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Renaissance Man: From Punk Rock to Army Ranger to Green Beret to Living as a Monk to Philosopher

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Jason Everman, Nirvana guitarist turned U.S. Army Green Beret and Is Ranger qualified. He served in 3rd Special Forces Group after playing in Nirvana, Soundgarden and OLD. Hero’s come in many forms…this one just happened to Rock at it.

From Punk Rock to Ranger to Green Beret.

Everman, Jason Mark, SFC

Tales of Military Service from a friend, a former Navy SEAL, intrigued Jason Everman who was restless with his rock career and needing challenges. The stories of brotherhood and combat experience triggered his decision to join the Army. He turned his back on “this world of cool,” as he said in the video. He felt “free.”

He was the guy who was kicked out of two rock bands, Nirvana and Soundgarden

In 1994, Everman traded his guitar for a rifle and enlisted in the U.S. Army special operations forces as a part of the 2nd Ranger Battalion. He reenlisted in 2000 in the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces and deployed to Iraq.

The military set him up for applying to Columbia University later.  Columbia University Press release below tells more.

   Service Details Together we Serve  
Last Rank
Sergeant First Class
Last Service Branch
Special Forces
Last Primary MOS
18B-Special Forces Weapons Sergeant
Last MOS Group
Special Forces (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
2001-2006, 18B, 3rd Special Forces Group Airborne
Previously Held MOS
Service Years
1994 – 2006
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates


Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom


Former Nirvana Guitarist, U.S. Army Veteran, Monk to Graduate Columbia University  May 7, 2013– Press Release—Military veteran, rock guitarist and monk, Jason Everman raises the bar for the modern Renaissance man.  In 1987,  Everman—a commercial fisherman off the coast of Alaska—quit his job and moved to Seattle where he became the second guitarist touring worldwide and recording with Nirvana to promote their “Bleach” album and a bassist with Soundgarden on their “Louder than Love” tour.  He eventually outgrew the rock scene, and in 1994, he traded his pick for a rifle and enlisted in the U.S. Army special operations forces as a part of the 2nd Ranger Battalion.  Thirteen years later, Everman, 45, who has hiked the Himalayas and lived as a Nepalese monk, will graduate from Columbia University School of General Studies with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy on May 20 at 9 a.m. in New York City.

Everman, who reenlisted in 2000 in the U.S. Army special operations forces and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, considers the completion of his bachelor’s degree the final step toward achieving a well-rounded, wholeness in his life.“Throughout my adult life I have made the conscious effort to develop three aspects of who I am: the artist, the soldier and the philosopher.  I believe GS has been the ideal place to realize this development,” Everman said.

While enrolled at Columbia GS, Everman, who was an active member of the U.S. Military Veterans of Columbia University student organization, composed and recorded a song entitled, “Catch & Release,” for the soundtrack, “A Marine’s Guide to Fishing,” an award-winning short film starring an Iraq veteran.  He also participated in the New York University Veterans Writing Workshopwhere he published two stories in the 2009 and 2010 anthologies entitled, “The Meantime,” and “Summation,” respectively.

Punk Rock Led Me to the Military – Jason Everman


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