Fact or Fiction: Pete Buttigieg Says He Would Have the Most Military Experience in Oval Office Since George H.W. Bush

City of South Bend, Indiana/Handout via Reuters

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, made a claim on January 31 that he has more military experience than any recent president.

Question

Is Buttigieg correct?

On January 31, Buttigieg recognized his military and government experience as his qualifications for the presidency in an interview with “CBS This Morning.”

“I’ve got more years of executive experience than the vice president, and I have more military experience than anybody who’s arrived behind that desk since George H.W. Bush,” Buttigieg said.

Watch the video below:

Research

According to Politifact, Buttigieg has served longer in the military than recent presidents. He served in the U.S. Navy Reserve for eight years from 2009 to 2017, with his first term including a six-month deployment in Afghanistan.

George W. Bush is the only president to have any military association following his dad’s departure from the Oval Office in 1993.

The elder Bush’s son served in the Texas Air National Guard for five years from 1968 to 1973 as a pilot but saw no combat. Also, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton had no military background prior to their stints as commander in chief.

Fact or Fiction

Fact. 

Buttigieg served eight years in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and this claim is true based on the track record of the previous four presidents. Trump, Obama, and Clinton have no military background, and George W. Bush served five years in the Texas Air National Guard. The claim is rated as fact.

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