Most people know him from “The Daily Show,” “21 Jump Street,” or “NTSF:SD:SUV,” but a select few know him first and foremost as a Marine.
Rob Riggle spent over 20 years in the United States Marine Corps and has shown that the military can provide stability while helping pave the way to success. Riggle spent most of his early years in Kansas – he attended high school in Overland Park and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Theater and Film.
Rob Riggle says the adversity he faced as a lieutenant colonel in Liberia, Afghanistan and Albania, prepared him for Hollywood.
“When you’re overseas in a combat zone, there’s certain levels of problems,” he said at Variety’s Inaugural Salute to Service at Cipriani 25 Broad St. “When they don’t have enough chocolate at craft services, that’s a different kind of problem. So you take everything with a grain of salt. It’s what it is.”
Luckily for Riggle, he hasn’t come across a lot of divas in showbiz. He calls most of his colleagues “hard-working” and “passionate,” though there is occasional whining about things like bad weather.
“I would be like, ‘Really, this is what you’re complaining about?’” he added laughingly.
Riggle’s first military ambition was to be a pilot, but subsequently left flight school to peruse comedy. He served for nine years on active duty before going into the reserves. He became a Public Affairs Officer and was usually attached to Command Elements. Due to his occupational specialty, Riggle served with a number of different units including the 2/2, 3/8, 24th MEU SOC, 2nd MAW, CENTCOM, MTU-17, HQPA, 3rd Bat., and 5th Special Forces Group.
Many celebrity veterans left their service behind once they’d found their stride, but Riggle maintained strong ties to the Marine Corps for many years. In fact, he was still a reservist while his career in entertainment gained traction. While he was acting, performing stand-up comedy, and pitching ideas to Hollywood, Riggle managed to put in the requisite time to the Marine Corps Reserves. However, on January 1, 2013, Riggle announced his retirement from the USMC.