The United States used to require all able-bodied, healthy young men to register for the draft in the military and serve for at least two years, and the 18-year-old Elvis Aaron Presley did just that in 1953. Little did he know that soon after graduating high school, he would be skyrocketing into the entertainment industry. Below are nine quick facts about Presley’s time in the Army.

#1 He officially enlisted for basic training at the age of 23

When Presley received his draft notice in 1956, his manager Tom Parker did everything he could to delay the rising star’s enlistment. He was in the middle of making a name in film and recording around this time, and Parker wouldn’t want to lose the momentum of his career. But Presley insisted on going—though he later admitted that the “24-month spell as a GI” would ruin his career—and days after wrapping up the filming of “King Creole,” he headed to the Memphis draft board to report.

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Presley’s draft notice (Image source: Wikimedia Common)

#2 Enlistment date

On March 24, 1958, Presley was sworn in and processed with others into the Army before boarding a bus to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. There, he’d bid his iconic hairstyle to receive his GI haircut and his celebrity status outside the boot camp to become soldier 53310761.

#3 “The Army can do anything it wants with me.”

His arrival at Fort Chaffee became a major media event, with hundreds of fans greeting him as soon as he stepped out of the bus. Photographers were also there, documenting every moment of his installation. However, Presley remained true to his words about not wanting to receive special treatment and instead sought to experience his whole time in the Army like everybody else.