1. George Washington
The father of the nation was of course also a badass general. After the defeat at the Battle of Long Island in August 1776 Washington engineered a tactical retreat into Delaware, at the same time lulling the villainous Brits into a sense of false security. Then in December 1776, Washington took his army on boats across the Delaware river at night and surged into the British camp the next morning, killing hundreds of red coats and capturing over 1000. There were hardships to come, of course, but Washington’s outrageously daring action turned the tide of the War of Independence.
2. Andrew Jackson
The only president to have fought in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, Jackson was also notoriously touchy about his honor. In 1806 he challenged Charles Dickinson, a journalist, to a duel after Dickenson published scurrilous rumours about Jackson’s wife. At the duel, Dickenson shot first and hot Jackson near the heart (the bullet was never removed), and under the rules he had to stand still while Jackson returned fire. The future president made no mistake, and killed Dickenson where he stood.
3. Harry Truman
The unassuming, gentle Truman is arguably a strange entry to this list, but as the only human ever to have ordered the dropping of the world’s most destructive weapon, he claims his place. Covered in controversy in the 70 years since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Truman took one of the most difficult decisions anyone has faced to end the worst war the world has seen. Without doubt, that was a badass move.