27 Times the Commander-in-Chief Visited a Combat Zone

US_Navy_031127-F-5435R-006_President_George_W._Bush_pays_a_surprise_visit_to_Baghdad_International_Airport_BIAP-1024x703

BY BLAKE STILWELL – WEARETHEMIGHTY.COM

Generally, American presidents feel an obligation to see situations firsthand when they commit troops to war. To wit, here are 27 times commanders-in-chief left the White House and headed for combat zones:

1. FDR visits Casablanca as Allied forces assault Tripoli, January 1943

Casablanca-Conference

Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Casablanca Conference

2. FDR visits the Mediterranean island of Malta to confer with Winston Churchill, February 1945

Franklin_D._Roosevelt_and_Churchill_in_Malta_-_NARA_-_196998-984x768

3. Roosevelt meets Stalin and Churchill at Yalta, February 1945

Yalta_summit_1945_with_Churchill_Roosevelt_Stalin

4. Ike goes to Korea, December 1952

president-eisenhower-eats-with-soldiers-987x768

5. LBJ stops in Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam, 1966

Visit_of_President_Johnson_in_Vietnam-1024x684

(LBJ Library)

6. LBJ returns to Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam, 1967

i8K8WUOhjpTs

(LBJ Library)

7. Nixon visits in Saigon, South Vietnam, July 1969

142104_nixon_vietnamtroops_ap_1160-1024x555

(Nixon Library Photo)

8. Reagan stops at the Korean DMZ for lunch, November 1983

C18391-28

President Reagan in the food line during his trip to the Republic of Korea and a visit to the DMZ Camp Liberty Bell and lunch with the troops (Reagan Library photo)

9. Bush 41 drops in for Thanksgiving with U.S. troops during Desert Shield, 1990

Bush_troops

(Bush Library)

10. Clinton with U.S. troops at Camp Casey, South Korea, 1993

ab2c9ac3bacb52047c7b19bc02518b27

(DoD photo)

11. Clinton visits U.S. troops in Bosnia, January 1996

135679-004-B03EE713

Bill Clinton visiting U.S. troops at Tuzla Air Base in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1996. (DoD photo)

12. Clinton returns to Bosnia in December 1997 to visit NATO and U.S. troops

971222-A-8119B-148-962x768

President Bill Clinton shakes hands with soldiers at the Tuzla Air Field, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on Dec. 22, 1997. The president was accompanied by his wife Hillary, their daughter Chelsea, former Senator Bob Dole and his wife Elizabeth, for the holiday visit with the troops. (DoD photo by Spc. Richard L. Branham, U.S. Army)

13. Bush 43 grabs chow with the troops in South Korea, 2002

02

(White House Photo)

14. Bush 43 surprises troops in Iraq, November 2003

US_Navy_031127-F-5435R-006_President_George_W._Bush_pays_a_surprise_visit_to_Baghdad_International_Airport_BIAP-1024x703

President George W. Bush pays a surprise visit to Baghdad International Airport (BIAP). He gives an uplifting speech at the Bob Hope dining facility on Thanksgiving Day to all the troops stationed there. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Reynaldo Ramon)

15. Bush 43 returns to South Korea, Osan Air Base, 2005

920x920-1

16. Bush 43 visits Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, March 2006

hires_20060301-A-3111S-004-1024x714

President George Bush shakes hands with Sgt. Derek Kessler, 10th Mountain Division Headquarters Company driver. (U.S. Army photo)

17. Bush 43 visits troops in Baghdad, June 2006

20081214-3_d-1263-515h

(White House photo)

18. Bush 43 visits Al-Anbar province, Iraq, September 2007

20081215_d-0257-515h

President Bush: Visit Regimental Combat Team-2, Marine Wing Support Combat Patrol. Al Asad Airbase, Al Anbar Province, Iraq (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

19. Bush 43 returns to South Korea, August 2008

20080806-4_d-0795-2-515h

20. Bush 43 makes one last stop in Iraq, December 2008

2007_0903_bush_troops2

21. Obama stops in Iraq to see the troops, April 2009

3484860056_a69fd31ab1_b

(White House photo)

22. Obama stops into Osan Air Base, South Korea, November 2009

pict70-572x768

23. Obama makes his first stop at Bagram Air Base, December 2010

scr_4470941729f4fdf684eab1a

(U.S. Army photo)

24. Obama visits the DMZ, South Korea, March 2012

WorldLeadersArriveSouthKoreaAttend2012WqFyuwF34Rtl

(White House photo)

25. Obama makes his second trip to Afghanistan, May 2012

p050112ps-0491-1024x657

President Barack Obama greets U.S. troops at Bagram Air Field after a surprise visit to Afghanistan, May 1, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

26. Obama visits Yongsan Garrison, South Korea 2014

image

27. Obama makes what could be his last trip to Afghanistan, May 2014

Barack-Obama-998x665

 

blake stilwell  Blake Stilwell is a traveler, writer, and adventurer with degrees in design, television & film, and international relations. He is a veteran US Air Force Combat Photojournalist who has worked for ABC News, NBC, and HBO. Blake is based in Hollywood, but often found elsewhere.


MORE POSTS FROM WE ARE THE MIGHTY:

The 4 US Presidents with the craziest war stories

8 Presidents who actually saw combat in a big way

These photos show what our veteran presidents looked like in uniform

We Are The Mighty (WATM) celebrates service with stories that inspire. WATM is made in Hollywood by veterans. It’s military life presented like never before. Check it out at We Are the Mighty.