He decided to join the Marines in 1947. He was promoted to private first class and designed with an armored unit but was demoted again seven times. His rebellious nature led to many problems. Like when a date with his girlfriend became a 'vacation for two weeks'. He was arrested 41 days of which 21 step eating the bread and drinking water.
His stay in the dungeons helped him change his rebellious character. Later his unit was conducting a training exercise in the Arctic, which proved disastrous. McQueen's boat ran aground on a sandbar causing several tanks and their crews fell into the water. Many drowned immediately, unable to leave their tanks, but McQueen jumped in and saved the lives of five men.
In recognition of his actions McQueen was chosen to participate in the Honor Guard and protect the yacht Harry S. Truman. McQueen stayed with the Marines until 1950 when he was honorably discharged.
Morgan Freeman was so in love with the idea of flying that joined the US Air Force in 1955. Instead of accepting a scholarship from Jackson State University.
Over time he had the opportunity to train as a fighter pilot but as soon as he sat in the cockpit than I thought it would be his dream job he felt like he was 'sitting on the nose of a bomb'.
Long before Eastwood dared to do in his day as Dirty Harry he served in the Army as a swimming instructor at Ft. Ord. As fate (and luck) that their swimming skills would be very useful. Eastwood swam more than a mile through the tide to the shore to have problems navy ship he was traveling.