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‘I Am A Veteran; I’m Proud Of It’: Tom Selleck Reflects on Military Career

Photo from Blue Bloods on CBS’ Instagram

‘I Am A Veteran; I’m Proud Of It’: Tom Selleck Reflects on Military Career

By Movieguide® Contributor 

This Veterans Day, we’re highlighting some of our favorite celebrities who served in the United States military. 

Before his hit TV show MAGNUM P.I. made him a household name, Tom Selleck served in the National Guard as a sergeant in the U.S. Army infantry.  

Before his time in the Army, Selleck started as a business major at the University of Southern California, then pursued acting at the encouragement of a drama coach. He started doing commercials and made other small TV appearances and was eventually hired by Twentieth Century Fox.  

“When I went to Fox, I was on my own with no frame of reference, no connection,” the BLUE BLOODS star recalled. “I’d never done a play in my life. I started at about 35 bucks a week, and every six months, you either got fired or renewed. If you got renewed, you got a raise on their term contracts.” 

After being drafted into the military, he returned to his job at Fox but was later let go. He went on to do more minor TV appearances and commercials before landing a role as Thomas Magnum on the hit show MAGNUM P.I. in 1980. 

“I am a veteran; I’m proud of it,” the actor said, who served from 1967-73 during the Vietnam War. 

“We’re all brothers and sisters in that sense,” Selleck said of his fellow soldiers. 

He continues to support the military and has made several public service announcements for the National Guard.  

“We learned a lesson as a country over time that we need to welcome our troops home,” Selleck said. “Regardless of whether you have political problems with whatever mission they’re on, they just served, and we need to thank them for it.”   

The 78-year-old acknowledges God for his success, as reported in Movieguide®: 

After leaving the military, Selleck relaunched his acting career and soon scored the starring role on MAGNUM P.I. While his talent helped him earn the part, Selleck credits God for guiding him. 

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps,” he explained. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.”

“I try very hard to conduct myself in an ethical way because that’s important to my stability now,” Selleck shared. “We’re a culture that’s so centered on the individual. The culture says that basically nothing is more important than the way you feel.” 

The Emmy-winning actor will also release a memoir, “You Never Know,” coming out May 2024, that he says will be personal but more reserved than the usual celebrity tell-all fare. 

“I can tell you what it won’t be: It’s not going to be a score-settling thing. It’s not going to be a who-I-dated thing. There’s a certain level of privacy, but I’m being extremely intimate on the personal effect everything has had on me,” he told Parade magazine. 

Movieguide® recently divulged more details on the upcoming memoir: 

From the USC basketball court, to a happy accident, to discovering and then embracing the work I love. It’s been a long bumpy road with some singles, some home runs, and a whole lot of strikeouts,” Selleck said. “I figure it’s time to share the ride.”

“In his own voice and uniquely unpretentious style, the famed actor brings readers on his uncharted but serendipitous journey to the top in Hollywood, his temptations and distractions, his misfires and mistakes and, over time, his well-earned success,” reads a description of the memoir. “Along the way, he clears up an armload of misconceptions and shares dozens of never-told stories from all corners of his personal and professional life.”

While following Selleck’s long journey to stardom, the memoir also highlights his friendships with A-list actors from a previous era – like Frank Sinatra and James Garner – who taught Selleck important lessons about life, acting and celebrity status.”

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.