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George W. Bush Military Record
Compiled by Trudy Forte, Monthly Messenger.org
[Please Note: if any of the links to these resources are no longer working you can find the documents listed below in the archives at Monthly Messenger]

Did George W. Bush Dodge the Draft?

Much has been said-or not said- about George W. Bush's service in the Air Force National Guard. With the recent flying expedition "photo op" of the President, I felt compelled to explore the military records that are accessible to the general public.  What I found was a life of privilege and favors, with many questions still unanswered on the missing years of his military obligations in the Air Force National Guard. A chronology with documents on Bush's military service in the Air Force National Guard can be located here:

From the beginning, Bush's service with the Guard was poor. He took the Air Force Officers Qualification Test and scored a weak 25 percent for pilot aptitude on the screening test.  Molly Ivins (Shrub) wrote that Bush was assigned to one of the coveted, last two slots for the Guard in the state. This came after he scored a dismal 2.5  on the qualifying test, barely making the grade. At this website we find that Bush's service for the Guard was ineffective at best, as the planes he was trained to fly were to be phased out and obsolete within months of his training:

4. Assigned to a safe plane -- the F-102 -- that was being phased out.
As Bush has been quick to note, National Guard members do face the chance of being called up for active duty, though few actually did during the Vietnam war. So what a lucky break for Bush that he was assigned to fly the F-102 Delta Dagger, a plane already being phased out. In fact, the Air Force had ordered all overseas F-102 units shut down as of June 30, 1970-- just 3 months after Bush finished his training. Since training is so airplane specific, Bush was guaranteed from the beginning to be safe from combat.

Bush's campaign has even used his training on the obsolete plane to justify his early discharge, almost a year before his scheduled discharge, since other F-102 pilots were also being released early. But they can't answer the obvious question -- why spend so much money to train a National Guardsman for 2 years on a plane that was already being phased out, at a time when the Guard was letting F102 pilots leave early due to oversupply? (...)

7. Just didn't show up for a year -- with no punishment.
National Guard records and Bush's own supervisor's and friends show no sign of him attending any drills or performing any service for nearly a year, from May 1972 until May 1973. This period began with Bush moving to Alabama for a political campaign.  He later applied to transfer to a base that had no work; the transfer was first approved, then canceled. Bush did nothing for several months; then in September he applied to transfer to Alabama's 187th Tactical Recon group for 3 months. This was approved, but the unit's commander, General  William Turnipseed, and his then admnistrative officer, Kenneth Lott, have both said that Bush never showed up. "Had he reported in, I would have had some recall, and I do not," said Turnipseed. "I had been in Texas, done my flight training there. If we had had a first lieutenant from Texas, I would have remembered.

A listing of the infamous Bush lies (unfortunately- many of the older mainstream links are no longer working):

Why was it that Bush Jr. was MIA with his duties to the Guard?  He claimed that he had been transferred and showed up while working on the U.S. Senate campaign of Winton Blount in Alabama, contrary to the commanding officer's report, as stated in the Boston Globe:

(...) And William  Turnipseed, the retired general who commanded the Alabama unit back then, said in an interview last week  that Bush never appeared for duty there.(...) See Boston Globe article.

On several occasions, I have heard political talking heads on CNN, and the like, dismiss General Turnipseed with an insult that, "with a name like that, this is completely fictional."  I have met people with this same last name, and albeit at first, I was surprised that this was a surname; but it should be noted that Turnipseed is a real last name.  This type of tactical dismissal of a General's word is insulting both, to the man and his service to our country in the military.

Here in the Boston Globe another fact is examined:

(...)  Deepening the mystery, Bush was removed from flight status in August 1972
for failing to take his annual flight physical. Bush's campaign aides have said he did not take the physical because he was in Alabama and his personal physician was in Houston. But flight physicals can be administered only by certified Air Force flight surgeons, and some were assigned at the time to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, where Bush was living.(...)

Further in the article, Bush's allies defend the spotty military record and missing documents with a comment on the privilege of the elite's "get out of war free" card:

(...) suggested that Bush might have lost interest in the Guard during that year.(...) See article.

How does one "lose interest," and fail to fulfill their assigned military responsibilities, without a court martial?  Why was this exception made for Bush?  And what was he doing in those absent months after the campaign in Alabama was over?

Many have tried to explain these missing years in the military.  After Bush returned from Alabama, he failed to report to Ellington Air Force Base and complete any of the missing time due on his service card.  Instead, he got a job at an inner city outreach program Project P.U.L.L.  As reported in Salon:

Bush apparently reached his nadir around Christmas 1972. Home for the holidays, worrying his parents by working too little and partying too much, he got carried away at a party with his 15-year-old brother Marvin, and drove the boy home drunk, smashing into a neighbor's garbage cans and infuriating his parents. His father asked to see him in the den, and a drunk George W. burst in: "I hear you're looking for me. You wanna go mano a mano right here?"

Jeb Bush broke the tension by announcing to his unhappy parents that George had been accepted to Harvard Business School. (Would that all domestic crises on the verge of violence could be diffused so easily!) But the angry young George insisted he didn't plan to go to Harvard, he just wanted to prove he could get in (no mean feat given his solid C's at Yale).

After the drunk-driving incident, his worried father got him a job at Project PULL (the placement Hatfield would insist was community service to expunge his alleged cocaine bust). And Bush may be counted among the many young people  the inner-city project saved from self-destruction.

Regardless of whether the community service at Project P.U.L.L. was for drunk driving, or cocaine possession, or just a job-he failed to show up for any of his scheduled Air Force National Guard duties. In most circumstances, that would at best, qualify one for active duty- or at worst, a court martial.

One particular document of note is this, wherein he was grounded for failing to take the physical:

On this same website, one can find a Q&A with Lt. Col. Bill Burkett, who further explains how and who tried to conceal the missing years:

Air National Guard Commanding Officer Alleges Bush Military Records Cleansing

And here, Lt. Col. Bill Burkett explains the aftermath that he, and others, have had to deal with for being courageous whistleblowers.  The irony is that with the media controlled by a monopoly of the few, most in the US haven't learned of this man's courage to come forward with this information:

What do you say?
By Bill Burkett
Online Journal Contributing Writer
March 19, 2003-
I've sat in total grief for the past three years, watching the institutions of America being spent as if they
were lottery winnings.

I don't want to say it, "But I told you so."

In January of 1998 and what seems like a full lifetime ago, I was stricken by a deadly case of meningoencephalitis. I was returning from a short duty trip to Panama as a team chief to inspect the hand over of Ft. Clayton to the Panamanians. I had been 'loaned' from the senior staff and state planning officer of the Texas National Guard to the Department of the Army for a series of these special projects after angering George W. Bush by refusing to falsify readiness information and reports; confronting a fraudulent funding scheme which kept 'ghost' soldiers on the books for additional funding, and refusing to alter official personnel records [of George W. Bush].

George W. Bush and his lieutenants were mad. They ordered that I not be accessed to emergency medical care services, healthcare benefits I earned by my official duty; and I was withheld from medical care for 154 days before I was withdrawn from Texas responsibility by the Department of the Army, by order of the White House. (...) article cont. here:

In this article, Ari Fleischer defended Bush's service by stating that he received an Honorable Discharge.

What perplexed me is that the discharge document in which Fleischer is referring to, also stated that Bush was assigned to Denver for Obligated Reserve Section (ORS), while he was nearly 8 months shy of his obligations to the Air National Guard.  How did Bush get out of fulfilling his duties with the Guard for the scheduled assignments, absent for his required physicals, and yet, still received an honorable discharge from the National Guard? How did the ORS assignment fulfill the missing time Bush was due to serve?

The most logical explanation I could find was that there was a disciplinary action required for record, but that Bush was due to attend Harvard, so he was assigned to the Obligated Reserve Section (ORS), which in effect, means Bush was on a wait list to be called up to active duty, based upon his specialty training and the necessities of war.  This, in turn, would also fulfill his obligations to the Guard by transferring him to the Reserve wait list, so he was officially able to be "honorably discharged" of his obligations to the National Guard.  Well, most would not have this special treatment, but afterall, Bush was due to attend Harvard Business School.  Surely, that was merit enough to give Bush this easy out.

See discharge (ORS) document, signed by Rufus G. Maritn here. In the "Reason And Authority For Discharge" field, it is stated that "Officer is transferred to ARPC (ORS) 3800 York St. Denver, Colorado  80205  effective 2 October 1973":

And here's the text explaining what qualifies one for the ORS in Denver:

j. "I have been [illegible] this [date?] regarding the provisions of DOD Directive 1215.1[5?], [23?] February, 19[67?], I understand that I may be ordered to active duty for a period not to exceed 24 months for unsatisfactory participation as
presently defined in Chapter 4[1?], AFM 35-3. Further, I understand that if I am unable to satisfactorily participate in the ANG, and have an unfulfilled military service obligation, that I may be discharged from the State ANG and assigned to the Obligated Reserve Section (ORS), Airforce Reserve, Denver Colorado, and
subject to active duty for a period not to exceed a [total] of 24 months, considering all previous active duty considering all previous active [duty?]and [active? ][duty? ][illegible] tours.

k. "However, I also understand that the provisions for invoking the 45 day tour for a member who has a satisfactory attendance record but has failed to advance in specialty training will remain in effect. (Paragraph 42.7a AFM 35.3). Witnessed  by Willie J. Hooper (Capt., Asst Admin. Officer ) and Signed by George Walker Bush (enlistee)

See document (signed by George W. Bush) that indicates if he fails to complete assignments satisfactorily, he will be assigned to ORS duty:

I decided to contact the Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) in Denver.
The Air Reserve Personnel Center serves as the processing center for calling up the Reserves to active duty & general personnel management for the Air Force.  Thus, if you are assigned to the ARPC/Obligated Reserve Section (ORS), this in actuality, means you are assigned to this office-not for service on the Base in Denver, but for processing of the paperwork for the ORS.

The ARPC explained exactly what being assigned to ORS means.  ORS means that you are placed higher up on the list of those to be called into active duty, but that does not mean that you will be called to duty.  The other criteria for calling up an enlistee is also based upon the "AFSIC"- or as they clarified, your specialty training.  This was a near-guarantee that Bush would not be called to active duty, as the planes he was trained to fly had been phased out.

Usually, an enlistee will remain on the ORS list for the remaining balance of their time due in service.  On Oct. 1, 1973, when Bush was discharged of his duties at Ellington Air Force Base in Texas, he was nearly 8 months short with his obligations to the the National Guard.

I asked the ARPC how one gets assigned to this list.  They explained that this is done at the discretion of the National Guard.  I then, asked them if one were going to attend college and they had a balance of time remaining to serve, would this be the policy of how to fulfill the term while discharged from the regular duties of a Guard?  They explained again, that this is most likely at the discretion of the National Guard's Commanding Officer, and that they did not know the exact policy in 1973.

It should also be noted that in 1970, Melvin B. Laird, who was then Secretary of Defense, proclaimed a "Total Force" policy whereby the armed forces would put greater reliance on their National Guard and Reserve units. It wasn't until August 1973, the Total Force Policy was enacted by the new Secretary of Defense, James Schlessinger.  This policy, in its purest form, was designed to integrate active and reserve forces in the most cost effective manner possible. Bush Jr. was officially discharged from the Guard, close to one month after this new policy was enacted- on October 1, 1973- to be then placed on the ORS wait list.  He must have been grateful to the "dumb luck" of being trained to fly an obsolete plane, thus avoiding any possibility of serving a tour of duty in Vietnam.

After reviewing George W. Bush's  military records, one has to wonder who truly flew the staged plane flight with Bush Jr ...which naturally leads us all to wonder WHO IS TRULY RUNNING THIS COUNTRY??

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