As an American politician and the former 108th Mayor of New York serving for almost twelve years, Harvard graduate Michael Bloomberg is one of the world’s multibillionaires. Many prominent men in American politics, including George W. Bush, have served in the military: but was Michael Bloomberg in the military?
Michael Bloomberg was not in the military, although he did apply for the army’s officer training program while studying at Harvard but he was rejected on the grounds that he had flat feet. According to his memoir, Bloomberg didn’t desire to serve in the military either, rather he felt that it was expected of him.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Bloomberg avoided serving in the Vietnam War and how he instead became successful through his business and financial endeavors, keep reading below.
Avoiding Military Service
Amongst the many reasons why people sign up for the military, one of the biggest reasons is because men and women want to serve their countries.
In the USA, mandatory military service does not exist so military service is entirely voluntary. For some, this is one of the perks of the American system, because not all countries make military service voluntary. In fact, North Korea has the longest mandatory military service out of any other country. Men must serve for 11 years, while women must serve for seven.
In Western world countries, free will is a big phenomenon and this tends to be compromised when a citizen is forced to do anything that’s not on their own accord—this includes mandatory military service. So many advocates of maintaining free will will rejoice at how military service remains voluntary in the USA.
In Bloomberg’s case, it may be safe to assume that he was relieved that he resided in America where he could make up his own mind, and that he was dismissed from the military on a medical deferment (having flat feet) because he never truly wanted to go to war anyway.
“During the Vietnam War, I was classified 1Y because of flat feet — not as good as
being IF because 1Y meant you were on standby and could be called up at any time.
“I had a great agreement with the draft board … they never called me and I never called them.” Bloomberg admitted, which was later recalled in a book of quotes and sayings by Bloomberg called Wit and Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg by Elisabeth DeMarse.
The Successes of Bloomberg
After avoiding military service and graduating from Harvard Business School in the mid ‘60s, Bloomberg bagged himself a job as an equities trader for the Wall Street investment bank, Salomon Brothers. Bloomberg was hit by tragedy when his firm was bought by another company and he was laid off with a $10 million cash payout for his stakes in the company.
But it’s not all bad as Bloomberg used his business mindset to get him out of a rut, using the $10 million to start up a financial firm in 1982 that’s now known as Bloomberg LP. Since its startup in ‘82, Bloomberg LP has achieved the status of the world’s leader in business and financial data.
By 2001, Bloomberg had entered the race to become the Mayor of New York City. He served as Mayor for three consecutive terms, with his final term putting him $102 million out of pocket.
In November 2019, five years after losing his seat as Mayor, Bloomberg entered the Democrat’s Presidential campaign. It was short-lived, with reports showing that he lasted for barely four months in his campaign, eventually exiting from the campaign in early March of the following year.
Meanwhile, spending figures for his presidential campaign show that Bloomberg spent over $1 billion in this short space of time.
Despite heavy spending, reports from the New York Post indicate that in 2020, Bloomberg’s net worth had hit $65.2 billion.