Celebrities Who Served

LCpl Adam Douglas Driver, U.S. Marine Corps (2001-2004)

LCpl Adam Douglas Driver, U.S. Marine Corps (2001-2004)

Adam Driver is an accomplished actor with two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and four Primetime Emmy Awards, among other accolades. But did you know that before he became the face of Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Driver served in the US Marine Corps? Inspired to join USCM shortly after the tragic events of 9/11, Adam Driver was preparing for active duty in Iraq, when he suffered an injury in a bicycle accident that prevented his deployment. Although his service in the...

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LCDR Montel Williams, US Navy and USMC (1974-1986)

LCDR Montel Williams, US Navy and USMC (1974-1986)

Montel Williams is best known as the Emmy Award-winning host of The Montel Williams Show, which aired nationally for seventeen years. Montel Brian Anthony Williams, known to most as simply “Montel,” is also an actor and motivational speaker. But did you know that Montel Williams served in the military? His decorated military service spanned 22 years in two branches of the service—the United States Marines and the United States Navy. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1974 and later became the...

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A1C Morgan Freeman, U.S. Air Force (1955-1959)

A1C Morgan Freeman, U.S. Air Force (1955-1959)

Morgan Freeman, recipient of the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, is an American actor, director, and narrator. Noted for his distinctive deep voice, Freeman didn't get his first big break until age 49. Most readers know Freeman for his perfromance in Shawshank Redemption, Million Dollar Baby, or Driving Miss Daisy. But did you know that acting was not Freeman’s first love? As a young man, he dreamed of being an Air Force pilot, turned down an drama scholarship to enlist...

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PFC Hugh Hefner, U.S. Army (1944-1946)

PFC Hugh Hefner, U.S. Army (1944-1946)

It's well-known that the late Hugh Hefner was the founder of one of history's most iconic global brands. He transformed the adult entertainment industry with his groundbreaking publication Playboy. Less widely reported, however, is his contribution to the war effort during World War II. Just seven years before he created Playboy magazine from his kitchen table, Hefner joined the Army, serving as an infantry clerk and drawing cartoons for various military newspapers.  Hugh Hefner's Early Years...

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LTJG Neil Alden Armstrong, U.S. Navy (1949-1952)

LTJG Neil Alden Armstrong, U.S. Navy (1949-1952)

Neil Alden Armstrong who served in the US Navy between 1949 and 1952, is better known as the first man to walk on the Moon. His iconic announcement ‘One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,’ and first steps on an extraterrestrial body were broadcast to over 650 million people: around a fifth of the total world population. Armstrong’s path to becoming the most iconic and famous astronaut of all time began near Wapakoneta, Ohio. Neil Armstrong’s Military Career Born on August 5,...

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PVT Jimi Hendrix, U.S. Army (1961-1962)

PVT Jimi Hendrix, U.S. Army (1961-1962)

Jimi Hendrix, an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music is one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. Did you know Jimi Hendrix briefly served in the U.S. Army? James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was born in 1942 in Seattle while his father Al Hendrix, drafted into the Army during World War II, was imprisoned in an Alabama stockade. Drafted just three days after marrying Jimi’s...

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2LT Jack “Jackie” Robinson, U.S. Army (1942-1944)

2LT Jack “Jackie” Robinson, U.S. Army (1942-1944)

Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player, Social Reformer, famed baseball player and civil rights advocate, Jack "Jackie" Robinson became the first African-American to play in modern major league baseball. Jack "Jackie" Robinson Was Assigned to a Segregated Army Cavalry Unit at Fort Riley In 1942, Jack Robinson was drafted and assigned to a segregated Army cavalry unit in Fort Riley, Kansas. Having the requisite qualifications, Robinson and several other black soldiers applied for...

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Sgt Thomas William Selleck (Tom Selleck), U.S. Army, (1967-1973)

Sgt Thomas William Selleck (Tom Selleck), U.S. Army, (1967-1973)

Known for his leading role in ‘Magnum, P.I.’ and as Monica’s love interest in ‘Friends’, Tom Selleck is a household name whose career has spanned over four decades. He’s had numerous on-screen careers, but you know that Tom Selleck is a Vietnam War era veteran? Tom Selleck’s Early Life Thomas William Selleck was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1945, but his family moved to Sherman Oaks, California, in 1948. Raised by hardworking parents, Tom Selleck learned the values of the U.S. military from an...

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Capt Dan Lauria, U.S. Marine Corps (1970-1973)

Capt Dan Lauria, U.S. Marine Corps (1970-1973)

Dan Lauria: Marine Corps Veteran, Veteran Actor Dan Lauria, one of America’s best-known TV dads due to his famous role as “Kevin’s Dad” on the hit show Wonder Years, is an accomplished TV, film, and stage actor. His service in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War had a profound impact on both his life and his acting career. Todays, Lauria continues to support veterans through his involvement in several important organizations. Dan Lauria’s Early Years On Stage Lauria, an Italian-American,...

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Sgt Elvis Aaron Presley, U.S. Army (1958-1960)

Sgt Elvis Aaron Presley, U.S. Army (1958-1960)

Elvis Presley: King of Rock-N-Roll, Army Veteran American singer and actor Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), widely recognized as The King of Rock-N-Roll, is the celebrity whose military service is probably best known. He enlisted in the US army at the peak of his career, in 1958, when he was already world-famous and had wide success as a rockabilly and rock-n-roll singer also encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads, and pop music. Elvis’s Early Years...

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Cpl Mel Brooks, U.S. Army (1944 – 1945)

Cpl Mel Brooks, U.S. Army (1944 – 1945)

Mel Brooks's Military Service “Springtime for Hitler” is one of the songs that made Mel Brooks famous. But did you know that this prolific actor, comedian, composer, and filmmaker served in World War II as a young man? Mel Brooks’s Early Life Mel Brooks was born Melvin James Kaminsky in 1926, the youngest of four boys. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, in a Jewish family of modest means. When Brooks was two years old, his father passed away from kidney disease. Mel was raised by his mother and...

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SSgt Bernice Frankel (Bea Arthur), US Marine Corps (1943-1945)

SSgt Bernice Frankel (Bea Arthur), US Marine Corps (1943-1945)

Bernice Frankel, better known as Bea Arthur, of the US Marine Corps between 1943 and 1945, went on to be one of television’s best-loved sitcom stars. As one of the nation’s beloved Golden Girls, she was outspoken in and out of the character of Dorothy Zbornak, advocating for the rights of women and minorities. Yet she was also an intensely private person who kept many details of her life to herself for decades. Bea Arthur’s Military Career Bea Arthur was born Bernice Frankel in May 1922 to a...

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