The arc of former president Bill Clinton’s activities aimed at avoiding the military draft during the Vietnam War years between 1968 and 1969 is quite difficult to trace. As at the time when this issue became one worthy of national discourse back in 1992, Biographers were faced with the task of reinventing the events of that time. Some of the key actors were already dead by this time. Also, the main actor in this plot Bill Clinton often appeared to provide false information in that regard. That notwithstanding, documents and personal memories available had enabled the writers to recreate vital elements of the story. So was Bill Clinton in the Military? We will answer this and other related questions today.
Was Bill Clinton in the military?
Not really. He, however, received draft deferment while he was still at Oxford in the United Kingdom. However, when it became time for him to attend law school in America, there was a chance that could change, hence he struck a deal with Colonel Holmes that he would enlist with the ROTC and as such avoid the draft. When the time, however, came to do so, he rescinded his decision. Later on, Colonel Holmes stated that he felt like Clinton deceived him on purpose. In the words of Clinton, it was not an honorable thing to ROTC, reserve or be in the National Guard in a bid to avoid having to serve in Vietnam. Even though he eventually did not serve in Vietnam, he was subjected to a draft to remain politically viable.
The Real Story Unveiled
The whole saga started when an eighteen-year-old Bill gained admission to Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service back in 1964. As it was legally required back then, he registered with the Selective Service System in 1964 and was soon assigned a student deferment. With his status as a college student, Clinton would have hoped that he would have been deferred from the draft for at least a few more years. This hope may have been reinforced by the fact that at that time, there were only 32 American men who were chosen to be recipients of the Rhodes Scholarships to study at the prestigious Oxford University in England.
Then came February 1968 when the Federal government canceled all draft deferment for most of their graduate students. This meant that Clinton would no longer be qualified for added student deferment as soon as he completed his program at Georgetown. He was thus reclassified as immediately available for military service.
In 1968, Clinton stated that even though he had no issue with military action or even war, he had some reservations about the war against Vietnam. And as such he began seeking ways to avoid the draft. He began leveraging on the social and political connections of his uncle Raymond Clinton among others who came up with arrangements to secure a billet for Clinton within the naval reserve.
Who Is Bill Clinton?
Born as William Jefferson Clinton on the 19th of August 1946, he became the 42nd president of America and served between 1993 and 2001. By 1978, Bill Clinton became the youngest serving governor in America when he became the governor of Arkansas. He was elected as the president of America in 1992 and also got re-elected in 1996. Clinton is credited to have enacted certain legislation such as the Family and Medical Leave Act. He is also credited to have overseen two different terms of prosperity. He would, however, be impeached in 1998 by the House of Representatives as a result of an affair with Monica Lewinsky.
The Senate, however, acquitted Clinton in 1999. He has gone on to work for organizations such as the Clinton Foundation and was active in the campaigns for his wife when she sought to become president5.
What Was His Age When He Was Inaugurated As The President?
Bill Clinton got inaugurated as the 42nd American President in 1993 at the age of 46 thus making him the third-youngest president in American history as at then.
What Is The Story Behind His Affair With Monica Lewinsky?
One thing that sought to overshadow Bill Clinton’s second term in office was his affair with a certain Monica Lewinsky. At the onset of the scandal, he denied the existence of such an affair. He would however later admit to having an affair with Lewinsky who was at that time an intern in the White House.
The affair was exposed by a prosecutor after he had initially expanded upon an initial investigation of the Whitewater investments while he was the governor of Arkansas. By 2008, the prosecutor came up with a report which succinctly detailed grounds for possible impeachment against Clinton. Decades after, a movement came up with sought to re-examine the whole sexual saga with several Clinton’s staunch supporters at that time questioning the way the whole thing was handled.
According to New York Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, Clinton ought to have resigned because Lewinsky remarked that her affair with Clinton was characterized by an unusual abuse of position. Clinton informed interviewers in June 2018 that he would not have acted or responded to the situation any different from the way he did back then. He also said he saw no need to privately apologize to his intern back then.
Did Bill Clinton Get Impeached?
Yes, he was impeached by the House of Representatives but was however acquitted by the senate. This meant that he retained his seat as the president for both terms in office. As of December 1998, the Republican-dominated House chose to impeach him for obstruction of Justice and Perjury because of the Lewinsky affair. After a five-week trial in February 1999, he was acquitted by the Senate on either article of impeachment.
What Were The Notable Accomplishments Of Bill Clinton?
Despite several achievements during his first years as the President of America such as the LGBT military personnel don’t ask don’t tell policy as well as the ratification of NAFTA, he was quite vulnerable in his first years in office. During his time as President, he is noted to have endorsed a very large health care reform acct which was created to give the people universal coverage. However, the bill couldn’t make it through Congress and even boomeranged to become a huge political miscalculation which made the Republicans regain control of both the House and Senate in 1994.
Clinton would, however, stage a comeback when he once again embraced centrist policies to improve upon his popularity in preparation for the 1996 elections. In 1996 he signed to law the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act which added about 100,000 policemen and prescribed harsher punishments for certain crimes. He also approved an increase in the national minimum wage. In addition to this, he emerged unscathed after a budget dispute with the House of Representatives which lasted for about three weeks and lead to a shutdown of the government.
One of his greatest accomplishments over his two terms as the president of America is that he led the nation through a period of great economic prosperity. When he was in office, the country went on to enjoy one of the lowest rates of unemployment in a long while. There was also an increase in median income and homeownership.
His foreign policy achievements also included a period when he presided over the signing of the 1993 signing of the Oslo Accord between Palestine and Israel. This occasion witnessed the handshake between Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin. Occurrences such as the failure of the American military mission to Somalia as well as the perceived inaction of America during the Genocide in Rwanda made his administration look like a failure.
What Is Clinton’s Family Life Like?
Back in 1971, Bill Clinton met Hillary Rodham who had the same political vision and ambition like him. They both graduated from Yale in 1973 and soon got married. Their union is blessed with an only daughter Chelsea. On the 26th of September 2014, Clinton became a grandfather and soon got his second grandchild in 2016 and the third in 2019.
At a point during the 1992 presidential campaign, his doctors gave him a clean bill of health even though they suggested that he lose some weight. Clinton’s father had died from a car crash three months before he was born and had to be raised by his mother.
Over the years, many American greats have had to prove that they were in the army at the time when it was compulsory to do so if the criteria were met. But was Clinton in the military, we believe we have done justice to this question and others in this article. Clinton will always be remembered as one of the best presidents America ever produced despite the scandals.
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