Serving in the US military is one of the most honorable and noble acts an American citizen can perform. The following courageous celebs served in the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, ranging all the way from WWI to the recent War in Iraq.
"American Sniper" and "Letters From Iwo Jima" director Clint Eastwood was drafted by the US Army during the Korean War while he was enrolled at Seattle University. Stationed at Fort Ord for basic training, Eastwood was aboard a Douglas Ad bomber that ran out of fuel and crashed in the ocean. The pilot and himself were able to escape and swim three miles to safety.
The "Wheel of Fortune" host joined the US Army in 1968 and was sent to Vietnam, where he served as a disc jockey on the Armed Forces Radio. He later admitted to accidentally botching President Nixon's 1969 Christmas address to the troops when he cut the feed prematurely.
During the height of his career, the "King of Rock n' Roll" was inducted into the US Army in 1958. It was while he was stationed in Friedberg, Germany that Elvis was introduced to amphetamines, karate and his future wife Priscilla. He also donated his Army pay to charity, bought TV sets for the base and bought extra sets of fatigues for everyone in his outfit.
The "Magnum, P.I." actor served in the 160th Infantry Regiment of the California Army National Guard from 1967 to 1973, while he was still early in his career. During that time, he took small parts on TV, movies and commercials.
After graduating from Broad Street High School, Morgan Freeman turned down a partial drama scholarship from Jackson State University and instead opted to enlist in the US Air Force. Serving as an Automatic Tracking Radar Repairman, he was able to rise to the honored rank of Airman 1st Class.
Perhaps due to a childhood where he described himself as "non-athletic, shy and scholastically mediocre," Chuck Norris decided to join the US Air Force as an Air Policeman. It was while he was at the Osan Air Base in South Korea that he acquired the nickname Chuck (his real name is Carlos) and learned Tang Soo Do, which would spark his interest in martial arts and later help to launch his career.
During World War II, the future "Golden Girl" served in the U.S. Marine Corps. She was a truck-driving Marine. How awesome is that?
The famed comedian served in the US Army from 1958 to 1960, though he spent virtually all of that time in army prison. While stationed in Germany, Pryor and fellow black soldiers were angered at a white soldier who was overly amused at the racially charged portions of the film "Imitation of Life," and proceeded to beat and stab him.
The legendary bachelor and "Playboy" founder served during WWII right after high school. As a member of the US Army, Hefner wrote for the military newspaper from 1944 to 1946.
When he was only 18-years-old, the iconic guitar legend was caught twice by police riding in stolen cars, and was given the choice between the military and prison. Hendrix chose the latter, and trained as a paratrooper. Not fond of the Army, Hendrix often was found napping on duty or playing his guitar, and after a year of service was granted an honorable discharge, as his platoon sergeant felt that the military would be better off without him.
After being expelled from Prairie View A&M University, Lawrence Tureaud, better known as Mr. T, enlisted in the US Army and served in the Military Police Corps. While in training, he quickly excelled and was elected "Top Trainee of the Cycle" out of a cycle of six thousand troops. He was later promoted to squad leader.
The "It's a Wonderful Life" star was eager to serve since both his grandfathers fought in the Civil War and his father served in both the Spanish-American War and WWI. Being rejected both during his draft in the US Army and his attempt to enlist in the Air Corps for being underweight, Stewart bulked up and was able to join, becoming the first major American movie star to wear a uniform in WWII.
The Oscar-winning actor enlisted in the US Air Force during WWII, where he served as a radio operator and aerial gunner aboard a B-25 Mitchell, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant. After the war, the "Ben-Hur" star narrated highly classified military films, which gave him "Q clearance," the nation's highest security clearance.
Directing hilarious comedies such as "Spaceballs" and "Blazing Saddles," Mel Brooks was studying psychology at Brooklyn College when he was drafted into the US Army during WWII. Serving as a corporal in the 1104 Engineer Combat Battalion, 78th Infantry Division, Brooks had the dangerous job of defusing land mines.
After the 9/11 attacks, "Girls" and "Star Wars Episode VII" actor Adam Driver joined the US Marine corps. He served for two years and eight months but was medically discharged after a mountain bike injury shortly before he was to be deployed to Iraq.
The iconic "Price is Right" host was asked to come on down at the outbreak of WWII while he was attending college on a basketball scholarship. Serving in the US Navy as a fighter pilot, Barker returned to school after the war, where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in economics.
Later becoming famous for his work in such films as "Casablanca," a young Humphrey Bogart enlisted in the US Navy straight out of school in 1918. Primarily ferrying troops back from Europe after the Armistice, it is believed that it was while in service that Bogart gained his trademark scar and lisp.
When he was only 16-years-old, the "Unforgiven" star left home to join the US Marine Corps, where he served four and half years as a field radio operator. Originally stationed in China, Hackman was later stationed in both Hawaii and Japan following the Communist Revolution.