White House Social Aides

C-SPAN is showing White House Week (14-20 Dec). Tonight there is an interview with Alan Merten, a former White House Military Social Aide during the Johnson Administration (’65-’66).

It’s quite interesting.

Definition from White House Web site (Dec 2008):

“White House Military Social Aides serve as an extension of the President and Mrs. Bush in their roles as official host and hostess of the United States. They help to ensure guests have an enjoyable experience at the White House by assisting with introductions to the President and Mrs. Bush during receiving lines, the guests’ seating, and the overall flow of events. The program averages 40 Social Aides from all five military services.”

Tom McGinnis (father), Romayne McGinnis (mother), Bush, and a military aide holding the medal.

President Obama and Michelle Obama enter the East Room as White House Social Aides form a cordon.

Here are a few articles about White House Social Aides. HereHere and Here.  Photos here and here.

And one former aide wrote a book about his experiences.


3 Responses to White House Social Aides

  1. Jessica McIntyre says:


    A couple of months ago my father mentioned to me that while he was an officer in the AF he was constantly asked to find military social aides for the white house. When he first mentioned it I just kind of let it go in one ear and out the other, but I have been giving it some thought and it actually seems like an interesting opportunity. I am a female O2 in the CG and I have been trying to find informtion on an office I would contact with my intrest to participate but have been unsuccessfulo so far. I was wondering if you had some advice you could share on conatct information.


    • Russ Cherry says:

      Jessica. I assume you are serving in Washington, DC. You should be able to get information at CGHQ from the CG-1 staff. If that fails see John Hecker in the Commandant’s office and ask for my contact info. I was a Social Aide to President’s Nixon and Ford and am now President of the Society of White House Military Aides (www.swhma.org).
      CAPT Russ Cherry, USCGR, (RET)

  2. AFgal says:

    Hi Sir,
    I’m an 02 assigned to the Pentagon and new to the DC area. I wanted to see how to get involved in the White House Social Aide program. Any leads you or others could provide would be greatly appreciated!

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