20 people you didn't know were United States Marines

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Celebrities That Served in the Military

As the Marine Corps celebrates its 240th birthday on Tuesday, here's a look at 20 famous people you likely never knew were Marines.

The Marine Corps bills itself as a career-building experience, and we've found lots of successful people who confirm this.

You probably had no idea that these men served, but you know their other work.

Celebrities who were also in the Marines (Business Insider text)
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20 people you didn't know were United States Marines

Drew Carey 

Drew Carey enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1980 and served for six years. Since then, he's had his own successful sitcom, hosted the improv show Who's Line Is It Anyway? and currently is the host ofThe Price Is Right.

​(AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)

Montel Williams

Montel Williams joined the Marines and went to boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina right after high school. He was groomed for leadership and sent to the Naval Academy Preparatory School and went to the Naval Academy. Williams spent several years aboard submarines and working in the intelligence sphere. 

He started the successful talk show The Montel Williams Show  in 1991. 

(Photo by Jason Kempin/ACM2015/Getty Images for dcp)

Rob Riggle

Daily Show Corespondent Rob Riggle served in Kosovo, Liberia and Afghanistan

Rob Riggle is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve. He's a public affairs officer with the NYC unit, and has received the Combat Action ribbon. 

Right now, he's an active comedian, he's been in multiple comedies, and he was a corespondent for the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. 

(Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Hallmark Shoebox)


Orville Burrell served in Operation Desert Storm before he became rapper Shaggy.

Shaggy -- best known for his 2000 hit single "It Wasn't Me" -- is originally from Kingston, Jamaica. He joined the Marine Corps as a Field Artillery Cannon Crewmember. 

(Photo by JC Olivera/WireImage)

Glen Bell

Businessman Glen Bell served in the Marines in the second world war. After, he opened his first restaurant, a hot dog stand. He later sold tacos for 19 cents each, and opened his first Taco Bell in 1962. He sold the 868-restaurant chain to Pepsi in 1978 for $125 million in stock. 

(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

James Carville

James Carville served two years in the Marines after graduating from Louisiana State University. He would later go on to work as a political consultant, eventually successfully running Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton's campaign for President. 
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Bob Parsons

Self-made businessman Bob Parsons enlisted in the Marines and served as a rifleman in the Delta Company of the 1st Battalion, 26th Marines in the Quang Nam Province of Vietnam. 

He was wounded and spent two months recovering. He received the combat action ribbon, the Vietnam Gallantry Cross, and the Purple Heart. 

He would go on to found GoDaddy.com, a major domain registrar.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)

Gene Hackman

Gene Hackman left home at sixteen and signed up for the Marine Corps, serving more than four years as a Field radio operator. 

Hackman would go on to star in dozens of films, playing Lex Luthor in the Superman films as well as sustaining a forty year career. 

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file)

Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel joined the Marines at sixteen and served during Operation Blue Bat in Lebanon in 1958. 

He's since been an iconic and prolific actor, working multiple times with directors Martin Scorsese, Paul Auster, and Quentin Tarantino. 

(Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)

Rev. Jeremiah Wright

The Reverend Jeremiah Wright, whose remarks proved a complex and controversial event in the 2008 presidential campaign,served in the Marine Corps in the 2nd Marine Division from 1961 to 1963. He later served in the Navy as a cardiopulmonary technician.

He's currently the Pastor Emeritus of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

(AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles)

Jim Lehrer

Jim Lehrer, the former host of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and PBS NewsHour, joined the Marine Corps after graduating from the Missouri School of Journalism. 

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Tom Monaghan

Tom Monaghan accidentally enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1956, originally trying to sign up for the Army. He received an honorable discharge in 1959, and would go on to found Domino's Pizza and own the Detroit Tigers. 

(AP Photo/J. Pat Carter)

Fred Smith

Fred Smith served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam after graduating from Yale. He served as forward air controller in the back of an OV-10 Bronco. His familiarity with the military's logistic system would later serve him well as he went on to found Federal Express, or FedEx.

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Sandy Alderson

Sandy Alderson served a tour of Duty in Vietnam before attending Harvard Law School. He would go on to mentor Moneyball figure Billy Beane as the General Manager of the Oakland A's. He was a very early believer in sabremetrics, and currently is the GM of the Mets. 

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Lee Harvey Oswald

The accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1956 at the age of 17. He was primarily trained as a radar operator and was granted degrees of security clearance. He barely earned the designation of marksman during shooting tests. He received a hardship discharge in 1959.

(AP Photo)

Steve Wilkos

Steve Wilkos spent nearly a decade in the Marine Corps and spent time in the Chicago Police Department before signing on with Jerry Springer to serve as on-air security. He was given his own show in 2007.

(Photo by Al Pereira/GC Images)

George C. Scott

George C. Scott served in the Marines from 1945 to 1949. He would go on to play Patton in the film of the same name and a lead role in Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

(Photo by Boris Spremo/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Bob Keeshan a.k.a. Captain Kangaroo

Bob Keeshan graduated early from High School and enlisted in the Marines with the intention to fight the war against the Japanese, but the war ended before he saw the Pacific. He would go on to pioneer children's television with his role playing Captain Kangaroo.

(AP Photo/Perez)

Jim Beaver

Jim Beaver spent time in the Marine Corps as a microwave radio relay technician. He joined in 1968 and remained in the Marines until 1971, staying in the reserves until 1976. He played prospector Whitney Ellsworth to much acclaim on HBO drama Deadwood.

(Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

Don Imus

Don Imus served as a bugler in the Marines from 1957 to 1960. He's currently a nationally syndicated morning radio host. He has the Imus Ranch in New Mexico, which benefits children with cancer.

(AP Photo/Richard Drew)


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