Elvis was inducted into the U.S. Army in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 24, 1958. He then spent three days at the Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, Reception Station.
After nearly 3 years of service, he left active duty on March 5, 1960 while at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He received his formal discharge from the Army Reserve on March 23, 1964.
While serving in the Army, Elvis was a member of Company A, 2d Medium Tank Battalion, 37th Armor between March 28-September 17, 1958 and was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. This is where he completed both his basic and advanced military training.
From October 1, 1958-March 2, 1960, Elvis was a member of the 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 3d Armor, based in Germany, mostly in the battalion’s Headquarters Company in Friedberg, Germany.
This PDF contains various official documents (and one unofficial document) related to Elvis’ army career. The PDF is 13 pages long and contains the following:
Page 1 – Acknowledgement of service obligation signed by Elvis Presley on March 24, 1958, to indicate that he understands that his total service obligation (both active and reserve) is 6 years.
Page 2 – Message from U.S. Army, Public Information Division, releasing information about Private Elvis Presley’s basic and advanced training, with approximate date of assignment to 3rd Armored Division in Germany.
Pages 3-4 – Response from Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel to the Chief of Staff of the Army providing policy direction concerning the special services of Private First Class Presley to appear at a Disc jockey convention, May 29-31, 1959.
Pages 5-6 – Memorandum for the Under Secretary of the Army from General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army officially denying special treatment for PFC Presley to return to the United States to attend a disc jocky convention.
Page 7 – Newspaper clipping (newspaper and date not shown – presumably late 1959) indicating that Elvis Presley will receive a “good behavior” discharge around Christmas.
Page 8 – Letter from Lt Colonel Verne L. Bowers to the Honorable Frank Kowalski, Member of Congress, explaining that Elvis Presley will not be given an early release for “good behavior”.
Pages 9-10 – Transmittal and Certificate of Achievement awarded to Sergeant Elvis A. Presley …”in recognition of faithful and efficient performance of duty and for outstanding service to the United States Army.”
Pages 11-12 – Special Order 63, Headquarters, U.S. Army Personnel Center Fort Dix, releasing many enlisted men, including Sergeant Elvis Presley, from active duty.
Page 13 – Assignment of Mandatory Participants to USAR Units, signed by Captain J.D. Allen III, requesting that Sergeant Presley be retained in the Annual Training Control Group. This is based on his unavailability due to his occupation as a professional entertainer, currently in Hollywood, CA.
See also the Related Links at the bottom of this page.
- Elvis Presley’s Army Career (Wikipedia)
- Elvis Presley In The U.S. Army : The Journey Begins (Elvis Australia)
- Famous Veterans: Elvis Presley (Military.com)
- Sgt. Elvis Presley – 3rd Armored Division, 1960 (3rd Armored Division History Foundation)