Today we pause to celebrate three of our nation's most decorated presidents. Before assuming the actual role of commander in chief, each displayed selfless heroism and bravery in the armed forces, fearlessly defining what it means to serve their country.
LIEUTENANT COMMANDER GERALD R. FORD
Branch: US Navy
Ford became inspired to join the Navy after Pearl Harbor was attacked. During his 4 years of service, he earned 2 Bronze Stars and many medals for his courage in battle. He spent a year and a half aboard the USS Monterey and received 9 engagement stars for countless successful operations in the Pacific Ocean, including strikes on the Gilbert Islands, Marshall Islands and more.
GENERAL OF THE ARMY DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Branch: US Army
Dwight Eisenhower was the only modern-day president to hold the esteemed 5-star ranking as a general. His long and illustrious military career spans 30 years, in which he rose from a Second Lieutenant in 1915 to General of the Army in 1944, winning a presidency in between. Eisenhower's strong leadership won several invasions in Europe in World War II, eventually leading to Germany's surrender in 1945.
COLONEL THEODORE ROOSEVELT
Branch: US Army
When the Spanish-American war began in 1898, Roosevelt left Washington as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and volunteered to join the fight. He and another colonel formed the First US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. Dubbed "Rough Riders" by the press, Roosevelt trained a diverse group of volunteers from across the US and eventually led them to victory against the Spaniards.