[[quoteright:350:[[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rommel-in-command-vehicle_6885.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:UsefulNotes/ErwinRommel gets up close and personal with the British in Africa.]]

->''"Look! There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Rally behind the Virginians!"''
--> -- '''General Barnard Bee''' at the First Battle of Manassas during UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar

A flag-ranked officer -- though '''not''' necessarily a FourStarBadass -- who spends more time leading his men at the frontline battlefields like a junior/field officer does than sitting in the war room and working on theater-level strategic plans.

Depending on the setting or the branch of the military, this can be easily justified; a fleet of ships, or even a single larger ship such as a modern Supercarrier, will often be commanded by a Rear Admiral or higher. Pre-Radio Age armies would also be often directly commanded by generals on the field, too, to the point where it was almost common for generals to be killed in battle. In a modern land army, however, such a thing would be very unusual (excepting an officer taking a very short visit to scope out the terrain while planning a major offensive), and typically would only happen if the country gets invaded by complete surprise, and/or the enemy gets very deep very fast.

While seen as highly heroic, there are significant drawbacks to this, especially in modern settings. Battles hinge on minute-by-minute decision making and updates must be frequently provided to the general staff. If the general is on the front, he'll be moving around a lot and it will be more difficult to apprise him of the situation, not to mention him giving updated orders for those lower in the chain-of-command.

Contrast ArmchairMilitary (a.k.a. "Chairborne Ranger" in US Army and Marine Corps lingo). See OutrankingYourJob when this is [[ArtisticLicenseMilitary taken too far]]. May overlap with RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething in fantasy or historical settings. But doing this increases the chance of a KeystoneArmy by a lot and a easier target [[StraightForTheCommander if they want to go right after you.]] A DecapitatedArmy may result if the general dies.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', this sums up Lelouch's view of how a leader should act. "If the general does not lead, how can he expect his subordinates to follow?" "The only ones who should kill are those prepared to be killed!" He is often seen taking an active part in the military operations he commands, though he's usually smart enough to recognize his limits and not attempt something he cannot do.
* Commander [[WorthyOpponent Andrew Waltfeld]] of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'' likes to lead his men from the front, and is happy to jump into his own [[HumongousMecha mobile suit]] in order to square off against TheHero. This is to be expected, given that he's at least partly [[{{Expy}} based on]] Erwin Rommel (see Real Life below).
* Char Aznable, at least in ''Anime/CharsCounterattack'', takes to the front lines personally in most of the battles. Not out of any sense of loyalty or duty to his men, but simply because he's obsessed with defeating Amuro Ray personally. He does have the presence of mind to put his confidante/lover, Nanai Miguel, in overall battlefield command while he's out piloting, meaning the army is not completely without direction in his absence.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' [[spoiler:the generals of the Allied Shinobi forces (Gaara, Kakashi, Darui, Akatsuchi) are this, as they join their forces directly on the battlefield. Understandable, given that those four were chosen for their battle prowess as well as their leadership ability. Arguably the Kages also count--though in their case the term Frontline President might be more accurate.]]
* {{Justified}} in ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'': electromagnetic interference during battle makes communications difficult, so the admirals of both sides have to come close to the line of fire. As the firepower thrown around in the setting is high enough to cause heavy damage with every successful hit, they do so with [[TheMothership larger and better armed and armoured dedicated flagships]], and tend to stay as far from the enemy as they can afford.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': Asuka and Shinji are the leaders of the Avalon forces deployed in their timeline. They and the other commanding officers -Misato, Ching, Bir...- take part in all battles, always taking point. Justified, since they are a relatively small force -due to be cut off-, and Shinji and Asuka pilot one of their few {{Humongous Mecha}}s... although Asuka would surely fight in the frontlines anyway, since she is a soldier and a warrior first of all.
* ''Fanfic/{{HERZ}}'': Even after being promoted to Captain Asuka still sorties with her troops and leads from the frontlines.

* Prevalent in ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** The Jedi in all Clone Wars-related media, such as ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'', ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'', and the animated series ''[[WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars Clone Wars]]'' and ''[[WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars The Clone Wars]]''. They are all automatically generals, and prefer to command from the frontlines. Probably because they [[ImplausibleFencingPowers don't fear enemy blaster fire]]. Pong Krell from ''The Clone Wars'' is an exception, preferring to stay in the back. But he has a good reason to do that. [[spoiler: He's killing as many clones as possible and using HollywoodTactics before he officially betrays the Republic.]]
** On the flip side, General Grievous was often on the front line during the Clone Wars.
** In ''Film/ANewHope'', Darth Vader takes to space with his TIE Advanced to defend the Death Star.
** In ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' the Empire's General Maximilian Veers not only prepares his troops for the Hoth surface attack, he's aboard the lead AT-AT that fires the shots which destroy the Alliance's power generators. He paid a price though: in the novelization Hobbie Klivian (Rogue Two) crashed his damaged snowspeeder into Veers' cockpit a couple minutes later. Veers survived but both his legs had to be amputated. His Rebel counterpart Carlist Rieekan was more cautious, commanding from an Echo Base bunker rather than the front lines.
** By the time of [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi the Battle of Endor]] both Lando Calrissian and Han Solo were Generals. These men blew up the second Death Star and personally led the ground assault on its shield generator respectively. Admiral Ackbar also commanded from the front, leading to his [[MemeticMutation legendary line]] "It's a trap!" In addition, Admiral Piett leads the Imperial Fleet from the ''Executor'', though he is handicapped by the Emperor's shortsighted orders.
* ''Film/{{Patton}}''. The title general is portrayed this way several times. During the battle with the 10th Panzer he's on the front lines giving tactical orders. During the invasion of Sicily he's shown scouting out a ford across a river while under enemy artillery fire. On several other occasions he's depicted driving around in battle areas.
* In ''Film/{{Gettysburg}}'', Lee warns General Longstreet against his habit of going too far forward, as he's already lost a number of his generals (particularly Stonewall) to this trope and he feels he cannot spare Longstreet.
* In ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'', Colonel Phillips fits this trope and even gets involved in the fighting at the end, helping to infiltrate a HYDRA base and shooting down a few enemies.
* Most of the Allied generals in ''Film/ABridgeTooFar'', especially the Americans Maxwell Taylor and James Gavin, who jump into battle with their respective airborne divisions. SS-General Wilhelm Bittrich is this as well.
* It was pretty clear right from ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture'' that Admiral Kirk really, ''really'' wants to be this trope (that is, he wants to be out in the field, and since he's ended up at flag rank now...). He gets his wish in that film (abusing his personal connections to get himself temporarily put in command of ''Enterprise'' for the crisis), but it's not a lasting thing -- fortunately, circumstances conspire to move him out of a desire for this trope and [[TheCaptain back to the trope where he belongs]] by the end of the fourth film.
* [[PresidentAction President Whitmore]] leads the charge in the finale battle in ''Film/IndependenceDay''. Justified, as he's one of the few people around who can fly a plane, and one of the even fewer pilots with combat experience, and if they lose, he won't have a country to lead anyway.

* ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'':
** After Wedge Antilles is promoted to general in ''[[ComicBook/XWingSeries X-Wing: Isard's Revenge]]'', he still leads Rogue Squadron in the field for at least the remainder of the book. In later conflicts (among them [[Literature/TheNewRebellion Kueller's uprising]] and the [[Literature/NewJediOrder Yuuzhan Vong War]]) he continues to put himself directly in harm's way, though not necessarily from a starfighter cockpit.
** The prequels weren't the first time the Jedi were Frontline Generals. During the Sith Wars of 4,000 and 1,000 BBY (seen in the ''ComicBook/TalesOfTheJedi'' comics and ''Literature/DarthBane'' series among others), the Jedi frequently led the Republic military against Sith forces.
* Very frequent in ''Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium'':
** In ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', virtually anyone equivalent to a general (Éomer, Théoden, and eventually Aragorn) is only too glad to be right in the thick of it with their men.
** In ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'': In the First Age, if you are a king, lord or high-ranking officer, you are liable to be leading the charge against the enemy (Thingol, Finrod, Finarfin in the FinalBattle...)... and often getting killed in action (Fëanor, Fingolfin, Fingon, Huor...) or getting captured and suffering a FateWorseThanDeath (Maedhros tortured and chained to the side of a ravine, Hurin forced to watch as his family's lives went to Hell...)
** ''Literature/TheChildrenOfHurin'', starts when the remainder forces of good in Middle-Earth unite to attempt to destroy [[GodOfEvil Morgoth]] once for all... and get utterly crushed. Their kings and lords were leading them, and most of them got killed in battle (Fingon, Azaghal, Huor...). Hurin and Huor particularly made a LastStand with their whole army to protect the retreat of the forces of [[HiddenElfVillage Gondolin]] -led by their king Turgon- and Hurin was the only survivor -to his regret-.
** The same applies in ''Literature/TheHobbit'' where Thranduil the Elvenking, Bard the Bowman, and the whole Line of Durin lead their troops into battle. It ends badly for the latter, all of whom are killed in either the Battle of Azanulbizar (Thrór, Thráin, Frerin) or the Battle of the Five Armies (Thorin, Fíli, Kíli). Dáin Ironfoot is the only Durin dwarf to survive... until he's killed about 80 years later protecting King Brand during the War of the Ring.
** Since Creator/JRRTolkien himself fought in World War I, it's likely that he was very aware of the danger that high-ranking officers were exposed to when leading a charge, be it in modern or fantastical warfare.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. Those commanding armies often take to the field with their men, given that Westeros is a medieval fantasy society where [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority individual fighting prowess is equated with generalship]]. The extent to which this is true varies -- Jaime Lannister is LuredIntoATrap because his enemies know he's a BloodKnight who always leads from the front. Bored with the siege of Riverrun, Jaime hears of an attack by raiders on his supply line and leads a small force off to attack them, only to be ambushed by Robb Stark's army. King Robb also leads from the front to inspire his men but is more cautious about it, keeping a strong bodyguard and not taking unnecessary risks. Jaime's father, the coldly pragmatic Lord Tywin, leads from the rear where he can control the battlefield and judge the right moment to throw in his own efforts.
* Played with in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', where it's repeatedly stated that this is a ''bad idea'', because the general makes of himself a target and if he's killed, [[DecapitatedArmy his command is going to collapse]]. However, by dint of bad luck Mat keeps finding himself in the midst of the enemy force, especially if he was trying to lead his army in a retreat at the time (though, thanks to [[BornLucky good luck]], he then turns those debacles into crushing victories), and other generals have had times when they stay in or near the front lines because of a need to keep communication lines short or just because they just need every man they have.
* Belisarius in ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'' is this and often has to be urged by his subordinates to risk himself less often. The Persian emperor even makes his bodyguards at promise to arrest him if he risks himself because the Persians need a Roman general they can trust to carry out a politically delicate strategy that might threaten the alliance between the two empires, who had only recently put to rest centuries of intermittent warfare between them.
* Dalinar and Adolin Kholin in Literature/TheStormlightArchive are Shardbearers, which means that each of them is worth about a thousand regular soldiers. Therefore, leading from the front becomes the tactically sound option.
* In ''Literature/OutlanderLeander'', unusual circumstances have led Nagdecht to have two generals. General Glaive is the new, younger general, and is shown getting personally involved in missions with his private unit. When asked where General Oske is, however, General Glaive states, "At the castle, where he always is", suggesting Oske is an [[ArmchairMilitary Armchair General]].
* {{Justified}} in ''Literature/StarshipTroopers''. [[ItsRainingMen "Everyone drops,"]] from grunts on up to the sky marshal who commands the entire Terran military. Taken to the logical conclusion when the sky marshal dies fighting a rearguard action.
** Also, the officers drop ''first''. When a cap trooper hits the ground, he knows that there will be an officer there to lead him.
* In Joe Abercrombie's ''Literature/TheHeroes'' [[GeneralFailure General Jalenhorm]] is painfully aware of the fact that he got his command solely due to his friendship with the king, and tries to make up for it with personal bravery. [[spoiler: He dies leading his division in a suicidal assault on The Children, viewing it as redeeming himself for earlier tactical mistakes.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** General Hammond was more inclined to lead from the rear, but he wasn't above going into the field on occasion, most notably in "Into the Fire" where he rode second seat in a modified Death Glider to provide [[GunshipRescue air support]] to the rescue of his troops. He also personally commanded the ''Prometheus'' during Anubis' assault on Earth, giving SG-1 time to activate Ancient chair weapon.
** After O'Neill replaced Hammond for season 8, he likewise mostly stayed in the boardroom until his ATA gene was required to fly a puddle jumper in "It's Good to Be King". He took out a Goa'uld mothership with it.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** In [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part 2"]] Admiral J.P. Hanson leads the Federation home fleet against the Borg at Wolf 359, and is killed in action [[CurbStompBattle along with most of the fleet]].
** ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':
*** General Martok. During the Dominion War, he maintains his flag on a Bird-of-Prey instead of one of the larger battlecruisers.
**** Once he became Chancellor, he took the Negh'Var as his flagship, but still got into the thick of the fighting wherever possible.
*** Captain Sisko and Admiral Ross also lead from the front in numerous battles. Sisko, notably, took command of a ground troop in "The Siege of AR-558" despite being a starship captain (Starfleet being a monolithic uniformed service rather than a collection of separate branches), and was quite effective in holding off everything thrown his way despite being cut off from reinforcements or supplies.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'' due to a medieval culture where AsskickingEqualsAuthority. In the Battle of Blackwater, Tyrion Lannister approves the normally inept King Joffrey's decision to join the troops on the city walls as "soldiers fight better for a king who's not hiding behind his mother's skirts". Of course Tyrion is the one [[DragonInChief actually running the battle]], so this works well until the [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen Regent]], [[MyBelovedSmother worried about her son's safety]], orders him brought back to the Red Keep. Joffrey (who likes giving a BadassBoast but is actually a DirtyCoward) fails to stand up to his mother. When his soldiers see the King leaving, [[ScrewThisImOutOfHere they start to falter as well]]. Tyrion (who as an entirely pragmatic dwarf is the least likely person to go into battle) has to lead the sally himself in order to shame them into following him. Opposing him is Stannis Baratheon, who also inspires his men by being the first into the landing boats after [[GreekFire wildfire]] destroys half their fleet, and the first up the ladder on the city walls. Note that in the novels this is actually a trait of his BloodKnight brother Robert Baratheon (Stannis is a more cold-blooded, pragmatic leader who commands from the rear) but is changed for RuleOfDrama.
* In the ''Series/BabylonFive'' episode "[[Recap/BabylonFiveS02E10GROPOS GROPOS]]" Dr. Franklin's father General Richard "Old Firestorm" Franklin hits the dirt with his men in the [=EarthForce=] assault on the fortress of Matok. He comes out without a scratch.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* An actual game mechanic in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' and ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': the minimum to play is two units of troops and a general / HQ unit. Depending on their stats, you either keep them the hell away from attack (see [[KeystoneArmy Tau Ethereals]]) or are horrifying death machines to be rushed into melee as soon as possible (orks, tyranids, most Chaos and Space Marines leaders). In the fluff, however, the less insane armies keep their high command well out of harm's way.
** Taken even further in ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'': the Imperial Guard's general is their only melee unit until they get to the later tech tiers.
** Despite all attempts to be OnlySaneMan of the setting, Tau often play this trope extremely straight in case of their Fire Cast commanders. They are issued custom made SuperPrototype mecha suit and are expected to make full use of it. Its not too bad if commander in question loads it out with high range weaponry. It gets somewhat crazy in case of commander Shadowsun, the highest ranking military leader of the Tau Empire who has her suit customized with close range anti tank weapons. Or renegade commander Farsight whose main armament is a sword.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Stratego}}'', the Field Marshal and the General are [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking the two most powerful pieces on the board]], and are often placed on the front lines for this reason. (Of course, it's dangerous for them to get ''too'' aggressive because of the risk of hitting a bomb.)

* The various incarnations of the ''Franchise/GIJoe'' franchise have Hawk, a general who spends much of his time leading the G.I. Joe forces out in field. His official bio even lampshades this by saying that "When Hawk takes you into a hairy situation, he's usually in ''front'' of you yelling 'Follow me!' "

* In {{Bionicle}} Sidorak, the King of the [[BigCreepyCrawlies Visorak horde]], was known to lead his troops on the front line. Unfortunately for him this part of what led to him being blind to the schemes of his second in command [[TheStarscream Roodaka]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', much like in other expanded universe material, Jedi led from the front in war.
** In the first game we learn before and after he became a Sith, the Jedi Revan would often lead from the front in the Mandalorian Wars, personally defeating Mandalore himself in battle (although he was not averse to sitting back and leading from the safety of the war room). This eventually caught up with him when a Jedi strike team managed to board his flagship during a battle and distract him from his apprentice Malak's treachery, who blasted the flagship's bridge to smithereens and took over as the Dark Lord of the Sith.
** The protagonist of the sequel, ''[[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords The Sith Lords]]'', was none other than a Jedi General exiled for going off to war against the Jedi Council's wishes. The Exile personally led many [[WarIsHell infamously brutal]] campaigns, and the game visits several locations from the Mandalorian Wars.
* Whoever is made monarch at the end of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' ([[spoiler:Anora, Alistair, or the Warden]]) will personally lead the armies against the Darkspawn in the endgame.
* An EscortMission in the flight sim ''VideoGame/SabreAceConflictOverKorea'' has you protecting General Douglas [=MacArthur=] as he flies up to the front lines for a personal inspection. This is TruthInTelevision: [=MacArthur=] was personally reconnoitering the front lines a mere three days into the UsefulNotes/KoreanWar, often while his position was under heavy North Korean attack.
* ''{{Franchise/Halo}}'': High-ranking [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Sangheili]]/Elites and [[KillerSpaceMonkey Jiralhanae]]/Brutes, going all the way up to Field Marshals and Chieftains, are often seen battling alongside their subordinates, which is kinda justified by the fact that both races promote their troops based largely on their personal kill-count and give them increasingly better equipment as they ascend the ranks. Human generals are more practical, however, and remain safely in bases or command warships instead.
* ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'': Adam Malkovich is a General, and leads a group of five men in a special-ops mission. Sometimes he is away in a command room, other times he is personally fighting with them.
* In ''VideoGame/RadiantHistoria'', Field Marshall Viola spends nearly the entire game on the front lines. Although she's highly formidable in combat, many characters point out the absurdity of having such a high ranking officer in the thick of battle; she's only there because the de facto leader of the country, General Hugo, [[UriahGambit fears her popularity and wants to get rid of her]].
* ''VisualNovel/WordsWorth'': While [[LadyOfWar Sharon]] and [[OvershadowedByAwesome Ceasar]] are the Tribe of Shadow's top generals, it's Sharon who is acknowledged as their fiercest combatant, and spends much of the series in the thick of battle. Which is how she gains [[AbhorrentAdmirer the attention]] of [[LightIsNotGood King Fabris]], who also exemplifies the trope.
* The "general" support unit in ''VideoGame/RiseOfNations'' is best kept slightly back from the front as he can't actually fight, but he does need to be nearby to provide the bonuses to your troops.
* ''Franchise/StarCraft'' likes this.
** General Edmund Duke in ''VideoGame/StarCraftI'' isn't just a frontline general, but fully capable of soloing the mission you get to use him in (assuming you prioritize targets correctly and are willing to patch him up frequently). Unfortunately his tendency to lead from the front [[spoiler:eventually gets him killed in ''Brood War'']], and he's for the most part a GeneralFailure due to his unfortunate tendency to be on the opposite side from the player character.
** Protoss Executors and Dark Templar Prelates also do this, as evidenced by Tassadar and Zeratul, both of whom appear as powerful hero units on the front lines of several levels apiece.
** General Horace Warfield in ''VideoGame/StarCraftIIWingsOfLiberty'' takes the field with his Marines and fully qualifies for FourStarBadass, killing an entire zerg force by himself at one point and losing an arm in the process.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** The [[PlayerCharacter Avatar]] in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' can be a Frontline Tactician, depending on how much you use them. It's lampshaded in one of the DLC maps:
-->'''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Saias]]:''' Aren't you the enemy tactician? What kind of fool strategist puts himself at the fore of the battle?\\
'''Avatar:''' [[BadassBoast The kind who knows he'll win.]]
** It's also prudent to play the main 'Lord' type characters this way throughout the franchise as they typically gain access to the most powerful weapons and skills which are extremely useful, if not absolutely necessary, against the final few bosses.
** In Universe, [[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Hector]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones Ephraim]], [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Ike and Micaiah]] are known to operate this way.
* In ''VideoGame/AdvanceWarsDaysOfRuin'', as a break from previous Advance Wars, The CO tend to take on a more frontline role, both in story and in game, where you can have them ride along a unit, generating a CO Zone buffing units in it, promoting the unit they tag along with to Ace rank, and needing to have units in their zone kill enemies to charge up their CO Powers (Frontline being relative of course. Trak/Gage fares quite well in a Missile Launcher unit behind the main lines, while Zadia/Tasha needs to personally take part in the air assault to be effective. Trak/Gage is TheStoic ColdSniper CO, while Zadia/Tasha is more HotBlooded.).
* A staple of the ''VideoGame/TotalWar'' games. Generals have a small unit of cavalry and they are able to inspire troops who are low on morale. However, their deaths are often enough to drive an army to rout.
** ''[[VideoGame/EmpireTotalWar Empire]]'' introduces naval combat to the series. Admirals can be placed in command of flagships, whose destruction can shatter the confidence of a fleet.
* Every single PlayerCharacter in ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'', eventually. The top rank you get is Fleet Admiral (for Starfleet or Romulan Republic characters) or General/Dahar Master[[note]]Dahar Master is what KDF characters becomes at the level cap, but strictly speaking it's an honorary title and not an actual rank, unlike the previous promotions[[/note]] (Klingon Defense Force characters). This in ''no'' way alters the gameplay away from commanding a single starship flying around doing missions and getting into exciting business -- it just opens a wider variety of missions (very few of which actually make more sense for an admiral over a captain).
* ''[[Videogame/BattleZone1998 Battlezone II: Combat Commander]]'', as the name implies, has [[PlayerCharacter John Cooke]] leading their battalion from the front line in the cockpit of a HoverTank - starting from the rank of Lieutenant, then receiving {{Field Promotion}}s until he is promoted to [[MajorlyAwesome Major]] after [[spoiler: [[KlingonPromotion killing Major Manson]] if he sides with General Braddock]]. In the [[spoiler: Scion campaign]], General Braddock leads the LastStand against the Scions, from the cockpit of an [[HumongousMecha Attila LM]].
* In ''Videogame/SupremeCommander'', Commanders - in their [[HumongousMecha Armored Command Unit]] - are often shown stomping through regular tanks and mechs with impunity in cutscenes. In-game it's generally not a favored tactic except in dire emergencies due to the ACU being relatively weak to begin with, and [[StraightForTheCommander losing it ending the game]], but [=ACUs=] can be [[MagikarpPower upgraded with some hefty firepower]] to make them almost equal to Experimental units in terms of firepower.
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'': Darth Malgus, rather than engage in the subterfuge and intrigue of the Dark Council, preferred to lead troops into battle. [[spoiler:Although a lot of that was probably building support for his eventual coup.]]
* Every single faction in ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar''. Taken to extremes with the Imperial Guard, where the general and his retinue squad is practically their only melee unit. The only probable exception is the Eldar Farseer, seeing as she's more of a caster-type hero unit who throws out damaging spells and unit buffs, [[MagicKnight but she can be fairly effective in melee as well]].
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' has several instances. Largely out of desperation, [[spoiler: Admiral Anderson]] chooses to remain on Earth to lead the resistance against the Reaper forces. Similarly, several turian generals (Corinthus and next-in-line-to-be-Primarch Victus) are in the thick of the fighting on the front lines of Menae. Garrus, a government adviser on the Reapers (and who is high enough ranking to be ''saluted by the generals'') is right there as well. Whether this is common practice for turian generals or is a move of desperation against the Reapers is not clear, however.
* In ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare2'', the first time we see General Shepherd, he's leading the Army Rangers in an assault over a bridge. "Rangers lead the way!", indeed.
* Command units in the ''[[VideoGame/WargameEuropeanEscalation Wargame]]'' series are best kept out of harm's way, as they're vital to capturing sectors for resource points and reinforcements. However, they range from tanks to helicopters, giving them a good chance to defend themselves.
* ''VideoGame/EmpireEarth'' has two types of heroes: Warrior and Strategist. While both are melee units (until the later ages when all units become ranged), the Warrior's role is to be in the thick of battle, as his damage values are the kind associated with siege weapons and he provides a 50% damage reduction aura to nearby units. The Strategist, on the other hand, has a much weaker attack (and won't even attack unless specifically ordered), but instead provides very quick healing to nearby units and has an ability that makes enemies take extra damage.

* In ''Webcomic/SecondEmpire'', Pturdd is only too eager to join in the glorious massacre of the Second Empire rebels. Pity he's a GeneralFailure who led a small army of Daleks to a humiliating CurbStompBattle...
* {{Justified}} in ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}''. Due to the setting's RPGMechanicsVerse, a general's leadership literally expresses itself as a numerical bonus to his subordinates' stats, but the unit has to be in the same squad as the general to get the bonus. (Except for the Chief Warlord, and even his bonus is biggest for his squad).
* During the Azure City invasion in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' Redcloak initially leads from the rear, but later is moved by the way the Hobgoblins were sacrificing their lives, and charged personally into the battle with his war mammoth. This is able to turn the tide of the battle in his favor.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* This was actually fairly common until recently and is [[OlderThanFeudalism at least as old as the Roman Republic]]. However in armies where there were actual generals (command and control specialists) as opposed to warleaders (badasses who point swords and say charge), the custom was to ride on a horse back and forth along the line allowing the commander to personally intervene in a crises. This was dangerous work in itself, often more dangerous than being a private. But it wasn't the same as personally using weapons.
* UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar ''especially'' saw a number of these:
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_Jackson Lieutenant General Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson]] of the [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar Confederate States of America]] received [[RedBaron his famous moniker]] at the First Battle of Manassas when Brigadier General Barnard Bee, trying to rally his unit, saw Jackson sitting erect atop his horse in the midst of a barrage of Union gunfire and said the page quote. There's some debate behind the exact meaning of the statement[[labelnote:*]]Most view it as a rallying cry; others think Bee was angry at Jackson for not moving to support him.[[/labelnote]], however, given that Bee was ironically killed a few minutes later.
** As noted under film, Longstreet was known for often riding too far forward and coming under fire, which led to him being severely wounded in 1864.
** Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston was the highest-ranking officer on either side to be killed during the war, when he was mortally wounded personally leading an attack against the Federal positions in the Peach Orchard during the Battle of Shiloh. For the record, Johnston was commander of the ''entire'' Confederate Army of Mississippi, a position equal to Lee or Meade at Gettysburg.
** J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded personally leading Confederate cavalry at the Battle of Yellow Tavern.
** More generals were killed and wounded at Gettysburg than in any other engagement of the war, and largely because of this trope. Confederate generals Barksdale, Semmes, Armistead, Garnett, and Pender, and Union general Reynolds, Zook, Weed, and Farnsworth were all killed in action. Pettigrew would be mortally wounded shortly after during the Confederate retreat, and Union colonel Strong Vincent was promoted to Brigadier General after being mortally wounded defending Little Round Top. Reynolds was the highest-ranking officer killed, while personally directing the deployment of the Iron Brigade (Reynolds actually commanded the entire I Corps). Several other Confederate generals, including John Bell Hood, James Kemper, and Isaac Trimble were wounded leading attacks. Hood was wounded at Devil's Den, while Kemper and Trimble were both hit during Pickett's Charge. Union general Dan Sickles (commander of the III Corps) was wounded and lost his leg leading his own troops in battle while defending the Peach Orchard, while generals Hancock (commander II Corps) and Webb (2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, II Corps) were wounded personally directing their troops in defense of Seminary Ridge during Pickett's assault. Gettysburg was ''murder'' on generals.
** Union General "Fighting Joe" Hooker averted this trope at Chancellorsville by setting his command center a couple miles behind the lines and using a new type of telegraph to send and receive orders. Unfortunately the aversion backfired: the bumpy ride from garrison knocked the equipment out of alignment and it would only send gibberish, and the resulting communications problems coupled with Hooker suffering a concussion from a near miss by a stray cannonball cost the Union the battle.
* The page picture is of General Erwin Rommel in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, who frequently got up front to see what was going on and was nearly captured on three different occasions: on the last time he tried to reach a war front, an Allied aircraft strafed and trashed his car, seriously wounding him.
* In more recent years: the Western intervention in Yugoslavia in the early 1990's saw a race between NATO and Russian troops to control a strategic airbase. The Russians got there within minutes of the British, who were ordered by the American general officer commanding to capture the airbase, whatever it took. Fortunately the British officer leading from the front was General Jackson, a man with the clout to take the radio, point out to the Yank that odd-numbered world wars tend to begin in Yugoslavia, the next world war would be number three, an odd number, and he wasn't going to go down in history as the man who started WorldWarIII for ''anybody''. It is possible a lower-ranking officer might have been intimidated into doing something stupid. The lower-ranking officer in question turned out to be James Blunt.
* Admirals did this through much of the history of naval combat, because admirals command from their warships and either the whole ship goes or none of it does. This happened late as UsefulNotes/WorldWarII and a number were killed in action:
** [[UsefulNotes/YanksWithTanks Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd Sr.]], who was killed at Pearl Harbor when his flagship (the USS ''Arizona'') was blown apart by a magazine explosion. Decades later, he would later serve as the namesake for the ''Kidd'' class destroyers, [[HilariousInHindsight which featured improved Anti-aircraft defenses.]]
** [[UsefulNotes/BritsWithBattleships Lord Horatio Nelson]], who died while leading his fleet in battle at Trafalgar against a combined fleet of French and Spanish ships during UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars, shot in the chest by a French sharpshooter.
** Rear Admirals Daniel Callaghan and Norman Scott were both killed in action during the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal; Scott was probably killed by a shell from Callaghan's flagship, the ''San Francisco'', which was trying to engage an enemy ship on the other side of Scott's own flagship, the ''Atlanta''. Callaghan in turn was probably killed when ''San Francisco'' dueled with the Japanese battleship ''Hiei''.
* During D-Day, two [[TheBrigadier brigadier generals]] landed with the American forces at Omaha and Utah beaches: Norman Cota and Theodore Roosevelt III, both of whom are credited with rallying the forces on the beaches and pressing the attack inland. Roosevelt, well into his 50s, suffered from arthritis and used a cane at the time, and would die of a heart attack a month later.
-->'''Norman Cota''': What outfit is this?\\
'''[[{{Ranger}} Army Ranger]]''': Fifth Rangers!\\
'''Cota''': Well, God damn it then, Rangers, ''[[BattleCry lead the way!]]''
* Antonio López de Santa Anna, President of Mexico, famously traveled to Texas to personally take charge of the military's efforts to put down Stephen Austin's rebellion. Of course, had he not done this, [[DeconstructedTrope the Texan forces would not have been able to capture him]] at the Battle of San Jacinto and force him to sign the Treaties of Velasco recognizing Texan independence.