90s kids, will remember Shaggy, a massive star at the time, for hits like “Bombastic,” “Angel,” and the often parodied, “It Wasn’t Me.” Shaggy started in music early, and quickly showed signs of talent. However, it wasn’t enough to keep him afloat, or to call it a stable career, so he joined the USMC in 1989.
He served as part of the 10th Marine Regiment right in time for the eruption of the Gulf War. He was deployed in Kuwait, where his experiences helped him sober up and clean up his act. In 1992, his debut album was released and it was a hit, gaining him a wave of success that carried through the early 2000s.
The idea of joining the army can be enticing to the young, with their predilection for adventure and the promise of colorful experiences arousing their daring senses. But the reality of it all can be too much, as actor Sidney Poitier can attest.
He was a bit of a rebel during his time, lying about his age so he could get into the service. He managed to sneak in and eventually became a medical attendant in a mental hospital. Once in, his next challenge was to find a way to get out. He faked insanity, but the threat of shock treatment was enough for him to renege on this claim. After weeks of consulting with a psychiatrist, he was eventually given a military discharge, sane and all!
The vicissitudes that surround our lives can be quite unpredictable. Who would have guessed, for instance, that the co-host of The Howard Stern Show, a fine lady at that, and in such a wacky program, used to actually serve the USAF as a captain?
Robin Quivers still remained a member of the US Air Force reserve until 1990. After taking her first job in radio as a newscaster in Pennsylvania, she decided to return to Baltimore, just in time to breeze in when The Howard Stern Show was scouring for someone with a straightforward personality to balance his zany character.
British actor, Michael Caine, ironically got his first real taste of the preciousness of life when he was drafted as a British army soldier during the Korean War. It was in the arms of utter danger, having fought on the front lines, face to face with the enemy, that the meaning of being alive dawned on him; right as he was certain his own life was about to be snuffed out. He believes that every man should serve in the military for at least six months to ensure they get a taste of the profound lesson he learned.
Caine ended up contracting malaria and was medically discharged. He decided to head back home to London so that he could pursue his dream of acting... and the rest is history. His first big break came when he played a British army private in a war movie titled A Hill in Korea.
American actor and television talk show host, Montel Williams, has a stellar resume, all starting with a previous career you wouldn’t expect from such a celebrity. Prior to all the lights and glamour of show business that he now dwells in, he actually spent a full 22 years serving his country as a lieutenant of the US Marine Corps. This was from 1974 to 1996, a world away from the spotlight.
He earned his degree in general engineering with a minor in international security while he was at Annapolis. He even studied Mandarin Chinese, perhaps as a foresight to the sleeping giant’s future rise in power.