According to TogetherWeServe.com, Jeff Bridges made his first foray into the military when his parents, deeming him “a discipline problem at school” and hoping to “take his mind off of [sic] girls,” shipped him off to military school his freshman year of high school. Bridges apparently despised “every minute” of the experience, but, really, what teenager would look fondly upon any form of punishment? By age 16, he had returned to a public high school.
When he turned 18, however, Bridges found his way back to the military when he moved to New York City to study at Herbert Bereghof Studio. According to Military.com, he enlisted and served in the Coast Guard Reserves for seven years. Bridges often found himself belabored with humbling physical tasks. He says of the time he had to chip paint off buoys, “The ceiling is about 7 feet tall and below the racks where you sleep there’s three or four racks stuffed into that space and you’re out in the ocean at sea in a flat-bottomed boat up against the wind and the swells and everyone is puking.”
As unpleasant as that must have been, Bridges, whose father was a war veteran, admits to being grateful for the hard discipline. “That was a pretty terrible living condition. But, again, all the tough times make great memories when you look back. Like, I’m glad it’s in the rearview mirror,” he observed.