Elvis swaps mansion for Army living (1958)
Elvis Presley swapped his plush $100,000 mansion for an Army barracks Monday after he breezed through a physical examination and was officially inducted into the Army.
The 23-year-old former truck driver, weighing in at 185 pounds and measuring 5 feet 11 inches tall leaves behind a career that he began as a truck driver and rolled into a million dollar business singing rock ‘n’ roll.
Presley was assigned Army serial number US53310761. Elvis’ mother and father were permitted inside the examining station and posed with their son for pictures. It took less than three hours for the singer to be officially inducted into the Army at $78 a month.
The former truck driver who skyrocketed into an orbit of adoration by the younger generation admitted he was nervous.
Ironically, when the time came for the teenage rock ‘n’ roll idol to go to his draft board for induction, the loyal fans were absent. At the gates to the Presley’s $100,000 mansion and at the local draft board, only officials and a dozen newsmen were on hand to witness the passing of Presley from civillian to military life.
Presley answered the roll call at his downtown Main and Beale draft board. He drove there behind the wheel of a big black Cadillac, accompanied by his mother and a friend.
Presley wore black boots, black trousers, a grey jacket, blue shirt.
Dig this girls – Army’s sending Elvis to Texas
San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) – Thursday, March 27, 1958
Pvt. Elvis Presley, who has “always liked Texas,” will go to Ft. Hood there Friday with 18 other recruits, the Army announced Wednesday.
The rock ‘n’ roll king will be sent to the 2nd Armored Division for eight weeks of basic combat training, Brig. Gen. Ralph Mace, commander of this camp told newsmen.
“The decision was made in Washington this morning,” Mace said.
The 23-year-old singer took the news placidly. With the courtesy and nonchalance he has maintained for three days in the glare of publicity, Elvis told newsmen: “I’ve been anywhere in Texas you can name… I’d like do whatever they (the Army) thinks I’m best suited for.”
Initiation into the Army is just about over for Elvis. He put on an Army uniform and received his inoculations Wednesday.
Gen. Mace watched Elvis try on some Army clothing this morning. Presley said “sir” to the private first class corporal and sergeant who issued the clothing.
Mace told reporters earlier that t “certainly Elvis has conducted himself in a fine manner . . . and; has indicated he should make a tremendous operation out of his career in the Army.”
Elvis’ Army future after basic training is anybody’s guess, the general said.
Presley, whose 1957 income was nearly one million dollars, now makes $78 a month.