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Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was born in Germany in 1730. He joined the Prussian military at the age of 17, serving as a member of the infantry and as a staff officer. In 1777, he sailed to the United States to join the Continental Army and one year later he was serving under General George Washington at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in the Revolutionary War. As a soldier, he trained American troops and developed a system for camp sanitation that was still in use 150 years later. In 1778, Steuben's service was officially recognized when General Washington recommended him for Inspector General, an honor that Congress approved days later. He went on to serve during the Battle of Yorktown and was honorably discharged from the military in 1784. After the war he lived in New York, where he died in 1794.
Biography of Baron von Steuben. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2019, from http://www.ushistory.org/valleyforge/served/steuben.html