Donald Trump says going to military academy is like serving in the military

Donald Trump's year book photo at New York Military Academy. Photo Credit: Pinterest

As Donald Trump continues his bid to become President of the United States, his recent statements about the military in a new book are starting to draw lots of attention.

Trump says he always felt like he was in the military because of his education at a military-themed boarding school.  He attended the New York Military Academy in Cornwall-on-Hudson — where he wore a uniform and participated in marching drills– from eighth grade through the end of high school.

A New York Times article, which includes excerpts from the book, states:  “Mr. Trump’s preoccupation with winning — at anything and everything, big or small — dominated his youth.” His mentor at the New York Military Academy, called Mr. Trump “a conniver, even then.”

The Republican presidential candidate never served in the military. Trump received draft deferments through much of the war because of a medical problem — heel spurs, on both feet.

Trump called Vietnam ‘a mistake’ and told former Newsday reporter Michael D’Antonio:  “After the Vietnam War, all those military academies lost ground because people really disrespected the military.”

“I felt that I was in the military in the true sense because I dealt with those people,” Trump told Mr. D’Antonio, referring to some of his instructors, who served in the military.  But the author wrote not many of the academy’s alumni “would compare military school with actual military service.”  For the record, Trump’s year book from the New York Military Academy lists ‘Neatness and Order’ as the only medal he earned.  This award, which was no longer awarded after the 1960’s, does not distinguish Trump in anyway from someone who actually served in the military.

New York Military Academy's Neatness and Order medal. Photo credit: Ebay
New York Military Academy’s Neatness and Order medal. Photo credit: Ebay

Trump also caught the media’s attention when he decided to question Senator John McCain’s service by saying, “He’s not a war hero…He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

Mr. Trump talked about his education, business life, marriages and childhood in interviews with the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, whose biography of Trump will be published later this month. According to the book, Mr. Trump attended the New York Military Academy after years of bad behavior at another, more traditional prep school in Queens.

In the forthcoming biography, second wife Marla Maples describes Trump as a “little boy that still wants attention.”

“He wants to be noticed,” said first wife, Ivana Trump.  Ivana recalled sending her then-husband into a ‘fit of rage’ by skiing past him during a trip to Aspen. Like a stubborn child, Trump took off his skis and walked off. “He could not take it, that I could do something better than he did,” she said.

“Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success,” will be published Sept. 22.


  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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