Craig Morgan Was Once in Harm’s Way in the Army
Editor’s Note: Craig Morgan has been hunting for 35 years, has been on the Mossy Oak Pro Staff for the last 4 years, hosts “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors” on the Outdoor Channel and is one of the nation’s top country music songwriters and recording artists. This week we’ll take a closer look at this man who wears the Mossy Oak brand.
The first time I went hunting, my mom, Betty Morgan, took me. She grew up in a family of hunters and was a very skilled deer hunter. More times than not she hunted by herself, when my dad didn’t even go. At my house, hunting was a family activity. One morning when my mom went hunting on public land, she gave me a 12 gauge shotgun with 00 buckshot. When we spotted a doe, my mom let me take it – my first deer ever. When we went up to the doe, my mom taught me how to field dress the deer, so we could take it back home. She helped me skin it, bone the meat out and put it in the freezer.
I grew up in middle Tennessee. We didn’t have much private land to hunt but mostly hunted on public lands. Back in those days if you just saw a deer, that sighting was a big deal. But to actually take a deer - either a buck or a doe - was a major accomplishment. My dad’s family had some land. Sometimes we’d go over there and hunt.
Hunting was a part of my family tradition on both my mother’s and my father’s sides of the family, and so was music. My dad was a bass player. We always had music in our family and musicians in our home. But I really wasn’t interested in music, until I went into the army and moved away from home. Although I wrote songs and picked on a guitar, I never had the idea of being a commercial song writer or a country music artist. The main reason I wrote songs, played the guitar and sang for my army buddies was country music reminded me of home and kept me in touch with my heritage and the family I’d left behind. Music was a hobby and an escape from the military.
I had a job in the army that I really liked. I was a fire support specialist - commonly known as a forward observer. I called for and called in adjustments for artillery on the battlefield. My job in the army had the shortest life expectancy of any job in any branch of the service. I volunteered for the job. I thought it would be fun because I got to go to Airborne School and jump out of airplanes. To perform my job as a forward observer, I jumped out of airplanes behind enemy lines, hid, got to high ground and called in artillery. If the artillery shells weren’t dropping where the enemy was, I’d call in the coordinates to allow the gunners to readjust their sights and more accurately hit the target. In 1989, I fought in Panama for Operation Just Cause, and I was in the 82nd Airborne Division during Desert Storm.
To learn more about Craig Morgan and his concerts and to see the photos and videos of him in concert, his touring schedule, and him hunting, go to his webpage at www.craigmorgan.com or http://outdoorchannel.com/craig-morgans-all-access-outdoors. Also, you can check out his Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/CraigMorganAllAccessOutdoors or https://www.facebook.com/craigmorganmusic or go to Twitter at https://twitter.com/cmorganmusic.
Craig Morgan: From Forward Observer in the Military to Song Writer and Country Recording Artist