Craig Morgan Opens Up About Enlisting in the Army and Giving Back to Veterans

by Thad Mitchell

Before claiming fame in the music world, Craig Morgan served his country as a member of the United States Army.

Growing up in rural middle Tennessee, Morgan had dreams of hitting the big time as he grew up. He knew remaining in Kingston Springs, Tennessee likely wouldn’t amount to much, so he came up with a plan. Morgan would join the United States Army, gain valuable knowledge and see the world beyond his small-town home. He shares his military experience with We Are The Mighty.

“I grew up in a small town in middle Tennessee,” he says. “Thought in order for me to do something good or to be successful, I was going to have to do something bigger than what I felt like I would be able to do there. I decided I would join the Army so I’d be able to go places, learn and experience things that I wouldn’t anywhere else, all while getting paid.”

He initially enlisted in the Army in 1986 and says his service “didn’t change me — it made me” by the time he finished. He was deployed as a Forward Observer, or 13F, to Panama during Operation Just Cause in 1989.

During his downtime in the Army, Craig Morgan would write songs with dreams of being a country music star.

“If I didn’t have success in the music business, it wasn’t the end of the world,” he says. “You just work as hard as you can and try to make the best out of everything that you’re doing and move forward. And that’s the way I approached it and I attribute that to the military mission.”

He would transition to the Army Reserves in 1996 with an eye on a record deal that would come in 2000.

From the Army to Reality Television, Craig Morgan Embraces Challenge

Morgan will take part in the new CBS reality series “Beyond the Edge” which will air later this evening (Wednesday). He is one of nine celebrities competing in the show to raise money for their chosen charity. The country star is joined by the likes of former professional athletes Ray Lewis, Mike Singletary and Metta World Peace. He will certainly have his work cut out for him as contestants must battle each other and Mother Nature. Craig Morgan is ready for the challenge and believes the time he spent in the Army will be an advantage.

Morgan is playing for Operation Finally Home, an operation that provides homes to veterans and first responders.

“The one thing that I like about Operation Finally Home is how involved they are with the entire community,” he says. “I think it is as critical as them having a debt-free home.”

“Beyond the Edge” is set in Panama and Morgan knows he faces a daunting challenge.

“That time of year it rains every day and every night so it could be brutal,” he says of the environment. “But it was also very exciting.”

“Beyond the Edge” will premiere its debut episode tonight on CBS at 9 p.m. ET