Elvis Presley in the U.S. Army
On Monday, March 24, 1958 at 6:35 AM, Elvis, accompanied by his parents and a group of family and friends, reported to the Memphis Draft Board. From there, he and twelve other recruits were bused to Kennedy Veterans Memorial Hospital. There, Elvis was assigned army serial number 53 310 761. After being processed and sworn in, Elvis said his good-byes and Private Presley was bused with the others from Memphis to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas for further processing. There, he received his famous G.I. haircut and coined the phrase 'Hair today, gone tomorrow', in a comment to the news media. He was assigned to the Second Armored Division's 'Hell On Wheels' unit (formerly led by General George Patton) and was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.
Original article : 3d Armored Division Co-Stars with Elvis
Elvis Presley March 1, 1960 : Sergeant Presley Preparing To Go Home
Extra pages not in the tour
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Rare pictures from the LIFE archives (43 photos)
A Basic Summary Of Elvis Presley's Army Career
Elvis Presley received his draft notice at age 23 in Memphis, TN, and was subsequently inducted on March 24, 1958, and processed at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. Total time on active Army duty: 2 years, 3/24/58 - 3/5/60.
In Germany Elvis Presley was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Armor Regiment, 3rd Armored Division, Ray Barracks, Friedberg. Elvis served with the Division from October 1, 1958 to March 1, 1960.
Spent 6 months at Ft. Hood for basic & advanced training (under 2nd Armored Division) prior to Germany.
In the he December 2012 issue of the 2nd Armored Divisions 'Hell On Wheels' 'Bulletin' Elvis is remembered in photos and story by Harold Heikkinen who like Elvis, was also transferred to the 3rd Armored Division.
While at Ft. Hood, his mother, Gladys, dies unexpectedly on August 14, 1958.
MOS 133.60 at discharge (armor intelligence specialist, or 'scout').
Could drive, load, and shoot an M-48 Patton battle tank, but with 3rd Armored he served as jeep driver and recon. scout. Promoted to Sergeant E-5 at age 25 on 1/20/60 at Tank Range 42 at Grafenwoehr, Germany.
Was supervised at press and other events during his 17 months with the 3rd Armored by Capt. John Mawn of Division PIO. In August, 2002, Mawn (of Fort Smith, Arkansas) was quoted as saying, 'My job was to make sure that Presley didn't screw up at press and public appearances. And, you know what, he never did'.
Rented a house in Bad Nauheim, Germany, at 14 Goethestrasse while assigned to Friedberg. Granted off-post status, as his grandmother and father lived with him and were designated as dependents.
On September 13, 1959, met Priscilla Beaulieu, the teenage step-daughter of an Air Force captain stationed at Wiesbaden AFB. They met at Elvis' home in Bad Nauheim, where she had been invited to a party through a mutual friend. They would eventually marry on 5/1/67 and divorce in 1973.
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. + Plus Bonus DVD Audio.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.