It’s election season in America, and while a few of the potential 2016 nominees have military experience on their resume, we looked back on the many ex-presidents who did as well.
Then we summed it up, Twitter style, in 140 characters or less. If Twitter existed in George Washington or Thomas Jefferson’s day, their military careers would probably be portrayed something like this.
Gen. George Washington — Dude beat the French, the Indians, and the Brits with a ragtag bunch of colonists. #NBD
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower — Missed WWI, then planned executed the largest amphib. assault ever beat the Nazis in WWII #Winning. Couldn’t beat mil-industrial complex
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant — Great at two things: Winning battles and heavy drinking. Often at at the same time.
Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson — Beat the Brits at New Orleans and later defeated a bunch of Indians. Then he invaded Florida so “Old Hickory” could be Retired Hickory.
Maj. Gen. William H. Harrison — Whooped the British during the War of 1812.
Maj. Gen. Zachary Taylor — Had a long career in the Army, but best known for beating the crap out of Mexico in the 1840s.
Brevet Maj. Gen. Rutherford B. Hayes — Volunteered for the Union during the Civil War, became a war hero. Wounded five times. #HolyCrap #KeepYourHeadDown
Maj. Gen. James A. Garfield — Had no military training but joined the Army in the Civil War. One-upped another general at the Battle of Chickamauga and saved the day.
Brig. Gen. Franklin Pierce — Commanded the 9th Infantry Regiment against Mexico, but ended up fighting a knee injury and diarrhea more than the enemy.
Brig. Gen. Andrew Johnson — Annoyed Confederate rebels as the Union military governor of Tennessee.
Quartermaster Gen. Chester A. Arthur — Was a really awesome supply guy.
Brevet Brig. Gen. Benjamin Harrison — Took command of a bunch of Indiana volunteers that did recon and guarded railroads.
Col. Thomas Jefferson — Commanded a militia. Started the military academy at West Point. #GoArmyBeatNavy
Col. James Madison — Had a militia that never did anything.
Col. James Monroe — Crossed the Delaware River with George Washington #overshadowed
Col. James K. Polk — Was in a state militia, then later oversaw the opening of the Naval Academy #BeatArmy
Col. Theodore Roosevelt — Charged up San Juan Hill and received the Medal of Honor. Tried to serve in World War I but President Woodrow Wilson said no frigging way.
Col. Harry S. Truman — Started as an artilleryman in the Missouri National Guard. Dropped steel rain on the Germans in World War I.
Cmdr. Lyndon B. Johnson — Commissioned in the Naval Reserve where he got the Silver Star for heroically… sitting in an airplane that probably was never shot at.
Cmdr. Richard Nixon — Made sure everyone got to the war in the Pacific ok.
Brevet Maj. William McKinley — Served in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. Had good seats at Gen. Lee’s surrender to Grant.
Lt. Cmdr. Gerald Ford — Participated in numerous naval actions during World War II but almost got killed by a typhoon in 1944.
Maj. Millard Fillmore — Served in the New York Militia. That’s about it.
Capt. John Tyler — Raised a company of militiamen to defend Richmond but no one ever attacked.
Capt. Abraham Lincoln — Served in the Illinois Militia for three months. Started as a Captain, finished as a Private. #CareerProgression
Capt. Ronald Reagan — Made movies during World War II.
Lt. John F. Kennedy — Became a war hero after his patrol boat got run over by a Japanese destroyer.
Lt. Jimmy Carter — Was at the Naval Academy during World War II and missed it. Was in the Navy during Korea and missed that one too.
Lt. j.g. George H.W. Bush — Received the Distinguished Flying Cross for bombing the crap out Japanese targets in the Pacific. Almost got captured but escaped.
1st Lt. George W. Bush — Pilot in the Texas Air National Guard during Vietnam but never served in combat. No confirmed kills except for Dan Rather’s career.
Pvt. James Buchanan — The only president with military service who wasn’t an officer.