During the peak of his career in 1958, “The King of Rock ‘N’ Roll” traded in his blue suede shoes for a pair of U.S. Government-issued combat boots.
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) is widely known for his extraordinary music, performance style, acting career, and worldwide fame. In 1960, however, he was known in the United States Army as Sergeant Presley.
Here in the Still Picture Branch at the National Archives, we have a handful of photographs within our holdings that show a glimpse into Elvis’ time with the military.
On March 24, 1958, Elvis was inducted into the United States Army at the Memphis Draft Board in Tennessee. He arrived at Fort Hood, Texas on March 28, 1958 for Basic Training, where he was stationed for six months.
On October 1st later that year, he was assigned to the 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 32nd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division and stationed for the next 18 months in Friedberg, West Germany. It was in West Germany where Elvis met his future wife, Priscilla Ann Beaulieu, at a house party he hosted.
On January 20, 1960, Elvis was promoted to Sergeant, received his sergeant’s stripes on February 11, and less than a month later, was officially discharged from active duty. It was at Fort Dix, New Jersey on March 5, 1960 where he received his separation from active duty and final pay – and a gift from Miss Nancy Sinatra, the daughter of Frank Sinatra!
The photographs included within this post are can be found in the Army Signal Corps series, 111-SC and have no known copyright restrictions. If you have any questions about the images in this post or the holdings of the Still Picture Branch, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUBLICATION OF PHOTOGRAPHS FURNISHED BY THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES STILL PICTURE BRANCH-RRSS
Generally, copies of photographic records held by the National Archives may be published without special permission or additional fees. The National Archives does not grant exclusive or non-exclusive publication privileges. Copies of Federal records, as part of the public domain, are equally available to all. A small percentage of photographs in our holdings are or may be subject to copyright restrictions. The National Archives does not confirm the copyright status of photographs but will provide any information known about said status. It is the user’s responsibility to obtain all necessary clearances. Any use of these items is made at the researcher’s or purchaser’s own risk.
Proper credit lines are encouraged in the interest of good documentation. They also help inform the public about government photographic resources that are available.
*Because so many of our requests for information cite credits and captions that appear in published works, the inclusion of a photo number in hard copy and electronic publications is of great assistance to both us and the public.
Examples of preferred credit lines are as follows:
National Archives photo no. 210-G-C241
Credit National Archives (photo no. 83-G-41368)
Courtesy National Archives, photo no. 83-G-41430
National Archives (210-G-A14)
If using a large number of our images, the National Archives will appreciate receiving copies of publications that contain our photographs. Such copies can be sent to the Still Picture Branch or the Library, National Archives and Records Administration.