Skip to comments.Favorable Treatment: Letís Get The Facts Straight
Posted on 09/29/2004 2:46:35 PM PDT by Conservative Coulter Fan
Claim: Some of have charged that George W. Bush leaped ahead of 100,000 other people on waiting lists to join the National Guard. They say this proves he used influence and received favorable treatment as a result.
Truth: This is fallacious at best. There may have been 100,000 on waiting lists across the whole country in all 50 states at the time, but not in the Texas Air National Guard, which is where Bush signed up. It is like walking into a grocery store and finding an empty line, but someone says in all the other stores across the country there are hundreds of thousands in waiting. This analogy just demonstrates the ridiculousness of this charge, which the media doesnt mind highlighting over and over again. The man in charge of the list said there was no waiting list for willing, qualified pilot applicants.
In 1999, the Dallas Morning News reported:
Records provided to The News by Tom Hail, a historian for the Texas Air National Guard, show that the unit Mr. Bush signed up for was not filled. In mid-1968, the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group, based in Houston, had 156 openings among its authorized staff of 925 military personnel.
Of those, 26 openings were for officer slots, such as that filled by Mr. Bush, and 130 were for enlisted men and women. Also, several former Air Force pilots who served in the unit said that they were recruited from elsewhere to fly for the Texas Guard.
"He told me they were looking for pilots," Mr. Bush said. He said he was told that there were five or six flying slots available, and he got one of them.
Claim: Some have widely publicized that Bush scored 25% on the pilot aptitude portion on his Air Force Officer Qualification Test and that it is the lowest score possible.
Truth: A Freeper offered some insight into this allegation.
Four months prior to enlisting, Bush had taken the Air Force Officers Qualification Test at Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts, scoring only 25 percent on the "pilot aptitude" section (the lowest acceptable grade) and 50 percent for navigator aptitude.
Source: The New American: Like Father, Like Son Vol. 15, No.19, September 13, 1999 by Robert W. Lee
The above uses of the word "percentage" show that most publications cannot discern the difference between raw scores and percentiles. Most news media feed off of each other reporting, and no one bothered to define the test that Bush and other pilot/navigator candidates were required to take. It is known as the "Air Force Officer Qualifying Test" (AFOQT), and has been administered since the early 1960s.
Now you either believe that the military has such low standards for pilot or navigator applicants that the below minimum qualifying scores are percentages, or you realize that they are raw scores in the AFOQT. The analogy would be the ACT college assessment test (low of 1 and high of 36). If it was reported that you had an ACT score of "25", would that mean you should consider a career in the food services industry? So be careful of numbers reported as data by newspapers. By the way, nearly half of all ACT test takers score within a much narrower range: 17-23. So a "25" ACT score would be none too shabby.
AFOQT Tests Sections Career Pilot Nav Pilot+Nav Verbal Quantitative Academic Pilot 25 10 50 15 10 no min Navigator 10 25 50 15 10 no min Non-Rated Operations -- -- -- 15 30 no min *Note: These are minimum qualifying scores
Source: Cadet guide: Air Force Officer Qualifying Test (AFOQT), (PDF page 4)
In President Bush's case, we can see from the New American article quoted above that he got a 25 on the pilot portion of the test, a 50 for the navigator portion of the test for a "Pilot+Navigator" combined raw score of 75. The minimum "Pilot+Nav" score is a 50. Again, these are not percentages! The primary purpose of the test is to slot potential aviators as either pilot or navigator candidates. Notice that the media's use of percentages makes it appear that not only did Bush barely get by, but he is stupid to boot since any "real" test does not have 25% as a passing grade. Subtle of them, wasn't it...
Now those tests are just acceptance qualifications. Just like having a 1300 SAT score may help you get into college, it does not mean you will be an outstanding student. Same about flying. Your on the job learning and testing in the demanding world of fighter pilots means that you are continuously being evaluated until you retire from flying.
From the below paragraphs from the Washington Post, I assume that his Father's influence did not account for his skill as an F-102 pilot. Cantankerous aircraft do not care who your parents are...
Claim: Some have charged that the Texas Air National Guard was contacted and urged to give influential treatment by accepting Bush.
Truth: Officers who supervised Mr. Bush and approved his admission to the Guard said they were never contacted by anyone on Mr. Bush's behalf.
In 1999, the Dallas Morning News reported:
"He didn't have any strings pulled, because there weren't any strings to pull," said Leroy Thompson of Brownwood, who commanded the squadron that kept the waiting list for the guard at Ellington Air Force Base. "Our practices were under incredible scrutiny then. It was a very ticklish time."
In 1999, CNN reported:
In its report, the Los Angeles Times said it found no evidence that either Bush or his father, former President George Bush, had personally tried to influence or pressure anyone to get the younger Bush a place in the Texas Guard. Bush's father was a congressman from Houston at the time.
Claim: Some have charged Bush didnt have what it took to be a pilot and he received a coveted position as a pilot as a result of some elusive favorable treatment.
Truth: He passed the Air Force Officer Qualification Test and he passed the most important test by flying the plane. he was accepted because he was one of a handful of applicants willing and qualified to spend more than a year in active training, and extra shifts after training, flying single-seat F-102 fighter jets. --Dallas Morning News, 1999
In 1999, the Dallas Morning News reported:
"If somebody like that came along, you'd snatch them up," said the former commander, who retired as a general. "He took no advantage. It wouldn't have made any difference whether his daddy was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."
Bobby Hodges, the group's operations officer, and others familiar with Guard rules said Mr. Bush made it to the top of the short list of candidates who could pass both the written officer test and a rigorous flight physical to qualify for the three to four annual pilot training "quotas" allotted to the unit.
Mr. Hodges and Gen. Staudt are the two surviving members of the military panel that reviewed and approved Mr. Bush's officer commission. Most of those wanting to get into the Guard at that time, they said, didn't want to put in the full year of active service that was required to become a pilot.
On the "officer quality section," designed to measure intangible traits such as leadership, Mr. Bush scored better than 95 percent of those taking the test.
Byron York, in a piece he wrote for the National Review, highlighted the strenuous and often rigorous flight regiment Bush went through and demonstrates that he was an exceptional pilot. No favorable influence can account for flight time and actually flying a dangerous aircraft with such proficiency. Retired Col. Maurice H. Udell, as saying "I would rank him in the top 5 percent of pilots I knew. The first Houston pilot from the 147th [Fighter Group] to go solo in the F-102!
Bush joined in May 1968. He went through six weeks of basic training a full-time job at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tex. Then he underwent 53 weeks of flight training again, full time at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Ga. Then he underwent 21 weeks of fighter interceptor training full time at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston. Counting other, shorter, postings in between, by the end of his training period Bush had served two years on active duty.
Certified to fly the F-102 fighter plane, Bush then began a period of frequent usually weekly flying. The F-102 was designed to shoot down other fighter planes, and the missions Bush flew were training flights, mostly over the Gulf of Mexico and often at night, in which pilots took turns being the predator and the prey."If you're going to practice how to shoot down another airplane, then you have to have another airplane up there to work on," recalls retired Col. William Campenni, who flew with Bush in 1970 and 1971. "He'd be the target for the first half of the mission, and then we'd switch."
During that period Bush's superiors gave him consistently high ratings as a pilot. "Lt. Bush is an exceptional fighter interceptor pilot and officer," wrote one in a 1972 evaluation. Another evaluation, in 1971, 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 third rating, in 1970, said Bush "clearly stands out as a top notch fighter interceptor pilot" and was also "a natural leader whom his contemporaries look to for leadership."
How many were on the list to be a journalist in 'Nam in front of AlGore?
We'll never know, or hear about it...
This is a non-story. Just because you're in the National Guard does not mean you will not get called to active duty. *Plenty* of Guardsmen went to Vietnam. Plenty more have gone to Europe (three times counting Bosnia), Africa, Japan, Korea, The Persian Gulf, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, and etc.
The man could've seen battle. There is some conspiracy stuff going around that Bush was 'missing' because he was possibly driving F-104 flights into Cambodia from Thailand. I have *no* proof of that at all - just passing along hearsay.
The point is: he served and he never pissed on his country like Kerry did.
Actually it was designed to shoot down Bears, Badgers and Bisons. All Soviet Bomber aircraft, not fighters. Still, with that big delta wing, it could do pretty well in a dogfight, although with the rather wimpy engine it had, you probably had to watch your energy state really closely.
Yep! And Kerry gave a speech on the Senate floor in '92 (?) asking his fellow Dems not to make an issue of who served or didn't in Vietnam (in support of Clinton).
Another flip-flop. Like '68 X-mas memories in Cambodia on the Senate floor.
No, they don't. But they do care about things like reaction time, and spatial awareness, that may be either genetic or learned at an early age. George H.W. Bush was pilot too you know. He flew Avenger Torpedo bombers in the Pacific in WW-II. At one time he was the youngest carrier pilot in the Navy. He was also shot down and rescued by a US submarine. There's a film clip of him coming aboard the sub during that rescue.
"BUSH: And had my unit been called up, Id have gone."
KERRY: As soon as I could, I left.
Thought you might be interested in this one too!
"George H.W. Bush was pilot too you know. He flew Avenger Torpedo bombers in the Pacific in WW-II. At one time he was the youngest carrier pilot in the Navy. He was also shot down and rescued by a US submarine. There's a film clip of him coming aboard the sub during that rescue."
GHWB is mentioned in the book 'Flyboys' about the American pilots who were EATEN by the Japanese on (Chichi [sic?]) Jima. Mano, the Bush boys got muy maximo grande huevos.
I believe I read where TANG F-102's were deployed to Viet Nam around the time Dubya volunteered, which the spinmeisters omit.
I also saw during an interview with Bush's father telling a story on how he survived another crash and was offered return to stateside duty, which he declined. That's selflessness and heroism. Funny how none of this mattered in 92'.
Excellent! But if you start posting any more flip-flops here, somebody's gonna have to bring butter and maple syrup! ;)
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