Sunday, August 28, 2011

Movie & TV Portrayal of U.S. Military Personnel Including Navy SEALs

(Reprinted from

The August 26th Wall Street Journal article “Hollywood Tries a New Battle Plan” by John Jurgensen focuses on the upcoming fictional film “Act of Valor” from production company Bandito Brothers.

The film stars real Navy SEALs (their names will NOT be listed in the film credits) and includes real Navy SEAL exercise footage although the film is based on a fiction script by Kurt Johnstad.

Perhaps what is most interesting about the article is its explanation about the sea change in Hollywood’s attitude towards military films:
Ten years after the Sept. 11 attacks opened an ongoing chapter of U.S. military action, Hollywood's long history of depicting fighters at war is entering a new phase. The grinding wars in Afghanistan and Iraq spawned films that highlighted characters in uniform who were disillusioned with their missions and scarred in their homecomings. With the conflicted protagonists of movies such as "Green Zone" and "Stop-Loss," filmmakers tried to tap into the public's ambivalence about the conflicts, but their movies mostly sank at the box office. Now that deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq are tapering down, filmmakers are homing in on the more clear-cut job of battling terrorists. And they're finding heroes in the elite—and now famous—special-operations forces leading the hunt. Projects in the pipeline focus on the armed heroics, high-tech tactics and teamwork involved in getting the bad guys.
“Getting the bad guys” is what the novel “Lt. Commander Mollie Sanders” is all about.

In fact, the opening paragraph of the Journal story features a Zodiac boat, which Sanders and other submarine crew members use in the novel’s South China Sea reconnaissance mission.

And earlier in the novel in an effort to help the Coast Guard, Sanders climbs down a rope from a tightly circling helicopter onto a boat being intercepted in the port of Los Angeles.

This sounds like the description of a scene in “Act of Valor” as reported by the Journal:
[A] Bandito crew, armed with 16 cameras, shot a [Navy SEAL] squad in real time as it ran the simulated "maritime interdiction operation" in domestic waters. A boat-mounted machine gun opened fire and sailors plunged out of a helicopter on ropes to take control of a 150-foot yacht …
The Journal article also mentions that producer Jerry Bruckheimer has a deal with ABC for a pilot about Navy SEALs.

That ABC is interested in such a series does not surprise me as I have been watching the ABC fictional series “Combat Hospital” produced by Sienna Films. The show is an incredibly compelling story in Afghanistan in 2005 of the Canadian and American medical staff who struggle to save the lives of the good guys (and even the bad guys).

Along with the moral dilemma subjects dealt with, interest in the show is increased by the multicultural staff, including the U.S. Navy commander African-American male who is the head nurse!

All these fictional projects that help people understand the efforts and sacrifices of U.S. (and Canadian) military personnel are welcome, especially when such a small percentage of the American population has any direct connection with active duty military personnel or veterans.

Get an eBook of the novel LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS now for only $2.99 in formats for the Kindle, the Nook, Sony’s Reader, the Kobo, your computer, etc. at

And learn more about the novel in the post: LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS Novel Released on ePub Platforms Same Day as South China Sea in the News


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the eBook novel LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her posts at the company's social media marketing blog.

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