American military people of the 20th century who served in the most wars?

In the 20th century, which American military personnel served in the most wars?

Are there guys who served in:

World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam?

World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Gulf War I?

Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I and Afghanistan/Iraq?

Does anyone know?

I suppose you could stretch Eisenhower since he was in the army in World War I (stateside), a general in World War II, POTUS (head of the military, technically) for both Korea and the beginnings of Vietnam, although that really escalated after he left office.

Hyman Rickover graduated from high school in 1918 and from the Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1922 so technically he was in the military for the First World War. He lasted until 1981 when the Reagan administration forced him out. So he would match the first.

I am amazed it didn’t take a good stake to the heart to get rid of him…

David Hackworth served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam - but I guess that’s probably not all that unusual a combination. I wonder if anyone served in all three of those and the 1st Gulf War?

Found this page about Vance Nordaker, a Navy veteran who served in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

There was also John “Iron Mike” O’Daniel, who served in the Army from 1913 to 1955. A man with an amazing history.

Well, of course, there was Amazing Grace, Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, who served 43 years in the Navy, from 1943 thru 1986. She was retired (against her wishes) on the deck of the USS Constitution (‘Old Ironsides’), as the oldest commissioned officer in the Navy, on the oldest commissioned ship in the Navy.

When she wasn’t doing Navy work, she de-bugged Harvards’ Mark I computer (literally!), programmed UNIVAC I, created the first compiler for it, developed the idea of machine-independent languages, served as technical consultant to the Short Range Committee that developed COBOL (giving her the nickname ‘Mother of COBOL’), developed the first suite of compiler validation programs, gave many, many talks, and handed out a whole lot of ‘nanoseconds’. Amazing lady indeed!

“Rickover became the longest-serving naval officer in U.S. history with 63 years active duty.”


Chesty Puller, USMC enlisted during WWI, and saw combat in Haiti, Nicaragua, WWII and Korea. When he was 17, only his parents’ refusal to sign a consent form kept him from combat in Mexico.

Had an uncle that was in the battle of Iwo Jima, Guadacanal, and fought in Korea and Vietnam. Marine Sargent. One tough person.

Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate Hobbs, served USN for 44 years (1941-1985).

WW2, Korea, 'Nam.

Anybody who serves 30 to 40 years is gonna see some history unfold.

I couldn’t find it with a quick search, but I know we’ve done a thread on this in the past 2-3 months. While not American, I know Winston Churchill was mentioned in that thread.

If that’s the 20th century, you should count the Spanish-American war too.

My uncle as well. WW2, Korea, Vietnam. He was injured in combat in Vietnam when he was in his late 40’s and could have (should have) either been retired or at least serving in a desk job.

Also, there was the war in Grenada, the war in Panama, and the war in the Balkans.