He joined the U.S. Army at the prompting of his father. After graduating from Officer Candidate School he attended and graduated from both Army Airborne and Ranger training in the very top of each class. He was selected for U. S. Army Special Forces Training but refused so that he could attend
pilot training where he earned his wings, and became an accomplished U.S. Army helicopter (gun ship) pilot, and achieved the rank of Captain.
He was about to be promoted to the rank of Major, and appointed to teach at West Point when he resigned his commission from the Army to go into music and acting. His parents were so disappointed with him they disowned him. They never reconciled.