An Officer and The Presidency: The Impact of Military Service on the Commander in Chief
The military experience - or lack thereof - of presidential candidates has emerged as an issue in nearly every election from George Washington to George W. Bush. Popular wars are more likely to produce presidents, but success in combat doesn't automatically translate into a successful presidency. Some of the country's least accomplished presidents were war heroes, and some of the most effective had no military experience at all.
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Reporting by Karen Yourish; Graphic by Laura Stanton - The Washington Post