Fact Check: This Is an Authentic Picture of Trump Wearing Military Garb in 1964. Here's How We Know

Facebook / Donald J. Trump
Facebook / Donald J. Trump


An authentic photograph shows a young Donald Trump wearing military attire in 1964, prior to his receiving several draft deferments during the Vietnam War military draft.


Rating: True
Rating: True

In early June 2024, a picture of former U.S. President Donald Trump in formal military attire was shared on several social media platforms with the text "Donald Trump plays soldier before dodging Vietnam War draft, 1964." A post by the X account Creepy.org on June 2, 2024, for example, garnered more than 265 thousand views at the time of this reporting:

The pictures authentically show the former president wearing the uniform of the New York Military Academy — a private boarding school in Cornwall, New York that Trump attended for high school — at his 1964 graduation ceremony. Trump himself shared this image to his own Facebook page in 2013 with the caption "Myself with mother and father at New York Military Academy. See, I can be very military. High rank!"

This uniform and the medals adorning it have nothing to do with service in the United States Armed Forces. At least two of the medals Trump had been awarded, according to New York Military Academy yearbook pages published by the Times-Herald Record, were the "neatness and order" metal — awarded to him in both 1960 and 1961:

(Times Herald-Record)

Following Trump's graduation from the New York Military Academy, he attended Fordham University in New York City before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania. During that time period, he received four deferments from the Vietnam draft. He was permanently excluded from the draft on his fifth and final deferment in 1972, resulting from a bone spur diagnosis.

Because the photo authentically shows Trump in military garb at a well-documented 1964 high school graduation and originates, at least in large part, from Trump himself, the claim is True.

Previously, Snopes fact-checked an AI-generated image purporting to show Trump in a military uniform leading a platoon of soldiers.


Eder, Steve, and Dave Philipps. "Donald Trump's Draft Deferments: Four for College, One for Bad Feet." The New York Times, 2 Aug. 2016. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/02/us/politics/donald-trump-draft-record.html.

"PHOTO GALLERY: Trump's Time at New York Military Academy." Times Herald-Record, https://www.recordonline.com/picture-gallery/news/2016/04/15/photo-gallery-trump-s-time-at/721199007/. Accessed 3 June 2024.

Trump, Donald. "#TBT Myself with Mother and Father at New York Military Academy. See, I Can Be Very Military. High Rank!" Facebook: Donald J. Trump (Operated by DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT 2024, INC.), 15 Aug. 2013, https://www.facebook.com/DonaldTrump/photos/a.488852220724/10153134068950725/?type=3.