DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Investigation

Deferments Helped Trump Dodge Vietnam

How the presidential candidate avoided combat

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Trump Draft Deferment

7/18/15 UPDATE: Now that Donald Trump has maligned Senator John McCain as a phony war hero who got himself captured in Vietnam, below you’ll find a reminder--which TSG published the last time the Republican claimed to be running for president--how Trump avoided military service.

The son of a wealthy real estate developer, Trump received four student deferments that were followed by a 1968 medical deferment that came a few months after he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

After denigrating McCain during remarks today at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, Trump faced reporters’s questions about his lack of service. Asked about the last of his five deferments, Trump said that his disqualifying medical condition was a bone spur in one of his feet (he could not remember which one). It is unknown on which golf course the injury was sustained.

APRIL 28--Despite Donald Trump’s claim this week that he avoided serving in the Vietnam War solely due to a high draft number, Selective Service records show that the purported presidential aspirant actually received a series of student deferments while in college and then topped those off with a medical deferment after graduation that helped spare him from fighting for his country, The Smoking Gun has learned.

During a TV interview Tuesday morning, Trump--who spent his high school years enrolled at the New York Military Academy--said, “I actually got lucky because I had a very high draft number. I’ll never forget, that was an amazing period of time in my life.”

He went on to recall, “I was going to the Wharton School of Finance, and I was watching as they did the draft numbers and I got a very, very high number and those numbers never got up to.” The word “deferment” was not mentioned by Trump during his chat with the morning show hosts on WNYW, the Fox affiliate in New York City.

However, Selective Service records reveal that Trump, the fortunate son of a multimillionaire real estate baron, took repeated steps to avoid serving in Vietnam.

By the time his number (356) was drawn during the December 1, 1969 draft lottery, Trump had already received four student deferments and a medical deferment, according to military records on file with the National Archives and Records Administration. An extract of Trump’s Selective Classification record, seen here, was provided in response to a TSG records request.

In fact, the December 1969 draft lottery occurred about 18 months after Trump graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied business at the Wharton School. So, while claiming that he would “never forget” being at Wharton watching the draft numbers being drawn, the 64-year-old Trump seems to have misremembered, as candidates are fond of saying.

Trump obtained his first two Class 2-S student deferments in June 1964 and December 1965, when he was student at Fordham University in the Bronx. He was briefly reclassified as 1-A--or "available for military service"--in late-November 1966, but that classification was switched back to 2-S three weeks later.

Another 2-S deferment is dated January 16, 1968, just months before his graduation from UPenn (to which he transferred following his sophomore year at Fordham).

Following his UPenn graduation, Trump--no longer qualified for a 2-S deferment--was again briefly classified as available for service on July 9. However, three months later, on October 15, his classification was switched to 1-Y, which was given to men deemed qualified for military service “only in time of national emergency.”

The 1-Y classification came a month after Trump underwent an “Armed Forces Physical Examination,” according to Selective Service records, which note the results of the exam as “DISQ.” While the military records do not further detail why Trump was granted the 1-Y deferment, a 1992 biography of the businessman by journalist Wayne Barrett reported that Trump received a medical deferment following the September 17, 1968 exam.

Trump’s 1-Y classification stayed in effect until February 1, 1972 when it was changed to a 4-F classification (which covered registrants not qualified for military service). The change in classification was likely prompted by the military’s December 1971 decision to abolish the 1-Y classification.

The Selective Service records also include a copy of the registration card signed by Trump in June 1964, 10 days after he turned 18. The possible future Commander-in-Chief, it turns out, has birthmarks on both his heels. (3 pages)

Comments (75)

um, no. the news is Ovomit released his birth certificate. finally. even the mighty Hillary couldn't get him to do it. Trump did, it was posted here, and it was the first time it had seen the light of day. thats the news.
maybe the documents are forged, a la, GW
Ah, the very definition of "Chickenhawk" rears its ugly head once again. This should be a fun read.
Your last sentence proves my point, Astronoob. The media attacks everyone EXCEPT Obama... you know... because nothing is his fault and, if you feel otherwise, you're at the very least non-progressive, and probably a racist.
There's no double standard here. This is clearly the result of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. Trump has been pushing for more and more exposure of Obama and as such is getting more scrutiny himself the more he opens his mouth.
The media has never put Obama -- before or after he was elected -- through the same scrutiny they put everyone else through. Such a biased double-standard. The media has been "looking the other way" for so long now, they're going to need neck surgery when Obama's no longer in office.
Well, let's see how The Donald will hold-up to media scrutiny, when they do what they do. Which is crawl up your patutti, once ya get out there.
I don't care if he didn't go to Vietnam. However I found it amusing that Republicans made a big deal about it with Clinton only to later vote in a President and Vice President who both avoided Vietnam in contrast to their opponent who did go!
And the vile GOPigs smeared Kerry's service.
The real question is, are we really thinking of Trump as a candidate? Isn't he just a side show freak candidate, like the comic sent out before the real acts show up? Please tell me he's not a real candidate. After watching the fiasco of pretending Palin was a real candidate, I can't take it again. Please Republicans, find a fiscally responsible candidate who is eager to cross party lines to find solutions to our problems! A fiscally responsible, very boring moderate might be able to save our country. Forget the tea party rabblerousers!
What happened to Rockefella Rupublicans? Why is the political spectrum so far to the right? The worst part is Obama is too moderate for me but the rebublicas still like to shout from the rooftops that he is some crazy liberal lunatic. I see almost no change since Bush was in office.
EXACTLY! It's such a joke to call him a liberal or a socialist. He's completely moderate. I won't say he is like Bush, because Bush had a completely hands off domestic policy--"let the house burn, boys, it'll put itself out in the natural course of things." Like what Obama does or not(I often don't), at least he does something! GW was collecting checking for doing nothing while the country was going into decline. Anyway, I could go for fiscally responsible, boring, moderate republican. And I wish Trump would just go away.
I often don't like Obama's policies either. At this point I find myself a Liberal because outspoken moderates are nowhere to be found and in my opinion this country doesn't need too many fiscally conservative economic policies. We are in a recession and I believe in keynesian economics.
I'm not a fan of Donald but I won't hate on anyone who got out of fighting that war. Poor or rich, it was a horrible place to be (No, I was not there).
As a die hard liberal and a twenty year Navy vet 71-91, the point is not whether he went to a horrible war, but that he lies about why he did not serve at that time. I joined during Vietnam but didn't serve in country, did that in the First Gulf War. I don't mind if someone had a deferment to not serve, but if you lie about it and then start talking like you are a street punk but couldn't fight your way out of your own hair, you have shown yourself to be what Emerson referred to as a "sunshine patriot". Donald Trump is nothing more then a cowardly bully.
His millionaire father paid off the examinating crook doctor and others at the Selective Service office and his son didn't have to serve in the military, but now he wants to be Commander and Chief???? What a piece of sissy-fied crap in a bad suit.....this guy couldn't carry my jock strap!!! Enough of this carnival barker clown in a bad hair piece-TSG should stop reporting about this sissy draft is not a measure of good character!!!
So what!! Bill Clinton was an outright draft dodger, and he bacame president! At least Trump did it the right and legal way, not like Clinton
Clinton didn't break a single law. He received a student deferment then took advantage of that. And he was never officially drafted, either, due to his high-number that was unlikely to be called on.
Funny how the sons of rich white men ended up with high draft numbers. Guess they're just lucky huh?
Sorry, Snooki - The draft number selection was a random process held each year. They pulled a birthday out of a bin and assigned it a number (1-365). If your birthday was the first one pulled, you were the Lucky #1. The last one pulled got the really lucky #365. Since there were both rich and poor men with the same birthday, the rich ones could not "buy" a higher number.
Swampfox26 shows his age. Those of us who were born male before or during World War II came of age having a Sword of Damocles hanging over us in the form of the draft - unless you got married you needed a series of deferments to get you past your 26th birthday, and the closer you got to that day the closer to the head of the list at your local draft board your name got (the oldest were called first) For those who were college bound it meant you stayed in school - no gap years - if you were from a place where most boys went to college. From places like the one where I grew up half the boys volunteered within three months of high school graduation - so the draft board's quota was filled without anyone getting drafted. That ended with the coming of the war in Vietnam, of course - then getting medical deferments became the goal, because draft boards were no longer willing to extend student deferments past age 26. Until a year or two into Vietnam marriage was good for a deferment, and then it continued to be possible to "baby out" for another couple of years - but by the time the lottery went into effect it took connections (to get into the Guard, for instance, like Quayle and Bush the lesser) or an excessively liberal (i.e., anti-war) doctor to give you a medical deferment (Limbaugh got his for an anal cyst) The draft was re-instituted in the US in 1940, and remained in use until the all volunteer army was adopted in the early 70s. The lottery was in effect only for the last couple of years
Sorry, Swampfox26 -- You're comment is incorrect. The United States had a draft in place dating back to World War II. In the 60's, both before and at the height of the Vietnam War, and during the period of time when Trump was in college, millions of men age 18 and older were drafted into the military. Trump managed to use student and medical deferments to avoid service throughout this period. Draft card burnings and other forms of draft protest were used as part of the larger effort to protest and end US involvement in the Vietnam War. The draft, as those of us who grew up in that era knew it, was forever changed in 1969 when Nixon replaced it with the draft lottery, which then was replaced in the 70's with the all-volunteer Army. Trump's avoidance of the draft during the 60's had nothing to do with the luck of a lottery number. The thing with Trump now is that, as with his claims about Obama's birth certificate, he is just flat out lying about his draft record and he knows it. He used every device at his disposal to keep from being drafted, as did so many others. [I enlisted and went to Vietnam myself]. But he must think we're all too stupid to see it, or that we weren't going to find out.
Sorry, meant "your" comment is incorrect ...
The rich men paid doctors to get their kids deferments. I know, I was working in a pharmacy at the time in a very high-wealth area, and the guys would come in all the time, talking about how they'd managed to "get their kids out of there." We knew the local doctor that would write the recommendations for medical deferments, as well. The draft was equally fair to everyone who didn't have the money or connections to buy their way out.
Right and legal? What kind of BS is THAT???