The title “Command in Chief” isn’t an honorary one for the President of the United States. The Constitution actually states, “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.” Since the National Security Act of 1947, this has also been understood to mean all United States Armed Forces – however, the exact degree of the authority that the Constitution grants POTUS has been the subject of debate.

What is important to note, however, is that the president need not have actually served in any branch of the military, yet still is considered the Commander in Chief. Despite this fact, 29 presidents did serve in the military – a tradition that goes back to George Washington. Read More