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8 Black Celebrities You May Not Have Known Served in the US Military

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Morgan Freeman

Although fans saw actor Morgan Freeman play an officer in the film Glory, many don’t know he served in the U.S. military off screen as well. Upon graduating high school in 1955, Freeman turned down a partial drama scholarship and joined the U.S. Air Force. Freeman reportedly loved the idea of flying but worked as a radar technician while in the military. The actor finally got a pilot’s license at the age of 65.

“I joined the Air Force. I took to it immediately when I arrived there. I did three years, eight months, and 10 days in all, but it took me a year and a half to get disabused of my romantic notions about it.”



In 1979, after high school at the age of 17, Tracy Marrow, aka rapper and actor Ice-T, enlisted in the Army. He spent four years in the 25th Infantry Division in Honolulu.

The artist said he joined the military as a way to earn enough money to support his girlfriend and their child.

“And when I had my daughter I was like, man, I’m going to go to jail. I got to do something, and I went to an enlistment office,” he said.

He was honorably discharged at age 21.

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