|| George Washington, our nation's first President 1789-1797,
served as a Virginia Militia officer 1753-1758 and rose to the rank of
Colonel. In 1753 a young Lt. Col Washington led a Virginian force in the
French and Indian Wars. He defended Fort Necessity south of Pittsburgh
and was compelled to surrender to a superior French force. He later served
as Aide-de-Camp to the British Commanding General.
|| Thomas Jefferson (President 1798-1809) was commissioned
an officer in the Virginia Militia in 1779 and became a Colonel and regimental
commander. He resigned from the militia when he was elected Governor of
|| James Madison (President 1809-1817) was commissioned
in the Virginia Militia at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. His
duties were limited to recruiting, training and internal security. The
only president to actually command troops in the field under fire while
president (Washington, DC, 1814).
|| Andrew Jackson (7th President 1828-1837), a veteran
of the American Revolution, was elected a major general of the Tennessee
Militia in 1802 until he entered federal service at the same rank. Commanded
Militia and Regulars at the Battle of New Orleans (1815).
|| William Henry Harrison (9th President in 1841) was
a Regular Army officer 1791-1798 and was active with the Tennessee Militia
until he reentered active duty during the War of 1812. The victor of the
Battle of Tippicanoe (Hence the campaign slogan: "Tippicanoe and Tyler
|| John Tyler (10th President 1841-1845) In 1813, during
the War of 1812, he served for a few months as Captain of a Virginia Militia
Company raised for the defense of Richmond.
|| James K. Polk (11th President 1845-1848) was elected
a captain of the Tennessee Militia in 1821 and was promoted to the rank
of major before entering Congress.
|| Millard Fillmore (13th President 1851-1853), who
had never served in a military capacity before becoming President in 1851,
raised a militia unit in Buffalo at the outbreak of the Civil War. The
unit performed home guard, prisoner of war, and ceremonial duties.
|| Franklin Pierce (14th President 1853-1857) was appointed
a colonel in the New Hampshire Militia in 1831and served for several years.
|| James Buchanan (15th President 1857-1861) enrolled
in a Pennsylvania Militia cavalry company in 1814 and saw service in the
|| Abraham Lincoln (16th President 1861-1865) In April
1832 there was a call for 400 30-day volunteers for the Sangamon County
State Militia, Illinois, to fight Black Hawk, war leader of the Sauk and
Fox Tribes. Lincoln joined a company of friends at Richland Creek and
was elected Captain. The company was enrolled in State service 28 April
and federalized 9 May. The company marched up the Rock River and down
to Ottawa (IL) where they were mustered out. Lincoln re-enlisted for 20
days on 29 May in a company of Mounted Independent Rangers, which was
mustered out at Fort Wilbourn on the Illinois River. Lincoln again enlisted
for another 30 days on 16 June 1832 in the Independent Spy Corps. The
Corps made several marches into Michigan Territory (Wisconsin). On 10
July all Independent Corps were mustered out.
|| Chester A. Arthur (21st President 1881-1885), an
officer of the New York State Militia, was appointed quartermaster general
in 1861 and later inspector general of the state's military forces. During
the first six months of the Civil War, he organized, equipped and dispatched
to the front some 80 regiments.
|| Theodore Roosevelt (26th President 1901-1909) served
as an officer with the 8th New York Infantry in the 1880s.
|| Harry S. Truman (33rd President 1945-1953), entered
the Missouri National Guard as a private in 1905, saw active duty as a
Battery Commander in France during World War I and rose to the rank of
colonel in the Missouri National Guard before World War II. Senator Truman
volunteered for active duty for World War II but was turned down by Army
Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, who later stated "Truman in
the Senate was worth two divisions to the war effort".