12 Surprising Celebrities Who Served In The Military

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What do Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas and “Ice Loves Coco” founder Ice-T have in common? How about “Daily Show” correspondent Rob Riggle and MC Hammer?

No, they weren’t all in the same college fraternity. They were all members of the U.S. Armed Forces. In honor of Veterans Day, here are a dozen celebs who served…

Drew Carey

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After six years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Drew Carey kept the haircut and glasses.

Rob Riggle

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Rob Riggle is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve who served in Liberia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. If you see him performing at a comedy club, you probably don’t want to heckle him.


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Ice-T claims that he learned how to pimp while stationed in Hawaii and that he used his Advanced Infantry Training for bank robberies. Not what the Army intended, but now he’s a police officer on television, so it evens out.

Dave Thomas

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The future fast food CEO volunteered as a mess sergeant in the Korean War, responsible for feeding 2,000 soldiers every day. Maybe it was military protocol that hamburger patties be square-shaped?

MC Hammer

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After attending college, MC Hammer joined the Navy as an Aviation Store Keeper 3rd Class. Rumor has it that someone in the Navy saw his pants, went back in time and invented the parachute.

Bill Cosby

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Bill Cosby joined the Navy in 1956 and became a hospital corpsman. He served for four years and worked with severely injured veterans of the Korean War. So next time you laugh at a Cosby sweater, just remember that he’s a better person than you.

Hunter S. Thompson

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“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” author Hunter S. Thompson completed Basic Training in the U.S. Air Force, and wrote a sports column for the Eglin Air Force Base newspaper. True to form, Thomspon’s superiors discharged him because “although talented, [he] will not be guided by policy.”

Hugh Hefner

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Hugh Hefner wrote for an army newspaper from 1944-1946. He later produced some other publication that soldiers might’ve read from time to time.

Larry Flynt

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At the age of 15, the Hustler publisher joined the U.S. Army using a fake birth certificate. Decades after his honorable discharge, he got to talk about porn with the U.S. Supreme Court. This guy has a lot of range.

JRR Tolkein

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The “Lord of the Rings” author fought in the British Army during World War I. He suffered from both trench foot and trench fever, which made battling Sauron look easy.


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After high school, Mystikal joined the U.S. Army and served in Operation Desert Storm as a combat engineer. If you’re watching Jeopardy and the question is “This rapper knows how to diffuse land mines,” the answer is “Who is Mystikal?”


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Shaggy joined the U.S. Marine Corps as a Field Artillery Cannon Crewman, serving in Operation Desert Storm. One night in the barracks, Shaggy was asked if he had farted. He replied, “It wasn’t me,” and then decided to go into music.

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