Strait was in fact in the military himself. From 1971 to 1975 he was in the U.S. Army, and his music career actually started there. While he and the 25th Infantry Division were stationed in Hawaii, Strait joined an Army-sponsored band, Rambling Country. This helped him get a small but significant leg-up in the music industry.
In a 1982 interview with the now-defunct Weekend Journal on KXIX-TV, Strait talked about how the Army shaped his music career. “I was in the service and I just for some reason got it in me that I could sing,” Strait said. “I thought that I could possibly make a career out of singing. So I went and bought a guitar.”
Strait explained, “I started learning songs, and I learned enough where I could get a band together. The last year I was in the service, that’s what I did for the Army… I sang country music.” And he decided he wanted to do it for as long as he could. Once he was honorably discharged from the Army in 1975, he joined the band Stoney Ridge, which he renamed Ace in the Hole Band.