April 03, 2017
Sometimes, we tend to forget that the celebrities we see on TV screens had lives before they entered the world of show business. Did you know that some of the popular ones even joined the military forces? Here are 15 A-list stars who wore fatigues once in their lives:
1. Clint Eastwood
Credit: Top Right News
Drafted into the Korean War, Clint Eastwood lucked out as a swimming instructor for a job. He did not see much action while serving at Fort Ord so he worked as a bouncer at the NCO Club during work nights and weekends.
There was one instance at Moffett Field when he went home and had flown aboard a Navy plane. Aboard on a Navy torpedo bomber on his ride back, the plane had experienced engine trouble so it was forced to make a water landing off of San Francisco. For more than a mile, Eastwood swam to safety.
2. Chuck Norris
Credit: 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit
In 1958, Norris became a member of the US Air Force in which he served as an Air Policeman. During his time in the military and being stationed at Osan Air Base in South Korea, he earned the nickname “Chuck”. There, he also began his training in Tang Soo Do (tangsudo). From then on, he earned his black belts.
3. Morgan Freeman
Instead of accepting the scholarship for studying Drama in Jackson State University, Freeman joined the US Air Force in 1955. This is mainly because of he was so in love with the idea of flying. He trained as a fighter pilot but eventually thought that he was “sitting in the nose of a bomb,” when he finally sat in the cock pit.
4. Elvis Presley
Credit: Gossip Brunch
On March 24, 1958, Presley entered the Army – as a regular GI. He was popular already during that time so many people crowded the place during his enlistment. For Basic Training, he was stationed at Fort Hood. Later on, he was assigned to the Second Armored Division’s ‘Hell On Wheels’ unit. Moving forward, he was then assigned to the Third Armored ‘Spearhead’ Division in Friedberg, Germany. It was in Germany where he met his wife Priscilla Beaulieu.
5. Gene Wilder
Despite never having to serve overseas, Wilder served as a medic in Pennsylvania. He was drafted into the army in 1956.
6. Bill Cosby
In 1956, Cosby joined the Navy. Serving as a hospital corpsman, he worked in at least 5 marine bases during his four-year service. He also worked in physical therapy in which he was the one treating the severely injured during the Korean War.
7. Leonard Nimoy
Credit: Army Times
Serving from 1953-1955, Nimoy was reported to have spent most of his time in Ft McPherson in Georgia as one of the reserves. He eventually earned the rank of sergeant.
8. Paul Newman
Credit: Together We Served Voices
Wanting to become a pilot, Newman joined the military forces from 1943-1945. He wasn’t accepted to be a pilot due to his color-blindedness. Nevertheless, he became a gunner and radioman for the Navy.
9. Johnny Cash
Credit: Saving Country Music
Serving from 1950-1954, Cash was noted to be especially proficient in Morse Code. This was linked to his innate rhythmic and musical talents.
10. Rob Riggle
Before becoming a full-time comedian, Riggle served as a Marine lieutenant colonel in Kosovo and Afghanistan. There is not a lot of information about his time in service, though.
11. Jimmy Stewart
Credit: Today I Found Out
Originally rejected because of being underweight, Stewart was finally drafted into the Army in 1940. He eventually gained weight so he became enlisted in the Air Cops in 1941. He served until his retirement in 1968.
12. Michael Caine
Credit: Taste of Cinema
Caine firmly believes that one should serve in the military for at least six months. During the Korean war, he served as a rifle infantryman in the British Army.
13. Randy Couture
Serving in the US Army from 1982-1988, Couture eventually moved forward to become a Sergeant in the 101st Airborne.
14. Sean Connery
Credit: pdx retro
At the age of 16, Connery enlisted in the Royal Navy. For three years, he served continuously. Though he was discharged after that since he began suffering from stomach ulcer.
15. Henry Fonda
During World War II, Fonda served in the US Navy. Same as Presley, he was already well-known when he enlisted. He served on the destroyer USS Satterlee in the Pacific Ocean. He was also commissioned to be a Lieutenant Junior Grade in Air Combat Intelligence.
Though these celebrities may not have been as heroic in battle as usually portrayed in movies, they nevertheless chose to serve our country. And for that, they deserve the same respect we offer to all our veterans.
Do you know any other celebrities who served in the military? Let us know in the comments section.
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