Romney Gets Backed by Retired Generals – With Air Force Leading the Way

Mitt Romney talks with two Air Force pilots next to a T-38 trainer at Port Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. (JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages)

Gearing up for next week’s foreign policy debate, the Romney campaign has released a list of its “Military Advisory Council” – 359 retired generals and admirals who have decided to throw their support behind the Republican candidate.

“I am deeply honored to have the support of so many of our most accomplished military leaders,” said Romney in the press release. “Together we will restore our military might and ensure that America can defend and protect our interests, our allies, and our people, both at home and abroad.”

Now, whether the nation’s military might is in need of restoring is a question that’s up for debate. And frankly, having a “council” with 359 top brass all giving their opinion at once might make it hard for them to be heard.

Still, Intercepts thought it would be interesting to take a look at just who is on this council, and how the demographics break down by service.

So how’d it shake out?

The Air Force has the most Romney backers, with 154 individuals signed on. Next comes the Navy, with 128, and then a steep drop to the Army at 46, the Marines at 21 and the Coast Guard with 10. For the purpose of simplification, we included the various Reserves and National Guard brass in the service total.

It’s interesting that the Air Force is leading the way on this, because the service has received limited mention from the Romney campaign when they have talked foreign policy, as vague as those discussions have been. At  a September campaign appearance, Romney said he wanted to purchase more F-22s; his adviser Roger Zakheim later told reporters Romney’s priorities would include a new Air Force long-range bomber and continued production of the F-35.

And despite the predominance of former Air Force officials on the list, the Romney campaign decided to quote an Army general  (former U.S. Central Command head Tommy Franks) and a Marine (Gen. James Conway, former commandant under both Presidents Bush and Obama).

Below is the full breakdown by service. For the official press release, click here:

Service Total
USAF 154
USN 128
USA 46
Grand Total 359


Aaron Mehta

Aaron Mehta

Air Warfare Correspondent at Defense News
Aaron covers the Air Force for Defense News. In his spare time, he tweets about the Air Force for Defense News. Follow him @AaronMehta
Aaron Mehta