Paul Newman served in the Navy during World War II, spending time in Hawaii and Japan before returning to his native Ohio to attend college in 1945. At the tender age of 18, Johnny Cash joined the Air Force, serving in Texas and Germany before receiving an honorable discharge after four years of service in 1954.At age 17, The King of Cool joined the United States Marine Corps.

Serving for three years, Steve Mc Queen went AWOL before recommitting to the service.

Mc Queen was eventually appointed to the Marines Honor Guard, keeping a watchful eye on President Harry Truman’s yacht before he was honorably discharged in 1950.

Not only does a military career provide a steady paycheck before you start selling out stadiums and snagging blockbuster roles, it can also provide the much-needed discipline required to tough it out in showbiz.

For these 30 celebs, the military started them on the hard-earned path to the stardom they’re enjoying today. Discover how you can launch your own reinvention with the 20 Daily Confidence Boosters for Getting Ahead at Work! Long before the 87-year-old Oscar winner was an actor, he served in the United States Army.

For six years, the UFC heavyweight served in the 101st Airborne, working his way up to Sergeant before leaving the armed forces in 1988.

While some might assume that Couture’s technique was learned during his service, he told that his flair for fighting wasn’t honed until much later.

In fact, it was during his time in the military that he first discovered his passion for painting. I promised myself that if I ever got away from it, it wasn’t going to be that way anymore,” he told the Elvis Presley is one of the rare celebrities who served in the military after achieving fame.

So how did the quiet, even-keeled Ross go over in the armed forces? Elvis was drafted into the Army in 1958, after his hits “Hound Dog,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and “Jailhouse Rock” were already topping the charts.

Garcia was enlisted in the army by his mother in 1960, although he spent less than a year training in California before being discharged.

MMA star Randy Couture’s career didn’t begin in the ring—it began in the Army.

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