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Former New Jersey Gov. Jim Florio. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Veterans Day : 17 New Jersey governors

By David Wildstein, November 11 2021 12:04 am

Seventeen of New Jersey’s 56 governors have served in the U.S. military.

The last was Jon Corzine, who was in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1969 to 1975.

The first governor of New Jersey, William Livingston, was a Brigadier General of the New Jersey State Militia during the Revolutionary War.  He served as governor from 1776 to 1790.

Governors Thomas Henderson, Richard Howell, Joseph Bloomfield, Aaron Ogden, and William Pennington also served during the American War of Independence.  Gov. Mahlon Dickerson served in the militia during the Whiskey Rebellion, and Gov. Rodman Price served in the Mexican War.  Gov. Joel Parker was a major general in the New Jersey Militia during the Civil War.

The Commanding General of the Union Army during the Civil War, George B. McClellan, later served as governor.

As a teenager, Gov. Franklin Murphy served in the Union Army with the 13th Regiment of the New Jersey Volunteers.

Gov. Harold Hoffman served as a captain of the 114th Regiment Infantry during World War II and returned to military service during World War II as a major in the Transportation Corps.  He also served overseas as lieutenant colonel.

Gov. Robert Meyner served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II.  Gov. Brendan Byrne received the Distinguished Flying Cross and four Air Medals while serving in the U.S. Air Force during World War II.

Gov. Jim Florio served in the U.S. Navy from 1955 to 1958 and was a member of the Naval Reserves until he took his seat in Congress in 1975.

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