GW's Checkered Military Past

May 02, 2003

As President Bush Co-Pilots a Navy Plane Onto An Aircraft Carrier, We Speak with Biographer Bill Minutaglio About GW’s Checkered Military Past.

A former pilot in the Texas air national guard, Bush let it be known he had spent time at the warplane’s controls.

Wearing olive-green pilot’s overalls, he sat in the co-pilot’s seat of a navy Viking S-3B jet as it was brought to a screeching halt by a cable across the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln.

The triumphal and dramatic gesture seems ironic for a president who has never fought in any war. And that’s not all.

Expedited entry and promotions to the air national guard, a one-year gap in duty and redacted military reports cast serious doubt over Bush’s experiences in the military three decades ago.

  • Bill Minutaglio, author of First Son, the unauthorized biography of President George W. Bush.

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