Presidents military service is a rare thing. How long has it been since we had a president that has had military experience? It is ridiculous to see our president saluted by our military and his return salute has his palm in the air. It is not what I would call rendering proper honors to our military, especially to higher ranking officers that have earned and deserve a proper salute. Anyone in the military will tell you a salute is the first sign of respect. The president should be required to attend a military class on identifying ranks, how and who to salute, and who to call sir, ma’am, sergeant, or petty officer. The president is our commander-in-chief—our highest ranking military officer. Our president leads the finest military in the world, so he, or she, should know and understand the military.
Should the President Have Military Experience?
If you go back in history, you’ll find that some of the best presidents we’ve had had military experience. How would having military experience benefit our president? I realize the president has military officers and advisers to help with military decisions. However, if the president had military experience, it would give him a better understanding of how the military works. How can the president utilize the military if he doesn’t know the simplest parts of it, like how to return a proper hand salute, or the rank of a uniformed member?
The Marines are known as the president’s own because the president can deploy them at a moment’s notice without congressional approval. Therefore, the president should know the different aspects of all branches of our military. There are times the president has to make split-second decisions regarding our military and should be able to do so without asking or being given advice. But how can he do that when he has no military experience? How can he decide which is the best unit to deploy? That’s why it would be great to have a president who has military experience, especially if he has served in a branch as an enlisted member.
What If The President Does Not Have Military Experience?
If the president does not have military experience, he should at least be required to spend time with each branch over his first few months, gaining knowledge and training about each branch and what they really do. That way, he understands how to best utilize each branch. I am not saying that our presidents past and present do not have any knowledge of our military. However, as a service member with over 15 years of military experience, I learn something new about each branch constantly.
Here is an example: I had no idea until a few days ago that the Coast Guard only allows an active duty member to have 3 dependents. Simple things like that are things our commander-in-chief, the president, should know about. Do you think our president knows how many battalions are in the Army Ranger Regiment? Wouldn’t it be great if the president, before taking office, had to attend the best leadership school in the military? Yes, ranger school. The president would learn a lot about combat and military leadership if he or she did attend. Can you imagine the increased amount of respect a president would gain not only from our military but world leaders if he or she had some type of military experience?
Presidents with Military Service
Below is a list of presidents that had military experience.
|Ulysses S. Grant|
|Rutherford B. Hayes|
|Chester A. Arthur|
|Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|John F. Kennedy|
|Lyndon B. Johnson|
|George H. Bush|
|George W. Bush|