The Top 10 Most Famous Living Army Veterans

There are many famous individuals who have served in the United States military. I have decided to take a moment to research some of the famous people who served in the United States Army.

While there is no possible way I can put these in any particular order, I am posting the top 10 most famous living Army veterans. Some served for short periods of time, but no matter what, they are still veterans.

So without further ado, do you know that these famous people served in the U.S. Army?

Famous Army Veterans

1: Hugh Hefner

We all know him as the founder of Playboy Enterprises. But this most famous playboy was a soldier in the United States Army during World War II. In 1944, Hugh enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantry clerk. He did get a sharpshooter badge in Basic Training. He spent time at Camp Adair in Oregon and Camp Pickett in Virginia. He was a cartoonist for an Army newspaper.

2: John Fogerty

For some of you, you may not recognize his name, but for people my age, we love John. He was essentially the founder of a great band back in the day called Creedence Clearwater Revival.

It was the Vietnam era, and John was drafted. He entered the Army reserves for a short time, but he was never deployed to the war. John used his Army experience to write and play great music.

3: Mel Brooks

His comedy has made many people laugh. He directed some great films such as Blazing Saddles. Mel was married to the great Anne Bancroft. But before all of this, Mel was an Army soldier. He was drafted in 1944. Mel was a corporal with the 1104 Engineer Combat Battalion, 78th Infantry Division. He diffused land mines.

4: Tony Bennett

This great singer from days of old was a member of the United States Army and served in World War II. In 1944, he was drafted and became an Infantry soldier. As a replacement for the 255th Infantry Regiment of the 63rd Infantry Division, Tony went with his unit from France into Germany and had narrow death experiences. He did have a chance to use his voice with an Army band towards the close of the war.

5: James Earl Jones

Known for many great acting roles, especially the voice of Darth Vader, James Earl Jones did serve in the Army. When he attended the University of Michigan, Jones also entered ROTC. Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1953, he went to Fort Benning and the Infantry Officers Basic Course along with Ranger School. Jones commanded a cold weather training unit in Leadville, Colorado. He did get to 1st Lieutenant before he was discharged.

6: Clint Eastwood

He has acted in many westerns and war movies among others. He has directed and been a political figure, but many do not know that Clint was drafted into the United States Army in 1951. He was sent to Fort Ord as a swimming instructor.

Clint did have a situation when he and a pilot crashed into the ocean off the Northern California coast. He and the pilot had to swim approximately 3 miles to shore.

Clint was discharged from the Army at the rank of corporal.

7: Oliver Stone

He has written, directed and produced many war and military movies. Most notably I remember Platoon.

In 1967, Oliver enlisted in the U.S. Army and requested to be sent to combat duty in Vietnam. He served with 2nd Platoon, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Infantry Division. He was wounded twice and the movie he wrote is based on his time with this unit. Oliver earned several awards for his time in the Army:

  • Bronze Star with V device

  • Purple Heart with 1 oak leaf cluster

  • and several more.

We love his movies, and they come with true life experience.

8: Pat Sajak

If you have watched the game show Wheel of Fortune, you are surely familiar with Pat Sajak. He is the host.

During the Vietnam War, Pat enlisted in the United States Army in 1968. He was sent to ‘Nam, but he worked as a radio broadcaster and was not on the front lines. His experience with Armed Forces radio led to his fame as a host of several shows on the television.

9: Colin Powell

He was the 65th Secretary of State and a 4 star General in the U.S. Army. He was the 1st African American to be on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the 1st African American to be Secretary of State. He served in Vietnam, the Invasion of Panama and the Gulf War.

Yes, Colin Powell deserves to be on this list. I believe he will go down as one of the great military leaders in history.

10: George Strait

I love country music, and George is high on my favorite list. In 1971, George joined the Army and was stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii with the 25th Infantry Division. While there, he played with the U.S. Army sponsored band Rambling Country.

George was honorably discharged in 1975 to pursue a lifestyle of Country/Western greatness.

With that, I have to leave a video of a favorite of mine with George and Alan: Murder on Music Row.

Final Thoughts

That is my list of the top 10 most famous living Army veterans. Do you agree, or is your list slightly different? Share your thoughts in the comments are below.

Thank you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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