Famous Veterans




Everyone has dreams.


 Many famous people served in the Armed forces before following their dreams and making it big.


We live and work with veterans every day.  Although you may not realize that the person working the cash register, your doctor, school teacher, or the grouchy neighbor down the street all served.  

People are often surprised to find out that many of the film stars, athletes, politicians and such actually served before finding their fame.  Many continued to serve while working their new profession.  James Stewart, the actor, after serving in WWII went on to be the Adjutant General of California, while still acting.

Below is a list, though not complete, of famous veterans who served this nation in both peace time and during war/conflict.


US Presidents (by rank)

George Washington -- US Army (General of the Armies)

Dwight D Eisenhower -- US Army (General of the Army)

Ulysses S Grant -- US Army (General of the Army)

Andrew Jackson -- US Army (Major General)
William Harrison -- US Army (Major General)

Zachary Taylor -- US Army (Major General)

Rutherford B Hayes -- US Army (Major General)

James Garfield -- US Army (Major General)

Franklin Pierce -- US Army (Brigadier General)

Andrew Johnson -- US Army (Brigadier General)

Chester A Arthur -- State Militia (Brigadier General)

Benjamin Harrison -- US Army (Brigadier General)

Thomas Jefferson -- State Militia (Colonel)

James Madison -- State Militia (Colonel)

James Polk -- State Militia (Colonel)

Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt -- US Army (Colonel)

Harry S. Truman -- US Army (Colonel)

Lyndon B Johnson -- US Navy (Commander)

Richard Nixon -- US Navy (Commander)

James Monroe -- US Army (Major)

William McKinley -- US Army (Major)

Gerald Ford -- US Navy (LT Commander)

Millard Fillmore -- US Army (Major)

John Tyler -- State Militia (Captain)

Abraham Lincoln -- State Militia (Captain)

John F Kennedy -- US Navy (Lieutenant)

Jimmy Carter -- US Navy (Lieutenant)

Ronald Reagan -- US Army (Captain)

George Bush Sr. -- US Navy (Lieutenant, Junior Grade)
George W Bush -- US Air Force (First Lieutenant)
James Buchanan -- US Army (Private)




Jocelyn Elders (Surgeon General) -- US Army
Senator John Kerry-- U.S. Navy, three Purple Hearts
Senator Ted Kennedy -- US Army
Representative Richard Gephardt -- Air National Guard
Former Vice President Al Gore -- US Army
Minority Leader Tom Daschle -- U.S. Air Force
Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld -- US Navy
Senator John McCain -- US Navy, Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross.
Senator George Mc Govern-- US Army, Silver Star & DFC
Mike Dukakis -- US Army
Former Vice President Walter Mondale -- US Army
Former Senator John Glenn -- US Marine, Distinguished Flying Cross (6), Air Medal with 18 Clusters
Former VP Al Gore -- US Army
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell -- US Army



Alan Alda -- US Army
Andy Rooney -- US Army
Art Carney -- US Army
Audie Murphy -- US Army (Most decorated serviceman in WWII)
Bill Cosby -- US Navy
Bob Keeshan -- (Captain Kangaroo) US Marines
Brian Keith -- US Marine
Burgess Meredith - US Army Air Corps
Burt Lancaster -- US Army
Carl Reiner -- US Army
Caroll O`Connor -- Merchant Marines
Charles Bronson -- US Army
Charles Durning - US Army, three Purple Hearts, the Silver Star
Charlton Heston -- US Army
Chuck Norris -- US Air Force
Clark Gable -- US Air Force
Clint Eastwood -- US Army
Clu Gulager -- US Marine
David Eigenberg -- US Marine
Don Adams -- US Marine
Don Knotts -- US Army
Don Rickles -- US Navy
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. -- US Navy
Drew Carry -- US Marines
Earnest Borgnine -- US Navy
Eddie Albert -- US Navy (Bronze Star)
Eli Wallach -- US Army
Frank Gorshin - US Army
Gene Autry -- Air Transport Command
Gene Hackman -- US Marine
George C Scott -- US Marine
George Kennedy -- US Army
George Peppard -- US Marine
Glen Ford -- US Marine
Harvey Keitel -- US Marine
Henry Fonda -- US Navy, Bronze Star
Humphrey Bogart - US Navy
Jack Lemmon -- US Navy Reserve
Jack Palance -- US Army (severely wounded)
Jack Warden -- 101 Airborne
Jackie Coogan -- US Army
Jackie Cooper -- US Navy
James Arness -- US Army, purple heart
James Earl Jones -- US Army
James Franciscus -- US Marine
James Whitmore
Jason Robards Jr -- US Navy
Jimmy Stewart -- US Army Air Corps/Air Force
John Russell -- US Marine
Johnny Carson -- US Navy
Joseph Cotton -- US Air Force
Josh Gracin -- US Marine
Kirk Douglas -- US Navy
Lee Marvin -- US Marine (Purple Heart)
Maurice Evans -- Special Entertainment Unit
Mel Brooks (Melvin Kaminsky) -- combat engineer
Mickey Rooney -- US Army
Mike Connors -- US Marine
Mike Farrell -- US Marine
Montel Williams -- US Navy
Norman Fell -- US Army
Ossie Davis -- US Army
Richard Boone -- US Navy
Robert Duval -- US Army
Robert Montgomery -- US Navy Reserve
Robert Ryan -- US Marine
Robert Stack -- US Navy
Robert Wagner -- US Marine
Rod Serling -- US Army
Rod Stieger -- US Navy
Ronald Reagan -- US Army
Scott Glenn -- US Marine
Shecky Greene - US Navy
Sterling Hayden USMC
Steve McQueen -- US Marine
Tom Selleck -- National Guard
Tony Curtis -- US Navy
Tyrone Power -- US Marine
Clint Walker -- Merchant Marines
Werner Kemperer -- US Army
William Holden - US Army
William Conrad -- US Navy
Bea Arthur -- US Marine Corps
Julia Child -- Office of Strategic Services
Audrey Hepburn, helped WWII resistance fighters


Buddy Rich -- U S Marine
Don and Phil Everly -- US Marine
Elvis Presley -- US Army
George Jones -- US Marine
Glen Miller -- US Army
Josh Gracin -- US Marine
Shaggy -- US Marine
Tony Bennett -- US Army


Abner Doubleday (Yankee founder) -- US Army
Art Donovan (football) -- US Marine
Buster Drayton (boxing) -- US Marine
George Steinbrenner (owner of NY Yankees) -- US Air Force
Hank Bauer (Baseball) -- US Marine
Jackie Robinson -- US Army
Jessie Ventura -- Navy Seal
Lee travino (Golf) -- US Marine
Leon Spinks (boxing) -- US Marine
Mike Anderson (NFL) -- US Marine
Patty Berg (golf) -- US Marine
Roberto Clemente (Baseball) -- US Marine
Rocky Blier -- US Army
Rocky Marciano (Heavyweight boxing champion) -- US Army
Ted Williams -- US Marine
Tom Seaver (Baseball) -- US Marine
Yogi Berra -- US Navy


Alan Bean -- Capt US Navy
Alan Shepard -- Rear Admiral, US Navy
Buz Aldrin -- Co. US Air Force
Charles Duke -- Brig. Gen. US Air Force
Cjarles Conrad -- Capt. Navy
David Scott -- Col. US Air Force
Ed White -- US Air Force
Edgar Mitchell -- Capt. US Navy
James Irwin -- US Air Force
James Lovell -- Capt. US Navy
John Glenn -- Col. Marine Corps
Mike Collins -- Brig. Gen. US Air Force
Rick Gordon -- Capt. US Navy
Rick Husband -- Col. US Air Force
Tom Mattingly II -- Read Admiral, US Navy
Tom Stafford -- Lt. Gen. US Air Force
Wally Schirra -- US Navy
Col. Eileen Collins -- US Air Force
Col. Susan Helms -- US Air Force
Col. Nancy Jane Currie -- US Army
Col. Wendy Lawrence -- US Navy
Col. Yvonne Cagle -- US Air Force
Cmdr.Susan Kilrain -- US Navy
Cmdr. K Hire US Navel Reserve
Lt. Col. Pam Melroy -- US Air Force
Lt. Comd. Sunita Williams -- US Navy
LT. Col. Catherine Colman -- US Air Force
Cmdr. Laurel Clark -- US Navy
Cmdr. Lisa Nowak -- US Navy
Cmdr. Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper -- US Navy


Arthur Godfrey -- Coast Guard
Charles Schultz (cartoonist) - US Army
Charles Walgreen (Founder - Walgreen`s Pharmacies) -- Spanish-American War
Dave Thomas (Founder of Wendy`s) -- US Army
Ed McMahon -- Johnny Carson`s sidekick -- US Marine
Edgar Allen Poe (poet)-- US Army
Ernest Hemmingway
Evil Kinevil -- US Army
F Scott Fitzgerald
Fred W. Smith (CEO FedEx) -- US Marines
Gene Siskel (movie critic) -- US Army
George Westinghouse (Inventor, Westinghouse founder) -- Navy, Civil War
Judge Wapner -- US Army
Lee Harvey Oswald -- Assassin of President John F. Kennedy

Mark Twain -- Civil War
Malcom Forbes (Publisher) -- US Army
Oliver Stone - Director
Pat Sajak -- game show host -- US Army
R. Buckminister Fuller (Inventor) -- US Navy
Theodore "Dr Seuss" Geisel
Wally Amos "Famous Amos" -- US Air Force War Cavalry
William Procter -- Founder - Procter and Gamble -- US Marine


Admirals and Generals

General Alexander Haig
General Douglas McArthur
General Dwight D Eisenhower
General George C. Marshall
General George Custer
General George Patton
General Henry Hap Arnold
General John Pershing
General Norman Schwarzkopf
General Omar Bradley
General Philip Sheridan
General Colin Powell
General Robert E. Lee
General Thomas Stonewall Jackson
General Ulysses S. Grant
General William Sherman
General William Westmorland
Maj. General J.E.B. Stuart
Rear Admiral James Stockdale
Admiral Chester Nimitz



As stated earlier this is not a full and complete listing every veteran who went on to become famous in their chosen field.  Many have chosen to keep their military life private or perhaps they are/were not internationally recognizable.   

 Regardless of fame and success every veteran should be proud of their service to the country.  Although appreciation is not always shown, veterans should know that their service to this nation is appreciated.


“I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, “Mother, what was war?”

Eve Merriam












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