After a singular weekend Reservist drill with the U.S. Navy, Vice President Joe Biden’s youngest son has been kicked out of the Armed Forces for cocaine use. As reported by the Wall Street Journal on Oct. 16, 2014, the now ex-Ensign Hunter Biden sunk his naval career literally on his first day of duty.
Deemed an Officer and a Gentleman by an act of Congress, Biden was commissioned an Ensign on May 7, 2013 in the Navy Reserve. Assigned to the Navy Public Affairs Support Element East reserve command, then Ensign Biden reported for duty to his unit one short month later for his first ever weekend reserve drill at the sprawling Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia. Upon arrival, he was promptly given a drug test, which just as promptly, came back with a positive result for cocaine use. After months of working its way through the bureaucracy, Biden was finally released from the Navy last February, sans Honorable Discharge.
The youngest of the Biden sons waited somewhat late in life to pursue a military career at the age of 43, albeit that of the Naval Reserve component vice active duty. Seeking one of the very rare Direct Commission Officer (DCO) slots available every year, the former Ensign Biden managed to secure one of the six seats open for Public Affairs Officers.
With the official cut off that of no older than 35, Biden somehow managed to be granted an age waiver by the Navy Department. Yet the over-age waiver was only the first. Reportedly, he also managed to secure a second waiver for a prior drug-related incident in his past.
DCOs aren’t required to attend any of the Service Academies nor any of the standard and usually rigorous Officer Commissioning Programs offered at most major universities and colleges. Biden’s formal training prior to his commissioning was what the Old Salts in the Navy refer to as The Knife and Fork School. The two week long seminar located at the Naval Station, Newport, Rhode Island consists of “academic instruction, military training, and physical conditioning. 90+ hours of lessons include: Leadership and Management, Programs and Policies, Military Customs, Traditions, and regulations, naval history, Naval Warfare, and Fitness and Wellness Programs” as cited in the Navy’s official website
While there’s been no official comment from the Office of the Vice President, former Ensign Biden is somehow managing to move in with his life. While it hasn’t been released if he’s received a General Discharge or an Other than Honorable, the ex-Ensign said in a statement that it was “the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. Navy, and I deeply regret and am embarrassed that my actions led to my administrative discharge. I respect the Navy’s decision. With the love and support of my family, I’m moving forward.”
While his being bounced from the Navy may be a professional embarrassment, it certainly won’t effect him financially. Biden is currently a partner at Rosemont Seneca Partners, LLC and is Counsel to the a New York based-law firm of Boies, Schiller, Flexner, LLP. Additionally, he was the center of controversy when he was appointed to the board of the Ukrainian Energy Company Burisma Holdings, which is part of the vast business empire of Ihor Kolomoisky, who himself has been looked upon for rather shady financial dealings in Eastern Europe.