George P. Bush Joins Navy Reserve
George Prescott Bush has joined the Navy Reserve at the age of 30.
George P. Bush, a nephew of President Bush who was a hit on the campaign trail, has been accepted in the Navy Reserve as an intelligence officer and has begun the process of being commissioned for eight years of service.
Bush, 30, said in a telephone interview from his office at a real estate development firm in Fort Worth, Texas, that he was moved to join the service in part when he attended the rainy commissioning in October of the aircraft carrier named for his grandfather — the USS George H.W. Bush. “My grandfather’s my hero, and what really sold me on the ultimate decision was having the chance to see the CVN-77 be commissioned under his name,” he said. “That was pretty moving, and I had a chance to meet some Navy admirals, as well. I had a chance to talk to them briefly about the opportunity, and I was won over.”
George Prescott Bush, the oldest son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, said the death of Pat Tillman, the NFL player and Army Ranger who was killed in Afghanistan in 2004 in what was later determined to be a friendly-fire incident, “was a wake-up call for me.” He said he even “looked into active duty” and had somber conversations with his wife about the possibility.
Bush said he had not intended to announce his plans. “Honestly, I’m kind of a little disappointed that the word got out,” he said. “I was hoping to keep this as confidential as possible. I’m not doing it for political purposes or anything along those lines. I’m just doing it because I’ve been inspired by the friends of mine that have served, either through the JAG (military law) program or through the Reserves. I thought this was a small way that I could get involved.”
He sure took a lot of convincing, having been moved by the 2004 death of Pat Tillman, some JAG friends, his grandfather, and personal recruitment from several admirals.
While joining the Reserves is hardly the “get out of service free” card that it was in Vietnam–indeed, Reservists in some specialties are more likely to get deployed than many of their Active counterparts these days–the Navy Reserve isn’t at the top of the call-up list. My guess is that he’ll get to continue his business career largely unabated and use this “disappointing” news coverage to his advantage once he joins the real family business, politics.
I shouldn’t have been so glib. It’s true that there are riskier paths than the Navy Reserve but, certainly, civilian life is much safer. And not many 30-year-old rich guys from famous families are signing up.