Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Bush’s National Guard years Before you fall for Dems’ spin, here are the facts
the hill ^ | 09SEPT04 | byron york

Posted on 09/09/2004 1:26:43 PM PDT by DRILL SGT. D

Bush’s National Guard years Before you fall for Dems’ spin, here are the facts

What do you really know about George W. Bush’s time in the Air National Guard? That he didn’t show up for duty in Alabama? That he missed a physical? That his daddy got him in?

News coverage of the president’s years in the Guard has tended to focus on one brief portion of that time — to the exclusion of virtually everything else. So just for the record, here, in full, is what Bush did:

The future president joined the Guard in May 1968. Almost immediately, he began an extended period of training. Six weeks of basic training. Fifty-three weeks of flight training. Twenty-one weeks of fighter-interceptor training.

That was 80 weeks to begin with, and there were other training periods thrown in as well. It was full-time work. By the time it was over, Bush had served nearly two years.

Not two years of weekends. Two years.

After training, Bush kept flying, racking up hundreds of hours in F-102 jets. As he did, he accumulated points toward his National Guard service requirements. At the time, guardsmen were required to accumulate a minimum of 50 points to meet their yearly obligation.

According to records released earlier this year, Bush earned 253 points in his first year, May 1968 to May 1969 (since he joined in May 1968, his service thereafter was measured on a May-to-May basis).

Bush earned 340 points in 1969-1970. He earned 137 points in 1970-1971. And he earned 112 points in 1971-1972. The numbers indicate that in his first four years, Bush not only showed up, he showed up a lot. Did you know that?

That brings the story to May 1972 — the time that has been the focus of so many news reports — when Bush “deserted” (according to anti-Bush filmmaker Michael Moore) or went “AWOL” (according to Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee).

Bush asked for permission to go to Alabama to work on a Senate campaign. His superior officers said OK. Requests like that weren’t unusual, says retired Col. William Campenni, who flew with Bush in 1970 and 1971.

“In 1972, there was an enormous glut of pilots,” Campenni says. “The Vietnam War was winding down, and the Air Force was putting pilots in desk jobs. In ’72 or ’73, if you were a pilot, active or Guard, and you had an obligation and wanted to get out, no problem. In fact, you were helping them solve their problem.”

So Bush stopped flying. From May 1972 to May 1973, he earned just 56 points — not much, but enough to meet his requirement.

Then, in 1973, as Bush made plans to leave the Guard and go to Harvard Business School, he again started showing up frequently.

In June and July of 1973, he accumulated 56 points, enough to meet the minimum requirement for the 1973-1974 year.

Then, at his request, he was given permission to go. Bush received an honorable discharge after serving five years, four months and five days of his original six-year commitment. By that time, however, he had accumulated enough points in each year to cover six years of service.

During his service, Bush received high marks as a pilot.

A 1970 evaluation said Bush “clearly stands out as a top notch fighter interceptor pilot” and was “a natural leader whom his contemporaries look to for leadership.”

A 1971 evaluation called Bush “an exceptionally fine young officer and pilot” who “continually flies intercept missions with the unit to increase his proficiency even further.” And a 1972 evaluation called Bush “an exceptional fighter interceptor pilot and officer.”

Now, it is only natural that news reports questioning Bush’s service — in The Boston Globe and The New York Times, on CBS and in other outlets — would come out now. Democrats are spitting mad over attacks on John Kerry’s record by the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

And, as it is with Kerry, it’s reasonable to look at a candidate’s entire record, including his military service — or lack of it. Voters are perfectly able to decide whether it’s important or not in November.

The Kerry camp blames Bush for the Swift boat veterans’ attack, but anyone who has spent much time talking to the Swifties gets the sense that they are doing it entirely for their own reasons.

And it should be noted in passing that Kerry has personally questioned Bush’s service, while Bush has not personally questioned Kerry’s.

In April — before the Swift boat veterans had said a word — Kerry said Bush “has yet to explain to America whether or not, and tell the truth, about whether he showed up for duty.” Earlier, Kerry said, “Just because you get an honorable discharge does not, in fact, answer that question.”

Now, after the Swift boat episode, the spotlight has returned to Bush.

That’s fine. We should know as much as we can.

And perhaps someday Kerry will release more of his military records as well.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: awol; bush; byronyork; deserter; ltbush; military; nationalguard; tang
i am an army reserve drill sergeant, and i am reading up on this subject in order to prepare a response of my own. for now i can say that the anti-bush crowd would have us believe that the air national guard functions the same way as the active component...that is purely false.

the purpose of monthly drills in the reserves and nat'l guard is to keep you trained so that you can perform in the case of activation, that is why you are required a minimum number of retirement points for a good year- and the points to which they are refering are retirement points. these points really only count for anything when it comes time to calculate your retirment benefits.

the fact is that in the reserves and nat'l guard, if your commander believes you to be worthy and not just looking for a free ride, they can allow you to miss months at a time. it is, for the most part, up to their discretion.

the only records of your attendance are your pay records and the sign-in sheet (which is rarely held onto for long). and when you sign in you see any number of names with either a "u" or an "a" in the signature block. the "u" stands for unsatisfactory, meaning that you are not excused, and the "a" stands for absent, as in excused absence. i have seen a drill sergeant buddy get "a's" for 4 months in a row to study abroad. he was allowed this luxury because he performed above the standard at other times and had earned leniency.

bush had a good year EVERY year of his service. one year was close, but still good, because he was working on a campaign trail...on-the-job-training for his future. and the chain of command in the reserves and nat'l guard understands that we are not active duty, and they tend to make allowances for this kind of situation.

so this article, found on the drudge report site, is a good one for those that dont know how the nat'l guard works.

1 posted on 09/09/2004 1:26:44 PM PDT by DRILL SGT. D
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

Welcome to Free Republic!


2 posted on 09/09/2004 1:28:36 PM PDT by dawn53
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

Good article, Sergeant. Welcome aboard.


3 posted on 09/09/2004 1:36:43 PM PDT by Riley (Need an experienced computer tech in the DC Metro area? I'm looking. Freepmail for details.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

Suggestion! Use upper and lower case. All lower case is a bad profile on most posts. We don't want you to get profiled. Good article.


4 posted on 09/09/2004 1:38:31 PM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (I'm Conspiracy Guy and I approve this message. "John Kerry is a liar!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D
DRILL SGT. D;

Good post, it explained a lot I didn't know.

Welcome to FR.

Mag

5 posted on 09/09/2004 1:38:35 PM PDT by magslinger (Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous. Thucydides)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Riley

thank you! glad to be here! and if d.s. osbourne finds this, how are things in the old unit?


6 posted on 09/09/2004 1:39:42 PM PDT by DRILL SGT. D
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

Welcome to the cutting edge Fellow FReeper!


7 posted on 09/09/2004 1:39:46 PM PDT by airborne (2/504 PIR - 'Devils In Baggy Pants')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

Welcome to FR! Good first post...have you seen the story about Dan Rather's forged documents yet? We could use your military experience on those threads as well.


8 posted on 09/09/2004 1:39:48 PM PDT by ravingnutter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Conspiracy Guy

I'm out of practice when it comes to upper and lower case, but I'll give it a shot.


9 posted on 09/09/2004 1:41:31 PM PDT by DRILL SGT. D
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

I don't think that I am who you think that I am. We're not even the same service. :-)


10 posted on 09/09/2004 1:42:21 PM PDT by Riley (Need an experienced computer tech in the DC Metro area? I'm looking. Freepmail for details.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: ravingnutter

I've never been a paperwork guy (I'm military police), but I'll take a look. I guess having seen 10 years worth of military paperwork might give me some expertise.


11 posted on 09/09/2004 1:44:32 PM PDT by DRILL SGT. D
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

I seldom use them in casual chat. But on FR it is a warning sign to many people.


12 posted on 09/09/2004 1:45:19 PM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (I'm Conspiracy Guy and I approve this message. "John Kerry is a liar!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

I seldom use them in casual chat. But on FR it is a warning sign to many people.


13 posted on 09/09/2004 1:45:21 PM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (I'm Conspiracy Guy and I approve this message. "John Kerry is a liar!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

Bump find later


14 posted on 09/09/2004 1:46:32 PM PDT by listenhillary (We are defending the peace by taking the fight to the enemy.GWB)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

Bump for later read


15 posted on 09/09/2004 1:50:34 PM PDT by AxelPaulsenJr (Excellence In Posting Since 1999)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Conspiracy Guy

Not that its a problem to use capitals, but a warning sign of what?


16 posted on 09/09/2004 1:57:50 PM PDT by DRILL SGT. D
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D
"In 1972, there was an enormous glut of pilots,” Campenni says. “The Vietnam War was winding down, and the Air Force was putting pilots in desk jobs. In ’72 or ’73, if you were a pilot, active or Guard, and you had an obligation and wanted to get out, no problem. In fact, you were helping them solve their problem.”

My experience in the Army was similar. My experience dates back to 1975 and by then the Army was throwing O-3's and O-4's off active duty in reductions in force, or RIF's.

17 posted on 09/09/2004 2:00:19 PM PDT by colorado tanker (wanna see my happy hat?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

BEAUTIFUL!!

I'm going to print this out and MEMORIZE it verbatim, so I can better argue with those cretins who bash Bush while supporting creatures like Kerry the GI basher and Bill the draft doger Clinton.


18 posted on 09/09/2004 2:07:34 PM PDT by ZULU (Fear the government which fears your guns)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

We have infiltrators from the left that we call Trolls. They can't spell and use lower case too much. Their grammar is usually terrible.

There are a few people that will see these signs and announce a troll ping to their friends without reading everything. Then they descend on the poster in overwhelming numbers. It gets funny and nasty sometimes.

I read your post and comments before I even told you about the sign.

Welcome to Free Republic.


19 posted on 09/09/2004 2:28:36 PM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (I'm Conspiracy Guy and I approve this message. "John Kerry is a liar!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

btt


20 posted on 09/09/2004 2:53:42 PM PDT by GailA ( hanoi john, I'm for the death penalty for terrorist, before I impose a moratorium on it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D; Cincinatus' Wife; Howlin; Liz; ALOHA RONNIE; RonDog; Mudboy Slim; MistyCA; Dog; ...
So just for the record, here, in full, is what Bush did...

Bump...

21 posted on 09/09/2004 5:52:50 PM PDT by Libloather ('Nuance' - that's French for gobbledygook...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D
Bump for tracking purposes
22 posted on 09/09/2004 8:05:13 PM PDT by yhwhsman ("Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small..." -Sir Winston Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

Thanks for posting this---I'd heard it on the radio and really wanted to have a hard copy.
And welcome to FR. You'll find lots of great people here.


23 posted on 09/10/2004 5:01:33 PM PDT by Betteboop
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

Welcome to FR, Sarge!
And thanks for posting this piece.
It really tells the President Bush's military service record in a easy and concise way that everyone can comprehend.

Semper Fi,
Kelly


24 posted on 09/16/2004 6:25:28 AM PDT by kellynla (U.S.M.C. 1/5 1st Mar Div. Nam 69&70 Semper Fi Travis,http://www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D; no more apples

Thnx for the thread!

...and thanks for the ping from the other thread cuz. ;^)


25 posted on 09/16/2004 6:28:24 AM PDT by ThomasMore (Pax et bonum!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Conspiracy Guy
I seldom use them in casual chat. But on FR it is a warning sign to many people.

Yep... much like double posting (just kidding).
26 posted on 09/16/2004 6:39:17 AM PDT by self_evident
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D
i am an army reserve drill sergeant

Don't know if the Air National Guard is like the Reserve in this, but is it true that physicals are scheduled around birthdates? The "memo" that "orders" Bush to take his physical does not correspond to his b-day.
27 posted on 09/16/2004 6:43:02 AM PDT by self_evident
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D
Can Drill Sgts wear Pajamas?? Carry on and thank you for your sacrifice!

Pray for W and Our Troops

28 posted on 09/16/2004 6:44:23 AM PDT by bray (Some men have skeletons in their closets, some have killing fields!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

Great find. Welcome to FR. Alot of interesting reading here. Don't know if you are active or reserve, current or retired or if you went into harms way overseas, but thanks for your service.

Bump.


29 posted on 09/16/2004 6:45:33 AM PDT by spotbust1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D; Howlin; neverdem
Now.

About John Kerry (who served in Vietnam ya know!):

What was his obligated service AFTER leaving the USS Gridley early yo go to Swift boat school in that tough duty station at Coronado, CA?

Kerry got to Vietnam the last week of November, served 120 days, and left early (He was kicked out with a Swift boot in his a*s - as one veteran puts it - because his fellow skippers feared for THEIR safety if Kerry continued to pilot his boat alongside their's) to get an admiral's aide billet in New York City.

John Kerry then left THAT active duty station early, before his obligated duty had ended, to go run for Congress. He, like Bush, was administratively transferred to the USN Reserves, but Kerry's transfer occurred in the midst of an active war, and while trained officers were desperately needed in the fleet.

3) Was John Kerry still on active duty with the Navy when he spent time flying democratic candidates around New York?

4) What was John Kerry's required USNR service obligation? How many of those service obligation dates did John Kerry meet? When did John Kerry's Reserve obligation end?

5) John Kerry met twice with Vietnamese negotiators in Paris while still (while official US government peace negotiations were STILL GOING ON). What effect did his meetings have on Vietnamese delays in releasing fellow POW's? Did John Kerry deliberately sabotage US government negotiations while still an obligated member of the USN reserves? Did John Kerry transfer classified or sensitive nformation about the Paris Peace negotiations FROM the North Vietnamese TO the anti-war movement, including his VVAW?

6) Continuing his earlier pattern of negotiating with the enemy, John Kerry went to Nicaragua and met with the Communist government there while President Reagan (and undoubtedly the CIA and others) were actively supporting the pro-democracy Sandinista guerilla movement.

What information did John Kerry pass to the Nicaraguan Communists? How much damage to the Sandinista's did he do while opposing freedom in Nicaragua?
30 posted on 09/16/2004 7:06:12 AM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Kerry's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Robert A. Cook, PE

this is excellent. i hope the author does a similar piece on kerry to show the gaps.


31 posted on 09/16/2004 7:25:44 AM PDT by applpie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: applpie

Don't ask me!

Ask him! 8<)


32 posted on 09/16/2004 7:32:26 AM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Kerry's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Robert A. Cook, PE
I have been wondering the same thing, about the end of Kerry's service.
In the Reserves, you can request to be transfered to the IRR or Inactive Ready Reserve. Those are the people who do not drill, do not get paid, but can still be called to active duty. Every reservist signs a contract that includes time in the IRR, as do the active duty. My original contract, for instance, was a 6 and 2, meaning that it included 2 years in the IRR unless I chose to continue drilling.
You CAN request to be transferred to the IRR at anytime, and it is basically up to your commander. So either candidate could have been legally released from Active Guard, to allow them to pursue their careers. But if its good for the goose, its good for the gander. Kerry can't berate Bush for doing something that he did himself.
33 posted on 09/16/2004 8:00:36 AM PDT by DRILL SGT. D
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: self_evident

I know there are "birth-month audits" that occur yaerly on your birth month. But that is to get your paperwork up to date. Physicals are only required every 5 years, and I have been in for 9 1/2 years, so my next one is coming up and I don't really remember when my first one was.
But I do know that I read an interview with someone from Bush's unit who said that it was a regular occurance for a pilot to miss his physical due to civilian obligations. And that a make-up exam could be tricky to get, because the medical staff was mostly week-end-warriors as well, and they wouldn't automatically open up shop to suit one person.


34 posted on 09/16/2004 8:05:32 AM PDT by DRILL SGT. D
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: bray

We can wear Government Issued pajamas, but our slippers have to be spit-shined. And, of course, we sleep in our brown rounds!


35 posted on 09/16/2004 8:07:23 AM PDT by DRILL SGT. D
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

Is this headed to some type of RAT October suprise where Bush was in drug trouble in '73?


36 posted on 09/16/2004 8:19:00 AM PDT by Mike Darancette (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D
Flight physicals are a bit different for pilots, so even my experience is meaningless.

Have you heard of any AFM 35-15, or 35-12, or any Army reg's by that name: The dnc is referring to it by chapter and verse, the forger is referring to it by chapter and verse by calling for a "court of inquiry" to Bush's flight status, and Col Killian also refers to it ..

But nobody in any branch of any service knows what they're talking about! Do you know anybody, in any branch, who knows somebody who knows something legit about this thing?
37 posted on 09/16/2004 8:34:04 AM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Kerry's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Robert A. Cook, PE
In the Army, an FM is a Field Manual ( as a Drill Sgt., I know them well), and when I want a field manual, I download them from the internet...usually by a google search.
Based on that, I assumed that maybe an AFM was an Air Field Manual, or an Air Force Manual, so i did a google search.

There is no record, in my short search, of an AFM35-12, But an AFM 35-15, as i found at:

www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0NXL/is_4_16/ai_97737373

is a Leadership Manual, the ANG version of the Army FM 22-10 (I think). This website explains the origin of the manual. It says, in part;

"A significant departure from the established field-manual format for Army leadership, AFM 35-15 outlined the mission, roles, functions, and guiding principles of the Air Force and incorporated details of the latest scientific findings on leadership."

So the memo is just referencing specific regulations from the manual. Its nothing big and bad, it's actually standard. If anyone is making a big deal of that, you can be sure that they know nothing about the military.
38 posted on 09/16/2004 9:18:56 AM PDT by DRILL SGT. D
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Mike Darancette
I doubt it. The tests back then, I'm sure, weren't very good...at least compared to today's standards. And I used to know a guy in the active Air Force who, in a 6 week period, did $1600 worth of steroids and snorted cocaine to "get his weight down". Not Only did he never come up hot on a p-test, but he placed at the next muscle-head competition :)
There are ways around those tests, and anyone who does drugs knows them. So even if he was doing drugs, he probably wouldn't have gotten caught.

Plus, the samples are sent to a testing center, outside of your chain of command. So you can't really cover those up. And anyone above the paygrade of E-4 gets mandatory separation from service under less-than-honorable caonditions if they come up hot.
39 posted on 09/16/2004 9:28:18 AM PDT by DRILL SGT. D
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Mike Darancette
I doubt it. The tests back then, I'm sure, weren't very good...at least compared to today's standards. And I used to know a guy in the active Air Force who, in a 6 week period, did $1600 worth of steroids and snorted cocaine to "get his weight down". Not Only did he never come up hot on a p-test, but he placed at the next muscle-head competition :)
There are ways around those tests, and anyone who does drugs knows them. So even if he was doing drugs, he probably wouldn't have gotten caught.

Plus, the samples are sent to a testing center, outside of your chain of command. So you can't really cover those up. And anyone above the paygrade of E-4 gets mandatory separation from service under less-than-honorable conditions if they come up hot.
40 posted on 09/16/2004 9:28:30 AM PDT by DRILL SGT. D
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Mrs Zip

ping


41 posted on 09/16/2004 9:55:04 AM PDT by zip ((Remember: DimocRat lies told often enough became truth to 42% of americans))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: self_evident

I have a nervous clicker finger!


42 posted on 09/16/2004 3:50:41 PM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (Dan Rather don't need no stinkin facts, he is a journalist and therefore above reproach.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: DRILL SGT. D

Thank you for pointing this out.


43 posted on 09/16/2004 3:57:06 PM PDT by navygal (God loves all sinners, just not the sin.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson