A follow up on the history of presidents and the National Guard.
A reader writes in to note that Harry Truman's service in the Guard was very much like that from the 19th Century (see this post from this morning for an explanation.) And in fact Truman reentered the Guard as a way to get into World War I. He even, rather quixotically, tried to get back in for World War II.
As Truman's bio at the Truman presidential library says ...
From 1905 to 1911, Truman served in the Missouri National Guard. At the outbreak of World War I, he helped organize the 2nd Regiment of Missouri Field Artillery, which was quickly called into Federal service as the 129th Field Artillery and sent to France. Truman was promoted to Captain and given command of the regiment's Battery D. He and his unit saw action in the Vosges, Saint Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns. Truman joined the reserves after the war, rising eventually to the rank of colonel. He sought to return to active duty at the outbreak of World War II, but Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall declined his offer to serve.
If the <$Ad$>question is, how many presidents served in the National Guard? The real answer is, I believe, three -- including President Bush. If the question is how many served in the modern, post-19th century Guard, the question is basically one -- President Bush.
If the question is how many presidents entered the Guard in wartime to avoid combat, the answer is clearly one -- President Bush.
Here, though, there is one president in a roughly similar position. That was Grover Cleveland -- the 22nd and 24th president of the United States -- who paid for a substitute to take his place (yes, that was legal) after he was drafted during the Civil War.