Meet Celebrities Who Served In the Military

Jun 24, 2020Peter File

Brave men and women have taken up arms to serve their countries over the years... There have indeed been a few big stars who have also stepped up to the plate and pledged allegiance. From musicians like James Blunt to actresses like Gal Gadot, we have the full story! 

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris has become a name known far and wide. He is somewhat the epitome of the ultimate macho man... So it makes sense that he would have served his country on the film screen. But his fans may not know that he was actually a member of the US Air Force!

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That's right, Walker Texas Ranger was a man in servitude before his fame and glory. In fact, he performed so well that he ranked as an Airman First Class! These days this martial arts star is probably one of Hollywood's most tough guys and it all started in the force...

Zulay Henao

Zulay Henao is a star-studded actress who can be seen on hit films like Fighting, Takers, Boy Wonder, Hostel: Part III, and The Single Moms Club but she also has a surprise up her sleeve. She was once a military woman! For three years she served in arms for her country.

Image Credit: Instagram/Zulay Henao

When she was fresh out of high school she decided to join the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts in the hopes of kickstarting an acting life. But in between all of that she also joined the army. She has the looks, acting skills, and a shiny army badge, Zulay is truly multifaceted! 

Morgan Freeman

We all know Morgan Freeman for his impeccable acting skills but this avid flyer was once a member of the US Air Force. He owns his own plane today and it all began when he flew planes as a boy. This side of him is a far cry from his more normal life on the ground.

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As a star on films like Driving Miss Daisy, one may never have expected this star to be an Air Force enlistee but he really was! For almost 4 years he served his country in this way. He spoke about that time of his life: 

"I joined the Air Force. I took to it immediately when I arrived there. I did three years, eight months, and ten days in all, but it took me a year and a half to get [rid] of my romantic notions about it."


You may know him as the great singer, Shaggy but before his success with hits like It Wasn’t Me, he actually served in the 10th marine Regiment in the US Marine Corps. During the nineties, he helped in the Gulf War before his big break in the music industry a couple of years later.

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Have you ever wondered if his time in the marine corps affected his music? Well, wonder no more. He said:   

“Being in the Marines didn’t influence my musical career artistically, I think it did it as far as discipline, as far as preparing me for the rigorous schedules that was gonna come with doing music because I had no clue.”

Bea Arthur

Bea Arthur is well known near and far but her career in the stars had a prequel in the marine corps. She is one of the few women on this list who served in the Women’s Reserve during World War II. Her job included driving trucks and some typing obligations.

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Post-1945 she set out for stardom and landed right in the place she would shine. For her roles in Maude, and All in the Family as well as the hit broadway show, Mame, she really made a name for herself! She shared why she made the decision to serve: 

"Enlistments for women in the Marines were open, so decided the only thing to do was to join."

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash aka Sam Phillips might be known as a great musician but before all the glory, he was a member of the U.S. Air Force stationed in Germany. After his days serving on behalf of America, he would strike luck... Guess where he bought his first guitar? Germany! 

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After his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base and technical training at Brooks Air Force Base, in Texas, he was assigned to the 12th Radio Squadron Mobile of the U.S. Air Force Security Service at Landsberg, West Germany. His job? Morse code operator, intercepting Soviet Army transmissions.

Sunny Anderson

She's a world-renowned Food Network personality today but the star from The Kitchen's Sunny Anderson also gave of her time and efforts to the Air Force. Her job? She worked as a radio broadcaster. Some of her work included trips to South Korea and San Antonio, Texas.

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She said: 

"I knew that there were radio stations, television stations, newspapers, and magazines, for the military, by the military, and I wanted to be a part of that." 

Jimi Hendrix

Rocker Jim Hendrix might seem like he came out of the womb singing but he had a life before music... This included work for the army. Jimi signed up in 1961 and spent most of his time assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. His year-long enlistment ended because of an injury. 

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However, despite serving in the army during Vietnam, he was never deployed there - he was discharged after an injury whilst in service. However, even though he has never been to Vietnam, his music defined the entire generation of anti-war movements. Ironic, eh? 

Tom Selleck

He is one of the industry's most successful stars, Tom Selleck, and he too served his country. His stint included time with the California National Guard. He actually assisted them for six years. But his time in service didn't end there... He went on to enlist for the Vietnam War.

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He has spoken candidly about why he thinks it is good to hire veterans for service. He said:  

"The responsibility and training our veterans are getting makes them the most employable, the best hire you can possibly have." 

Robin Quivers

Robin's work on The Howard Stern Show has made her pretty famous and she also gained a huge following for her stint as a radio personality, an actress, a news anchor. She's even written her very own book! The strict life from the army seems to have taught her a thing or two about hard work.

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She worked for the US Air Force from July of 1975... A position she held for an impressive 15 years! In the meantime, she became a Captain at the Maryland Shock Trauma facility where she served for the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System. 

James Blunt

The pop singer, James Blunt gave of his efforts to assist the British army. He worked in service for six years. In this time the "You're Beautiful" hitmaker was deployed with NATO to Kosovo in 1999. While there he actually wrote the song, "No Bravery" and this was what he said about it:

Image Credit: Instagram/James Blunt

“It was incredibly easy to write. Because it just describes what was around us at the time. It took no imagination. The things that were in front of me were absolutely abhorrent." 

Adam Driver

Adam Driver might just be the youngest person on our list... He was basically still a kid when he served on the Weapons Company. These days he is well known for funny films and TV series like Girls and While We’re Young. But life was very different when he was still serving his country. 

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He said this about his army experience:  

"You have that kind of like survival mentality in the military. It gives you a lot of confidence going back out into the world."

Sean Connery

Megastar, Sean Connery aka the first James Bond the world ever came to know, was a real-life stunt man... In the movies but also in the army. He worked for the Royal Navy and after a few years of service tried his hand at acting. The rest, as they say, is history! 

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Maybe his naval service is one of the reasons why he was able to deliver such a stunning performance in The Hunt for Red October, in his role as Captain Ramius. And his service must have enabled him to portray James Bond accurately. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger

He has most definitely been cast as a soldier and "Terminator" in many movies but in this instance, fact and fiction are pretty similar. Arnold served on behalf of the Austrian Army. This occurred in 1956 and required him to assist for 12 months. Later, this star would truly go on to change the action film world!  

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Therefore, when you see him in Commando and True Lies, you were probably seeing his inner soldier acting. And the rest, as they say, is history - classics like Predator and The Terminator... action movies wouldn't be the same without Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot is a real-life Wonder Woman. While she depicts this character in the movie adaptations, she's truly a female icon of wonder and power. Born in Israel she worked her way up as top model and actress. But not before serving her country as a fitness instructor!

Image Credit: Instagram/Gal Gadot

She really enjoyed her time working with the army and especially reaped the reward of learning about hard work and discipline. She said:

"You give two or three years, and it's not about you. You give your freedom away. You learn discipline and respect. I taught gymnastics and calisthenics. The soldiers loved me because I made them fit.”

What a list of inspiring celebrity heroes! There are certainly more than a few surprising names on this list. Tell us which star made you reread the sentence... And please be sure to share this article with your friends. Stay tuned for more exciting news, right here! 

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