Before his politically fueled rap group or his time fighting crime on NBC’s Law & Order spinoff, Special Victims Unit, Ice-T spent some time as an Army Ranger. He told NPR, “Well, I went to Crenshaw High School.” “After that, I went into the Army. I did four years in the military. And when I came out of the military, I got right into trouble.“
Craig Morgan, now a country music star, spent nearly a decade as a forward observer in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division and 82nd Airborne Division. He would serve another six and a half years in the Army Reserve.
A founding member of the Marshall Tucker Band, Toy Caldwell served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam. After he was injured by a land mine in 1967, he was shipped home and medically discharged. He created the Toy Factory band which would later become the Marshall Tucker Band. They released 14 albums. Five went gold, and an additional two went platinum.
In September 1994, influenced by Renaissance icon Benvenuto Cellini (who stated that a well-rounded man is an artist, warrior and philosopher), he left Mind Funk to join the United States Army, subsequently serving with the Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion and later with the Special Forces, serving tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. After completing his tour of duty with the Rangers, he took a break from the service and lived in New York City where he briefly worked as a bike messenger. He then traveled to Tibet and worked and studied in a Buddhist monastery before returning to the U.S. He reentered the Army when offered the chance to join Special Forces. After receiving an honorable discharge in 2006, Everman went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Columbia University School of General Studies on May 20, 2013. General Stanley A. McChrystal wrote a letter of recommendation for his application. In September 2010, Everman conducted an interview with Music Life Radio detailing his life. In July 2013, The New York Times published a portrait on Everman, written by guitarist and writer Clay Tarver. The article features interviews with Everman, his family members, former band colleagues, music industry people, and soldiers. A 2014 The Daily Beast interview mentions that Everman was invited to and attended Nirvana’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, that he lives in New York, has participated in writing workshops and “still goes overseas regularly, working as a consultant for the military
Sinise is a supporter of various veterans’ organizations, both personally and through the Lt. Dan Band. He frequently performs on USO tours at military bases around the world, and volunteered for the National Vietnam Veterans Arts Museum now called the National Veterans Art Museum. On June 8, 2011, he put on a space suit to become one of the few people to fly in a U-2 spy plane up to 70,000 feet. Sinise is also on the Advisory Council of Hope For The Warriors, a national nonprofit dedicated to provide a full cycle of nonmedical care to combat-wounded service members, their families, and families of the fallen from each military branch. In December 2011, Sinise was the narrator at the Candelight Processional at Disneyland. In August 2012, Sinise was honored at the United States Navy Memorial, by Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Rick West, and was made an honorary U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer for his efforts in helping veterans. On August 29, 2013, he was named an honorary Marine by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. In 2006, Sinise co-narrated the National Memorial Day Concert on the Mall in Washington, D.C., with actor and Illinois native Joe Mantegna. He serves as the national spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial and spends much of his time raising awareness for the memorial and other veterans’ service organizations. In 2012, he was honored by the Joe Foss Institute for his dedication to veterans. In 2013, he was awarded the third highest honor within the Department of the Army Civilian Awards, the Outstanding Civilian Service Award, for substantial contributions to the U.S. Army community through his work with the Gary Sinise Foundation. He participated in Troopathon VI for 2013, as he has in the past, to help raise money for care packages for American troops. He received 2015’s Sylvanus Thayer Award, awarded by the West Point Association of Graduates to a civilian whose character, service, and achievements reflect the ideals prized by the U.S. Military Academy.