Craig Morgan, a 17-year Army veteran, surprised the Opry crowd Saturday (July 29) when he was sworn in to the U.S. Army Reserve on the Grand Ole Opry stage.
Prior to pursuing a country music career, Craig Morgan was on active duty in the US Army for 9 1/2 years as a member of the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions. He served an additional 6 1/2 years in the reserves. His service to our country has played a vital role in his music career.
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A longtime supporter of American soldiers and their families, the “That’s What I Like About Sundays” singer decided that he had more to offer his country. At 58, he is only 4 years away from the military’s mandatory retirement age of 62. But, with the help of Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn, Morgan was allowed to reenlist.
Blackburn, who was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, worked with the Defense Department and the Army to get approval for Craig’s reenlistment.
Craig Morgan was sworn into the Army Reserve on Saturday night in front of a packed Grand Ole Opry House.
General Andrew Poppas, commander of Army Forces Command, Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Sims and Senator Marsha Blackburn joined Morgan on stage for the occasion.
While introducing Craig and telling the Opry crowd of the singer’s decision to reenlist, General Poppas said:
“He has always maintained his passion for and commitment to this nation and those that serve it,” Poppas said. “He’s always out there. He visits soldiers everywhere, whether it’s in the States, overseas…I’ve seen him in combat locations. He’s always engaging, he’s always entertaining, and he’s always inspiring those who’ve put themselves in harms way. That’s a patriot.”
He then told the crowd that Craig was committing himself to reaffirm his oath and reenter the ranks of the U.S. Army.
Morgan, dressed in his Army Green Service uniform, joined General Poppas in the iconic Opry circle as he was sworn in.
Being sworn in on the Grand Ole Opry stage was a full-circle moment of sorts for Craig Morgan who became an Opry member in 2008.
Morgan was performing for U.S. troops at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 2008 when he was surprised with an invitation to become a member of the hallowed institution. Opry member John Conlee surprised Craig during his performance of “Rose Colored Glasses,” a song popularized by Conlee in the late ’70s. Upon being invited, Craig responded, “Oh, God, yes! I do love the Grand Ole Opry, and I gotta tell you, it’s cool to be invited right here.”
“I know first hand how much the Opry means to Craig,” John Conlee said of Craig.. “It’s always a pleasure when we welcome somebody that really, truly, deeply loves this place and he sure does.”
Morgan will continue touring and releasing music while serving in the Army Reserve. Watch Craig Morgan sing “Soldier” at the Grand Ole Opry following his reenlistment in the video below.