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Arnold Schwarzenegger on Homeland Security

Republican CA Governor


Performed one year of compulsory military service in Austria

Arnold knew that, like all Austrian boys, he would be required to perform one year of compulsory military service. Unlike his peers, he was actually looking forward to it.

The idea of uniforms and medals appealed to him immensely, and army discipline was not particularly objectionable. He likened it to the discipline required for successful bodybuilding and welcomed the regimentation--the firm, rigid structure. Given his father Gustav's military style, army life wasn't much different from being at home. "My father always acted like a general," he wrote.

In 1965, shortly after he turned 18, Private Schwarzenegger reported for basic training with Tank Battalion 4. He chose the tank unit because it was the army unit nearest to Graz and enabled him to be close to his family and the bodybuilding community. After an incident in which he failed to park his tank properly, letting it roll into the river, he was removed from tank driving and transferred to a more appropriate assignment--bodybuilding.

Source: The Governator, by Ian Halperin, p. 41-42 , Oct 12, 2010

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Page last updated: Mar 13, 2014