Joe Biden's Son Discharged From Navy for Testing Positive for Cocaine

By John Lavitt 10/17/14

Hunter Biden tested positive in 2013 and was discharged earlier this year, but only now just a few weeks away from the election does the story break.

hunter biden cocaine.jpeg
Smile, you're on cocaine. Photo via

In a surprising, albeit dubiously timed revelation uncovered by The Wall Street Journal, Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden tested positive for cocaine in 2013 while working as a public affairs officer for the Navy. Biden was commissioned as an ensign in May 2013 and assigned as a public affairs officer in a Norfolk-based reserve unit. A month later, he tested positive for cocaine and the positive drug test led to Hunter Biden’s discharge from the Navy Reserve.

Commander Ryan Perry said that Hunter Biden’s discharge information was not releasable under the privacy act. CNN reported that Biden was most likely listed as an administrative discharge due to the nature of his offense, citing an unidentified source that claimed the Navy did not contact the vice president’s office regarding the matter. The vice president's office has refused to comment on the report of Hunter’s discharge.

Officially discharged from the Navy in February of 2014, Hunter released a statement at the time that touched upon the reasons for his dismissal. “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.” According to the report, Biden needed a waiver to join the Navy because of drug-related issues in his youth.

Hunter apparently joined up at age 43 to follow in his grandfathers' footsteps. The WSJ pointed out other possible motivators to Hunter's decision when they wrote, “The vice president and his wife, Jill Biden, speak regularly about the pride they take in being a military family, often referring to son Beau Biden's time in the Delaware Army National Guard and his yearlong deployment to Iraq.”

Vice President Biden made a prescient remark about his son's military career at a fundraiser in January of 2013 when he joked, "We have a lot of bad judgment in my family. My son, who is over 40, just joined the United States Navy."

Since being discharged, The Washington Post reported in May that Hunter had been installed as the head of legal at Ukraine’s largest private gas company. As the vice president’s youngest son, he tragically was in the car crash that claimed the life of his mother, Joe’s first wife, Neilia, in 1972. Hunter Biden has three kids with his wife Kathleen, and hopefully this scandal will not throw him off track and threaten his latest attempt to walk the straight and narrow.

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.