HomeCelebsCelebs You Didn’t Know Served In The Military

Celebs You Didn’t Know Served In The Military

They sing, they act, they dance, they entertain. However, these celebs have also done much more. They once served in the military. Unfortunately, this part of their life was not as heavily reported as their love lives. However, it deserves to be known, that these celebrities decided to protect and serve their country.

Jimi Hendrix

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris joined the U.S. Air Force after graduating from high school. He wanted to train in the security police, in order to prepare for a career in law enforcement. However, while he was serving in Korea, he was introduced to martial arts. He studied Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwan Do. Now a martial arts master, Norris returned to the states and served at March Air Force Base until he was discharged in 1962. He went on to use all those skills later in his acting career.

Alan Alda

Elvis Presley

In 1958, Elvis Presley was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was already “The King” by this point, so his drafting was a major media event. However, Presley did not want to be treated differently than any other soldier, and he even said, “The Army can do anything it wants with me.” After training, Presley joined the 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany, where he met Priscilla. During his time in service, the record company released multiple new songs, and Elvis continued to have top 40 hits.

Morgan Freeman

Willie Nelson

After Willie Nelson left high school in 1950, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. However, he did not serve long, as nine months into his service he was medically discharged due to back problems. After his service, he began working odd jobs, such as a bouncer and a DJ. It wasn’t until nearly 20 years later that he got his big break in music.

Montel Williams

Mel Brooks

While studying for his degree, Mel Brooks was drafted into the Army during World War II. He was a corporal in the Engineer Combat Battalion. Brooks has said “I was a Combat Engineer. Isn’t that ridiculous? The two things I hate most in the world are combat and engineering.” He fought in the Battle of the Bulge as well as was tasked with diffusing landmines.

Jimmy Stewart


Ice-T, born as Tracy Marrow, was a father right out of high school and struggling to support his girlfriend and family. Therefore, he joined the U.S. Army for the financial benefits. He served four years in the 25th Infantry Division. After leaving the Army, Ice-T lived in Hollywood and started making connections in the music industry.

Johnny Carson

Tony Bennett

Multi-Grammy-winning singer, Tony Bennett can thank the Army as part of the reason why he is in show business. Bennett was drafted into the Army, during World War II, in 1944. He was deployed in both Germany and France. He was discharged and returned to the U.S. in 1946. After returning he studied at the American Theater Wing on the GI Bill.

Humphrey Bogart

Mickey Rooney

Not only was he cracking jokes on the big screen, but Mickey Rooney served his country by entertaining the troops. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943. He served 21 months in uniform performing for the troops and working on the American Armed Forces Network. He was even awarded the Bronze Star Medal for entertaining troops in combat zones.

Gene Hackman

Leonard Nimoy

Before he was Spock reporting for duty on the Starship Enterprise, he served as a soldier in the United States Army Reserves. He enlisted in the early 1950s and spent a total of 18 months in the reserves. Along with his other duties, Nimoy would also put on shows for the Army Special Services branch. He spent most of his duty on Fort McPherson in Georgia and earned the rank of sergeant.

Gene Wilder


Singer Shaggy was born in Jamaica, however, he moved to New York when he was 18. After the move, he immediately began trying to break into the music scene. Although he had 2 semi-successful songs, he didn’t achieve super stardom. He enlisted, soon after, in 1988. Two years later, he fought in the Gulf War. After fighting in the war, he dedicated his life to his music. He went on to release hit songs such as “It Wasn’t Me,” “Boombastic,” and “Angel.”

Pat Sajak


Sinbad, born David Adkins, attributes a lot of his success to his time in the military. The first time he did stand up comedy was while he was in the Air Force. He did his routine during a talent show, and it was a flop. A fellow airman told him to script his show less and just be himself. After her service was finished, he jumped right into show business.

Harvey Keitel

Adam Driver

Adam Driver is best known for playing the villain, Kylo Ren, in the newest Star Wars films. However, his combat skills are real as he once served in the military. Driver was deeply affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, so he joined the USMC. Due to an injury, Driver was medically discharged after 2 years of service. Upon returning home, he attended Julliard and began his acting career.

Drew Carey

Jeff Bridges

Although Jeff Bridges was born into a Hollywood family, he still worked hard to earn his fame, which included time in the military. When he was 18 he joined the Coast Guard Reserves, and he served for a full 7 years. Regarding his service, Bridges has said, “But, again, all the tough times make great memories when you look back. Like, I’m glad it’s in the rearview mirror.”

Tom Selleck

Rob Riggle

Before he was a comedian and an actor, Rob Riggle was a Marine. His first position in the Marines was as a pilot. However, once he realized he couldn’t pursue his dreams of being an actor and stay in the Marines, he completed his contract and left active duty. However, he did remain a reservists for 14 years after. Riggle says the Corps made him mentally tough, which he needed to succeed in show business.

Clint Eastwood

Sean Connery

Before he was protecting the country (and seducing lots of women) as James Bond, Sean Connery served in the Royal Navy. He enlisted when he was only 16 years old. After 3 years of service, he was medically discharged due to a severe stomach ulcer. After his service, he got a job as a bricklayer and lifeguard. However, he moved on to bodybuilding, which led to his career in modeling and eventually acting.

Rachel Washburn

Owen Wilson

A self-proclaimed troublemaker, Owen Wilson was kicked out of school in 10th grade. For his junior and senior years of high school, he attended the New Mexico Military Institute. However, he did not continue his military training after high school and decided to attend the University of Texas at Austin, where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He got his film debut in 1996, and since then his career has only continued to grow.


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