There is no right way to prosper after serving in the military. Veterans get a life-changing experience while serving, along with the education and training benefits they sign up for. These benefits and experiences can lead to almost anything, especially with the courage and commitment instilled in veterinarians during their service.
Some veterans on this list would never have become who they are or were without serving in the military. some of them discovered that the army was not what they thought it would be. they were all changed by your service, and we’re all better off for it.
10. Jorge Carlin
“so I have this ambivalence. obviously, I’m against the military because of what the military does. however, in many ways, the air force was not military. they dropped bombs on people, but… they had a golf course.”
The creator of “seven words you can never say on television” was always an anti-establishment comedian. So it might not be surprising that a guy like George Carlin was considered an “unproductive flyer” during his time in the US. uu. military. It’s probably more surprising that he ever joined the military.
carlin dropped out of high school in 1954 and joined the air force to get gi benefits and attend broadcasting school. He was trained as a radar technician and stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana. he wasn’t happy just doing his job in the air force either. he worked as a disc jockey at kjoe, an am radio station that played top 40 music, in nearby shreveport. At 18, Carlin was on the air.
apparently, he wasn’t happy doing his job in the air force. Carlin was court-martialed three times during his career and was eventually given a general discharge. Avoiding dishonorable discharge was something he was proud of, but Carlin attributes his confidence to those early days in radio.
After a couple of years working in broadcasting, he moved west to California where he found his enduring fame. Three years after his discharge, she found herself on television in Los Angeles. His frequent appearances on “The Tonight Show” with Jack Paar made him famous. by the 1970s, he had shed the neat look of traditional comics and started sporting his trademark beard and long hair.
9. steve mcqueen
“It was all very nice just lying in the sun and watching the girls go by, but then one day I suddenly got bored of hanging around and joined the Marines.”
steve mcqueen’s legacy as the “king of fashion” began early. He was the beloved son of a stunt pilot and an alleged alcoholic prostitute, and had a childhood that led him to cultivate his image as a rebel, which included periods of homelessness and time in a children’s reform school.
after a series of jobs that included working out the door of a brothel in the dominican republic, he joined the navy in 1947. he was promoted to private first class and served in an armored unit. mcqueen had some success, being promoted six times and demoted to private seven times.
His rebellious nature came to a head when he skipped a weekend and turned into a two-week date with his girlfriend. the coastal patrol stopped him, but he resisted and spent 41 days in the brig; the first 21 dedicated themselves to living on bread and water.
after his time in the brig, mcqueen righted the ship, literally. his unit was in the middle of a training exercise in the arctic that turned disastrous. McQueen, his unit, and his tanks were aboard a ship when he hit a sandbar, throwing several tanks and their crews into the water. Many drowned inside his tanks, but McQueen jumped in and saved the lives of five men.
Because of his heroism, McQueen was chosen for the honor guard that protects President Harry Truman’s yacht. McQueen remained with the Corps until 1950 when he was honorably discharged. “The Marines gave me discipline I could live with. By the time I got out, I could handle things on a more realistic level. Overall, despite my problems, I liked my time in the Marines,” McQueen said. >
after leaving the marines, mcqueen used the money earned through the gi account to study acting at the sanford meisner neighborhood theater. his career was prolific. McQueen starred in numerous roles and maintained her star status until her death in 1980.
“When I had my daughter, I thought, man, I’m going to jail, I’ve got to do something, and I went to an enlistment office. Next thing you know, I’m in the military, four years in the infantry. “
Sometimes people join the military for purely practical reasons, and actor/musician ice-t is one of them. After a difficult upbringing in South Los Angeles, Tracy Lauren Marrow, who would soon earn the nickname Ice-T due to his ability to interpret books written by a famous pimp named Iceberg Slim, struggled to keep the girlfriend and his daughter. he joined the army for the financial benefits. his acting ability would also help him later in life.
He served four years in the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii. early in his career, he was part of a group that stole an infantry rug and later deserted. After a month, once the carpet was recovered, ice-t returned and received an extrajudicial sanction, which allowed him to complete advanced infantry training. but he got his $2500 login bonus.
During his time in Hawaii, Ice-t was assigned as a squad leader at Schofield Barracks. It was there that he met a civilian named Mac who was impressed by his interpretations of the Iceberg Slim books. the civilian, he learned, was a pimp. Mac taught him how to pimp when he was still in the military.
Using the money from his illicit side activity, ice-t bought a stereo, record player, mixer, and speakers. that’s how he started acting and rapping. at one point in his career, a sergeant told ice-t that he was serving in the army because he couldn’t survive alone in the civilian world. ice-t almost proved him right; he became a jewel robber and bank robber after leaving the army in 1979.
After two of his friends went to prison for robbery, ice-t officially adopted his name and became a DJ and performer. In 1983, he recorded his first single, “Cold Wind Madness”, which became an underground hit.
7. humphrey bogart
“bogie” was the son of a surgeon and a famous new york city illustrator, part of a family whose lineage traced back to the mayflower himself. He was raised in elite boarding schools and private schools, and when it came time to go to college, Humphrey Bogart was expected to attend Yale.
but bogart avoided his education and went to a different school, dropped out and joined the us. uu. armed in 1918, while the first world war was raging in europe. She is said to have received her trademark scar and lisp while she was in the Navy, when her ship, the USS Leviathan, was bombed while transporting troops.
Much of Bogart’s time at sea occurred after the November 1918 armistice, while working aboard the troop ship carrying American troops. troops back home. In June 1919, he was discharged as Petty Officer Third Class.
When he returned home, he discovered that his family’s great wealth was failing due to bad investments. She worked her way up and started working a series of jobs and joined the Coast Guard Reserve. One of those jobs was in the New World Films office as a stage manager, and Bogart soon began acting on Broadway.
Eventually, through a childhood friend, he found his way onto the big screen and his roles veered towards heroes and tough mobsters, which became a guide for the rest of his career. He starred in such classics as “The Maltese Falcon” and “Casablanca” and won an Academy Award for Best Actor for “The African Queen.”
6. morgan freeman
“I joined the air force. I did it right away when I got there. I did three years, eight months, and 10 days total, but it took me a year and a half to disabuse myself of my romantic notions about it.”
Sometimes being in the military helps determine what you want to be in life, even if it means not being in the military. The young and talented Morgan Freeman was so in love with the idea of flying that he joined the USA. uu. Air Force in 1955 instead of accepting a drama scholarship from Jackson State University in Mississippi.
Eventually, he got the chance to train as a fighter pilot, but as soon as he sat in the cockpit of what he thought would be his dream job, he felt like he was “sitting on the nose of a bomb.” as he told aarp magazine. “I had this very clear epiphany… you’re not in love with this; you’re in love with the idea of this.” Freeman did not hesitate to act on his instinct and left the Air Force in 1959.
It would be a long, hard road to stardom for Freeman, as he performed for over 20 years on stage before gaining television fame on the soap opera “Otro Mundo” and the long-running children’s show, “La Electric company”. .” Freeman went on to act in notable supporting roles and later star in such films as “Shawshank Redemption,” “Seven,” and “Unforgiven.”
5. chuck norris
“before the president of the united states can declare war, congress must have the permission of chuck norris.”
before carlos ray norris could become chuck norris, he first had to learn a few things. like many of us who read this, he did it in the army. Norris joined the Air Force, where the first thing he learned was that he needed a gun to do his job as a security cop.
While stationed in Korea, part of his job was rounding up drunken, rowdy service members from bars near Osan Air Base. When he realized that he couldn’t physically do it, he sought help from the local martial arts, tang soo do and taekwondo.
As we all now know, Norris never makes fun of anything. he would not only learn how to shake drunks, but he would also become the first westerner to receive an eighth degree black belt in taekwondo. He held the title of world middleweight karate champion for six years and was chosen “fighter of the year” by “black belt” magazine in 1969. he founded 32 martial arts schools and was an actor and karate teacher for steve mcqueen, too veteran, because of course he was.
mcqueen encouraged norris to pursue acting and, after gaining attention as bruce lee’s opponent in “way of the dragon”, he starred in such films as “good guys wear black”, “delta force” and “missing in action”. “He also starred in the long-running television series,” Walker, Texas Ranger. “
norris has used his success to give back to the military community, serving as a spokesperson on behalf of the department of veterans affairs and hospitalized veterans. on March 28, 2007, commanding general. james t. Conway named Norris an honorary United States Marine.
4. Mr. you
“When you find a really tough guy, he’s not a predator. He doesn’t have to prove himself. Guys who have to pretend to be tough, they’re not. I’m tough.”
Before he nearly subdued Rocky Balboa as Clubber Lang in “Rocky III” and rose to fame as B.A. baracus on the hit tv show “the a-team”, mr. he was a member of the greatest team of all: the usa. uu. army.
originally known as laurence tureaud, mr. he served in the army’s military police force in the mid-1970s and was a good soldier. in November 1975, his drill sergeant gave him a letter of recommendation, and in a six-thousand-strong cycle, he was voted “best trainee of the cycle” and promoted to squad leader.
He was even good at his punishments. In July 1976, his platoon sergeant punished him by giving him the detail of cutting down trees during boot camp at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. however, the sergeant did not specify how many trees were to be cut down, so mr. t cut down more than 70 trees in a span of 3 1/2 hours before being relieved of the detail.
After his discharge from the Army, he tried out for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, but was unable to make the team due to a knee injury. however, his training as an army policeman served him well in his next job, as a bouncer in chicago nightclubs, where he began to cultivate his ultra-tough personality. He later became the first “celebrity bodyguard,” protecting celebrities like Steve McQueen, who seems like a great guy to know, judging by this list. .
through his work as a bodyguard and rebounder, mr. He was discovered by Sylvester Stallone, who cast him as Lang in the third “Rocky” movie. His career took off from there and he became one of the most iconic personalities of the 1980s.
3. johnny cash
“that was the most important thing when i was a kid, to sing on the radio. the scope of my dream was to sing on the radio station in memphis. even when i got out of the air force in 1954 i got there okay i went back to memphis and started to knock on doors at the radio station.”
The legendary country artist is known as the “man in black,” but he was also an air force blues man. Fresh out of high school in 1950, Cash joined the Air Force when the Korean War began, but spent most of his four-year enlistment in Germany. Perhaps not surprisingly for a man with music in his veins, cash came in handy when it came to the beats of Morse code, serving as an intercept operator with the USAF security service. he was even the first person in the west to know that soviet dictator joseph stalin had died in 1953.
if it wasn’t for the air force, we may never have met johnny cash. Coming from a poor cotton-worker background in Arkansas, he was able to afford a guitar only after he began receiving military pay. he bought the first guitar from him at the exchange base in germany. even his famous “folsom prison blues” comes from a documentary he saw at the base theater.
He also formed his first band while in the air force, the landsberg barbarians, and began playing to packed officers’ clubs. when Staff Sgt. Cash was discharged in 1954, used the proceeds from his GI account to take a radio announcement course at a broadcasting school in Memphis, Tennessee, and one day walked into the Sun Records recording studio to sell tracks to the producer. sam phillips. his career took off from there.
Although Cash’s reputation as a hard-living rebel overshadowed his time in the service, he never forgot where he came from and, years later, he met a young Army veteran named Kris Kristofferson when Kristofferson landed a helicopter on his front lawn. . Cash not only wouldn’t shoot down the helicopter, as Kristofferson feared, Cash heard his music and helped launch his career.
2. clint eastwood
“I was drafted during the korean war. none of us wanted to go…it was just a couple of years after world war ii ended. we said, ‘wait a second? didn’t we just go through? that?'”
long before clint eastwood dared someone to make his day in “dirty harry”, he served in the army in fort ord, california. Although he was drafted during the fighting in Korea in 1951, he spent his entire military career as a swimming instructor.
The swim training he gave his fellow soldiers was solid. In the years before he was recruited, Eastwood held various jobs, including as a firefighter and lifeguard. military service may have saved him from a life of these jobs and given the rest of us a life of movie gold.
according to fate (and luck), his swimming skills would come in handy. One year, while Eastwood was traveling aboard a Navy torpedo bomber, the plane ran out of gas and was forced to splash down in the Pacific Ocean about three miles from the station at Point Reyes, California. eastwood and the pilot used the life raft to swim more than a mile through the tide to shore.
it was in fort ord where eastwood first met hollywood types, who were impressed with his looks but not his acting chops. it’s not a big deal; After his discharge in 1953, Eastwood attended L.A. city college and studied drama using the gi bill. in April 1954, he had received the first studio contract from him. He eventually found international fame in Italian-made “spaghetti” westerns, which established his tough personality and a career spanning more than 60 years in Hollywood.
1. elvis presley
“The army teaches boys to think like men.”
when elvis presley was recruited in the usa. uu. Army, he was already one of America’s biggest stars, with a string of hit songs, movies, and memorable television performances under his belt. so when he got a draft notice, he qualified as a 1-a recruit and then joined the army, it was great news.
presley didn’t shirk his duty and found himself swapping his leather jacket for green army pants. He entered the Army as a regular soldier at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, on March 24, 1958. While shaving his famously shaggy hair to regulation length, he exclaimed, “Hair today, gone tomorrow.”
elvis was sent to fort hood for basic training and was assigned to the 2nd armored division, also known as “hell on wheels”. He was later assigned to the 3rd Armored Division and stationed in Friedberg, Germany. There he met Priscilla Beaulieu, who eventually became his wife.
He also told the media that he wanted to be treated like any other soldier, saying “the army can do whatever they want with me.” however, unlike most other soldiers, he used his permission to record 10 of the top 40 hit songs, donated his army pay to charity, and purchased additional uniforms and equipment for his fellow soldiers.
By the time his tour of duty ended, Elvis had been promoted to sergeant and was honorably discharged from active duty on March 5, 1960, at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
Just before they split, Elvis reflected on his experiences in an interview for Armed Forces Radio and TV: “I was in a weird position. Actually, that’s the only way it could be. People expected that I was wrong, that I screwed up one way or another. they thought I couldn’t take it and so on, and I was determined to do whatever I could to prove otherwise, not just to the people who were wondering, but to myself.”
– You can contact Blake Stilwell at email@example.com. he can also be found on twitter @blakestilwell or on facebook.
want to know more about jobs for veterans?
Make sure you get the latest news on post-military careers, as well as critical information on veteran jobs and all the benefits of service. subscribe to military.com and receive personalized updates directly to your inbox.
veterans day features on military.com
- 8 Ways to Express Appreciation on Veterans Day
- Veterans Day Discounts and Giveaways
- Bravery Profiles: 5 Medal of Honor Winners