Knotts was discharged in 1946 as an honorable World War II veteran with a distinguished military record. The veteran received various medals and awards, including the World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with four bronze service stars), Army Good Conduct Medal, Marksman Badge (with Carbine Bar) and Honorable Service Lapel Pin.
What the most interesting thing is about all the honors and awards that the military veteran received, is that he managed to accumulate all of them through a military service that was completely non-combat related. We’ve previously stated that Knotts never even had to fire his gun during his entire service, despite serving in the middle of World War II. This is a great testament to his character and skills, while also being a sign for the fantastic things to come in his entertainment career. More than anything, Knotts was looking to entertain people, not hurt them.
Drafted during World War II
Don Knotts first enlisted in the United States Army at the young age of 19. He began his military duty as a Reservist but was kept in that position for just one week. On June 21st, he was transferred from the reserves to active duty status. This all happened during World War II, which made it a very dangerous and scary time to be a soldier.
Knotts was drafted like many Americans in 1943, however, unlike many of his allies, he did not engage in combat and did not fire a single bullet during his entire military service. In fact, the job that he was given was that of helping build up the morale of his fellow soldiers. Knotts was tasked with entertaining other soldiers and helping keep their sense of enthusiasm high.
US Military Service Record
As we’ve previously mentioned, Don Knotts served in the United States military during the height of World War II. His service began when he was drafted on June 21st, 1943. He kept to his post for three years up until January 6th, 1946. The soon-to-be actor was discharged as a Grade 5 Technician, roughly on the same level as a corporal, under his military number of 35-756-363.
It was only a few years after being drafted that Knotts even began his acting career, as he only received his first role opportunity after being discharged as a veteran. From there, the successful actor went on to lead an exceptionally great acting career thanks to many good decisions and a fantastic start in the entertainment industry. Right from the start, Knotts enjoyed a few key roles that helped him become a recognized and beloved acting figure.
The Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity
When Don Knotts went to college, he was a member of a popular fraternity called Phi Sigma Kappa. It was originally founded on March 15, 1873, at the Massachusetts Agricultural College in Amherst.
After almost a decade of existence, the fraternity merged with Phi Sigma Epsilon in 1985, this event was considered to be one of the largest mergers of Greek-letter fraternities at the time.
Don Knotts went to university in West Virginia and received his Bachelor’s degree in Education during the late ‘40s. The veteran didn’t end up using his degree in the field of education, as he went on to take up various menial jobs, only to eventually become a popular actor. However, if he had indeed gone on to become a teacher, we assume he would have been one of the most beloved and entertaining teachers in the entire United States.
Up until this point in his life, Knotts had accomplished a fair amount of things, from serving during World War II as a decorated veteran to finishing university with his Bachelor's degree in Education. He had quite a promising future ahead of him and was looking to make the most out of his life. We’re happy to spoil the ending and tells you that he did a fantastic job at that, so it’s not a surprise that Knotts eventually even got his own statue erected in his memory.