Some of our favorite black celebrities truly have interesting stories to tell when it comes to what they were up to or the jobs they were doing before their individual rise to fame.
For some, they had to juggle between menial jobs just to make ends meet. Oprah Winfrey, for instance, worked at a corner grocery store in Nashville when she was a teenager.
For others, on the other hand, who were a bit fortunate, they found themselves in pretty decent careers before their eventual breakthrough. A Temple University graduate, Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams worked as a high school teacher in Philadelphia for six years before his Hollywood calling.
Though these kinds and nature of jobs are probably what we would have expected a handful of them to be doing, it would surprise you that others, at a certain point in time, decided to do something rather unconventional but brave, and that was enlisting in the military.
In whichever grouping these stars find themselves, one thing, however, is for sure – their rise to stardom and success wasn’t gifted to them on a bed of roses.
With that being said, we share with you six black celebrities you never knew were military veterans. Check them out below:
The A-Team actor served as a Military Police officer in the 1970s. Notable feats he achieved during his service were his promotion to a squad leader and a letter of recommendation from his drill sergeant.
Known for his hit single, U Can’t Touch This, MC Hammer served as an aviation storekeeper in the Navy for three years.
The deceased musician joined the Marine Corps after dropping out of high school at the age of 16. He served for three years.
The legendary award-winning actor joined the United States Air Force in 1995.
Speaking with Interview Magazine about his time there and his reason for leaving, he said: “All of us, except my youngest brother, were in the military. I joined the Air Force. I took to it immediately when I arrived there. I did three years, eight months, and ten days in all, but it took me a year and a half to get disabused of my romantic notions about it.
“When I was getting close to being accepted for pilot training, I was allowed to get in a jet airplane. I sat there looking at all those switches and dials and I got the distinct feeling that I was sitting in the nose of bomb. I realized my fantasies of flying and fighting were just that—fantasies. They had nothing to do with the reality of killing people.
“What I wanted was the movie version. So that was the end of the whole idea of doing anything other than acting for me. I’ve never had any other vocation.”
The West Coast rapper and actor served in the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry in Hawaii for four years. He was able to fund his rap career with what he earned from serving in the army.
The legendary Jamaican reggae-dancehall star, after moving to the United States at the age of 18, joined the Marine Corps in 1988. He also fought in the Gulf War.