Q: What does a magazine publisher, restaurant founder and actor have in common?
A: They were all Soldiers!
Check out below to learn more about a few people you may not have known served in the U.S. Army.
1) Alan Alda, actor
2) Mel Brooks, comedian
While in college, the comedian was drafted into the U.S. Army during World
War II, where he served as a corporal and combat engineer tasked with
diffusing land mines during the Battle of the Bulge.
3) Hugh Hefner, creator and publisher of Playboy magazine
The creator and publisher of Playboy magazine enlisted in the Army
as an infantry clerk in World War II after he graduated from high
school in 1944. During basic combat training he won a sharpshooter badge for
firing the M1 and made it through “Killer College,” in which troops went
through maneuvers while throwing real grenades. Posted at Camp Adair in
Salem, Oregon, and Camp Pickett in Virginia, Hefner contributed
cartoons for Army newspapers.
4) James Earl Jones, award winning actor
Jones was commissioned in mid-1953 as a second lieutenant and reported to Fort Benning to attend Infantry Officers Basic Course. He then attended Ranger School. Jones was initially to report to Fort Leonard Wood, but his unit was instead sent to establish a cold weather training command at the Camp Hale near Leadville, Colorado. His battalion became a training unit in the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains. Jones was promoted to first lieutenant prior to his discharge.
5) Audie Murphy, actor
Murphy is recognized as the most decorated Soldier in World War II. Murphy received every U.S. award, including the Medal of Honor. He not only received thirty-three medals from the U.S., but also received decorations from the Belgian and French armies. When he returned to the U.S., he acted in more than forty movies until he was killed in a plane crash at the age of forty-six.
6) Dave Thomas, founder and CEO of Wendy’s
During the Korean War he volunteered for the Army to avoid the draft and have some choice in assignments.Thomas chose Cook and Bakers School at Ft. Benning, Georgia. He was sent overseas to Germany as a mess sergeant and was responsible for feeding 2000 soldiers daily. He attributes this experience in mass feedings to his success in fast food. He was discharged in 1953 as a staff sergeant.