King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein
Jordan king, Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, has been king of the Middle East country since 1999 when he took over after his father’s death that year. Prior to becoming king, he served in his country’s army and today, his training in the military continues to help him with managing security issues especially as it concerns the fight against Islamic extremism in the region.
According to the king’s biography, he enrolled in the United Kingdom’s Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in 1980 and went on to become an elite Cobra attack helicopter pilot. He rose through the ranks to become commander of Jordan’s Special Forces in November 1993. It took then Prince Abdullah three years to turn the small Special Forces unit into today’s elite Special Operations Command (SOCOM) arguably the best operatives in the Middle East.
A man of action, King Abdullah is a qualified frogman, pilot and free-fall parachutist. He’s also a keen collector of ancient weapons and armaments. As the head of a constitutional monarchy, the career soldier holds substantial power.
His special force, The King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC) is located in Amman, Jordan and is a one-of-a-kind facility. Its unique nature derives from an extraordinary combination of cutting-edge training, elite instructor and support staff and its integrated advanced technology. This translates into the best reality-based training on the globe for special operations forces, counter-terrorism units, law enforcement and others.
Before he became Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu served in the Israeli Army. Born in Tel Aviv in 1949, when his family moved to the United States in 1963, Netanyahu moved too. His father Benzion, the historian and Zionist activist, had just been offered an academic post in the North American country.
At the age of 18, however, Netanyahu returned to Israel, where he spent five distinguished years in the army, serving as a captain in an elite commando unit, the Sayeret Matkal. He took part in a raid on Beirut’s airport in 1968 and fought in the 1973 Middle East war.
After his military service ended, he went back to the US, where he earned bachelors and master’s degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
From fighting the Taliban to launching support groups to help wounded veterans, the Duke of Sussex has spent his entire adult life in uniform.
Prince Harry stands out, not just for his social exploits, which was handsomely documented by the British tabloids, but rather for his quite lengthy and legitimate military career – something for him that was as much a way of serving his country as it was an escape from the public eye.
“You can only fit a certain amount of people in a helicopter, therefore no one can follow us,” he joked at the end of a four month combat tour in Afghanistan back in 2013. No one, of course, meant no press. A helicopter represented a means of escape. Life in the chopper was a predilection he shared with his brother, father, and uncle, all of whom learned to fly military helicopters as well.
He served in the Army for ten years, rising to the rank of Captain and undertaking two tours of Afghanistan. He continues to work in support of his fellow servicemen, promoting support for wounded men and women as they adapt to life post-injury.
George H. W. Bush
Former president of the United States, George H. W. Bush enlisted in the United States Navy on his 18th birthday, June 12, 1942, as a Seaman 2nd Class. He was commissioned an ensign and pilot and served aboard the USS San Jacinto flying Grumman Avener bombers with the 3rd and 5th Fleets.
On September 2, 1944, Bush was assigned to take out a radio station located in the Bonin Islands. In the course of the action, Bush’s plane was hit with enemy fire. Though the plane was on fire, he completed his strafing run on the targeted Japanese installation before flying towards sea to bail out offshore from Chichi Jima, a Japanese-held island near the more well-known Iwo Jima. He was rescued by a Navy submarine, the USS Finback. A genuine hero, Bush was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals. He was discharged in September 1945 with the rank of lieutenant.
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