When Elvis was drafted into the army he was genuinely scared that by the time he re-turned to civillian life, everybody would
have forgotten him!
Elvis received his draft notice in Decemeber 1957. He was told to report for Induction on January 20th, 1958, but he managed
to get a 2 month deferment to complete filming on King Creole. He was inducted into the army on March 24 1958. His serial
number was 53310761. His medical was carried on at Kennedy Veterans Hospital in Memphis, where he was pronouned A1 - Suitable
for all military duties.
Private Presley's last words as he got onto the bus from Memphis to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas were ' Goodbye, you long black
sonofabitch'. They were addressed to his beloved Cadillac. At Fort Chaffee, Elvis was given several inoculation injections,
an aptitude test and the world famous G.I haircut - Elvis paid 65 Cents.
After 4 days at Fort Chaffee, Elvis went to Fort Hood, Texas, for basic training. There he gained medals for expertise
with a carbine rifle and with tank weapons. During this time, he lived off base in Killeen, where his parents came to live.
This was in accordance with army regulations as Elvis's parents were classed as dependants.
On army leave in 1958, Elvis went to Studio B in Nashville for a recording session, his last for of the decade. He arrived
in his uniform.
The biggest trauma of Elvis's army career was, of cause, the death of his beloved mother, Gladys. She died on 14th August
1958. She died from a heart attack and Hepatits, exacerbated by alcohol and pills. At her funeral Elvis was inconsolable and
cried out ' Everything I have is gone'. Elvis was never the same after losing Gladys.
On September 22nd 1958, Elvis left America for Germany, to do a 18 month stint with the US Third Army Division. He boarded
the USS Randall at The Military Ocean Terminal in Brooklyn after walking up and down the gangplank 8 times for the huge crowd
of press. The ship then docked at Bremerhaven, West Germany, on October 1st.
From Bremerhaven, Elvis took the troop train to Friedberg and the Ray Barracks, which had once housed Hitler's SS troops.
Elvis had bed number 13 in Barracks 3707. On October 2, Elvis held a press conference in the Mess Hall. The Hall had been
newly painted for this occasion. Elvis ddint know this and needed to change his uniform jacket, after he leaned on a newly
painted window frame! Elvis's first assignment was to company D of the 1st medium Tank Battalion, 32nd Armor whose motto was
' Victory Or Death'.
Elvis then bought this father Vernon, Grand-Mother Minnie Mae and friends Red West and Lamar Fike. Elvis then gained premission
to live off base and moved into Bad Nauheim. First Elvis moved to The Hilberts Park Hotel, then to the posher Hotel Grunevald.
He then needed an extra room to hold fan-mail.
On June 1, 1959, Elvis was promoted to Specialist Fourth Class, and his pay rose to $122.30 a month. The celebrations
were muted due to Elvis being in hospital with Tonsillitis.
In November Elvis went on special trainin manoeuvres in snowy grafenwhor, near the boarder of Czechoslovakia. His proiximity
to communist territory caused a stir. East Germany paper Newes Deutschland described Elvis as a ' cold war weapon' while the
Soviet press accused him of being a part of the West ' Ideological battle' to subvert communist youth.
Also in November, Elvis met 14 year old Priscilla Beaulieu at a party. The rest is history!
On November 27, Elvis was promoted to Private First Class receiving his first strips and a salary increase from $78 to
$99.37 a month.
Vernon caused a scandal in Bad Nauheim by having an affair with Dee Stanley, the way of an NCO stationed in Friedbreg.
Elvis was very hurt and angry that his Dad had forgotten Gladys and was having an affair with a married woman! They later
married in Memphis.
On leave, Elvis went to Munich and Paris. In Paris, he liked to go to the Lido where the Bluebell girls preformed. He
took them all back to his hotel room for a private show! He also loved them cause they spoke English and enjoyed his music.
On 20th January 1960, Elvis was promoted to Sergeant and placed in command of a 3-men reconnaissance team. His pay was
now $145 at month. His Platoon leader stated ' I said before that Sergeant Presley was a good soldier, and now I can add he's
a fine NCO'.
Elvis's last army assignment was a Winter Shield exercise in Wildflicken.
Elvis left Germany on March 2 1960, on a Military Air transport Plane. The flight home give Elvis his one and only contact
with British soil, on a fuelling stopover at Prestwick Airport in Scotland. Then Elvis arrived back home at McGuire Airforce
Base Fort Dix, New Jersey in a blizzard. He was handed a mustering-out cheque of $109.45, which he give to Col. Tom Parker.
When John Lennon heared Elvis had died, he shook his head and said ' Elvis died the day he went into the army'. I dont
agree with Mr Lennon. I think Elvis did the right thing going into the army and serving his country. I have alot more respect
for Elvis because, unlike James Dean and Jerry Lee Lewis who chicked out and clamied to be gay to stop going into the army,
Elvis stood up and did time 2 year stint! I love Elvis even more for doing this :) He was and still is a true American hero