Country music is often unabashedly patriotic, so perhaps it's not surprising that there are so many veteran country singers. Country singers make up a sizable chunk of celebrity veterans. Some famous country stars served in the Marines, while other country singers were drafted into the US Army. A few famous country singers even served overseas.
Who will you find on this list of country singers who are soldiers? Willie Nelson enrolled in the US Air Force after he left high school. Johnny Cash spent four years in the US Air Force in the 1950s. Gene Autry was awarded the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal during his time in the Army Air Force. Other famous country musicians who are veterans include George Jones, Conway Twitty, and Sturgill Simpson.
Did you know there were so many country singers in the military? Take a look at this list and read up on the military service careers of some of country's greatest stars.
- Photo: Jason Davis/Stringer / Getty Images Entertainment
Willie Nelson enrolled in the US Air Force after he left high school in 1950. He was medically discharged due to back problems after nine months.
- Age: 87
- Birthplace: Texas, USA, Abbott
Johnny Cash spent four years in the US Air Force in the 1950s. He was stationed in West Germany for most of that time, and notably eavesdropped on Soviet communication as a radio intercept officer.
Over the course of his employment with USAF, Cash learned to translate Russian Morse code.
- Age: Dec. at 71 (1932-2003)
- Birthplace: Kingsland, Arkansas, United States of America, United States, with Territories
Kris Kristofferson once self-identified as an "army brat," because his father's position as a US Army Air Corps officer entailed that the family moved around a lot during his childhood. In 1960, the younger Kristofferson followed in his father's military footsteps, becoming an army helicopter pilot.
In 2011, the famed country singer receoved the Veteran of the Year award at the American Veteran Awards.
- Age: 84
- Birthplace: Brownsville, Texas, United States of America
George Strait served in the U.S. Army from 1971 to 1975, and had reached the rank of Corporal by the end of his service. During his time in the 25th Infantry Division at Hawaii's Schofield Barracks, Strait began performing under the name Santee.
- Age: 68
- Birthplace: Poteet, Texas, USA