NOTE: THIS IS A WORKING DRAFT FOR COMMENT, AND IS PART OF THE AWOL PROJECT, A LARGE SERIES OF ARTICLES EXAMINING BUSH’S MILITARY RECORDS WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE FEDERAL STATUTES, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE REGULATIONS, AND AIR FORCE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES OF THAT ERA.
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THE STORY OF GEORGE W. BUSH AFTER HE QUIT THE TEXAS AIR NATIONAL GUARD
An examination of the Bush military files within the context of US Statutory Law, Department of Defense regulations, and Air Force policies and procedures of that era lead to a single conclusion: George W. Bush was considered a deserter by the United States Air Force.
After Bush quit TXANG, he still had nine months of his six-year military commitment left to serve. As a result, Bush became a member of the Air Force Reserves and was transferred to the authority of the Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) in Denver, Colorado. Because this was supposed to be a temporary assignment, ARPC had to review Bush’s records to determine where he should ultimately be assigned. That examination would have led to three conclusions: That Bush had “failed to satisfactorily participate” as defined by United States law and Air Force policy, that TXANG could not account for Bush’s actions for an entire year, and that Bush’s medical records were not up to date. Regardless of what actions ARPC contemplated when reviewing Bush’s records, all options required that Bush be certified as physically fit to serve, or as unfit to serve. ARPC thus had to order Bush to get a physical examination, for which Bush did not show up. ARPC then designated Bush as AWOL and a “non-locatee” (i.e. a deserter) who had failed to satisfactorily participate in TXANG, and certified him for immediate induction through his local draft board. Once the Houston draft board got wind of the situation, strings were pulled; and documents were generated which directly contradict Air Force policy, and which were inconsistent with the rest of the records released by the White House.
For the eighteen months prior to his quitting the Texas Air National Guard (TXANG), George W. Bush had ignored his obligations to the US Military, statutory and regulatory US Law, and Air Force regulations and policies. And for as long as he was being “supervised” by TXANG, he got away with it.
Very little attention has been paid to the period of Bush’s “service” after he left Texas and was assigned to the Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) in Denver, Colorado. But it is during this period that Bush’s dereliction of duty—including his failure to participate in mandatory training, and his failure to maintain his flight status—came home to roost.
Unlike TXANG, ARPC took America’s national security—and the role played by Guardsmen and Reservists in maintaining US security—quite seriously.
The proof of this is the “ARF Retirement Credit Summary” dated January 30, 1974, which shows that Bush was placed in an “Inactive Status” effective September 15th, 1973. This document is the proverbial “smoking gun” which proves that the Air Force considered George W. Bush to have been a deserter.
Under Air Force policy in force at that time, the only way that someone in Bush’s position could be placed in an “Inactive Status” was if they were being “completely severed from military status.” And the only way that could happen is if someone had become permanently disabled, or deserted. Bush was not disabled.
Instead, consistent with contemporaneous laws, regulations, and procedures, ARPC had reviewed Bush’s records, and found that he had failed to “satisfactorily participate” as a member of TXANG. Bush was then ordered to active duty, for which he did not show up. ARPC then certified him for immediate induction as a “non-locatee” (e.g. a deserter) through the Selective Service System.
This is the only explanation that is consistent with Bush’s military records and Air Force policy of that era.
It is also clear that the Bush records were tampered with to hide this fact. Many documents were thrown out that should have been kept, and there is indisputable evidence that at least one key document has been altered.
The documentary evidence also strongly suggests that when news of Bush’s situation reached Texas, strings were pulled that resulted in Bush being “rehabilitated” in a manner completely inconsistent with Air Force policy.
The paper trail is incomplete, and in some cases ambiguous. But “clerical error” is not sufficient to explain the anomalies, because the level of “coincidence” required for a “clerical error” explanation is well beyond any rational possibility.
Because Bush’s records are incomplete, a full understanding of what Bush’s records represent, and how they must be interpreted, can only be achieved through an understanding of what each document means within its specific context.
(Note: What happened after Bush quit the Texas Air National Guard was based in large part on what Bush did as a member of TXANG. For a more detailed explanation of Bush’s military obligations, see BUSH'S ATTENDANCE OBLIGATIONS AS A MEMBER OF THE US MILITARY. For fuller details concerning reassignments between Air Force components THE RELOCATING GUARDSMAN: A PROCEDURAL PRIMER. Scanned copies of the relevant US Statutes, Department of Defense regulations, and Air Force policies and procedures cited in this article are linked at the SOURCE DOCUMENTS page.)
The “Reserve” component of the US Air Force was known as the Air Reserve Forces (ARF) and was divided into two primary components, the Air National Guard (ANG) and the United States Air Force Reserve (USAFR).
Overall policy was set by the ARF, and policy differences between the two components were minor. This was true, in no small part, because United States Statutory law required that Air National Guard discipline and training had to “conform to that of the Air Force.”
The main differences were procedural; ANG units were under the (titular) control of the States, while USARF units were controlled directly by the Federal government. Decisions concerning ANG personnel had to go through a state hierarchy before being “recognized” by the US government.
The Air Reserve Personnel Center (ARPC) in Denver Colorado was where personnel policies for ARF were administered. In general, it appears that ARPC did not micro-manage the affairs of ANG units. But when something especially egregious occurred, ARPC took notice.
ARPC also “commanded” reservists who were not affiliated with either USARF or ANG units.
The Obligated Reserve Section (ORS) is where obligors (military personnel who had an unfulfilled Military Service Obligation—the minimum term of military service as required under Federal Statutory law) were assigned who were not assigned to a specific National Guard or Air Force Reserves unit with which they could train. ORS is where Bush was transferred to when he was discharged from TXANG. ORS was a “Ready Reserve” section of ARPC, containing those members who were required to be ready to immediately report for active duty if the President declared a national security emergency.
The Non-Affiliated Reserve Section (NARS), was the “active status” Standby Reserve, consisting of members who were subject to an involuntary active duty call-up if Congress acted (e.g. declared a state of war, and/or authorized the mobilization of Stand-by Reservists ). Members were assigned to NARS because of hardship, because they were unfit for duty, or because they were special case “excess personnel”.
NARS-A was the section in which non-obligors would be assigned, and NARS-B was where obligors were assigned. (Bush wound up in NARS-B, but there is no document which explains how he got there.)
The Inactive Standby Reserve List Section (ISLRS) of ARPC was where those who were in “inactive status” (which meant they were no longer effectively affiliated with the Reserves) were assigned.
The term “Ready Reserve” refers to those who had a “Ready Reserve Service Agreement” (RRSA) in effect. This was a contract that Reservists with an MSO were required to sign, agreeing to be called up for active duty in the event a national emergency was declared.
The RRSA was one of the ways that the ARF exercised control over the ANG. “Federal recognition” of ANG members was contingent upon their having an RRSA in place, and without “Federal recognition” the Federal government would not issue you a paycheck or reimburse the state government for your training. A current RRSA was also required to maintain draft-deferred status.
The regulations and requirements to which Bush was subject were based on his status as an “obligor” with an RRSA. Bush’s MSO referred to the length of his required service, his RRSA defined the terms under which he would serve.
Although personnel policies are full of exceptions, those policies can be divided into two main categories.
1) Policies concerning Reservists and Guardsmen with a “unfulfilled” Military Service Obligation (MSO). This was the requirement to serve for a certain number of years upon enlistment, based on US Statutory law. (Bush had a six year MSO which ended on May 26, 1974).
2) Policies concerning Reservists and Guardsmen who had completed their MSO.
The purpose of the National Guard was to “provide trained units and qualified individuals available for active duty…as the national security requires.” In order to fulfill its purpose, specific criteria was established for both “training” and “qualifications”.
Chief among these criteria was the requirement that Bush “satisfactorily
participate” as a member of the Air Reserve Forces, and the requirement to
“conform with the standards and qualifications” established for his
position (his AFSC or Air Force Specialty Code.) .
The criteria for “satisfactory participation”
for Guardsmen were established in the US Statutes and Code of Federal
Regulations. This included mandatory
participation in 48 scheduled four-hour periods of “inactive duty training”
with their units (Unit Training Assemblies, or UTAs) per fiscal
year. (Until 1977, the fiscal year ran
from July 1 to June 30.) UTA weekends
were held on one weekend each month, with two UTAs schedules on Saturday and
two on Sunday.
A missed UTA for which substitute training had been performed was considered an “excused absence.” Any missed period for which no substitute training was performed was defined by law as an “unexcused absence”. If at any point during a given fiscal year, a Guardsman had more than four unexcused absences (more than 10%), he had “failed to satisfactorily participate” as defined by law.
Among the “standards and qualifications” that Bush was
required to conform to was the requirement to maintain his flight status by
accomplishing an annual physical, as well as maintaining the skills and
knowledge required for his AFSC by training as a pilot with his unit.
A Guardsman who failed to meet the requirements was subject to various punitive measures. Chief among these was an involuntary call to active duty for up to 24 months. A Guardsman or Reservist who failed to “satisfactorily participate” could also lose his draft-deferred status and be certified for immediate induction into the Armed Forces through the Selective Service System. This latter provision, however, was only implemented when an Air Reserve Forces member failed to show up for “involuntary active duty” as ordered, and could not be located.
There is no question that Bush “failed to satisfactorily participate” as defined under law. In fiscal year 1971-72, Bush had “unexcused absences” from his mandatory unit training in May and June, 1972 . (Until 1977, the fiscal year ran from July 1 to June 30.) In fiscal year 1972-73, Bush had “unexcused absences” for three months of mandatory training (June, July, August, 1972.) (See The Points Scam and The Payroll Scam.)
There is also no question that Bush failed to “conform to the standards and qualifications” established for his AFSC. Chief among those qualifications for a pilot was maintaining one’s flight status, and training with his unit of assignment. Bush’s failure to maintain his flight status for the last 13 months of his tenure with TXANG, and his failure to participate in training with his unit for at least 13 of his last 17 months with TXANG, demonstrate conclusively that Bush was not meeting the standards for a pilot set by the Secretary of Defense.
Even before Bush was transferred to ARPC (ORS), he had been brought to the attention of ARPC on two occasions. The first was when Bush tried an “end run” around his training and participation requirements (“Training Category A”) by attempting to get a transfer to a “Training Category G” unit (the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron). The 9921st was a special kind of unit which neither offered, nor required, the kind of training that Bush was obligated by law to perform.
ARPC’s response was short and to the point, and demonstrated that the Air Force took Reserve Training seriously. TXANG was told the obvious; that the regulations forbade the scam that Bush was trying to pull. (see The Transfer Scam).
Bush was next brought to the attention of ARPC when his superior officers submitted Bush’s annual “Officer Effectiveness Training Report” (OETR) claiming that Bush “has not been observed at this unit” for an entire year, stating that Bush had been doing “equivalent training in a non-flying status” with a unit in Alabama.
This was, to say the least, a highly unusual OETR. Not only had a pilot not shown up for a year with his assigned unit, he had spent the entire year not flying. In addition, “equivalent training” meant that Bush had been on active duty on the days that his Texas unit had its mandatory scheduled monthly weekend of inactive duty training (“Unit Training Assemblies” or UTAs). But the section of the OER where Bush’s “raters” were supposed to show the number of active duty days (and inactive duty training periods) attended by Bush was left blank.
In other words, this OETR was highly irregular , which provides the context in which to view the ARPC’s response (Figure 4). If, as the documentary evidence strongly suggests (see Appendix 1), ARPC had done even a cursory examination of Bush’s records, they would already know that there was something seriously awry at Ellington Air Force Base in Texas. They also would have known that their instructions that TXANG obtain an evaluation of Bush’s performance from the 187th in Alabama would be impossible to carry out.
What may be most remarkable about this document is that APRC uses this “Notice” for more than just getting a “corrected” training report. Instead ARPC directly criticizes TXANG’s action with concern to Bush, letting Texas know that allowing Bush to train as anything other than a pilot is unacceptable as long as TXANG permitted Bush to call himself a pilot, and making it clear that TXANG was responsible for Bush’s conduct.
This “Notice of Correction” demonstrates once again that the Air Force took Bush’s training requirements very seriously. Unlike with TXANG, there is no evidence that suggests that the Air Force would not enforce the laws, regulations, and policies to which Bush was subject.
The ARPC’s actions with regard to Bush during his tenure with the Texas Air National Guard provide the context in which the documents concerning Bush’s last year of his MSO must be interpreted. These documents show that once Bush was placed in the hands of ARPC, he was not allowed to continue to ignore the laws of the United States, and Air Force regulations and policies, and that ARPC would take the steps necessary to ensure that prescribed policies and procedures were followed. (For a more detailed look at the OETR controversy, see The OETR Scam.)
Whenever a member of the Air National Guard was discharged to ARPC, his record of service was reviewed. (See The Discharge Scam.) For this review to be accomplished, the personnel office of Bush’s TXANG unit (Consolidated Base Personnel Office, or CBPO) was required to transfer his Unit Personnel Record Group (UPRG) files to ARPC.
Yet, according to documents in the Bush files, this automatic records transfer did not take place. Thus, APRC was not able to begin its full review of his records. However, ARPC would have access to its own files on Bush. And those files would have included the Notice of Missing or Correction of Officer Effectiveness Training Report issued dated June 29,1973, demanding more information from Bush’s unit (the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron) on Bush’s whereabouts and training. This “Notice” had a “suspense date” (the date by which a response was required) of August 6, 1973. By mid-October, TXANG had failed to supply ARPC with the required information.
ARPC’s apparent response to the 111th’s repeated failure to supply ARPC with required information was to demand that information directly from the head of Texas Air National Guard.
Bush’s records were not transferred to ARPC until November 15, 1973.
The Record Transmittal Form demonstrates the extraordinary nature of what was happening in Bush’s records. The bottom of the form contains a section in which the accuracy and completeness of the records are verified “BY LOSING CBPO/GSU.” This phrase is printed on the form, indicating that this verification is supposed to be done by a member’s “personnel office.” Yet this phrase is crossed out on the form, in order to indicate that Major Charles K. Shoemake, the head of Personnel for TXANG was responsible for the records.
On the same date (November 15, 1973) that Bush’s Unit Personnel Records Group was being transferred to ARPC, Shoemake signed a memo on behalf of the head of the TXANG. The message was “Basic communication complied with.” The subject of the memo was the “Notice of Missing or Correction” that had never been responded to. Attached to the memo was an AF Form 77a (a “Supplemental Sheet” to the Officer Effectiveness Training Report).
The AF Form 77a that was attached to this memo told ARPC that Bush’s unit could not provide any information regarding the training which Bush was required to perform for an entire year.
TXANG had reported that Bush had been training in Alabama for a full year. Under ordinary circumstances, whenever a Guardsman was assigned to another unit for training, the “training unit” automatically supplied the Guardsman’s unit an AF 77a, which would be submitted along with the annual training report from the Guardsman’s unit.
ARPC told TXANG that an “AF Fm 77a should be requested from the training unit so that this officer can be rated”. TXANG did not do so. Instead, it told ARPC that Bush could not be rated for an entire year, and that the required training report for an entire year would not be forthcoming “for administrative reasons.”
In essence, TXANG told ARPC that Bush had been AWOL for an entire year.
That Bush was considered AWOL is confirmed by the fact that under Federal law, as a commissioned officer Bush could not be “dismissed” from the Armed Forces unless he was either court-martialed, or had been determined to be AWOL for at least three months. Because Bush could only be placed on inactive status if he was being “completely severed from military status”, it would have been impossible under US Statutory Law for ARPC to change Bush’s status to “Inactive” if Bush had not considered AWOL.
As far as ARPC would be concerned, Bush now had an entire twelve month period that could not be accounted for. The ANG Chief of Military Personnel for the state of Texas was disavowing responsibility for Bush’s actions and whereabouts during that period. His flight rating had been suspended, and he had not trained in specialty for that entire year. No duty whatsoever is recorded for eight of those twelve months, including a nearly six-month stretch where he had shown up for duty not a single time. And there was clear and unequivocal evidence of fraud for those periods of duty for which Bush had been credited and paid. ARPC would also have access to Bush’s payroll and “points” records, and would have noticed that Bush had failed to meet the attendance criteria for “satisfactory participation” for two straight fiscal years.
It is not difficult to imagine how Bush’s records, and the “report not available for this period” response from TXANG, would have been interpreted.
ARPC was looking at the record of a deserter,
whose desertion had been aided and/or ignored by the Reservist’s superior
officials, and then covered up by the chain of command of the Texas Air
National Guard. TXANG had ignored the
instructions in the Notice of Correction, and permitted Bush to continue to be
paid as a pilot despite his lack of pilot qualifications. Bush had announced to his unit, well after
he would had made his decision, that he was leaving Texas. Then, he simply disappeared, and had taken
no steps to find another unit in which to serve, or another job that he could
do as a member of the Air National Guard.
A single letter dated September 5th, 1973, asking to be discharged, was
the only evidence ARPC had that Bush continued to exist after the day he told
TXANG he was leaving.
Under the laws, policies, and procedures governing ARPC, Bush had “failed to satisfactorily participate” as a member of an Air Reserve component. As someone with an unfulfilled Military Service Obligation who had served fewer than 24 months on active duty, that meant only one thing—that Bush would be ordered to active duty as a punitive measure.
However, there was a catch. In order for ARPC to order Bush to active duty, Bush had to have undergone a physical examination during the previous 12 months. And according to the journalists who examined Bush’s medical records, there was nothing in those files after 1971.
So before APRC could order Bush to active duty for “failure to satisfactorily participate”, it had to give Bush 15 days to “report to the nearest medical examining facility for medical examination.” And when Bush did not show up, ARPC would have ordered Bush to a “special tour of active duty” to accomplish the medical exam.
And when Bush did not show up for that, he would be considered a “deserter”.
Before continuing the examination of the procedures that would have been followed based on Bush’s records, it should be pointed out that “all roads lead to a medical examination.”
Assuming for the moment that Bush was not classified as an “unsatisfactory participant” by ARPC, ARPC still had to “determine his current status and … award an appropriate Availability Classification Code and assign the individual to the appropriate Reserve section.” In order to do this, ARPC needed to know Bush’s physical qualifications.
All members of the Air Force whose jobs required “flight status” were required to get a physical examination each year within three months prior to their birthday. Those not on flight status were required to get a physical examination at least once every four years and were required to submit a certification of physical fitness to serve each year. The periodic physical examination for those not on flight status required exams within eight months prior to the 27th birthday of all members of the Air Force.
George W. Bush turned 27 on July 6, 1973. His last physical was in 1971.
Thus, regardless of what ARPC wanted to do with Bush, it was absolutely necessary that Bush get a physical examination before they could make any decisions. And ARPC would have instructed Bush to accomplish that physical examination, and when he did not get that physical, ordered him to “special active duty.”
The absolute requirement for a physical examination and annual certification of physical fitness is one of the “choke points” in Bush’s military records. All possible outcomes required that ARPC determine Bush’s physical qualifications. In order to achieve that, ARPC would have first “instructed”, then “ordered” Bush to get a physical examination. We know, from Bush’s records, that no such examination was ever accomplished. Thus we know that Bush failed to obey a direct order to appear for active duty.
The “effective date” of
September 15, 1973 for Bush’s change to “Inactive Status” is significant for
two reasons. The first is that, based
on Air Force policy and other documents in the Bush files, the change in status
could only have occurred retroactively based on actions taken by ARPC pursuant
to Bush’s service in TXANG.
Under Air Force policy, AF 526 “points summaries” such as the one which discloses Bush’s change to “Inactive Status” had to be sent to members within 60 days of the date of a discharge (“complete severence from military status”.) The AF 526 was prepared on January 30th, 1974, meaning that the order changing Bush’s status could have occurred no earlier than December 1, 1973, two months after Bush had been officially discharged from TXANG.
But Bush was still under the command of TXANG on 9/15/73, and was not officially discharged until October 1, 1973. Thus, it can be proven that the reason for the change to “Inactive Status” was related to Bush’s service as a member of TXANG.
But September 15 is significant for an even
greater reason in that is not a date that is related to any event in Bush’s
military career. Instead, it is related
to the reporting requirements under the Selective Service Act for
draft-deferred members of the Guard and Reserves. .
Members had to be certified once a year as “satisfactorily participating” in the Guard or Reserves in order to maintain their draft-deferred status using, a DD Form 44, which was sent to each member’s local draft board. This annual requirement had an effective reporting date of September 15 of each year.
It should be noted that, although DD44s certifying
“satisfactory participation” for the years prior to Bush’s “Alabama year” were
among those documents released by the White House, no copies of DD44s with an
“effective date” of September 15, 1972 or September 15, 1973 were released.
DD44s were also required whenever a member had completed his Military Service Obligation (and was thus no longer eligible for being drafted) or when he “could not be located” or had been discharged.
Under Federal law at that time, a Reservist or Guardsman
could only be certified for priority induction through the Selective Service
System for failure to “satisfactorily participate” if an order to involuntary
active duty through the Reserves had been issued, and the member had not
appeared and could not be located. And
as noted above, the status of a member with an MSO could only be changed to
“inactive” if they were being “completely severed from military status.”
The lack of any documents in Bush’s medical files after 1971, and the fact that ARPC absolutely had to know Bush’s medical/physical status in order to do its job, make it clear that efforts must have been made to reach Bush, but were unsuccessful.
Every member of the Air Reserve Forces was required to maintain a current mailing address at which he could be immediately contacted in the event of a national emergency. This address was known as the “Home of Record” (HOR). According to the Bush documents, his ARPC files contained at least five different HORs in the period that Bush was under the authority of ARPC after he had quit TXANG.
Only one of these addresses (the very last one) is an actual street address where Bush would receive mail once he had moved to Boston.
When someone was not responding to mail, APRC was required to make a reasonable effort to locate a “missing” member before taking punitive action. If mail to Bush was being returned as undeliverable at any particular address, other addresses would have been tried. Mail would have been sent to all possible addresses where Bush might have been reached, before he was officially designated a “non-locatee.”
“Non-locatee” was the term used by the Air Force when it had a deserter on its hands who had an unfulfilled MSO. Rather than go through the complications required to court-martial a member for desertion who had not shown up in response to an order to active duty, ARPC had an equally effective, and far less cumbersome, means of dealing with the problem. By certifying a “deserter” to the Selective Service System for immediate induction, that member was subject to criminal prosecution within the civil court system if he failed to show up when ordered to do so.
As noted above, Bush’s change in status to “Inactive” could only have been accomplished if he was being discharged from the military. That could only be accomplished if Bush was considered a “non-locatee” and certified for induction through the Selective Service System. The “address sequence” found in Bush’s records provide collaborating evidence that Bush could not be located (see Appendix 2).
The same people who saw to it that Bush would not be drafted to serve in Vietnam would be sure to take the necessary steps to prevent Bush from being inducted through the Selective Service System despite Bush’s failure to fulfill his obligations to the United States Military. These people couldn’t care less about military discipline or national defense—their roles were to ensure that the children of Texas’ rich and powerful families remained out of harm’s way. Perhaps there were one or two members of Bush’s local draft board with a scintilla of integrity, but it only required one corrupt official to set the wheels in motion that “rehabilitated” George W. Bush.
We don’t know the precise mechanism that resulted in Bush’s being given an honorable discharge from the United States Air Reserve Forces. Certainly, when there is no accounting for an entire year of a Reservist’s service, when that Reservist has no record of any training for months at a time, and when that Reservist has refused to take not only his mandatory flight physical but the physical required of all Reservists, an “honorable discharge” should be impossible to receive.
We do know that strings were pulled, not just because there was no way that Bush deserved an honorable discharge, but also because of what happened next.
Five weeks after the notice was sent out that Bush had been placed on “Inactive Status”, his “AFSC” had been changed from “1125D”, that of an F102 pilot, to “7021”, that of an “Executive Support Officer”.
But Bush was completely unqualified to be an “Executive Support Officer.”, even more than he was unqualified to be an F102 pilot. Bush had trained as a pilot, and had served as a pilot for two years. All that Bush required was a flight physical, and he could have remained a pilot.
The “Executive Support Officer” position required
twelve months of experience in an “executive support assignment”. The AFSC manual (AFM 36-1) even goes so far
as to italicize the word “mandatory” to emphasize that this was not an
entry-level position, but one that was only available to those who had been assigned
to an “executive support” position.
Other than “trainee”, Bush had never had been assigned to anything other
And there is no evidence that Bush ever participated in any “executive support functions” during his time with the Texas National Guard. His “Officer Effectiveness Reports” don’t mention anything about Bush doing anything but flying. Bush’s Yale degree was in History, and he had not taken a single management course in his academic career at Yale. The closest he got to “management” was a freshman-level course in City Planning he took during his sophomore year. And no one could even account for the whole year from May 1, 1972 through April 30th, 1973. Perhaps doing “executive support stuff” is what Bush was doing in May, June, and July 1973 when he should have been flying, but that is only three months.
So there is no way that George W. Bush qualified to be an “Executive Support Officer.” But there is a good reason why Bush would want to be one—unlike the kind of “entry level” positions for which he was qualified, “Executive Support Officer” allowed him to maintain his rank as First Lieutenant. There may have been another advantage; the Air Force Reserve was probably overflowing with fully qualified “Executive Support Officers” at that time, so Bush could finally qualify as someone with “excess skills” that were not needed by the military, and get transferred into NARS-B. (NARS-B was the “active status” section of the Standby Reserves for Reservists who had an unfulfilled Military Service Obligation.)
(Whether this change in AFSC ever really happened is questionable. Under the regulations and policies of that time, this change should have been recorded on Bush’s AF Form 11. Yet, this change is not reflected on that document. Nor is it reflected on Bush’s official Military Biography.)
It is this document, dated March 7, 1974, which shows that the Air Force still did not have a valid address for Bush, and was still trying to find a way to contact him. There is no other explanation for why this particular order was sent to the Longmont Avenue address where Bush had not resided for at least three years.
The next document in Bush’s files shows that those files have been purged of orders and other records having to do with Bush being placed in “Inactive Status” effective 9/15/73. Under the law and Air Force policy, when a officer completes his Military Service Obligation and has not signed up for further service, he is discharged from the “active status” military and placed for at least six months on the Inactive Standby Reserve List Section (ISLRS). A document dated May 1, 1974 provides the orders that will result in Bush’s transfer from “NARS-B” to “ISLRS” effective May 27, 1974, i.e. the date on which Bush’s MSO expired.
There are, however no documents explaining how Bush got from “Inactive Status” back to “Active Status”, a prerequisite to being placed in NARS-B. Nor are there any documents related to the actual reassignment to NARS-B. Under the policies concerning assignment to the Standby Reserves, Bush was completely unqualified for the Standby Reserves in May 1974, if for no other reason than the Air Force had no certification that he was fit to serve.
It should be noted that, as with the change in Bush’s AFSC, corroborating evidence that should exist, showing that this order was executed, does not exist. No mention of Bush being in NARS-B is found in Bush’s official Military Biography, nor is there any mention of Bush being transferred to ISLRS.
This particular order does show that the Air Force continued to try and track Bush down, and was getting closer. It was sent to “Harvard Business School, Boston, MA 02163”. They even got the zip code right this time.
Sometime after this order was mailed, George W. Bush finally communicated with the Air Force Reserves. In an undated letter, he requests information on how to get out of the “Standby Reserves” in order to make absolutely certain that even in the case of the most dire national emergency, when the USA needs the services of even those who are on the “Inactive Status” list, George W. Bush would not be called to serve his country.
Bush even includes a mailing address, to make sure that he finds out how to avoid any possibility of service as soon as possible.
The final document in Bush’s files is his discharge from ISLRS. As noted above, Bush was required by law to remain in ISLRS for at least 180 days. But apparently, the Air Force was in such a hurry to get rid of Bush that they couldn’t wait even that long. Bush’s discharge was effective November 21, 1974, only 178 days after he was assigned to ISLRS.
On the bright side, this last order shows that after more than year, the Air Reserve Forces finally had an actual address where Bush would be sure to get his mail.
There is good reason to suspect that the last three “orders” in Bush’s files are not genuine orders that were carried out, but papers that were inserted in order to cover up the fact that Bush had been designated a deserter by the Air Force.
As noted above, there is every reason to believe that ARPC followed the appropriate procedures for dealing with Bush after he quit TXANG. But when ARPC made Bush “Inactive” and certified him for induction to his local draft board, Bush’s file would have been effective closed—once Bush was certified for induction, he was no longer ARPC’s responsibility.
If, as the record indicates, “strings were pulled” after the Houston draft board found out about Bush’s situation, it would behoove the string-pullers to involve as few people as possible in “cleaning up” Bush’s records. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the last three documents found in the Bush files have one name, and one name only, associated with them.
The change in Bush’s AFSC was stamped by Capt. R.R. Kostelny, “Assistant Director” for the “Directorate of Administration” at ARPC. The reassignment from ARPC (NARS-B) to ARPC (ISLRS) was stamped by the same Captain Kostelny. And the document which released Bush completely from any further military obligation was stamped by the same Captain Kostelny.
None of these documents, however, was signed by Capt. Kostelny.
It should be noted that ARPC had a separate “Reserve Assignment Branch” in ARPC’s “Directorate of Personnel Resources”, and that this office is the most likely place where reassignments would be authorized.
It is also extremely odd that three different ARPC functions---a change in AFSC (job classification), a change in the unit of assignment (NARS-B to ISLRS) and a complete discharge from military service—would be emanating from the same individual in a single office. This strongly suggests that Bush’s records received some kind of “special treatment” after he was placed in “Inactive Status” effective 9/15/73.
As noted above, Bush’s official military biography does not reflect any of the changes that occurred after Bush resigned from TXANG.
To read this biography, one would never realize that Bush
had been placed in “Inactive” Status, that his Air Force Specialty Code had
been changed to 7021 (Executive Support Officer, that he had been reassigned to
ARPC (NARS-B) at some point, or that upon completion of his MSO, that he had
been assigned to ARPC (ISLRS).
According to Bush’s military biography, when he was completely
discharged from the Air Force, he was still in the Ready Reserve as a pilot.
According to the records found in Bush’s files, however, he was in the Standby
Reserve as an “Executive Support Officer.”
A second document (which may have been the basis for this military biography) also shows none of the changes found in the Bush files. This is the “Chronological Listing of Service” from Bush’s AF Form 11.
Although there are at least eight versions of this document found in the files released by the White House, none of them contains any entries after October 1, 1973, despite the fact that this form was used to reflect changes in status and AFSC until April 1974. There is, however, no question that some of these AF Form 11 copies have been altered (see The Mystery of AF Form 11), and it is not unlikely that copies of these forms that reflect the change in Bush’s status to “Inactive” effective 9/15/73 have been purged from the files.
Not only do Bush’s military chronologies suggest that there is something fishy about certain documents in Bush’s files, but the files lack copies of orders that would have to exist for the “change in AFSC” and “reassignment to ISLRS” papers to be genuine. The fact that Bush was discharged from ISLRS before he was legally entitled to that discharge raises questions as well.
Also missing from the files is a key document that would exist if Bush had ever really been assigned to ARPC (NARS-B) and been transferred from there to ISLRS. Under Air Force regulations, an AF 526 (Retirement Credit Summary) with an effective date of May 26, 1974, would have been generated covering the period from May 27, 1973 to May 26, 1974, and placed in Bush’s files. Only if Bush had remained in “Inactive Status” from September 15, 1973 onward would there be no such Retirement Credit Summary in Bush’s records for the final year of his Military Service Obligation.
When you compare the Bush records to the United States Statutes, Department of Defense regulations, and Air Force policies of the early 1970s, only one conclusion can be reached: that 30 years ago, George W. Bush shirked his sworn duty as a member of the United States Armed Forces to the national security of the United States of America.
However, Bush’s desertion from the Armed Forces thirty years ago is not terribly relevant. Lots of people make mistakes in their early twenties, and those mistakes do not necessarily reflect on the character of individuals when they are in their fifties.
What is relevant is Bush’s continued lies about his service, and his insistence upon presenting his service in the US Military as “honorable”. It was not. Bush simply blew off his last two years of required service, and was able to get away with it because he came from a politically influential family.
There is no other explanation for Bush’s records. None.
The “not observed” OER was dated May 2, 1973, but ARPC’s response (in the form of a “Notice of Missing or Correction of Officer Effectiveness Training Report”) was not prepared until June 29, 1973. The delay in the ARPC’s response can best be explained by reference to another document that appears in the Bush files, a computer generated “Uniform Military Personnel Record” that was printed on May 10, 1973.
The “footer” of this document (information that is included on the bottom of each page) indicates that the reason this printout was done was for a “Record Review” (“PREP FOR: RCD REVIEW). Item 17 notes, under “PROJ-REASON”, “no report for 1 year”. (“NO RPT 1 YR”). This strongly suggests that as a result of this highly irregular OER, ARPC was reacting by doing a review of Bush’s records. (see The OETR Scam).
The two most recent entries in any Bush file at ARPC would have been his attempt to transfer to a unit that would require him to do no training, and the orders removing him from flying status effective August 1, 1972 for failing to take his mandatory annual pilot’s physical. Even a cursory examination of Bush’s payroll records would show that he had not performed any active duty that would justify a claim that he was performing “equivalent training”, (see The Equivalent Training Scam) and that his attendance at these “equivalent training” periods was sporadic at best, and well below the standards set by the Air Force for “satisfactory participation.” (see The Points Scam)
And if ARPC went further, and made a phone call to the 187th Fighter Interceptor Group in Alabama where Bush was supposedly training, its Commander (LtC William Turnipseed) would have told them he had not seen Bush.
However, despite the strong circumstantial evidence that ARPC did conduct a review of Bush’s records prior to its responding to the “not observed” OETR, it cannot be stated unequivocally that such a review had taken place.
Bush’s request for discharge from TXANG, dated September 5, 1973, does not contain any information regarding where mail should be sent, despite noting that Bush was moving to Boston.
Bush’s discharge papers
(dated 10/1/73) indicate that TXANG had changed Bush’s official address. Under “Permanent Address For Mailing
Purposes”, the discharge papers say “Harvard Business School, Boston, Mass
However, this is not
the first place where a “Harvard Business School” address occurs. In his indorsement of
Bush’s discharge (dated 9/18/73), Major Bobby Hodges (Commander of the 147
Fighter Interceptor Group) listed Bush’s “HOR” as “Harvard Business School,
Soldiers Field, Boston, Mass 02263.”
It is this same
address that is included in the written orders (dated
10/16/73) that accompanied Bush’s
Of particular note is that this is actually an incorrect address for Harvard Business School. There is no “02263” zip code, and Harvard Business School’s actual zip code is 02163.
It should also be noted that, despite this address appearing on three separate documents in the Bush files, there is no evidence that either Bush or TXANG ever officially notified ARPC (through the required “change of address” procedures) that Bush was no longer living in Texas.
In fact, it can be
determined that no official change of address occurred prior to October 1,
1973. Bush’s payroll report for the
third (calendar) quarter of 1973 (which could only have been generated on
or after 10/1/73) listed Bush’s “check address” as “#4, 2910 Westheimer,
Houston, TX 77006.”
it is to this “Westheimer” address that the “Retirement Credit Summary”
that was “prepared” on January 30, 1974, and that notes that Bush’s status had
been changed to “Inactive”, was sent..
failure to respond to mail is confirmed by the use of a different address in a document that was mailed to
Bush on March 7, 1974, a mere five weeks after January 30. “5000 Longmont, Apt B, Houston TX 77027” was
the address that Bush listed as his residence when he signed up for TXANG in
1968. However, he had not lived at that
address for at least three years on March 7, 1974.
There are two possible
reasons why the Longmont address would have been used. The first is that “5000 Longmont” was the address
that Bush had listed as the home of his parents on the “emergency data” form
that Bush had filled out for the Air Force in 1968.
However, it appears that the “Longmont” address may have only been the “official” address being used by George HW Bush in 1968 when he was a congressman from Harris County (Houston), Texas. GHWB had built a “family home” on Briar Lane in Houston when he first moved to that city in 1959 after hitting it big in the oil business. (The GWHB archives contain documents indicating that he stilled owned the Briar Lane property in 1971, after he had left Congress, and contemporary articles about GWHB and Barbara Bush reference the fact that they currently live in the “family home” built by Bush.)
The second explanation for the use of this address is that “Longmont” may have been the most recent address that Bush’s local draft board had on file for him. APRC and Selective Service policies guaranteed that there would have been communication between the Air Force and Bush’s Houston draft board, especially when Bush was placed on “Inactive Status”, and ARPC may have found this address on such communication.
Bush’s official address had
changed once again by May 1, 1974, when ARPC notified Bush that upon the
completion of his MSO, Bush would be transferred to the “Inactive Standby
Reserve List Section (ISLRS). Mail was
being sent to “Harvard Business School” address, but this time with the correct
(02163) zip code.
Bush at this point finally does provide ARPC a street address in an undated letter in which he requests information about how to get out of the “Standby Reserve”.
Air Force made the appropriate change in Bush’s personnel data, because the final entry in the Bush
papers (dated November 21, 1974) are sent to “mail to” address indicated by
Bush in the undated letter.
This address sequence, especially the inclusion of the ”Longmont” address, can only be explained if Bush was not responding to significant communications from the Air Force, and in fact was being treated as a “non-locatee.” Bush’s status as a “non-locatee” provides the explanation for his being placed on “inactive status” on or around January 30th, 1974, and the fact that the Longmont address is used over a month after that date indicates that he remained a “non-locatee” for some time.
One of the more controversial aspects of Bush’s military records concerns the fact that Bush’s Military Service Obligation ended as of May 26, 1974, but Bush was not finally and completely discharged until November 21, 1974. It has been posited that this six month extension was “added on” to Bush’s MSO for punitive reasons.
However, this is not the case.
It was simply Air Force policy for officers
who were assigned to ARPC (ORS) or ARPC (NARS-B) when they completed their MSO
to be placed in the Inactive Status List Reserve Section (ISLRS) for up to
three years. ISLRS was the “Inactive
Reserves” within the “Standby Reserves”, and for all intents and purposes it
was just a list of former Reservists that the Air Force would call upon only
after the pool of “Ready Reserve” and “Active Status Standby Reserve” (NARS)
members had been exhausted. This would
require an act of Congress specifically authorizing the mobilization of those
Literally nothing was expected or demanded of officers who had been assigned to ISLRS upon completion of their MSO, they were not even required to certify that they were fit for duty.
The “order” reassigning Bush to the ISLRS from NARS-B cites the authority of paragraph 10 of AFM 35-3, the relevant portion of which is reproduced above.
An officer who was assigned to ISLRS could request removal from the list, and final discharge from the Reserves, effective any time up to six months after the completion of his MSO, and would be discharged from the list (and the Reserves themselves) automatically after three years.
Bush’s undated letter, in which he states that he “would like to discharge [sic] from the standby reserve” is Bush’s request to be discharged from the ISLRS (the “inactive status” standby reserves) pursuant to that policy.
 10 USC 511(d), 10 USC 651(a), and 50 App USC 456 (d)(1)
 Air Reserve Squadrons were special units that allowed certain people to remain in the “Ready Reserves” without participation in training. These people included Federal office holders and key Federal employees, and individuals whose civilian professions (such as doctors and clergymen) allowed them to maintain the skill sets that would be required of them if they were mobilized in the event of a national emergency.
 “AF Fm 77a” was Air Force Form 77a, a supplemental page for the OER, which was AF Form 77. The “unit of assignment” was responsible for filling out the OER, and when a Reservist was “attached” to another unit for training for any length of time, that unit would provide a form 77a to the “unit of assignment” for evaluation purposes.
 Bush entered the Air National Guard as an Apprentice Administrative Specialist. (AFSC 7023). But he did little or no training in that specialty. Most of the training Bush did between May 27, 1968 and September 6, 1968, when he became a “Pilot Trainee” (AFSC 0006) was “basic training” done by all new members of the Air National Guard. (One document has him listed a pilot trainee as of August 28th, 1968). His release from basic training record has his AFSC listed as “70010”, and although the text is blurred, it appears that his job title was “Adminsitrative Helpe.r”
 ARPC sent its response to the National Guard Bureau, which forwarded it to TXANG on August 8, 1973.
 It is not absolutely certain that this document originated with ARPC; however, the circumstances strongly suggest that it is as described.
 Turnipseed was initially certain that he had not seen Bush during the four days in October and November 1972 when Bush had been given permission to perform “equivalent training” with the 187th, and to report to Turnipseed when doing so. Of late, however, Turnipseed is claiming that he might not have been on the base at that time, that he might have Alzheimer’s disease, etc. Insofar as TXANG was telling ARPC that Bush had been with the 187th for the entire year, it can be assumed that if a phone call was made, Turnipseed would have reported that Bush had not been with his unit for that entire 1- month period.