President Ronald Reagan once received a letter of recruitment from the Marines.
While he was President.
At the age of 73.
And to no one’s surprise, Reagan responded with a characteristic sense of humor that made him one of our most beloved Presidents.
Reagan penned a response letter to the Marines, saying there was “no doubt” he would have a different life if he had joined the corp months earlier. He would add that while his political opponents might enjoy him jumping to the Marines, it was unlikely because “Nancy is happy with the house and I am totally satisfied with my job.”
Reagan ends by asking, “Would you consider a deferment until 1989?”
As much as Ronald Reagan is remembered for his love of country, he is also remembered for his dry sense of humor. His response to a recruitment letter from the Marine Corps – received while he was president – was classic Reagan.
In May of 1984, after the 73-year-old president received the letter, he replied in quintessential Reaganesque style:
Dear General Kelly,
I regret that I must decline the attached invitation to enlist in the United States Marine Corps.
As proud as I am of the inference concerning my physical fitness, it might be better to continue as the Commander-in-Chief. Besides, at the present time it would be rather difficult to spend ten weeks at Parris Island.
The recruiter notes that “had (I) joined six months ago, I would have a whole new life now.” There is no doubt about that. As much as the other political party would appreciate the notion, Nancy is happy with the house and I am totally satisfied with my job. As for the immediate future, I have the kind of tenacity the Corps is famous for in my resolve to stay here for the next four years. Would you consider a deferment until 1989?
On a more serious note, P. X., I’m sure my invitation came as the result of a lance corporal’s overactive imagination. Nevertheless, please let him know that he honored me in believing that I have what it takes to become a United States Marine.
President Reagan may not have had what it takes to be a U.S. Marine at the age of 73, but I’m sure he got a few laughs out of the Corps with this response.
What do you think of President Reagan’s response to the Marine Corps recruitment letter?