NBC has announced a few more details about its competition reality show Stars Earn Stripes. Set to premiere August 13th, the show will be hosted by Ret. General Wesley Clark and will gather nine celebrities at a secret training facility where they will be “challenged to execute complicated missions inspired by real military exercises.”
The “celebrities” include former Alaska First Husband Todd Palin, former Jessica Simpson husband Nick Lachey, former Superman Dean Cain, former Olympic skier Picabo Street and a few more folks you might recognize if you watch more TV than we do. The big news this week is the announcement of the veterans who have been hired to train the celebs and compete alongside them to win the big prize.
Here’s the details on the operatives:
Dale Comstock — A retired Master Sergeant who spent 20 years in the U.S. Army, Comstock was twice decorated for valor and spent half his tenure as a Delta Force Operator and five years as a Green Beret. After his retirement, he spent nine years as a freelance soldier in support of the global war on terror. Comstock currently resides in Panama City Beach, Fla., and is a vice president for a security consulting company, a university professor, martial arts instructor and competitive body builder.
J.W. Cortes — Cortes served in the U.S. Marines Corps for 13 years, rising to the level of Gunnery Sergeant. He is an Iraq war veteran, having served in the beginning phases of the war in 2003. Also during his time in the Marines Corps, he served at U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and in Canberra, Australia. He is currently an officer with the New York MTA Police Department and lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Brent Gleeson — A former U.S. Navy SEAL stationed at SEAL Team Five, Gleeson currently lives in San Diego, Calif., with his 6-year-old son. He has completed his enlistment in the service and is now a busy entrepreneur, public speaker, and co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Internet Marketing, Inc.
Chris Kyle — Kyle is a decorated former U.S. Navy SEAL and author of The New York Times best-selling book American Sniper, which details his experiences in Iraq. Kyle’s expert marksmanship during his four tours of duty earned him the nickname “The Devil of Ramadi” from the Iraqi insurgent forces. Kyle currently lives in Texas and runs a military training company, Craft International.
Andrew McLaren — McLaren, whose father was also a Marine and former Vietnam veteran, is a former U.S. Marine Sergeant. During his time in the Marines, he was with the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team and served in Iraq and Liberia. He is currently a contractor for various governmental and security agencies. He resides in Staten Island, N.Y.
Grady Powell — During his time as a Green Beret, Powell served as a Senior Detachment Weapons Sergeant in the U.S. Army Special Forces. Powell followed in the footsteps of both his father, a Vietnam-era Green Beret, and his grandfather, a decorated World War II combat veteran. Powell recently completed his five-year enlistment in the Army and has since returned to his hometown of St. Louis, Mo., spending his free time traveling the world in search of his next adrenaline fix.
Tom Stroup — A current member of the Orange County (Florida) Sheriff’s Department and a SWAT Commander, Stroup is a five-time world champion of international SWAT competitions. He is a fitness trainer and he is also a Gold Medalist in the “Toughest Cop Alive” competition, a national competition held annually in Florida.
Talon Smith — Smith, whose father served in the U.S. Air Force, is currently a U.S. Navy Corpsman 1st Reconnaissance, stationed in Camp Pendleton. He just returned from deployment in Afghanistan in April. Smith has nearly completed his enlistment in the Navy and is currently attending college and awaiting the birth of his first child.
It’s kind of weird that the success of American Sniper has made Chris Kyle more genuinely famous than most of the Hollywood types who’ve agreed to be on the show.
We’d like to find someone to recap the show each week for UTR, sort of like what other sites do for Dancing With the Stars, Mad Men or Survivor. Ideally, you’re funny (or at least have a sense of how absurd a show like this might be) and have some experience with some kind of elite forces training (or at least boot camp). The show will air Monday nights at 8 Eastern/Pacific and most likely run about six weeks. We want to post recaps by noon the next day. Send us a message by clicking on the Tip the Patrol box on the right side of this page and convince us that you’re the man or woman for the job.