The United States military has clear and concise rules that apply to everyone in uniform. It’s known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The last section covers everything that isn’t covered specifically. That section is called “Article 134. General Article.” That section reads, “Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.”
A simple interpretation of this is anything that reflects badly on the military is punishable. The deferments the president received were to his benefit. If he had served surely something would have been seen as reflecting badly on the military.
It can only be wished that there was a mechanism that held the Congress and the executive branch to the same high standards that our military is held. Sincerely wish that it were so.
Gil Beyer, USN retired, Sandpoint