Officer in the French service. Led a long and distinguished military career. Served as: lieutenant (1743); brigadier (1745); maréchal de camp (1748); inspector general of cavalry and dragoons (1752-1763); lieutenant-general of Alsace (1753); lieutenant-general of the King’s armies (1758); and military commander in Saintonge, Poitou, and Aunis (1778). Governor of the château de Vincennes (1754- 1782).
Considered himself a philosophe and was on friendly terms with Helvétius and Voltaire, who celebrated his military career in verse. A member of the Académie de peinture et de sculpture. Served as vice-president (1766, 1770, 1777) and president (1772, 1778) of the Académie des sciences.
Son of Marc-Pierre de Voyer de Paulmy, comte d’Argenson, who served as a minister of Louis XV. Married in 1742 to Jeanne-Marie- Constance de Mailly.