There have been so many badasses throughout history, but Sergeant Alvin York definitely stands out for his bravery on the battlefield and for kicking ass and taking names during World War I.
An initial conscientious objector to the war and a pacifist even up until shortly after he was drafted into the United States Army, York’s shining moment came during a battle at the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France on October 8, 1918.
Led by Sergeant Bernard Early, York, who at the time was a corporal, along with three other non-commissioned officers and thirteen privates were tasked with taking out a nest of German machine guns. After enemy fire killed six Americans and wounded three, York was forced to take command of the remaining seven and resume the attack on the machine guns.
By the time the dust had settled, York had taken 35 machine guns, killed at least 28 German soldiers and captured 132 others. York was immediately promoted to sergeant for his and was honored with the Medal of Honor and eventually 50 other military decorations for his heroics.
York’s historical badassery was immortalized by Gary Cooper in the 1941 film “Sergeant York.”