Many historical heads of state, e.g., Charlemagne (ca. 800 CE), Henry V (ca. 1413-1422 CE), George Washington (as head of state during the Revolutionary War ca. 1776 CE), and Napoleon (late 18th and early 19th century), sometimes led their armies into battle and fought side by side with their soldiers in the field of battle.

It remains common for monarchs and Presidents to have had military service prior to becoming a head of state.

For example, U.S. Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Kennedy were war heroes, and Prince William, who is second in line to British thrown, like most of his predecessors, served in combat missions in the military.

But, somewhere along the line, heads of state stopped joining soldiers in battles while serving as head of state, even though many are formally "commanders in chief" of the military.

When was the last time that a currently serving head of state personally participated on a battlefield alongside his soldiers in combat (and not a mere assassination attempt or as a visitor to a war zone not intending to participate in combat)?

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    Idriss Déby, the late Chad president, was killed on April 2021 while commanding his troops against rebels. – ThirstforKnowledge May 13 at 9:00
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    @Ohwilleke The Revolutionary War in the USA was from 1776-1783. George Washington was head of state from 1789-1797 – MAGolding May 13 at 17:43
  • @ThirstforKnowledge Technically, this sounds like the answer. But the "Before Idriss Deby" finds a case where a head of state died doing so in 1900, but doesn't address heads of state who led armies on the battlefield who weren't killed while doing so after that prior to Idriss Deby and after 1900. So it isn't a true duplicate. – ohwilleke May 13 at 21:32
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    Jospi Broz Tito was some kind of head of state (recognized by Allies) when Germans tried to capture him during Operation Rösselsprung on May 25 1944, and he came in close contact with their troops . Year before, he was wounded during Case Black (Battle of Sutjeska) . Since he did have sort of recognition by British, Soviets and US , he could fit into this profile. – rs.29 May 14 at 5:49