Philip Henry Sheridan was a Union general in the American Civil War. His career was noted for his rapid rise to major general and his close association with Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. In 1864, he defeated Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley and his destruction of the economic infrastructure of the Valley, called "The Burning" by residents, was one of the first uses of scorched earth tactics in the war.
Development of the M551 Sheridan began in 1959. It's program was known as the AR/AAV or Armored Reconnaissance / Airborne Assault Vehicle. First prototypes were built in 1962 and production commenced in 1966. Vehicle is named in honor to Civil War General Philip Sheridan.