Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Monday, July 5, 1999 Published at 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK

World: Americas

Bush defends military service record

George Bush on the campaign trail: Proud of his record

Texas Governor George W Bush has vigorously defended his military service record after a press report said he may have been given special treatment to win a place as a pilot with the National Guard.

The Republican presidential hopeful said he was proud of his stateside military service and said had his unit from the Texas Air National Guard been called up, he would have gone overseas.

" I asked to become a pilot. I met the qualifications, and I ended up becoming an F-102 pilot," said Mr Bush, before a Fourth of July parade on Sunday.

The Los Angeles Times said that in the late 60s, Mr Bush had jumped into the officer ranks when he was just out of basic training. It said he did not have the credentials that many other officers possessed.

'Absolutely qualified'

But a spokeswoman for Mr Bush said the Texas Air National Guard was short of pilots, and a candidate had to be a commissioned officer to go to flight school. "The military found him absolutely qualified to be commissioned," she said.

The Times said a historian for the Texas Air National Guard had told the newspaper that Bush's unit had 27 pilots when he applied, two short of its authorised quota. But he said there were two other pilots in training and another waiting to transfer.

Mr Bush's father, the former president George Bush was a congressman from Houston at the time of his son's application.

Mr Bush junior said that he joined the Air National Guard rather than volunteer for combat duty because he wanted to learn to fly fighter planes like his father.

During the Vietnam era, joining the National Guard was seen by many people as a way to avoid the draft and combat duty.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

13 Jun 99 | Americas
Bush confirms presidential bid

31 Dec 98 | Americas
US presidential race for 2000 begins

29 Oct 98 | US midterms
George W Bush: Front-runner for 2000

Internet Links

George W Bush

Al Gore for President

Project Vote Smart

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Violence greets Clinton visit

Bush outlines foreign policy

Boy held after US school shooting

Memorial for bonfire dead

Senate passes US budget

New constitution for Venezuela

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Hurricane Lenny abates

UN welcomes US paying dues

Chavez praises 'advanced' constitution

In pictures: Castro strikes out Chavez

WTO: arbitration in EU-Ecuador banana dispute

Colombian army chief says rebels defeated

Colombian president lambasts rebels