Steuben, Friedrich Wilhelm, Baron von (1730–1794), a Prussian army officer who served in the American Revolutionary War. He trained and drilled General Washington's army at Valley Forge (1778) and made it into an effective, disciplined fighting force. The drill manual that he wrote was used by the U.S. Army for more than 30 years. Steuben led forces at the battles of Monmouth and Yorktown. After the war, he was given a parcel of land near Utica, New York, where he retired.
Steuben was born in the German kingdom of Prussia. In the Seven Years' War (1756–63), he served briefly in the Prussian army as a captain on the general staff of Frederick the Great. Steuben saw no more military service until he came to America to aid the colonists. In 1778 he was appointed inspector general of the Continental Army with the rank of major general. He soon became one of Washington's most valued advisers.