After Sun Jian's death, Cheng Pu served his son Sun Ce 孫策 who made him Leader of the court gentlemen disturbing the bandits (dangkou zhonglangjiang 蕩寇中郎將) and appointed him governor (taishou 太守) of the commandery of Lingling 零陵.
When Sun Ce died, both Cheng Pu and Zhang Zhao 張昭 supported his younger brother Sun Quan in the effort to secure the lower Yangtze valley for himself. As one of the two highest commanders of Sun Quan's army (Zhou Yu 周瑜 being the other), Cheng Pu defeated Cao Cao at Wulin 烏林 and opened the way for the conquest of the province of Jingzhou 荊州. He was awarded the title assistant general (pi jiangjun 裨將軍) and was appointed governor of Jiangxia 江夏, and after Zho Yu's death governor of Nanjun 南郡.
As the longest-serving general of the Sun family, Cheng Pu died highly revered as General disturbing the bandits (dangkou jiangjun 蕩寇將軍).