Elvis Presley’s Career in the Army
Elvis Presley was an iconic entertainer who is still beloved today. Lesser known, however, was that he also spent two years in the U.S. Army. On March 24th, 1958, the “King of Rock and Roll” was drafted at only 23 years old and he served till March 5th, 1960.
His Time in the Army
- Elvis was inducted in the United States Army at the Memphis Draft Board on March 24th.
- He requested to serve in the elite special services, but was instead assigned to be a regular soldier.
- He initially served in Fort Hood, Texas, and was then stationed in Friedberg, West Germany.
- He received an “excellent” rating from his commanding officer on his efficiency reports.
His Job and Accomplishments
While in the Army, Elvis held the rank of Private, which was equivalent to the lowest enlisted rank. His job as a soldier was much like any other in his position, doing mundane tasks like washing dishes and cleaning buildings. He did, however, show exemplary aptitude in marksmanship, shooting an M-1 rifle expertly. In 1959, he earned The Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award given by the U.S. Army.
Elvis’ time in the Army was not always easy. In September 1959, he was court-martialed for disrespect of an NCO and indulging in public disturbance. He was found guilty and fined $60 and relieved of duty for one month, returning to his job afterwards.
The End of Elvis’ Military Career
Elvis Presley was released from active duty on March 5th, 1960. His tenure in the United States Army ended without incident and he returned to Memphis, Tennessee to continue his career in music. He wrote songs inspired by his army experience, such as “G.I. Blues” (1960) and “The Army Song” (1962).
As a result of his service, Elvis developed a lifelong appreciation of the military and its service people. He often referred to the military as “my duty,” and exchanged letters with friends he made in the Army. Elvis’ time in the service left a lasting legacy, one that still reverberates today.