General Sir John Moore, British Army, commander of British forces in Spain November 1808 – January 1809
General Robert E. Lee, US Army and Army of the Confederacy, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. June 1862 – April 1865
Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff, German Reichswehr, deputy to Hindenburg and commander Western Front, July 1916 – September 1918
Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein, German Wehrmacht, commander Army Group Don, later Army Group South, November 1942 – March 1944
General Creighton Abrams, US Army, Commander Military Assistance Command in Vietnam, July 1968 – June 1972
There is a small demi-pantheon of career soldiers who salvaged their professional reputations in spite of local (Moore) or ultimate defeat. Their moral standing (Manstein) and political activities (Ludendorff, Challe) are another matter.
General David Petraeus, US Army, commander Multi-National Force, Iraq, January 2007 – present.
may still join them. Or he can be a team player instead and just be remembered as a loser.