character, qualifies. A good tactician and strategist, he survives artillery barrages, being shot down, and a NATO fuel-air bombing, while at one point taking a temporary "demotion" to divisional commander in order to ensure that a crucial attack would succeed (much to his boss's displeasure, since he esteemed Alekseyev too highly for him to run around on the field). As a result of {{Field Promotion}}s and attrition, he climbs the ladder from Deputy CINC-Southwest, a sideshow to the actual fighting, to CINC-West, the entirety of the European Front. [[spoiler:He ends the war as Deputy Minister of Defense, having personally carried out a Kremlin coup and negotiated ceasefire talks with his NATO counterpart.]]
* ''Literature/LegacyOfTheDragokin'': Lydia is the general of Baalaria's army and she makes a point of always leading from the front.
* Raj Whitehall, the titular General from ''Literature/TheGeneral'' series, does his own scouting when he can get away with it and is deadly with a sword, an excellent rifleman, and a fair pistoleer. When Center is helping him, his skills at all of the above reach absurd levels.
* Ael i-Mhiessan t'Rllaillieu of the Romulan Imperial Fleet in the ''Literature/{{Rihannsu}}'' series holds the rank of ''khre'riov'' ("commander-general"), which is the equivalent of a commodore. During a joint operation with Jim Kirk their BoardingParty gets into hand-to-hand with the defenders and she very much holds her own.
* In the ''Literature/BlackTideRising'' series, one of the survivors retrieved from the Caribbean is retired military, but when it all drops into the crapper on the London mission at the climactic battle of ''Islands of Rage and Hope'' he reveals himself as a Special Forces Lt. General who was operating incognito for the sake of not winding up outranking Captain Smith, whose command of Wolf Squadron is more based on personal loyalties than formal chains of command. [[spoiler:His actions when being swarmed by zombies ensure that every last Marine on the mission return safely and bring back enough material to make vaccines for all of the submarine crews]].

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TwentyFour'':
** General Benjamin Juma is so badass he decides to lead a raid on the freakin' White House '''himself''' and even slaps the President. It's too bad he's a villain.
** Turns out President Omar Hassan is a retired General in the Kamistani Revolutionary Guard. It explains a lot of the badassitude we see from him as Day 8 wears on.
* ''Series/TheATeam'': General Stockwell of the 5th season is shown to be a excellent marksman and hand-to-hand combatant as well as fluent in Chinese and always two steps ahead of everyone else. Of course, he ''is'' played by [[Series/TheManFromUncle Robert Vaughn]]....
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'':
** Due to the weird system of Colonial rank, Commander Adama is most likely equivalent to a Commodore. And he is certainly a Badass. And he becomes an even bigger badass when the President promotes him to Admiral.
** Admiral Helena Cain was certainly a [[GeneralRipper Ripper]] but she was undoubtedly badass.
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'': Brigadier General Beckman is aiming this way. In the later seasons, she seems to be somewhat succeeding.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': [[TheBrigadier Brigadier]] Sir Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (later renamed the Unified Intelligence Taskforce).
** In his final appearance in the main series, he is face to face with a world destroying demon. This doesn't seem to bother him at all. In the same story, one enemy tells another "Beware this one, he is steeped in blood".
** The only thing that ever bothered him, and he only expressed mild annoyance at, was how often everything he came up against was ImmuneToBullets. When it turned out that an enemy wasn't, it ended badly for them.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Several characters fit the trope.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'':
** Rear Admiral A. J. Chegwidden fits the trope to a tee (save for the minor fact that he's merely a two star flag officer).
** Even on his spare-time this Badass directly challenges Italian mafiosos.
-->Chegwidden: Signor Amati, many people have tried to kill me one time or another. They're mostly dead. So there's a good chance that your brother-in-law will join them if he does come after me.... Does he have other sons?
-->'''Enrico Amati:''' Uno.
-->'''Chegwidden:''' When he comes... I'll regrettably kill him too.... And after him?
-->'''Amati:''' My sister will expect me to uphold the honor of ''mi famiglia''.
-->'''Chegwidden:''' Then I'll have to kill you. I don't want to have to do that.
-->'''Amati:''' [in Italian] You're either a very *bold* man, or crazy!
-->'''Chegwidden:''' [In Italian] Not crazy. Practical.
** Well what do you expect? Before he became a lawyer he was a Navy SEAL and earned a Navy Cross (the second-highest decoration in the U.S. Navy, behind the Medal Of Honor) in UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar.
-->'''Chegwidden:''' My name is Admiral Chegwidden. I am the Judge Advocate General of the United States Navy. Before I leave this hangar I will know the why and the how of Lieutenant Douglas Marion's death or Commander Rabb, here, is gonna have your ass...and I'm gonna own your soul.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': [[spoiler: Miles]] and Monroe, as shown in [[Recap/RevolutionS1E3NoQuarter episode 3]].
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': He may start out as a [[MajorlyAwesome Major Badass]], but [[MagnificentBastard Major]] [[KneelBeforeZod Zod]], the BigBad of Season 9 [[ForegoneConclusion eventually]] promotes himself to General as he and his BadassArmy proceed to take control of Earth.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** Jack O'Neill was promoted from ColonelBadass to Four-Star Badass.
** General Hammond put on fatigues every now and then and was never afraid to leave the desk when a more ''"personal"'' touch was needed. Also, Sam Carter's dad General Jacob Carter became one of the leaders of the Tok'ra resistance.
*** The writers were even kind enough to give Gen. Hammond a Badass CrowningMomentOfAwesome. One episode found him serving as gunner in a Goa'uld vessel piloted by Teal'c. After a successful strafing run against the bad guys, Hammond yelled out a good-ol' Texas "Yee-haw!"
** Also worth mentioning, the [[{{Abandonware}} defunct]] ThirdPersonShooter ''Stargate Resistance'' had Samantha Carter get promoted to general and given command of the SGC.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** In the final episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', Commander Riker becomes Admiral TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, but he's lost some of his badassness. He gets it back, though.
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': General Martok of the Imperial Klingon Defense Forces, who survived for at least a year and a half in a Dominion POWCamp while being used as a Jem'Hadar punching bag the whole time, and gave as good as he got. He's also able to give the much younger (and still possessing both eyes) Worf a good fight in "Soldiers of the Empire" (although [[TheWorfEffect Worf gets beat up by everybody]]).
** Vice Admiral William Ross who leads the Starfleet forces during the Dominion War. He gets props for being both a FrontlineGeneral and BadassBureaucrat, knowing when to lead advances himself and when to delegate command to Captain Sisko while he works behind the scenes to ensure the continued stability of the Federation-Klingon-Romulan alliance.
** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' showed that Captain Janeway became FAR more badass when she became Admiral in the future.

[[folder: Roleplay]]
* In Roleplay/TheSydneyScroungers, Marshall Rachel Zhu of the Sydney Shatterdome makes her first appearance by [[spoiler: calling in a Jaeger]] and dropping on to the main character's CoolShip from a helicopter. She's also a former Jaeger pilot herself, much like Marshall Stacker Pentecost from Film/PacificRim, the game's source material.

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* [[RussiansWithRifles Russian Imperial Navy]] Admiral Fyodor Ushakov evades the [[IncrediblyLamePun full broadside]] of [[NoRealLifeExamplesPlease the ban on Real Life examples]] by being the [[OddJobGods patron saint]] of the [[RussiansWithRustingRockets Russian Navy]]. Yes, seriously. What else to do with a FatherToHisMen who never lost a battle nor a ship, and normally achieved [[CurbStompBattle a casualty ratio of 1 to 100]] at [[WoodenShipsAndIronMen a time]] when there was no meaningful difference in technology to exploit?
** His secret? He [[LetsSplitUpGang used combat subunits]] instead of [[HollywoodTactics a solid line of battle]], and he [[CombatPragmatist maneuvered]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** For Imperial forces:
*** Generals are among the most powerful units in their respective armies. This is especially true with the Imperial Guard. The rank-and-file are little more than cannon fodder who don't stand a chance in melee combat, while generals wield power swords, plasma pistols, and armour themselves with carapace armour and refractor fields.
*** Doubly true of the Space Marines. Promotions up through the ranks from basic footsoldier (Scout) to Brother-Marine, Brother-Sergeant, and Brother-Captain to Chapter Master. They can dual-wield most power weapons (the picture in the Codex shows one dual-wielding ''Thunder Hammers''), call down orbital bombardments, and take to the field in Terminator armour, the best protection around.
*** The founders of the Space Marine legions, the Primarchs. Apart from being so freaking badass that they all basically took over the planet they grew up on. Sanguinius apparently broke the back of a Greater Daemon of Khorne (AKA "Bloodthirster") over his knee in the Siege of Terra.
** For the Eldar:
*** Farseers can bend fate to bless their own units and doom their enemies, eldritch storms and literal mind rape as a psychic attack, spears that return like boomerangs once thrown while capable of piercing even the heaviest tanks in the game... This while running around on the field of battle, in spite of being several thousand years old.
*** Autarchs have to master not just one, but several (preferably all) of the eight different Warrior Paths. They lead from the frontlines, where they enjoy the benefits of personal forceshields and plasma grenades, in addition to their pick from an inventory which includes personal teleport generator, wings, psychic amplifiers for their battlecry, a hand-held directed fusion beam gun, a monofilament web-thrower, and a rapid-fire AP rocket launcher.
*** Greater still are the Phoenix Lords. You know how Autarchs have to master several martial paths to train? These guys ''made'' the paths they train in. They're all legendary, immortal and ridiculously Badass Eldar heroes who travel the galaxy, occasionally jumping in to aid and lead the Eldar in times of need. Maugan Ra once took out an entire Tyranid splinter fleet which included a ''[[{{Kaiju}} Bio-titan]]'' single-handedly, Fuegan is known for {{Curb Stomp|Battle}}ing Greater Daemons and carrying a burning axe that lets him fight like a monstrous creature, Jain Zar can dodge and block bolter shells and [[Literature/NightLords make murderously psychotic super soldiers flee in terror]], Karandras is the ultimate StealthExpert with FrickinLaserBeams that can penetrate Terminator armor, Baharroth can take on fighter aircraft with ''grenades'', the oldest and greatest Phoenix Lord Asurmen is currently strolling through the Eye of Terror kicking Chaos ass... Yeah.
** Da Warboss of da Orks is da Warboss kuz e's da biggest, da stompiest, da choppiest, da shootiest...in short, 'e's da Orkiest Ork in da whol damn WAAAGHHH, an' 'e stomps anyone wuz sez diff'rnt.
** The Tau Shas'Os. In Tau culture, there are only two ways to retire from the field: Ascending to become a Shas'O and remaining in the rank for four years...or going to the grave. The Shas'Os lead entire armies of fire warriors from the frontlines, with a minimum of 12 years of constant fighting required to ascend to the rank, and so every single Tau who manages to ascend to that rank is a Four-Star Badass by design. The fact that they get [[PowerArmor the coolest armor]] and [[{{BFG}} the biggest guns]] helps.
** In-game, any model that is designated as a Lord of War in that army's codex is a leader of nigh-legendary renown in the fluff and is a very powerful figure in an army.
* ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings'' provides multiple examples: a number of Clan Champions, Emerald Champions and Family Daimyo, as well as Toturi Tsudao, General of the Imperial Legions, The Shogun Akodo Kaneka, and even the Splendid Emperor Toturi I himself all fit in here.
* Used in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' as well, where every race gets more powerful characters the higher in rank they are. This is explained with some like Chaos and Orcs, where brute strength does take you to that position (and is required to keep it), but not for Elves and Dwarfs that inherit their positions as leaders, but still are far superior to the best elites of their armies. The Empire makes a single exception to this with the general choice which only excels the captain in leadership and is otherwise equal to a captain.
* In the Roleplaying game RogueTrader you begin as one, and gets to chose how you became one.
* Admiral Albadawi of the Terran Confederation in {{Traveller}}.
* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' RPG, this is the norm. A few examples;
** Leviathan is one of the favourites; a Lunar Exalt from the First Age, where he was the Admiral of the West, responsible for most of the Navy of First Age. His spirit form is an Orca, which only grew larger as he grew older - he currently considers most "giants of the deep" food, if not bite-sized food. His weapon is a giant trident, so heavy that you would need three or four mammoths to lift it - the name "Islebreaker" says it all. He is also, thanks to a custom shapeshifting Knack, ''his own military unit''.
** We also have the Bull of the North, the First And Forsaken Lion, the Mask Of Winters, the Roseblack, Ma-Ha-Suchi... Every Exalt who opts to lead an army automatically qualifies; the Celestial Exalted, in particular Dawn and Zenith caste Solars, were made to be this for armies of Exalts.
* In the board game ''TabletopGame/TheNapoleonicWars'', one of the cards you can play is "Before I Was A General, I Was A Grenadier." It does ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin; your general wades into the thick of combat (quite effectively!), but has a chance of getting killed.
* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'':
** Most of those with the rank of general (ranging from leftenant general all the way up to Marshal of the Armies) does so by being quite good at warfare, and indeed, most such officers are expected to take the fight to the enemy personally if needed--it's no surprise that an entire niche of HumongousMecha has cropped up called 'command 'Mechs,' generally something huge, well armed, heavily armored, and usually boasting improved command, control, and communication gear. The setting universally holds fighting generals in far higher regard than their non-fighting 'armchair general' counterparts.
** In [[ProudWarriorRace the Clans]], you are obligated to be a Four Star Badass if you want to make it to the top ranks of the Clan hierarchy, namely Galaxy Commander (equivalent to a general) or Khan (a combination of General of the Armies and Chief Executive). If you haven't fought your way to the top, you are not worthy of the rank you hold in the eyes of the Clans. An officer must be able to hold their position in defiance of all challengers and actively face those challengers in any form of combat deemed necessary--this goes double for the dozen or so elite officers at the top of a Clan's chain of command.
* ''Great Battles of the American Civil War'':
** Every general in each game of the series has a counter (and can be captured or killed), as well as some colonels and the occasional major. As with most such games, their purpose is for command and control of the units under them, though most can influence melee combat if present. The more badass the general was historically, usually the better his ratings. (In the larger battles, overall commanders like Robert E. Lee are there for historical purposes and have no ratings.)
* In the ''Squad Leader'' module ''Crescendo of Doom'', one scenario featured the British counterattack at Arras (1940). Leading the attack is General Gifford [=LeQ=]. Martel, who is included as a named armor leader with the highest possible ratings. In contrast, in another scenario Erwin Rommel is represented by one of the 10-3 leader counters already provided in the game and does not receive his own named counter, though the French automatically win the scenario if he is killed. When these scenarios reappeared in ''TabletopGames/AdvancedSquadLeader'' the Martel counter was not reprinted, and an equivalent leader counter substituted.
** Also subverted in both games: leader counters with the rank of general printed on them usually have the lowest possible ratings and are often as much a hindrance as a help.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Jedi Exile from ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords''. While she probably doesn't hold an actual star rank in the Republic Fleet, she held a position of such authority within Revan's army that she is commonly referred to as "General". Needless to say, she is a [[MagicKnight Jedi]], too, promoting her to instant badass.
** Ditto with Admiral Onasi and Mandalore the Preserver (formerly: [[spoiler: Canderous Ordo]]). Remember how badass they were in the first game? There was also the little matter of your PlayerCharacter from [[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic that first game]] who said Exile was ''reporting to''...
* General Armin Metrac of ''VideoGame/KillzoneLiberation'' is one of these. Most high-ranking Helghast Generals don't initiate in combat with normal soldiers. Most Generals don't sling around chainguns with under-slung rocket launchers with relative ease, either.
* Generals Oka (''Anime/VoltesV'') and Igor (''Anime/{{Dancougar}}'') in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha Gaiden''. They were quite willing to risk being shot to make damn sure the Titans were screwed over from trying to jack Anime/GreatMazinger. Kinda helps that Oka was an honest to God ninja.
* Komato General Tor from VideoGame/{{Iji}} is the FinalBoss of the game for a reason. For starters, he is equipped with the [[WaveMotionGun Phantom Hammer]], a weapon designed for use in ''spaceship combat''.
* The Elites from the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' series are promoted based on kill count - one needs to personally slaughter thousands in order to be promoted to a Field Marshal or Fleet Master.
** Thel 'Vadam (the Arbiter) was formerly Supreme Commander in charge of the massive fleet that attacked Reach, and his skills in combat are on par with [[SuperSoldier the Master Chief]].
** Admiral Cole. Considered by many in-universe to be the sole reason the Covenant took more than a couple of years to wipe out humanity, his absolute greatest moment had to be taking on a Covenant fleet of hundreds with a ''single ship'', badmouthing their religion and triggering their HonorBeforeReason mentality with his taunts, luring them closer, firing '''hundreds of nuclear missiles into a nearby gas giant''', which '''''ignited the planet and turned it into a small star''''', wiping out the entire Covenant fleet. [[NeverFoundTheBody And he might still be alive.]]
** The Didact, who was the leader of the entire Forerunner military, and a super soldier even more powerful than the Chief. His rival Forthenco, ancient humanity's Lord of Admirals, was one too, managing to hold off the Forerunners from humanity's capital for several years and earning the Didact's respect in the process.
* The General class in ''FireEmblem'' is probably the strongest player class in the games, handicapped only by [[MightyGlacier low speed]] and [[StoneWall limited mobility]]. Furthermore in some games, they get the Great Shield ability, which allows them to occasionally nullify all damage.
** On another note, [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Ike]] is given the title of General. He ''certainly'' qualifies.
** [[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Wallace]] is regarded as one in-story, [[CharacterTiers though it's not quite reflected in his stats.]] Still, in spite of his [[NoSenseOfDirection tendancy to lose his bearings,]] he's shown to be AFatherToHisMen, and acknowledges that doing what's right sometimes means going against one's orders while still accepting imprisonment for his insubordination. Oh, and he [[spoiler:'''''killed off the Taliver Bandits to save Lyn from a life of revenge!''''']]
** However, all of the Fire emblem badasses [[UpToEleven pales]] to '''''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening Walhart.]]''''' He can keep up with the strongest of fighters (to [[BrutalBonusLevel Brutal Bonus Boss levels]]), has a upgraded version of the Great Knight class, a skill that denies bonus damage, and wields a [[{{BFS}} Big Freaking Axe]]. And that's just his stats and skills.
* Generals are [[http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?t=392948 surprisingly good]] at fighting in ''Hearts of Iron''.
* General Shepherd from ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: Modern Warfare 2'', who barehandedly defeats even [[spoiler:Captain Price, who is ''de facto'' the resident ColonelBadass]].
* As problably isn't surprising for a former ColonelBadass, Commodore Blair, in ''VideoGame/WingCommander Prophecy'', qualifies. He even goes out on a mission with [[PlayerCharacter Lance Casey]] at one point, even though he's aboard the TCS ''Midway'' only as an observer on the ship's shake-down cruise.
* The bodyguard units of your Generals and Princes (which includes the Generals) in the ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' games are some of the best cavalry units in the game. They are VERY good fighters.
** Somewhat averted in ''[[VideoGame/EmpireTotalWar Empire]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/NapoleonTotalWar Napoleon]]''; they're the numerically smallest cavalry unit at full strength, and due to the fundamental shift in field warfare they're more of a (valuable) support unit.
* In the ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'', The Man is several times more powerful in every way than any other Frat Army soldier, and his opposite number The Dude is similarly stronger than the rest of the Hippie Army.
* In ''[[VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne]]'' we get [[FantasticRacism Grand Marshal Garithos]], who leads the last remaints of the Alliance in Lordaeron, and can fight Balnazzar, the most powerful Demon currently in the area to a standstill, and on most occasions, ''win''.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' has Admiral Hackett, who is mostly a MemeticBadass rather than an actual one, since you never get to see him in action but his cool voice will give you missions from time to time and is the commanding officer of the Alliance 5th fleet during the defense of the Citadel. There is also Captain Anderson, who will be promoted to Admiral if you choose Udina as the Councilor, who may punch his way into a high security platform and hack a computer after being shot, and surrendering only after making sure the Normandy is no longer ashore.
** In the "Arrival" DLC, we finally get a look at Admiral Hackett, and it is quite clear from the number of scars on his face that he has '''earned''' his rank.
** According to VideoGame/MassEffect3's codex, Hackett started off as just an Enlisted before the First Contact War, and worked his way up the rank ladder, earning a commission, then earning a ''flag'' commission, and then becoming the top admiral in the Alliance Navy. His climb is the stuff of legends... [[AllThereInTheManual according to the Codex]].
** Admiral or Councilor Anderson is still willing to kick ass with Shepard in the trailers of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''. Seeing that he was the first graduate of the N7 commando program in the Alliance Marines, he definitely qualifies once he gets some admiral's stars.
** If Shepard has the Spacer Background, their mother, Captain Hannah Shepard is mentioned in the second game as having ''turned down'' several promotions to Admiral, preferring to remain serving with [[TheMenFirst the people under her command]]. However with the Reaper invasion causing the death of most of the upper echelons of the Alliance military, she's been rapidly promoted to Rear-Admiral.
** Admirals Han'Gerrel and Rael'Zorah definitely have badass aspects to their character. Depending on the viewpoint of the player though they might be tragically misguided.
** [[ExpandedUniverse The Cerberus Daily News]] brought turian General Partinax to the fore, who dueled [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters Facinus]] leader Kihilix Tanus. His record is surviving seven duels, 5 to first blood and 2 to the death.
** General Septimus was apparently this before his HeroicBSOD. Shepard can pull him out of it.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', Shepard is this is all but name. While s/he still technically holds the rank of Commander, s/he still stands toe-to-toe with admirals of other races and is essentially, along with Hackett, the leader of the allied forces in the war against the Reapers. [[BigGood Certainly the reason they are united and who they look to.]] In the end, Hackett ends up commanding the entirety of the space fleet and Shepard commands the allied ground forces.
** All of Shepard's surviving squad throughout the trilogy qualify as well by the end:
*** Ashley/Kaidan follow Shepard's footsteps into becoming a Spectre, and are even seen actually ordering the ''Council'' around during the Cerberus invasion.
*** Vega was already essentially this before his botched operation, but later becomes an N7 and is on his way to becoming this again.
*** Garrus had his vigilante squad on Omega that was similarly slaughtered, but is later the de-facto second-in-command of the entire Turian military.
*** Tali takes her father's place on the Admiralty Board.
*** Javik was already the Avatar of Vengeance for the Prothean people, and generally in charge of other Protheans in the flashbacks seen in-game.
*** Liara is the [[spoiler: Shadow Broker]], and in command of a vast information network which she uses to help the allied cause.
*** Wrex is the leader of the entire Krogan race.
*** Similarly, Grunt is the leader of Aralakh Company, an elite special forces group whose leader is determined by AsskickingEqualsAuthority.
*** Miranda is not in command of much on her own, but if she survives she uses her scientific brilliance from her Lazarus days to coordinate work on the Crucible.
*** Kasumi can be convinced to do the same and assist the Crucible effort.
*** Zaeed commands a mercenary army that he takes into battle against Cerberus, and later into the main war effort as well.
*** Jacob is responsible for protecting a cell of ex-Cerberus defectors, who also later contribute their work to the Crucible while under Alliance protection from Cerberus reprisals.
*** Jack is in charge of a group of Grissom Academy elite biotic students that are later sent to the front (Shepard can encourage that they be used in support roles, however, although they are still on the front lines).
*** Legion is largely only an interface between the squad and the rest of the Geth collective consciousness, but if it successfully disperses the Reaper upgrades to the rest of the Geth, Legion essentially ''becomes'' the Geth, who then pledge their considerable navy to the war effort (along with the Quarians, if a peaceful solution is achieved).
*** Samara is largely the only exception in that she doesn't directly ''command'' anyone during the trilogy, but as a Justicar she can largely bring any asari legal authorities under her jurisdiction at will.
*** If Mordin survives, he will join the Crucible project as a head authority, like Miranda.

* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' has [[LadyOfWar General Beatrix from Alexandria]], whom you never beat during the game. You fight her ''[[HopelessBossFight three times]]''.
* General Horace Warfield, the Terran Dominion's answer to the Zerg invasion in ''[[VideoGame/StarcraftII Starcraft II: Wings Of Liberty]]''. Previous examples of four-or-better-stars in the series were impressive, but lacking true badassery. Warfield, however, [[spoiler: holds the line on the ground in a suit of Marine armor on Char itself with his men, not from the bridge of a battlecruiser]]. He bayonets a zergling, only to get spined by a hydralisk--then punches the hydralisk right the hell out when it subsequently pounces on him. In the end, he needed rescue from Raynor with a {{BFG}} and a few Banshees, but the fact remains--''he knocked out a hydralisk''. Later, he's complaining that the medics wouldn't cut his arm off to halt the spread of the hydralisk's poison. Still later, he shows up...with [[ArmCannon a mechanical arm that can change into a gun]].
* Legate Lanius in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''. Averted pathetically with General Lee "Wait-and-See" Oliver.
** The previous Legate Joshua Graham, also known as the Burned Man, was also horrifically terrifying in battle, though his poor understanding of warfare leads him to be more of a General Ripper.
** Potentially played straight by the Player Character, should they side with House and [[spoiler:lead an army of the most dangerous robots in the series against both the NCR and Caesar's Legion ''at the same time''.]]
*** Even moreso if the Player decides to go completely independent, commanding the [[spoiler:same robot army, along with the Brotherhood of Steel, Khans, Boomers, and a squad of Enclave soldiers]] as what could qualify as the largest RagtagBandOfMisfits in gaming history.
* General-turned-Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander of the 1st Kronus Liberators in ''[[VideoGame/DawnOfWar Dawn of War: Dark Crusade]]''. He's the supreme commander of all the Imperial Guard forces on Kronus, as well as political leader of Victory Bay and its provinces. But he fights on the front line in '''every''' conflict on the planet. Of course, you could say the same for most/all of the leaders (see the Warhammer 40,000 entry under Tabletop Games), but Imperial Guard merit and leadership systems best emulate real life ones, so Alexander fits this trope best.
** Vance ''[[FanNickname Motherfuckin']]'' Stubbs. [[VideoGame/DawnOfWar Canon-wise]], he led the Imperial Guard in reclaiming the Kaurava Planetary System... [[MemeticMutation supposedly at the cost of ''losing'' 100 Baneblades...]]
* General Donald Morden, the main antagonist of the ''VideoGame/MetalSlug'' series, certainly qualifies. Before [[FaceHeelTurn he defected to the rebel army]] he was one of the most influential commanders in the Regular Army. Upon going nuts over the death of his son due to military incompetence, he then got a [[EyepatchOfPower badass eyepatch]] (and a BadassMustache) and defected to the Rebel Army. As a boss he fights from massive tanks and aircrafts, blasting away his opponents with his BFG.
* In ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'', the PlayerCharacter becomes this upon reaching Grade 40 - Starfleet Rear Admiral, Lower Half, Klingon [[TheBrigadier Brigadier]] General or Romulan Subadmiral I. This only improves at grades 45 and 50: Rear Adm. Upper Half, Major General and Subadmiral II, then [[BadassLongcoat Vice Admiral]] (for both Starfleet and the Romulans) and Lieutenant General. Becomes outright ridiculous with ''Delta Rising'', where the level cap is moved up to 60: Starfleet and Romulan characters end up as ''Fleet'' Admirals, while the Klingons stop actually promoting you at General (level 55, where the other two become full Admirals)... because the final level 60 promotion is instead you being declared a ''Dahar Master'', a title which boils down to 'You're so {{Badass}} a warrior that you've reached [[LivingLegend legendary status]] amongst Klingon warriors'.
* Colonel Buster Monroe from ''VideoGame/{{Harvester}}''. The bastard got his entire lower body shot off during WWII, so what did he do? He crawled all the way from Germany to England, stopping every few miles to wind his intestines back in.
* The Admiral of [[VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients DotA All Stars]] and his VideoGame/{{Dota2}} incarnation, [[AwesomeMcCoolname Kunkka]].
* One of the possible Council missions you can be offered in ''VideoGame/XComEnemyUnknown'' is rescuing General Peter Van Doorn after his convoy is attacked on a bridge. Of the Council missions where you [[EscortMission escort a comparitive weakling]] back to the Skyranger, he's the only one who actively itches for payback against the aliens.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* [[WebAnimation/BattlefieldFriends Battlefield Friends]] features Colonel 100, who is both this and CrazyAwesome, doing things like routinely taking down [[DemonicSpiders attack helicopters]] [[CherryTapping with a knife]]. He's so badass that he can [[TheDreaded paralyze opponents in fear at the mere sight of him]], has never once been depicted wielding a gun in a game built around them, and hasn't been killed by anything [[spoiler: other than pure chance, not even under normally instant-death circumstances.]]
* After two seasons of handling things from the backseat as a proper general, James Ironwood from {{WebAnimation/RWBY}} finally shows that he is more than capable of throwing down with the rest of them. To show how much of a badass he is, he is able to solo an Alpha Beowulf with [[BlingBlingBang his]] [[HandCannon own]] [[RevolversAreJustBetter sidearm]] [[CurbstompBattle without much effort]].
** [[spoiler: It helps that he's also a {{Cyborg}}]]

* The Jager Generals in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' each qualify, on account of surviving in the service of the Heterodynes for some 600-700 years. And there are currently seven.
** [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120523 Case]] [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120525 in]] [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120528 point]]
* [[MagnificentBastard General Tarquin]] from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' -- when he first arrived on the Western Continent, he conquered eleven different nations over the course of eight months, and was only deposed through the combined efforts of ''twenty-six'' others. And if [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0851.html this page]] is anything to go by, he's still got it even in his later years. [[spoiler:Subverted. He is in fact a deranged psycopath with no real military experience. Tarquin's only real talents are being both DangerouslyGenreSavvy and a capable figher. His ego is too big that he has convinced himself he is more important than he really is. Most of his empire's military talent came from elsewhere in his party. Rich Burlew confirmed all this [[http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=318550&page=4 in the forum]].]]
* From ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'':
** Captain Kaff Tagon and his father, General Karl Tagon. The former has his own mercenary company, which has played a pivotal role in almost every modern (for the comic) conflict. The latter is retired, pushing 70, and still remains in fighting condition, even when reduced to a head in a jar.
** Admiral Breya Andreyasn's badassery isn't mostly of the physical type (though she ''can'' handle herself in a fight), but it's not some average person off the street that can string together a massive fleet from multiple interstellar-capable races for the sake of fighting a galaxy-threatening menace.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''OpenBlue'' has at least two of these, Vice Admiral Royche, an NPC [[TheMenInBlack Man in Black]] who knows Kung Fu, and High Executor Altara Sigrdrífa, a historical figure, who personally led the {{Precursors}}' PraetorianGuard in battle.
** Starting in v4, Admiral Flota Vladimir Ilyavich Tokarev, '''HERO OF THE TRIBES''', now joins this list.
* In ''Literature/TheSalvationWar'', the fictional version of the aforementioned David Petraeus (the point of divergence being January 2008) led the combined human forces (albeit operationally only the US military) against the legions of Hell, leading to [[CurbStompBattle some of the most lopsided battles in human history]]. They've since been [[RageAgainstTheHeavens aimed at Heaven]]. Oh, and he has release authority over ''multiple'' nations' nuclear, biological and chemical arsenals (in Heaven anyway).

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Hawk from ''GIJoe''. To a somewhat lesser extent, Flagg. Their naval counterpart is Keel-Haul, an admiral who still sometimes gets behind the stick of a fighter jet.
* General Treister from ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' is apparently an example of this. He prefers a hands on approach to warfare, and continually excercises despite having had 8 heart attacks.
** At the end of season 4, Treister hands command of The OSI over to Col. Hunter Gathers--a man who was inspired by HunterSThompson. It's a given that he'll embody this trope.
* General Rogard from ''WesternAnimation/TheIronGiant''. He displays his badassness while being chased by [[spoiler:a berserk, gun covered giant.]] While [[DirtyCoward Mansley]] panics, Rogard turns around and shoots at it with a pistol. He remained completely in control throughout the battle and never even looked afraid, unlike many of his subordinates.
** Another memorable scene: [[spoiler: the giant]] is blowing up tanks only a few yards away from him. Rather than panic or run away, his response is to snatch a nearby radio from a soldier and angrily deliver this line:
-->--'''General Rogard:''' All battleships fire at the robot! ''[Ground shakes as tanks explode nearby]'' Now! ''[[PrecisionFStrike Now, damn it, now!]]''
* Joseph Walsh of ''[[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers Galaxy Rangers]]''. The rank is technically "Commander," but considering he is in ''command'' of BETA and much of Earth's defenses...
* Although General Iroh of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' is [[RetiredBadass retired]], he was once the Fire Nation's most fearsome general and the only person in history to break through the wall of Ba Sing Se. By the time we meet him, he has dedicated his life to drinking tea, eating, shopping, playing pai sho, and making sure Zuko grows up right... but is still the only person besides Aang who has any chance of matching [[BigBad Ozai's]] combat prowess
** While we're a it: General Iroh II of ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', his namesake's great-great-nephew. He manages to burn through the Equalist forces while the rest of his army gets decimated.
* Sky Marshal Wade in ''VoltronForce'' is a villainous example, as he confronts the Voltron Force personally a few times.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StarshipTroopersInvasion'' General Johnny Rico eventually decides to join the fight himself in a MiniMecha with chainsaws, rocket packs, gatling guns, and missile pods. Then, in a mad dash for the Bug Queen he starts stripping out of his armor as his weapons run out of ammo and Bugs grab onto him [[spoiler: and then kills the Queen with a combat knife wearing nothing but his jumpsuit.]]