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| | |-+  Is a former President a veteran?
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Question: Is a former President a veteran?
Yes   -7 (21.9%)
No   -25 (78.1%)
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Total Voters: 32

Author Topic: Is a former President a veteran?  (Read 657 times)
President John Hay
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« on: May 09, 2012, 10:22:37 am »
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Had this debate last night with two folks at my post... I made the argument that because the President is the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces- he is an active duty member of the military. Since the SECDEF is second in the command structure- he also. My friends made the very true points that often the President is not a veteran otherwise...he hasn't gone thru recruit training, doesn't have to pass PFTs, doesn't live any semblance of an active duty military lifestyle, etc....

These are all true but I argue Obama will be a veteran on January 20, 2013 or 2017 since he is currently in the service by virtue of his position.

What do you think?
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Markus Brandenburg
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 10:36:00 am »
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Only if the president went through a situation similar to Harrison Ford in Air Force One or Bill Pullman in Independence Day. Tongue
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President John Hay
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 10:41:07 am »
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LOL!
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asexual trans victimologist
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2012, 11:09:28 am »
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He's not a veteran in the conventional sense but considering how much sleep he undoubtedly loses over the military and military issues it's certainly reasonable to conclude that in some sense he is, or at least should be afforded similar respect to what one would afford a veteran.
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Governor Varavour
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 12:27:53 pm »
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I don't know. I'd say yes technically but he has no formal rank and such.
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rwoy
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 12:32:34 pm »
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No

There is a very clear distinction that although the military reports to the President, the President IS NOT a military position.
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angus
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 01:22:55 pm »
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He is not.  The whole point was to have the military under the control of a civilian.  It was never the Founders intent that the president be a member of the army he commands.  See, for example, Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Papers number 28, or James Madison's comments in number 41.

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Redalgo
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 03:54:13 pm »
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I concur with Angus on this subject. Aside from that, I'd not say that ex-Presidents are veterans
by virtue of their roles as Commander in Chief. Rather they're more like former inmates who got
themselves into a world of trouble and ended up serving hard time at the Executive Penitentiary.
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"I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realized." ~ Nelson Mandela
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 03:58:36 pm »
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I don't think so... I'm not sure how often the title of veteran is awarded to people who have been in or ran the military but never fought themselves.
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R2D2
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2012, 05:49:34 pm »
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No. Unless you've been in the war, or have been in a war setting, you shouldn't be considered a veteran.
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ChairmanSanchez
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2012, 05:52:03 pm »
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No.
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2012, 06:51:55 pm »
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I don't think so... I'm not sure how often the title of veteran is awarded to people who have been in or ran the military but never fought themselves.
Everyday.
No. Unless you've been in the war, or have been in a war setting, you shouldn't be considered a veteran.
Then most veterans are not veterans.

To be a veteran, all you have to do is serve for 4 years.
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angus
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2012, 07:56:40 pm »
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To be a veteran, all you have to do is serve for 4 years.

No, all you have to do is serve, be it for a day or for a decade.  The time doesn't matter.

Serve here is the key word.  A reservist, for example, would not be a veteran.  Although "serve" is the root of the word reserve, being a reservist does not count for active duty unless your unit is called and you report for duty, at least according to the PBS reports that focus on the sorry state of our veterans' services.  Someone who signs up in the regular army or navy, then is discharged a day later whether honorably or dishonorably, is a veteran.  Someone who signs up for the national guard or reserves, and is in it for 30 years, but who never gets action, is not a veteran, by the current definition of the Veteran's Administration.

But all that is off topic.  The question only asked whether holding the office of president qualified one as a veteran.  Clearly this was never the intent of the founders.  Of course, it is possible to be both a president and a veteran.  This was the case of George Washington, and most recently in the case of George H. W. Bush, and maybe even in the case of his son.  It was never clear to me whether the Bush the Younger was a veteran.  I know he was called to "active duty" at some point while he was in the Air National Guard, but my impression of his service is based mostly on an episode of Family Guy and not on US Department of Defense records, so I'm a bit mystified.  
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Princess Kenny
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2012, 07:20:55 am »
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There is a civilian authority over the Armed Forces.

So no.
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Stranger in a strange land
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2012, 12:35:22 pm »
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No, because of this:

He is not.  The whole point was to have the military under the control of a civilian.  It was never the Founders intent that the president be a member of the army he commands.  See, for example, Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Papers number 28, or James Madison's comments in number 41.


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President John Hay
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« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2012, 01:08:22 pm »
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To be a veteran, all you have to do is serve for 4 years.

No, all you have to do is serve, be it for a day or for a decade.  The time doesn't matter.

Serve here is the key word.  A reservist, for example, would not be a veteran.  Although "serve" is the root of the word reserve, being a reservist does not count for active duty unless your unit is called and you report for duty, at least according to the PBS reports that focus on the sorry state of our veterans' services.  Someone who signs up in the regular army or navy, then is discharged a day later whether honorably or dishonorably, is a veteran.  Someone who signs up for the national guard or reserves, and is in it for 30 years, but who never gets action, is not a veteran, by the current definition of the Veteran's Administration.

But all that is off topic.  The question only asked whether holding the office of president qualified one as a veteran.  Clearly this was never the intent of the founders.  Of course, it is possible to be both a president and a veteran.  This was the case of George Washington, and most recently in the case of George H. W. Bush, and maybe even in the case of his son.  It was never clear to me whether the Bush the Younger was a veteran.  I know he was called to "active duty" at some point while he was in the Air National Guard, but my impression of his service is based mostly on an episode of Family Guy and not on US Department of Defense records, so I'm a bit mystified. 

That's correct...if I was medically discharged the day I graduated recruit training, I'd be a veteran still
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opebo
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« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2012, 05:31:46 pm »
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That was very interesting - I was still able to vote in a poll, though I cannot comment on the poll.  When you go on moderator review, you'll still be able to vote in polls!
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