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Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 02/19/2013 11:09:24

Good Morning.

Today is our 4,153rd day in Afghanistan.

We'll start this morning as we always do; with the latest casualty figures from our ongoing war, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 2,177
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,080

We find this morning's Cost of War passing through:

$ 1, 424, 994, 850, 000 .00


Since yesterday was President's day, we'll do something a little different today.

How many Presidents wore the uniform?



Barack Obama None

George W. Bush Texas Air National Guard First Lieutenant Stateside service during Vietnam War (1968–1973).

Bill Clinton None

George H. W. Bush United States Naval Reserve Lieutenant World War II (1942–1945) Distinguished Flying Cross

Ronald Reagan United States Army Reserve, United States Army Air Corps Captain Stateside service during World War II (1942–1945); Army Reserve (1937–1942)

Jimmy Carter United States Navy Lieutenant World War II at the United States Naval Academy Sea duty and stateside service 1946-1953 during the Korean War

Gerald Ford United States Naval Reserve Lieutenant Commander World War II (1942–1945; combat on USS Monterey, discharged in 1946)

Richard Nixon United States Naval Reserve Commander World War II (1942–1945)

Lyndon B. Johnson United States Naval Reserve Commander World War II received Silver Star medal after airplane he was riding in was attacked by enemy aircraft

John F. Kennedy United States Navy Lieutenant World War II received Navy and Marine Corps Medal and Purple Heart

Dwight D. Eisenhower United States Army General of the Army Stateside service during World War I. Served as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II (1942–1945). Visited troops in Korea in December 1952. Entire active-duty career spanned from 1915 until 1969 (excepting his two terms as president and Commander-in-Chief).

Harry S. Truman United States Army, United States Army Reserve Colonel World War I (1917–1918); was then transferred to the army reserve and retired in 1953.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Navy (Civilian) Assistant Secretary of the Navy Witnessed World War I while serving as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in France

Herbert Hoover None; however he did help guide US Marines in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion

Calvin Coolidge None

Warren G. Harding None

Woodrow Wilson None

William Howard Taft None; United States Secretary of War 1904-1908

Theodore Roosevelt United States Army Colonel Spanish–American War – only U.S. President to receive the Medal of Honor (awarded posthumously in 2001). Also a Navy Civilian, as Assistant Secretary of the Navy

William McKinley United States Army Brevet Major American Civil War. Served in the 23rd Ohio Infantry under future President Rutherford B. Hayes; fought in the Battle of South Mountain, The Battle of Antietam, and in the Valley Campaigns of 1864.

Benjamin Harrison United States Army Brigadier General American Civil War; Commanded an Infantry Brigade at the battles of Resaca, New Hope Church, Kennesaw Mountain, Marietta, Peachtree Creek and Atlanta; also Commanded a Brigade during Sherman's March to the Sea.

Grover Cleveland None

Chester A. Arthur New York State Militia Brigadier General Served as Quartermaster General before and during the American Civil War (1858–1865).

James Garfield United States Army Major General American Civil War (1861–1863; commanded an Ohio Infantry Brigade at the Battles of Shiloh and Corinth; served as Chief of Staff for General William Rosecrans at the Battle of Chickamauga; left the army to serve in the United States House of Representatives).

Rutherford B. Hayes United States Army Major General American Civil War. Served in the 23rd Ohio Infantry and commanded future President William McKinley; wounded at the Battle of South Mountain; also served at the Battle of Antietam and in the Valley Campaigns of 1864.

Ulysses S. Grant United States Army General of the Army Mexican-American War and American Civil War; served 1843-1854 and 1861-1868.

Andrew Johnson United States Army Brigadier General American Civil War; served as Military Governor of Tennessee in 1862.

Abraham Lincoln Illinois State Militia Captain Black Hawk War (served three months in 1832); see Abraham Lincoln in the Black Hawk War.

James Buchanan Pennsylvania State Militia Private War of 1812

Franklin Pierce United States Army Brigadier General Mexican-American War; commanded an Infantry Brigade at the Battle of Contreras (where he was wounded in the leg), Battle of Churubusco, and the Assault on Mexico City.

Millard Fillmore New York State Militia Major American Civil War

Zachary Taylor United States Army Major General War of 1812, Black Hawk War, Second Seminole War, Mexican-American War; entire career spanned from 1808 until 1848.

James K. Polk Tennessee State Militia Colonel Joined local militia, but never fought in any war during his service

John Tyler United States Army Captain War of 1812

William Henry Harrison United States Army Major General Northwest Indian War, War of 1812

Martin Van Buren None

Andrew Jackson Tennessee State Militia, United States Army General American Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Creek War, First Seminole War

John Quincy Adams None; however he was a witness to Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 and reportedly was a non-participant in a Naval Battle between a British ship and a US ship he was on with his father during the American Revolution.

James Monroe Continental Army Major American Revolutionary War; wounded at the Battle of Trenton; depicted holding the American flag behind General George Washington in the famous painting Washington Crossing the Delaware.

James Madison Virginia militia Colonel American Revolutionary War, did not see action

Thomas Jefferson Virginia militia Colonel Administrative position, did not see action. As Governor of Virginia, fled during British raid to avoid capture

John Adams None; Adams served as chairman of the Continental Congress's Board of War (1776–1777), making him the simultaneous equivalent of today's Secretary of Defense and Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee; was a semi-participant in a naval engagement between a British and US ship during the American Revolution.

George Washington Virginia militia, Virginia Regiment, Continental Army General of the Armies French and Indian War, American Revolutionary War


While I'm not sure it makes any difference (indeed, some of our best AND worst presidents have been veterans) it is interesting to ponder the list and think about who led us to war and peace.

106 comments (Latest Comment: 02/20/2013 02:31:24 by Will in Chicago)
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