Military Service of the Presidents

(Information from the Smithsonian, National Museum of American History)

 

At this point in our history, a total of 31 American Presidents also served in the military.  Of those,12 reached the level of General.

George
Washington
General and
Commander in Chief, Continental Army
1775-1783

 

Thomas
Jefferson
Colonel,
Virginia Militia
1770-1779

 

James
Madison
Colonel,
Virginia Militia
1775-1781

 

James
Monroe
Major,
Continental Army
1775-1778

 

Andrew
Jackson
Major
General, U.S. Army
1814-1821

 

William
Henry Harrison
Major
General, Kentucky Militia
1812-1814

 

John
Tyler
Captain,
Virginia Militia
1812

 

James K.
Polk
Colonel,
Tennessee Militia
1821

 

Zachary
Taylor
Major
General, U.S. Army
1805-1815, 1816-1849

 

Millard
Fillmore
Major, Union
Continentals (home guard)
1861

 

Franklin
Pierce
Brigadier
General, New Hampshire Militia
1846-1848

 

James
Buchanan
Private,
Pennsylvania Militia
1814

 

Abraham
Lincoln
Captain,
Illinois Militia
1832

 

Andrew
Johnson
Brigadier
General, U.S. Army (Volunteers)
1862-1865

 

Ulysses
S. Grant
General,
U.S. Army
1866-1869

 

Rutherford B. Hayes Major
General, U.S. Army (Volunteers)
1861-1865

 

James A.
Garfield
Major
General, U.S. Army (Volunteers)
1861-1863

 

Chester
A. Arthur
Brigadier
General, New York Militia
1858-1863

 

Benjamin
Harrison
Brevet
Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Volunteers)
1862-1865

 

William
McKinley
Brevet
Major, U.S. Army (Volunteers)
1861-1865

 

Theodore
Roosevelt
Colonel,
U.S. Army (Volunteers)
1898

 

Harry S.
Truman
Colonel,
Army Officer Reserve Corps
1919-1945

 

Dwight D.
Eisenhower
General of
the Army, U.S. Army
1915-1948, 1951-1952

 

John F.
Kennedy
Lieutenant,
U.S. Naval Reserve
1941-1945

 

Lyndon B.
Johnson
Commander,
U.S. Naval Reserve
1940-1964

 

Richard
M. Nixon
Commander,
U.S. Naval Reserve
1942-1966

 

Gerald R.
Ford, Jr
Lieutenant
Commander, U.S. Naval Reserve
1942-1946

 

Jimmy
Carter
Lieutenant,
U.S. Navy
1946-1953

 

Ronald
Reagan
Captain,
U.S. Army
1942-1945

 

George
Bush
Lieutenant
(junior grade), U.S. Navy
1942-1945

 

George W.
Bush
First
Lieutenant, Texas Air National
Guard
1968-1973