WATCH: 5 awesome moments of US presidents showing respect to troops

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FORT BENNING, Ga. – President Donald J. Trump and first lady Melania Trump landed at Lawson Army Airfield March 8 in Air Force One before flying in Marine One to Lee County, Alabama, where March 3 storms and tornadoes killed 23 people and caused major damage. Before departing to Alabama, the president met with Maj. Gen. Gary M. Brito, the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning commanding general, and with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on the airfield flightline. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick Albright, Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning Public Affairs)

Nothing melts soldiers’ hearts more than U.S. presidents appreciating their effort to serve the country in ways that many cannot. As the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, the President of the United States plays a significant role in motivating military personnel. There is no doubt that the service men and women are dedicated to their duties, but such effort from the Commander in Chief (the busiest man on the planet) gives them hope. Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt secretively traveled to Morocco with Winston Churchill to complete Allied war arrangements and surprise American troops deployed there, it has been a norm for other American presidents. They often take part in the time-honored custom of meeting with soldiers on the battlefield.


As a custom, whenever the President of the United States passes by uniformed military personnel, the soldier salutes the President, and the President salutes back. It is a method of demonstrating respect to the President and at the same time appreciating the soldier. A salute is regarded highly in the Armed Forces, especially when approaching a superior. One time when President Obama was boarding the Air Force 1, he forgot to salute the soldier standing guard at the airstair. When he got to the plane, he greeted the pilot and realized he had forgotten to salute the soldier at the airstair. He went back down the airstair, greeted him with respect, then boarded the Air Force 1.

Donald Trump

When a soldier falls on the battlefield in service of the United States, they are given the best send-off to thank them and their family for their sacrifice. Most of the time, burials for fallen soldiers are usually attended by high-ranking government officials and rarely by the President. One time, President Trump honored a fallen soldier on “sacred soil” by carrying the flowers used to decorate the grave. He later gave a beautiful speech in honor of the men and women who lay their lives for the Americans.

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden visited U.S troops stationed near Poland’s border. He talked to individual soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division serving alongside Polish troops, telling them they were the world’s finest forces in history. Biden insisted that the compliment was genuine and not hyperbole, thanking them for what they do. He interacted with them for quite some time, giving them words of encouragement. One funny moment was when he invited himself to their table to share a pizza box with the troop members, who were honored to eat beside the President.

George W. Bush

While most people would keep away from war zones, U.S. presidents create time to visit their troops deployed in other countries. Iraq, a renowned war zone at the time, was one of the places president George Bush visited during his term. He surprised the soldier stationed in Al Asad, Iraq, sharing special moments with them. During the visit, he made sure to greet by hand every soldier who was on site and even took a couple of pictures with them. 

Bill Clinton

When President Bill Clinton’s presence was announced at Camp Casey, the military personnel cheered in joy and were excited to meet him. He shook hands with several soldiers before giving a hearty speech, giving thanks for their service and dedication. The second infantry division soldiers expressed their joy to the President by offering him a tomahawk. There is no better way a Commander in Chief can show support to his soldiers than by honoring them through such visits. The soldiers acknowledged they were indeed impressed and glad that they were part of the U.S. Armed Forces.