Bush fell short on duty at [Air National] Guard

Walter V. Robinson, Bush Fell short on duty at Guard. The Boston Globe, 8 September 2004. “Records show pledges unmet…. In February [2004], when the White House made public hundreds of pages of President Bush’s military records, White House officials repeatedly insisted that the records prove that Bush fulfilled his military commitment in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. But Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation, a Globe reexamination of the records shows: Twice during his Guard service — first when he joined in May 1968, and again before he transferred out of his unit in mid-1973 to attend Harvard Business School — Bush signed documents pledging to meet training commitments or face a punitive call-up to active duty.”

The reexamination of Bush’s records by the Globe, along with interviews with military specialists who have reviewed regulations from that era, show that Bush’s attendance at required training drills was so irregular that his superiors could have disciplined him or ordered him to active duty in 1972, 1973, or 1974. But they did neither. In fact, Bush’s unit certified in late 1973 that his service had been ”satisfactory” — just four months after Bush’s commanding officer wrote that Bush had not been seen at his unit for the previous 12 months….

…retired Army Colonel Gerald A. Lechliter [is] one of a number of retired military officers who have studied Bush’s records and old National Guard regulations…. ‘He broke his contract with the United States government — without any adverse consequences. And the Texas Air National Guard was complicit in allowing this to happen,” Lechliter said in an interview yesterday [7 September 2004]. ”He was a pilot. It cost the government a million dollars to train him to fly. So he should have been held to an even higher standard.’…

Lawrence J. Korb, an assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs in the Reagan administration, said after studying many of the documents that it is clear to him that Bush ”gamed the system.’

Additional coverage of the gaps in George W. Bush’s National Guard Duty:

George Lardner Jr. and Lois Romano, At Height of Vietnam, Bush Picks Guard. Washington Post, 28 July 1999.

Walter V. Robinson, One-year gap in Bush’s National Guard Duty. The Boston Globe, 23 May 2000.

Walter V. Robinson, Bush’s Guard Service: What the record shows. The Boston Globe, 5 February 2004.

Matt Kelley, Bush’s Air National Guard file missing some required records. Associated Press, 5 September 2004. Documents that should have been written to explain gaps in President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service are missing from the military records released about his service in 1972 and 1973, according to regulations and outside experts.”

Kit R. Roane, Bush’s military service in question – again. U.S. News & World Report, 8 September 2004.