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Country Artists Who Have Served: James Otto

James Otto
Al Messerschmidt, Getty Images

James Otto served in the U.S. Navy before chasing his country music dreams. There is a long history of Otto men serving their country, and the singer tells G.I. Jobs that he put pressure on himself to continue that tradition.

“My grandfather is a Korean War vet, my dad was a drill sergeant — I think he retired at 23 years,” Otto says. “It’s something that I always felt was, I don’t know, a great quality in people — that they wanted to serve and they wanted to give years of their life to their country. It’s something that I wish that more people would do.”

Both men before him were also musical, so the popular singer was encouraged to learn both violin and saxaphone before picking up the guitar. He moved to Nashville in 1998, teamed up with the MusikMafia and soon signed a record deal.

Next: Johnny Cash

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