The 19-year-old private Hendrix was ejected from the army in 1962 after superiors reported that he was "one of the poorest" soldiers in his platoon with "no known good characteristics," the records published by thesmokinggun.com website showed.
Hendrix was an "extreme introvert" who slept on the job, paid little attention to military rules, thought too much about the guitar that would make him famous and was caught masturbating in a latrine, they complained.
"Hendrix is poorly motivated for the military, has no regard for regulations, requires excessive supervision while performing his duties and pays no heed to counseling from his supervisors," said Sergeant Louis Hoekstra in a report dated May 28 1962.
"Private Hendrix plays a musical instrument during his off-duty hours, or so he says. This is one of his faults, because his mind apparently cannot function while performing his duties and thinking about his guitar," Hoekstra wrote.
AdvertisementAdvertisementHendrix was assigned to the 101st Airborne Support Group in Fort Campbell, Kentucky after enlisting in May 1961.
Platoon Sergeant James Spears complained that Hendrix frequently missed bed checks because he would play in a band while off duty and could not get enough sleep because he let his music "interfere with his military duties."
The future musician, who would die of a heroin overdose in 1970, was at times unable to "carry on an intelligent conversation," prompting superiors to force him to undergo a drug test, which he passed.
The reports repeatedly refer to an incident in April 1962, less than two months before he was discharged from the army after only 13 months of service, in which two colleagues caught Hendrix pleasuring himself.
Private Hendrix "showed a lack of interest in his equipment and work" and was "apprehended masturbating" in a lavatory when he was supposed to be cleaning platoon quarters, wrote Sergeant Billy Bowman.
The incident was reported to superiors and appears to have been one of the last straws to break the back of the guitarist's spotty military career.
The disaffected soldier Hendrix did not challenge the request for his dismissal which became final in June 1962.