7 popular musicians who served in the military

Rockers, rappers and crooners all graced the military with their presence throughout the years

7 popular musicians who served in the military

By Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc./Wikimedia Commons

By Ben Pugh

You may be surprised to learn that these well known rockers and rappers all signed on the dotted line and served our country. Some, of course, were better suited than others.

#1 - Elvis

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What? You already knew that? Of course you did, but we can't just ignore The King now can we? In the late 50's Elvis was at the height of his success when he join the army. He was offered a chance to take an easier route and enlist in Special Services to entertain the troops, but Presley passed on the offer and decided to serve as a regular soldier.

#2 - Jimi Hendrix

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After getting caught riding around in stolen cars, a 19-year-old Hendrix was said to have been given a choice by local law enforcement: prison or join the army. In a brief 13-month stint, Hendrix completed paratrooper training, but spent most of his time distracted by his guitar. He was found to be "unsuited" for the army and honorably discharged.

#3 - Ice T

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This former drug dealer decided that he needed to clean up his act after his daughter was born. "When I had my daughter I was like, man, I'm going to go to jail, I got to do something, and I went to an enlistment office. Next thing you know, I'm in the military, four years infantry." He served four years in the 25th Infantry Division. He then went on to a career of gangsta rap and acting. He now plays a detective on TV. Motorcop does not like him one bit.

#4 - Willie Nelson

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After graduating from high school in 1950, Nelson joined the Air Force. Stationed in Lackland in San Antonio, Texas, he only served for nine months then was given an honorable medical discharge because of back problems.

#5 - Jerry Garcia

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Another musical icon, another nine month stint in the military. After dropping out of high school at 17, the future Grateful Dead leader joined the army, but his performance and attitude quickly earned him a dishonorable discharge.

#6 - MC Hammer

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Before it was "Hammer Time", it was "Navy Time". When his dream of becoming a professional baseball player faded, he contemplated selling drugs or joining the Navy. The Navy ultimately won out. He spent three years as an Aviation Storekeeper 3rd Class and when he finished his service he pursued his passion for music.

#7 - Johnny Cash

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This future country music icon enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean war. Cash served most of his time in Landsberg, Germany, serving as a Morse Code Intercept Operator for Soviet Army transmissions. He was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in 1954.