Litkicks Message Board Archive

a more complete posting of the president's military career

Posted to Poetry and Politics

"One has to realize that the powerful industrial groups concerned in the
manufacture of arms are doing their best in all countries to prevent
peaceful settlement of international disputes"... A. Einstein 1934

Thi is the posting I got from Dave Collins, VVAW from the studied work of.....

Comment: Everyday I am surprised at the number of people who don't
this information about Bush. This is a re-emailing of my newsletter
23 Nov 2002. Playing by the rules, has a way of shaping ones
character. The cover-up of this information say a lot about the right
wing control of the news media. Two weeks before he was to graduate
Yale, George Walker Bush stepped into the offices of the Texas Air
National Guard at Ellington Field outside Houston and announced that
wanted to sign up for pilot training. It was May 27, 1968, at the
height of the Vietnam War. Bush was 12 days away from losing his
student deferment from the draft.

Retired Col. Rufus G. Martin, then personnel officer in charge of the
147th Fighter Group, said the unit was short of its authorized
strength, but still had a long waiting list, because of the difficulty
getting slots in basic training for recruits at Lackland Air Force
in San Antonio. Martin said four openings for pilots were available in
the 147th in 1968, and that Bush got the last one.

(People report) that it was not uncommon for well-connected Texans to
obtain special consideration for Air Guard slots. In addition to Bush
and Bentsen, many socially or politically prominent young men were
admitted to the Air Guard, according to former officials; they
the son of then-Sen. John Tower and at least seven members of the
Dallas Cowboys. (The Air Guard )was sometimes called Air Canada, What
that meant was you didn't have to go to Canada to stay out of Vietnam.
"The well-to-do kids had enough sense to get on the waiting list,"
Martin said. "Some [applicants] thought they could just walk in the
door and sign up." HREF="">

Ben Barnes, a former speaker of the Texas House recommended George W.
Bush for a slot in a National Guard unit during the Vietnam War.
released a statement that a Houston businessman who was a friend of
Bush family had asked him to recommend Bush for a Guard slot. Barnes
called the general overseeing the Texas Air National Guard. Bush
an airman in May 1968.

Barnes had been contacted by the now-deceased Sid Adger, a Houston
oilman and friend of the elder Bush.

“Mr. Barnes was contacted by Sid Adger and asked to recommend George
W. Bush for a pilot position with the Air National Guard. Barnes
Gen. (James) Rose (Texas Air Guard commander) and did so”, ( Rose
initialed his approval around June 5). Adger belonged to the same
luncheon club in Houston as the senior Bush and often socialized with
him, the former president's office said. Their children went to the
same private school.

Ben Barnes, was a protege of Gov. John B. Connally. A top aide to
Barnes, Nick Kralj, simultaneously served as aide to the head of the
Texas Air National Guard, the late Brig. Gen. James M. Rose.

Four months before enlisting, Bush reported at Westover Air Force Base
in Massachusetts to take the Air Force Officers Qualification Test.
While scoring 25 percent for pilot aptitude – "about as low as you
could get and be accepted," according to Martin – and 50 percent for
navigator aptitude in his initial testing, he scored 95 percent on
questions designed to reflect "officer quality," compared with a
current-day average of 88 percent.

Bush was sworn in as an airman the same day he applied (May 27, 1968).
His commander, Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt, (147th Fighter Group) was
apparently so pleased to have a VIP's son in his unit that he later
staged a special ceremony so he could have his picture taken
administering the oath, instead of the captain who actually had sworn
Bush in.

After basic training at Lackland in 1968, Bush was commissioned a
lieutenant, Staudt again staged a special ceremony for the cameras,
this time with Bush's father the congressman standing proudly in the

( Bush was made 2nd Lieutenant straight out of boot camp without the
normal officers training school or ROTC history.

In late November, Bush was sent to Moody Air Force Base outside
Valdosta, Ga., for year-long undergraduate flight school. Bush
impressed fellow trainees with the way he learned to handle a plane,
but he became a celebrity for something else. In the middle of his
training, President Richard M. Nixon sent a plane down to fetch him
an introductory date with his older daughter Tricia, according to
fellow trainee Joseph A. Chaney. It did not lead to another date, but
the story lives on. So does memory of the graduation ceremony: Rep.
gave the commencement speech.

In December 1969, George W. returned to Houston to hone his skills and
eventually fly solo on the all-weather F-102, firing its weapons and
conducting intercept missions against supersonic targets. His solo
flight was in March 1970. Bush graduated from the 147th Combat Crew
Training School on June 23, 1970, having fulfilled his two years of
active duty.

Bush's father went on to run for senator in 1970 against Lloyd Bentsen
Jr. – a prominent Texas Democrat whose own son had been placed in
same Texas Guard unit by the same Col. Staudt around the same time as
Bush. On Election Day, before the polls closed, Guard commanders
nominated both George W. Bush and Lloyd Bentsen III for promotion to
first lieutenant.

Bush's military records, obtained by the Globe. In his final 18 months
of military service in 1972 and 1973, Bush did not fly at all. And for
much of that time, Bush was all but unaccounted for: For a full year,
there is no record that he showed up for the periodic drills required
of part-time guardsmen.

From May to November 1972, Bush was in Alabama working in a US Senate
campaign, and was required to attend drills at an Air National Guard
unit in Montgomery.

After the election, Bush returned to Houston. But seven months later,
May 1973, his two superior officers at Ellington Air Force Base could
not perform his annual evaluation covering the year from May 1, 1972
April 30, 1973 because, they wrote, ''Lt. Bush has not been observed
this unit during the period of this report.''

Both men have since died. But Ellington's top personnel officer at the
time, retired Colonel Rufus G. Martin, said he had believed that First
Lieutenant Bush completed his final year of service in Alabama.
Under Air National Guard rules at the time, guardsmen who missed duty
could be reported to their Selective Service Board and inducted into
the Army as draftees.

in the first four years of his six-year commitment, Bush spent the
equivalent of 21 months on active duty, including 18 months in flight

Assessing Bush's military service three decades later is no easy task:
Some of his superiors are no longer alive. Others declined to comment,
or, understandably, cannot recall details about Bush's comings and
goings. And as Bush has risen in public life over the last several
years, Texas military officials have put many of his records
and heavily redacted many other pages. But 160 pages of his records,
assembled by the Globe from a variety of sources and supplemented by
interviews with former Guard officials, paint a picture of an Air
Guardsman who enjoyed favored treatment on several occasions. Before he
went to basic training, Bush was approved for an automatic commission
as a second lieutenant and assignment to flight school despite a score
of just 25 percent on a pilot aptitude test. Such commissions were not
uncommon, although most often they went to prospective pilots who had
college ROTC courses or prior Air Force experience. Bush had neither.

After eight weeks of basic training in the summer of 1968 - and a
two-month break to work on a Senate race in Florida - Bush attended 55
weeks of flight school at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, from
November 1968 to November 1969, followed by five months of full-time
training on the F-102 back at Ellington AFB, TX.

In May 1972, Bush moved to Alabama to work on the Senate campaign of
William Blount, a political friend of George W's Congressman father.

On May 24, 1972, Bush made a formal request to do his (required monthly
drills) /training at the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron at Maxwell Air
Force Base in Alabama. Two days later, that unit's commander,
Lieutenant Colonel Reese H. Bricken, agreed to have Bush join his unit
temporarily. In Houston, Bush's superiors approved. But a higher
headquarters disapproved, noting that Bricken's unit did not have
regular drills.
But on May 31, 1972, the Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center in
Denver Colorado disallowed Lt Bush's request for a transfer to Alabama
"". The Director of Personnel
Resources, S.L.Dallin, noted that Lt Bush had a "Military Service
Obligation until 26 May 1974“ and per Air Force Regulation (AFM)
35-3, he can”be assigned to a specific Ready Reserve position only
“ (in other words a unit that has slots for trained pilots -- that
cost the government a lot of money to train).

After his transfer request was rejected Bush choose to stay in Alabama
working on the Senate campaign. We know that Lt Bush did not report
to the Texas Air National Guard (TxANG) for his required drills.

In August 1972, Bush was grounded for failing to take an annual medical
examination that included a drug test. The drug test was created to
ferret out drugs from the Vietnam-era military. In April 1972, the
Pentagon implemented a drug-abuse testing program that required
officers like part-time reservist Bush to undergo at least one random
drug test a year.
On Sept 5, 1972, Lt Bush made a request to be transferred to the 187th
Tac Recon Gp at Dannelly ANG Base, Alabama, four months after he had
ceased attending Guard drills with the 111th at Ellington.

His orders, dated Sept. 15, 1972, said: "Lieutenant Bush should report
to Lt. Col. William Turnipseed, DCO, to perform equivalent training
October 0730-1600, and 4-5 November 0730-1600"(at the 187th Tactical
Recon Group in Montgomery).

--- In interviews with the administrative officer (of the 187th) at the
time, Kenneth K. Lott, said they had no memory of Bush ever reporting.
Turnipseed (now a the retired general) said, “To my knowledge, he
never showed up,"
''Had he reported in, I would have had some recall, and I do not,''
Turnipseed said. ''I had been in Texas, done my flight training there.
If we had had a first lieutenant from Texas, I would have

Lloyd, a retired Texas Air Guard official, said he does not know
Bush performed duty in Alabama. ''If he did, his drill attendance
should have been certified and sent to Ellington, and there would have
been a record. We cannot find the records to show he fulfilled the
requirements in Alabama,'' he said. Indeed, Bush's discharge papers
his service and duty station for each of his first four years in the
Air Guard. But there is no record of training listed after May 1972,
and no mention of any service in Alabama. On that discharge form,
said, ''there should have been an entry for the period between May
and May 1973.''
Said Lloyd, ''It appeared he had a bad year.
In an effort last year to solve the puzzle, Lloyd said he scoured Guard
records, where he found two ''special orders'' commanding Bush to
for active duty on nine days in May 1973. That is the same month that
Lieutenant Colonel William D. Harris Jr. and Lieutenant Colonel Jerry
B. Killian effectively declared Bush missing from duty.
In Bush's annual efficiency report, for the period May 1, 1972, to
30, 1973) the two supervising pilots did not rate Bush for the prior
year, writing, ''Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during
period of report. A civilian occupation made it necessary for him to
move to Montgomery, Alabama. He cleared this base on 15 May 1972...
There is no doubt that Bush was in Houston in late (December)1972 and
early 1973. During that period, according to Bush's autobiography, he
held a civilian job working for an inner-city, anti-poverty program in
the city.
Bush's two superior officers declared him absent for the full year and
the Bush did not tell his Commander(s) he had moved back to Houston
(emphasis added) .
Bush failed to comply with an order to attend "ANNUAL ACTIVE DUTY
TRAINING" from 22 May to 4 May 73
Records show that Bush conducted drills into May, June, and July 1973
(after being AWOL for a year). During those three months, Bush spent
days on duty. A document shows that Bush did not enough points to make
up for both the missing year and the last year of Bush's service.
Bush's last day in uniform before he moved to Cambridge was July 30,
1973. His official release from active duty was dated Oct. 1, 1973,
eight months before his six-year commitment was scheduled to end.
Bush requested and was released from the Air National Guard to attend
college on October 1, 1973, about eight months short of a full six
years. Bush was transferred to a reserve unit in Boston for the rest
his time.
The final separation date for Lt Bush to be 21 November 1974, a half
year later than the anticipated separation dates of 26 May 1974 which
was recorded on Bush's enlistment record and on all documents as late
as October 2nd 1973 ""
For some reason there is an extra five months and twenty-four days
tacked onto to Bush’s normal six-year commitment.

By not taking his required physical and getting grounded, Bush could
have preformed his required training in a "SATISFACTORY MANNER". This
means that the 36 days of service were perform in an unsatisfactory
manner, and he should not have gotten credit for them for pay and
retirement points.

Remember, he was a pilot and it was his duty to make damn sure his
flight physical was good, in case of a National Emergency/WAR
When questioned by the press, Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett has offered
several different reasons for his grounding, August 1, 1972. Initially
Bartlett said that Bush could not get to Houston for his physical, but
this was proved wrong when it was shown that Bush could have visited
flight surgeons stationed in Alabama. Bartlett then said the F-102
fighter that Bush was trained to fly was removed from service, but
was proved wrong when it was shown that the F-102 remained in service
in Bush's unit for two more years.
Major General Francis Greenleaf, then Chief of the National Guard
in Washington DC, confirmed the suspension of 1st Lt. George W. Bush
from flying status. This written confirmation cites an earlier August
1, 1972 verbal order of the TX 147th Group's Commanding Officer that
suspended and grounded Bush from flying duty for "his failure to
accomplish annual medical examination." see:
There are two ways to interpret this crucial memo: either 1st Lt. Bush
took his mandatory annual flight physical for pilots and failed it for
some as-yet undisclosed reason, or he refused to present himself in
first place to an Air Force Flight Surgeon, who were readily available
in almost every state. Bush's grounding would normally have been
reviewed by a Flight Inquiry Board of three senior officers, but there
is no record that such a board was convened in Bush's case. This
absence of a Flight Inquiry Board is of particular interest to veteran
pilots who are intimately familiar with normal disciplinary
There is no mention of the grounding in Bush's biography, which falsely
implies that Bush continued flying until he left the National Guard.
Bush's pilot training cost the government nearly $1 million, and this
was a huge investment that the Pentagon would not lightly abandon with
two years remaining of a pilot's obligation. Moreover, pilots were
badly needed at the time because of the war in Vietnam. Therefore,
Bush's "failure to accomplish annual medical examination," could not
have been either casual or accidental. Failure to follow a direct
written order should have been charged against Lt Bush for his failure
to report to Lt. Col. William Turnipseed, DCO, to perform equivalent
training 7-8 October 0730-1600, and 4-5 November 0730-1600"(at the
187th Tactical Recon Group in Montgomery).
Aides to Texas Governor George W. Bush visited the Air National Guard
archives at Camp Mabry in 1997 and possibly altered Bush's military
service records to conceal Bush's grounding from flight in 1972 and
subsequent missed duty, according to LTC Bill L. Burkett ( Retired).
LTC Bill Burkett, was the State Plans Officer of the Texas National
Guard at the time, said Bush operative Dan Bartlett headed a
operation to "scrub" Bush's Air National Guard record, to make sure it
was in synch with the biography that the campaign was preparing.
Below is the statement of: Bill L. Burkett, LTC, Ret, US Army
"I was outside the Adjutant general of Texas office when I overheard a
call from Joe Allbaugh and Dan Bartlett that told General James to
"make sure there is nothing embarrassing in the Governor's file" in
preparation for his reelection run and a run for the presidency. I was
present when James and Asst AG General Marty told a state services
employee to do the same. I was there when the retained records person
surrendered files under order of COL William Goodwin, Chief of Staff,
for the scrub of the Governor's files."
LTC Burkett, was working on active duty under General James and
Bush to develop a "work out strategic plan" for the Texas National
Guard beginning in June 1996. At time of incidents, served as direct
advisor to Gen James. NOTE: Last December 1, 2001, Bush nominated Gen.
James to be the Director of the Air National Guard of the United
States. As Director of the Air National Guard of the US, Gen. James
will be responsible for the direct control of all airspace over the
Continental United States and will be the first responsible Officer
managing the network which scrambles fighters.
LTC Ret. Burkett stated, "I submitted official challenge, as did other
former national guard officers, to the appointment of James. In Texas,
James is still the defendant within civil courts for anti-Semitic
actions, retaliation and gender discrimination. USA Today in December
alleged that James falsified federal personnel and readiness documents
in a scam to obtain an additional $20 million dollars per year in
funding for the Guard."