Military Experience of Current GOP Presidential Candidates



As we are celebrating the day of our independence, many of us are also contemplating who we should support in the next presidential election.

Although certainly not an absolute prerequisite, a majority of the men who have served in the nation’s highest position had military service.

In fact, 31 of our 43 presidents have served in the military. In the last 60 years the following have served in uniform; Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and both HW and W Bush. Among recent presidents, only Obama and Clinton have failed to serve. Recent candidates McCain, Kerry, Gore, and Dole all served as well.

As we find ourselves involved in conflicts across the globe, active in two ground wars (Iraq, Afghanistan), one air war (Libya), and at least two drone wars (Yemen and Pakistan), the need for military experience in a commander-in-chief could not be greater.

Of the current GOP presidential candidates, only one has served the nation in the military, Ron Paul.

That is right, the one candidate most vocal in opposition to our nation’s wars is the only candidate with past military service. Having been at war, a Vietnam era veteran(see comment section below), he knows what it means to send other’s children to the killing fields, and he doesn’t like it.

Like the majority of Americans, he wants to see these wars come to a quick and decisive end, and he has the experience needed to make that withdraw as smooth as possible.

During his 2008 Presidential run, Ron Paul enjoyed immense support from military personnel, garnering more contributions from military personnel than any other GOP candidate.

Military service of the men vying to be the next commander-in-chief:

Ron Paul served as a flight surgeon in the Air Force from 1963-65, and then in the Air National Guard from 1965-68.

Romney: no military service

Huntsman: no military service

Pawlenty: no military service

Santorum: no military service

Cain: no military service

Bachmann: no military service

Gingrich: no military service.  Actually he avoided the draft because he was in college, the same way Clinton avoided the draft and some call him a draft dodger.  What was Newt doing in college?

The only presidential candidate with military experience Ron Paul has a question for you…what if?

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  • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

    Good stuff!! I shared on FB. I wonder when the next prez will have served in the military?

    He is not running for president yet but Rick Perry was commissioned in the United States Air Force in 1972, completed pilot training and flew C-130 tactical airlift in the United States, the Middle East, andEurope until 1977. He left the Air Force with the rank of captain.

    • Dustin Krutsinger

      Thanks Bob.  I did look Perry up and saw that as well.  Paul also left the Air Force ranked a captain.  If Perry joins, maybe they can salute each other at one of the debates to make the point.  

  • http://www.iowafreedomreport.com Steve

    It definitely makes a difference having been in the military.  I think we vets have a lot less of the silly “support the troops” adulation and a more realistic vision for what the military is and when it should be used. 

    One slight correction, Paul did not actually serve in the war.  He did serve in the Vietnam era and was deployed at several Cold War era outposts – Iran, Pakistan, etc.  He also preformed a lot of physicals for pilots en route to Southeast Asia, and he’s mentioned how seeing so many of them not come back affected his opinions.

    • Dustin Krutsinger

      Steve, thanks for your service, and for pointing that out, correction has been made.  

  • http://sailorette.blogspot.com/ Foxfier

    The “who the military donated to” thing is pretty biased, simply because of how the data’s gathered– it’s donations over $200 by those who self-identified as military members.

    Kind of like the big to-do about deployed military giving heavy to Ron Paul…. all 99 of them.  (Incidentally, the Ron Paul claim may not have been true after May– the second link points out that McCain had passed him in self-identified military donors over $200.)

    Doesn’t help that those military folks who care a lot about politics tended to dislike McCain because he’s wishy-washy at best, and a menace at worse– Paul and Obama both lent themselves to “make a statement” type contributions.  (Obama’s famously leaky donation system didn’t help– I wouldn’t be shocked to see Master General of the Navy M. Mouse listed.)

    Clinton was called a draft dodger because he was one.  (Long, LONG LONG explanation below.)
    Newt avoided the draft because he had two young daughters.  Not in the same category as Slick Willy, not by a long shot.

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com PolishBear

    Unless I’m mistaken, the only thing Ronald Reagan did for the military was make traing and propaganda films.