Why Did Elvis Presley Join The Military?

Elvis Presley while taking his oath
Elvis Presley while taking his oath

The King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley transformed the culture of the 1950s with his slick and stylish presence. The Memphis residence forayed into music in 1954 with RCA and released his smashing hit ‘Heartbreak Hotel’. The cultural rage, the love, and the evocative performances made him the most desirable man on earth. Baz Luhrmann is the most fitting choice to document Elvis’ life on celluloid with his camp filmmaking.

In 2022, ‘Elvis’ won hearts starring Tom Hanks and Austin Butler. Butler is already a frontrunner in the race for the most coveted accolades in the world. He is nominated in the ‘Best Actor’ category. It follows the story of the icon from his formative years to his ascent into fame from the point of view of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. In 1957, he got drafted into the Army after the mammoth success of his debut album. It was his manager Colonel Tom Parker who pushed Elvis to serve in the military.

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Related: Elvis Presley Home Graceland: Why It’s The Second Most Visited Home In America?

Why Did Elvis Presley Join The Military?

Elvis Presley joined the military in 1958 after Colonel Tom Parker pushed him
Elvis Presley joined the military in 1958 after Colonel Tom Parker pushed him

When Elvis Presley decided to join the military, many divisions of the armed forces offered him some alluring opportunities and immunities. The Air Force and Army offered him a job to tour with the troops and aid them with entertainment. The Navy suggested that there should be a subgroup named ‘The Elvis Presley Company’ which will include his friends from his birthplace Memphis, Tennessee.

But, it was Colonel Tom who pushed him to go the conventional way going through training like the other compatriots. In Alana Nash’s ‘The Colonel’, she wrote that Parker helped him to get drafted into the army. In ‘Down At the End of Lonely Street: Life and Death of Elvis Presley’, Brown wrote that Colonel warned the singer that his image may get tainted if he goes the “easy way”.

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Elvis talked about his decision saying, “People were expecting me to mess up, to goof up in one way or another. They thought I couldn’t take it and so forth, and I was determined to go to any limits to prove otherwise. Not only to the people who were wondering but to myself”.

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The Singer Got Addicted To Drugs During His Service

Elvis Presley was introduced to drugs during his military stint
Elvis Presley was introduced to drugs during his military stint

When Elvis Presley joined the army, the media deemed it as ‘Black Monday’ on March 24th, 1958. He began his service in the armored division where his role was that of a driver for Captain Russell. However, the actor and singer brought his fame baggage with him. Despite losing his identity i.e., the hair, women still desired him. There were flocks of them who followed him. So, he was shifted to Sergeant. Ira Jones’ platoon, who was stricter.

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In 1958, Elvis went through the darkest phase of his life when his mother, Gladys Presley passed away. But, he recuperated from the loss quickly when he came to Germany and changed his lifestyle. He became Sergeant. One of his contemporaries introduced him to amphetamine. Peter Guralnick’s book ‘Careless Love: The Unmasking of Elvis Presley’  mentioned it. One of the sources told Peter, “Elvis would say, ‘These little pills will give you more strength and energy than you can imagine.’ It was better to take the pill with coffee, Elvis would say because the hot coffee and caffeine would tend to make the pill work a lot quicker”.

Elvis told his then-wife, Priscilla Beaulieu, “If I didn’t have them, I’d never make it through the day myself. But it’s okay, they’re safe”.

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