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Celebrity Veterans

In honor of Veterans Day this week, we take a look at some celebrities who have served in the military before (and during) their careers.
Celebrity Veterans
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This week was Veterans’ Day, a day we set aside each year to give thanks to our servicemen for keeping us safe and free.  You may not realize just how many celebrities are actually veterans.  While you may appreciate them for their work, you can also appreciate them for volunteering to serve our country before they became famous.

What follows is a list of our celebrity servicemen, mainly compiled by E! Online.  Notably missing are the females – come on, girls.  We know you’re out there!


  • Rapper and Law and Order: SVU star Ice-T served in the 25th Infantry Division of the Army back in the late ‘70s. 
  • Dancing with the Stars winner J.R. Martinez served as a corporal in the Army when he became the victim of a roadside bomb that burned over 40 percent of his body.
  • Mr. Magnum P.I. himself, Tom Selleck, served in the California Army National Guard.
  • Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner served as an infantry clerk in the Army.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades Mel Brooks served as a corporal in the Army during World War II.
  • The late king of rock and roll, Elvis Presley, was drafted into the Army in 1958 during the height of his fame and right after his feature film debut in Love Me Tender two years prior.  Presley was subsequently deployed to Germany, and he served two years before returning to his career.
  • Actor/director Clint Eastwood was drafted into the Army in 1951 during the Korean War.  Eastwood served as a lifeguard California’s Fort Ord.  That same year, Eastwood was a passenger on board a Douglas AD bomber while on leave.  The aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean close to Point Reyes.  Eastwood and the pilot swam three miles to safety.
  • Crooner Tony Bennett served in the Army during World War II.  He was assigned to the 63rd Infantry Division (a.k.a. the “Blood and Fire” Division) where he served in both France and Germany.
  • Former M*A*S*H actor Alan Alda served in the Army Reserve for six months as a gunnery officer during the Korean War.


  • Former Whose Line Is It Anyway?/current Price is Right host Drew Carey served six years in the Marine Corp. 
  • Former talk show host Montel Williams served in the Marine Corps. for a whopping 22 years, reaching the rank of lieutenant.
  • Actor Gene Hackman spent time in the Marines as a field radio operator.
  • The Daily Show comedian Rob Riggle is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps. Reserve, and he has served in such areas as Kosovo, Liberia, and Afghanistan.


  • Comedian Bill Cosby enlisted in the Navy, where he then helped those who were injured in the Korean War.

Air Force

  • Actor Chuck Norris was stationed in Korea during his time with the Air Force. 
  • Actor Morgan Freeman worked as a mechanic during his time in the Air Force.

Coast Guard

  • The Big Lebowski actor Jeff Bridges served eight years in the Coast Guard Reserve.

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