We posted yesterday on the fact that the Democrats’ groundless attack on President Bush’s National Guard service may have the unintended effect of informing voters of the fact that Bush was, in fact, an excellent fighter pilot–a fact that has not been widely known.
USA Today has published lengthy extracts from the President’s National Guard records; reader Ruth Solomon has performed the valuable service of transcribing the highlights of the PDF files that are available online.
In both 1971 and 1972, the President received top-notch evaluations, with most of his ratings in the highest category possible. Here is the narrative portion of the 1971 evaluation:
Lt Bush is an exceptionally fine young officer and pilot. After completing the F102 all weather interceptor school in November 1969, he came to this unit as a highly qualified fighter interceptor pilot. Lt Bush possesses
sound judgement and is mature beyond his age and experience level. During the last weapons firing deployment, he delivered both primary and secondary
weapons from the F102. Lt Bush performed in an outstanding manner, following the test projects requirement set forth. He also participated in a practice element deployment during annual field training. He was easily able to handle intercepts with varying geometries and tactics selection. He continually flies intercept missions with the unit to increase his proficiency further. Lt Bush is a natural leader but he is also a good follower of military discipline. Lt Bush has outstanding growth potential and should be promoted well ahead of his contemporaries.
And this is the narrative portion for 1972:
Lt Bush is an exceptional fighter interceptor pilot and officer. He eagerly participates in scheduled unit activities. During the past year he
participated in several target force deployments and an F-102 aircraft element deployment in Canada. His conduct and professional approach to the mission were clearly exemplary and apparent to observers. His skills as an interceptor pilot enabled him to complete all his ADC intercept missions during the Canadian deployment with ease.
OTHER COMMENTS: Lt Bush is very active in civic affairs in the community and manifests a deep interest in the operation of our government. He has recently accepted a position as a campaign manager for a candidate for United States Senate. He is a good representative of the military and the Air National Guard in the business world. His abilities and anticipated future assignments make him a valuable asset. He is a member of the National Guard Association of the United States and Texas.
Those last comments look pretty prescient.