U.S. Presidents and their military service

The vast majority of those elected President of the United States served honorably in the Constitutional Militia, or later, the U.S. Army or Navy. Following is their military service by order of highest rank attained.

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George Washington. Rank: General of the Army. Served in the Virginia Militia and Continental Army during combat in the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War.

 

 

 

 

Dwight D. Eisenhower. Rank: General of the Army. Supreme Commander of the Allied Invasion of Europe, primarily the Battles for Normandy, France and Germany during WWII.

 

 

 

 

Ulysses S. Grant. Rank: General of the Army. Combat during Civil War and Mexican/American War.

 

 

 

 

Andrew Jackson. Rank: Major General. Served in the Tennessee Militia, North Carolina Militia and U.S. Army. Hero of the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. Also saw combat during the Revolutionary War, Creek War and the first Seminole War. Only president to be a prisoner of war after he was captured during the Revolutionary War at the age of 13.

 

 

 

 

William H. Harrison. Rank: Major General, U.S. Army. Northwest Indian War, War of 1812. Became a national hero after success in combat at the Battle of the Thames.

 

 

 

 

Zachary Taylor. Rank: Major General, U.S. Army. War of 1812, Black Hawk War, Second Seminole War and Mexican/American War. Became a national hero because of his achievements in the Mexican/American War.

 

 

 

 

Rutherford B. Hayes. Rank: Brevet Major General of Volunteers, U.S. Volunteer Army, Civil War. Wounded at the Battle of South Mountain. Successfully led troops in the Virginia, West Virginia Region.

 

 

 

 

James A. Garfield. Rank: Brevet Major General of Volunteers, Civil War. His heroic ride at the Battle of Chickamauga later helped him to be elected President.

 

 

 

 

Franklin Pierce, Rank: Brigadier General of Volunteers, U.S. Army (State Militia, New Hampshire). Enlisted as a Private in the Mexican-American War.

 

 

 

 

Andrew Johnson. Rank: Brigadier General of Volunteers, U.S. Army. Appointed Military Governor of Tennessee during Civil War.

 

 

 

 

Chester A. Arthur. Rank: Quartermaster General, New York State Militia. SERVED WITHOUT SEEING COMBAT. Non-combatant service only during Civil War. As a state quartermaster, he could not be mustered for Federal service. 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Harrison. Rank: Brevet Brigadier General of Volunteers State Militia Indiana (U.S. Army). Civil War Battle of Perryville, Atlanta Campaign and the Battle of Nashville.

 

 

 

 

Thomas Jefferson. Rank: Colonel Virginia Militia. SERVED WITHOUT SEEING COMBAT. Like other Virginia gentlemen, he had militia duties and did administrative work. 

 

 

 

 

James Madison. Rank Colonel: SERVED WITHOUT SEEING COMBAT, but some historians believe Madison served as a Colonel in the Revolutionary War with the Orange County Virginia Militia. It is also believed he served in the War of 1812. If so, he would join Washington (Whiskey Rebellion) as having seen military service as Commander-in-Chief.

 

 

 

 

James K. Polk. Rank: Served as a Colonel in the State Militia of Tennessee in 1821 WITHOUT SEEING COMBAT. 

 

 

 

 

Theodore Roosevelt. Rank: Colonel during the Spanish-American War, served in the New York State Militia, which was later designated the U.S. Army. Was head of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment (Rough Riders). He was famous for his charge up San Juan Hill. Was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. As ex-president, he volunteered for service in WWI, but President Wilson refused his request. 

 

 

 

 

Harry S. Truman. Rank: Colonel, served in the U.S. Army in the 129th Field Artillery in WWI. Served in the Army Reserves from 1919 to 1953.

 

 

 

 

Lyndon B. Johnson. Rank: Commander, U.S. Navy during WWII. Was awarded the Silver Star medal by General Douglas McArthur for his role as an observer on a B-26 bombing mission. The award remains controversial. 

 

 

 

 

Richard Nixon. Rank: Commander, U.S. Navy during WWII. Served from 1942 to 1945 on various Islands in the South Pacific and commanded SCAT units in the South Pacific. 

 

 

 

 

James Monroe. Rank: Major, Virginia State Troops of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War from 1776 to 1779. Crossed the Delaware with Gen. George Washington (he is holding the flag in the famous painting. (see below). He was wounded in the Battle of Trenton. As Secretary of State during the War of 1812, he scouted and deployed troops for the British invasion of Washington.

 

 

 

 

 

William McKinley. Rank: Brevet Major of Volunteers, U.S. Army during the Civil War. Originally served with the Militia in the 23rd Ohio Infantry. Was present at the surrender of the Militia Army of Northern Virginia. 

 

 

 

Gerald Ford. Rank: Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946. Served aboard the Light Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Monterey where 10 Battle Stars were earned.

 

 

 

 

Millard Fillmore. Rank: Major Union Continentals (Home Guard), New York Militia. DID NOT SEE COMBAT. Served during the Civil War and the Mexican-American War after his departure from the Presidency.

 

 

 

 

John Tyler. Rank: Captain, State Militia of Virginia. Served in the War of 1812 and raised a company for the defense of Richmond in 1813.

 

 

 

 

Abraham Lincoln. Rank: Captain State Militia of Illinois. DID NOT SEE COMBAT. Served during the Black Hawk War burying the dead after the battles ended. Elected to the rank of Captain, but re-enlisted as a private. 

 

 

 

 

John F. Kennedy. Rank: Lieutenant U.S. Navy during WWII. Commanded PT-109 where he earned the Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism.

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Carter. Rank: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy submarine service. DID NOT SEE COMBAT. Served during the Korean War but was never sent to Korea.

 

 

 

 

Ronald Reagan. Rank: Captain, U.S. Army. DID NOT SEE COMBAT. Was barred from combat because of poor eyesight.

 

 

 

 

George H.W. Bush. Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG), U.S. Navy during WWII. Youngest pilot in the war. Earned the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

 

 

 

George W. Bush. Rank: First Lieutenant, Texas Air National Guard. DID NOT SEE COMBAT. Served as an F-102 Pilot logging 336 flight hours.

 

 

 

 

James Buchanan. Rank: Private in the Pennsylvania State Militia during the War of 1812. He was the only U.S. President who enlisted without going on to become an officer.

 

 

 

 

The following presidents were not in the military: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, William Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Of This group, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama deserve special mention. Both Clinton and Obama have and are actively working to undermine and destroy our military. They apparently want our nation weakened and subject to invasion.

Clinton is shown wearing the only uniform he was ever photographed in – his high school band uniform. Some of his supporters say he exercised “draft avoidance,” a legal means of avoiding the draft during Vietnam. Clinton, however, used political influence to evade the draft, then left the U.S. for England to become a Rhodes Scholar. I think I am correct in calling him a draft-dodger – a reprehensible excuse for a man who wanted to become President and possibly Commander-in-Chief.

Many of those who served in the military during Vietnam were strongly opposed to the war but when the nation called, they answered the call and served honorably. Clinton ran to a foreign country thus bringing disgrace on himself and the office of President. http://www.1stcavmedic.com/bill-clinton-draft.htm

Obama is also shown wearing the only uniform he was ever photographed in – some type of Muslim crap.Both Clinton and Obama are, in my opinion, total disgraces to the U.S. and especially to the memories and legacies of former presidents who risked life and limb honorably serving our republic in some type of military uniform.

8 Comments

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8 responses to “U.S. Presidents and their military service

  1. Gary Elliott

    Truman never rose above Captain, get your facts straight. Vietnam was a war of empire, I thought we were a republic. Sorry I don’t worship uniforms. War is a racket.

    • From 1905 to 1911, Truman served in the Missouri National Guard. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, he helped organize the 2nd Regiment of Missouri Field Artillery, which was quickly called into Federal service as the 129th Field Artillery and sent to France. Truman was promoted to Captain and given command of the regiment’s Battery D. He and his unit saw action in the Vosges, Saint Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns. Truman joined the reserves after the war, rising eventually to the rank of colonel. He sought to return to active duty at the outbreak of World War II, but Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall declined his offer to serve.
      http://www.trumanlibrary.org/hst-bio.htm

  2. Frank Trooth

    Reagan served in the 1st The hawk who ballooned our defense spending into the stratosphere must have seen a lot of action while serving with the 1st Motion Picture Unit…

    Ronald Wilson Reagan enrolled in a series of home-study Army Extension Courses on 18 March 1935. After completing 14 of the courses, he enlisted in the Army Enlisted Reserve on 29 April 1937, as a Private assigned to Troop B, 322nd Cavalry at Des Moines, Iowa. He was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps of the Cavalry on 25 May 1937. On June 18 of that year Reagan, who had just moved to Los Angeles to begin his film career, accepted his Officer’s Commission and was assigned to the 323rd Cavalry.

    Lieutenant Reagan was ordered to active duty on 19 April 1942. Due to eyesight difficulties, he was classified for limited service only, which excluded him from serving overseas. His first assignment was at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation at Fort Mason, California, as liaison officer of the Port and Transportation Office. Upon the request of the Army Air Forces (AAF), he applied for a transfer from the Cavalry to the AAF on 15 May 1942; the transfer was approved on 9 June 1942. He was assigned to AAF Public Relations and subsequently to the 1st Motion Picture Unit in Culver City, California.

  3. Frank Trooth

    The hawk who ballooned our defense spending into the stratosphere must have seen a lot of action while serving with the 1st Motion Picture Unit…

    Ronald Wilson Reagan enrolled in a series of home-study Army Extension Courses on 18 March 1935. After completing 14 of the courses, he enlisted in the Army Enlisted Reserve on 29 April 1937, as a Private assigned to Troop B, 322nd Cavalry at Des Moines, Iowa. He was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps of the Cavalry on 25 May 1937. On June 18 of that year Reagan, who had just moved to Los Angeles to begin his film career, accepted his Officer’s Commission and was assigned to the 323rd Cavalry.

    Lieutenant Reagan was ordered to active duty on 19 April 1942. Due to eyesight difficulties, he was classified for limited service only, which excluded him from serving overseas. His first assignment was at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation at Fort Mason, California, as liaison officer of the Port and Transportation Office. Upon the request of the Army Air Forces (AAF), he applied for a transfer from the Cavalry to the AAF on 15 May 1942; the transfer was approved on 9 June 1942. He was assigned to AAF Public Relations and subsequently to the 1st Motion Picture Unit in Culver City, California.

  4. Frank Trooth

    As Commander in Chief, President Obama got Osama Bin Laden. Enough said!

    • It’s my understanding that President Clinton had bin Laden in his sights at least twice. If he had done his job Obama would have never even had the opportunity to order the killing.

      • Shad

        I thought Seal Team 6 got Bin Laden not Obama? Do you really think Obama had anything to do with it other than possibly saying yea its okay to go in. My son plays baseball and won the league championship last year. Do I get the credit for such a successful season because I said it was okay to play this year? People need to give credit where credit is due and wuit trying to make someone else to be the hero.

  5. Alan

    As a Brit, I found this information very enlightening. Very few of our more modern Prime Ministers served in the armed forces (Winston Churchill, Edward Heath and James Callaghan being honourable exceptions), though they have found it very easy to send our young men to a useless death in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other God-forsaken places. Our Royal Family have a rather better record, currently Princes Philip, Charles, Andrew, Edward, William and Harry all having served, with Philip and Andrew seeing active service. We mostly regard Clinton as a draft-dodger, and some of us find it extremely embarrassing that he was made welcome in our country, whilst his countrymen were dying in Vietnam. It is also embarrassing to many of us that our then-PM, Harold Wilson, refused to support the US by sending British troops to Vietnam.

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