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Country music star Craig Morgan re-enlists in the Army to boost recruitment

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One of the Army’s latest recruits has a couple of things that might make him stand out. For one thing, he just turned 59 years old earlier this month. For another, he’s also a famous country musician. 

Craig Morgan, the man behind songs like Redneck Yacht Club and That’s What I Love About Sunday, took to the stage at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee on June 29, 2023, to re-enlist in the Army Reserve. 

“I’m excited to once again serve my country and be all I can be in hopes of encouraging others to be a part of something greater than ourselves,” Morgan said in a statement following the show. “I love being an artist but I consider it a true privilege and honor to work with what I believe are the greatest of Americans, my fellow soldiers.”

The oath of service was administered by Gen. Andrew Poppas, commander of Army Forces Command. 

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“He’s always out there, he visits soldiers everywhere, whether it’s in the States, overseas,” said Poppas. “I’ve seen him in combat locations and he’s always engaging, he’s always entertaining and he’s always inspiring those that have put themselves in harm’s way. He’s a hell of a patriot.”

Before he was a touring country musician, Morgan enlisted in the Army at age 18 as a fire support specialist and served on active duty and in the Reserve for 17 years. This included time with the 82nd Airborne Division and 101st Airborne Division, as well as the 1989 invasion of Panama – Operation Just Cause, which Morgan recounted in a video with the American Veteran Center earlier this year. 

Morgan’s time in the military has remained a prominent part of his musical career, with the country star having been a prominent fixture on USO tours, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and most recently Germany. 

“We all had a goal of doing and being a part of something that was bigger and greater than just ourselves,” Morgan said of his time in the Army in a video explaining his decision to re-enlist. “And I have taken that with me in everything I’ve done since I’ve been out.”

The process behind that decision began last year, which was a fairly dismal year for Army recruiting. In the 2022 fiscal year, the Army was only able to enlist 45,000 new soldiers, 15,000 short of its goal. 

With that in mind, Morgan contacted Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) about re-enlisting. They then began the process of working with the Department of Defense to have Morgan re-enlist, according to Blackburn’s office

“There’s so much that I’ve missed. The friends, the feeling of a sense of accomplishment,” Morgan said in his video announcing the re-enlistment. “I realized that I’ve missed it so much and I truly believe that I still have more to give.”

In his new recruiting capacity, the once-again Staff. Sgt. Morgan will officially be assigned to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, according to an Army release. And, perhaps fittingly for someone who is 59 and still donning a uniform, the Army release stated that Morgan will be a Warrant Officer candidate. 

This article by Max Hauptman was originally published by Task & Purpose.

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