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Elvis Presley and the Military


Elvis Presley and the Military

Elvis Presley was not only a singing legend and a famous movie star, but he was also drafted into the United States Armed Forces. For at least two years, he was a soldier in the United States army. The following paragraphs will discuss some of Elvis’s experiences while he was in the military.

When Elvis Presley was drafted in December of 1957, he had already found his place in the music world, and was working on a movie with Paramount Pictures called King Creole. Paramount did not want to suspend or cancel the movie production, so Elvis was granted a deferment by the Memphis Draft Board to finish the movie. Thus, he was not actually inducted until March of 1958. After his basic training in Fort Hood, Texas, Elvis was stationed in Germany, with the 3rd Armored Division.

Given the option to join “Special Services”, Elvis declined. Had he joined, he would have been able to maintain his privacy by avoiding certain tasks. During his time in the army, Elvis continued to attract massive amounts of media coverage, and maintain his popularity with his fans.

In late 1958, while Elvis was in the military, his mother fell ill. Not only was she drinking excessively, she had been diagnosed by her doctors with hepatitis. Upon receiving this news, the army granted Elvis an emergency leave so he could visit with his mother, and along with her doctor’s gain more knowledge of her direct condition. Two days after Elvis arrived home, his mother passed away at age 46. The official cause of death was heart failure. Elvis was understandably distraught for a period of time, but after a grieving period, he returned to the military.

He was honorably discharged from the United States Army, as a sergeant, in March of 1960, approximately two years after he was drafted