How was Elvis Presley's service in the army?
The legendary King of Rock and Roll, 22-year-old Elvis Presley was at the height of his illustrious fame in 1957. By then he had had enough big hits, including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog," "Blue Suede Shoes," and "Love Me Tender. He had also appeared in several movies, including "Prison Rock"and toured North America, attracting teenagers and scaring their parents with his highly provocative for the time "pelvic spins.". Yes, yes, conservative society was not just shocked by such gestures, but really furious! But all that is long in the past...
So: at this point in his career, there didn't seem to be anything Elvis didn't do. Well, except for one thing. And that is. military service. The favorite of millions received his draft letter on December 20, 1957, while on vacation with his family in Graceland. Of course, Elvis's fans were not thrilled that the King of Rock and Roll had been drafted, and they expressed their anger in countless letters demanding that he be exempted, or at least deferred. Presley, however, decided to to do their civic duty And on March 24, 1958, he enlisted as a private in the army.
The only favor he received from the government as an artist was that his draft was delayed so that he could finish shooting his film "King Creole..
Life in the Army
According to U.S. Army Center for Military HistoryElvis' time in the Army was about the same as any other man who enlisted. He served in two different armored battalions: Company A, 2nd Medium Tank Battalion, 37th Tank Battalion, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, where he trained from March 28 to September 17, 1958; and 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 32nd Tank Division in Germany from October 1, 1958 to March 2, 1960.
However, given his enormous popularity at the time, Elvis was still getting numerous benefitsthat are inaccessible to other soldiers. For example, equipping your own unit TVs! And he was more than happy to share them with his squad mates. Of course, the transition from celebrity life to military life took its toll on Elvis, who was not a fan of physical exertion and training, and really wanted to get home to his family... He was also worried about how serving in the Army will affect his careerand these fears proved to be unfounded in the end.
A brilliant comeback
So: Elvis Presley was honorably discharged from the army March 5, 1960and although his service only lasted about two years, it had a tremendous impact on his career. And not in the negative way that King was so worried about... It turned out to be exactly the opposite! But we'll come back to that later.
When, during a press conference on his return to civilian life, he was asked about why he enlisted in the armyElvis said:
"People expected me to screw up one way or another. A lot of people thought I wouldn't make it, and so on. But I was determined to go all out to prove otherwise, not only to people who were perplexed, but also to myself."
One of the most fascinating aspects of Elvis' time in the military is how much it has improved his career! His manager made sure that Elvis was still in the public mind during his service, so that he could then quietly, and even with a certain chicness, return to a culture that was anxious to have its King back.
Another factor contributing to Elvis' surge in popularity is the fact that he finally captivated the older generationThe young people of the Soviet Union, who had once been intimidated by his defiant dance moves. Remarkably, they gained some respect for the performer because they perceived his decision to join the army as something only a true patriot would do. And what is most interesting about this whole story is that above all, serving in the army was a cunning plan Colonel Tom Parkerwhich, by the way, worked!