Highest military rank held by U.S. presidents 1789-1973

Highest rank attained by U.S. presidents while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces between 1770 and 1973

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Release date



United States

Survey time period

1770 to 1973

Supplementary notes

*Includes George Washington, who had served in an equal capacity as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, and was promoted posthumously to the rank of General of the Armies in 1976.

**Former President William Howard Taft was a major general of the American Red Cross during the First World War; as this was not a military role and was done as a means of providing him with additional authority during wartime, it has not been included in this data. Taft also enlisted in the Connecticut State Guard during the war, which acted as a substitute for the Connecticut National Guard while they were on active duty; again, this has not been included in this data.

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