In March of 1951 Beetle Bailey found himself in the military. He had enlisted reluctantly. After being dragged into a recruiting office by his buddies, he signed the papers and was in the army for the long haul.
In Beetle’s first week in the army, he got a physical exam, took some tests and was given a uniform.Was Beetle going to be shipped off to the war in Korea? Stay tooned.
King Features Syndicate was initially opposed to the idea of Beetle Bailey joining the army, but one of their most important clients, a Philadelphia newspaper, thought it was worth trying. King Features listened, and gave in.
Here is the week from March 1951 in which Beetle enlisted.
“Later I learned from my syndicate that they would have rejected the Beetle Bailey strip if, at the beginning, it had been about soldiers, and not about college life,” Mort Walker revealed.
In 1950, the war in Korea was heating up and many young men of Beetle’s age were called up for military service. After training they were flown to the war zone in Korea. It became apparent to Mort Walker that he couldn’t let Beetle remain in college so he suggested to King Features that Beetle enlist in the army.