The President with 5 Stars Also Had Wings


President Dwight Eisenhower first president with a pilot license
President Dwight D. Eisenhower

If you are looking for a poster child for “overachiever” you might consider Dwight D. Eisenhower.

This Kansas farm boy rose from modest beginnings to become one of only five Americans to achieve the five-star rank of General of the Army and the only one of those to become President of the United States. (see note below)

As if that weren’t enough, he also earned his wings in 1937, thus becoming the first President to have a pilot’s license. Although he earned his wings while in the US Army, he did not attempt to qualify for Army Aviator status. It would be left to one of his successors, George H.W. Bush, to become the first qualified Army Aviator to ascend to the Presidency.

NOTE: President George Washington held the title General of the Armies (6 stars), but it was not awarded to him until 177 years after his death. President Ulysses S. Grant held the title General of the Army, but it was a four-star designation at that time.

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