Military leaders have long held a special allure for Trump, according to people who have spoken to the president-elect both during the formation of his Cabinet and in the years before, including some Hollywood portrayals.
“Frankly, he’s way too impressed in the generals,” said one confidant of Trump, who attended a military academy in high school but never joined in the armed services, instead receiving draft deferments during the Vietnam War. “The more braid you have on your shoulders and the more laurels that you have on your visor, the more impressed he is.”
Trump is drawn to their swagger, their straight talk and the kind of aggressive leadership style he adopts himself, people close to him say. “He likes people who are decisive and who are command-structure people,” said another Trump adviser who has spoken to Trump about the topic…
“I think Donald has been fascinated by military men since he was 13 years old and sent away to this [military] academy,” D’Antonio said of the school where Trump and his instructors alike wore military-style uniforms and held various ranks. “Ever since, he’s believed that a certain Hollywood version of a World War II general represents real leadership. The danger in this is he won’t be discerning when it comes to their recommendations and may not value the civilian role over the defense establishment in the way that all other presidents have.”