Should Stars Earn Stripes?

Stars Earns Stripes premiered this week and it begs a pretty important question: just exactly what does it mean to “support the troops” these days? Because everyone on camera in this show believes they’re paying tribute to the men and women who fight to protect our country.

Retired General Wesley Clark (a guy who once believed, for at least a couple of weeks, that he might be the President of the United States) oversees a pretend training facility where celebrities are paired with military-trained operatives and compete in events based on actual training missions. Every celeb is playing to win donations to military charities that deserve the support.

Where this gets complicated is that Stars Earns Stripes plays out like a cross between Survivor and Dancing With the Stars. I’ve always wondered if actual professional dancers cringe when they see ABC make it seem like any washed-up soap opera actor can spend a couple of weeks learning a craft that took them years to master.

Here’s the good part: NBC gave what seems like a well-paid gig to several Army, Navy and USMC guys, including some SEALs and Green Berets. The most high-profile of the group is Chris Kyle, author of the best-selling memoir American Sniper.

Less impressive are the celebrities, a group that includes a retired Superman, an ex-Olympic skier, a reality show host, Jessica Simpson’s ex-husband, a WWE wrestler and the spouse of a high-profile retired politician.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu has already called for NBC to cancel the show because it tries to “somehow sanitize war by likening it to an athletic competition.” Even though it’s blindingly obvious to anyone who’s either played sports or completed military training, let’s spell it out here. The Greeks designed the original Olympic events as military training exercises and the level of competition hardwired into the special forces training and selection process blows away anything we see in the NBA or the NFL. So: point missed, Archbishop Tutu.

What’s weird is the idea that clumsily executed training missions somehow pay tribute to the folks who actually risk their lives doing the real thing. You’ve got a group of operatives who know first-hand how costly any screwups in timing or execution would actually be watching the celebrities stumble their way through the task and then breathlessly talking about how hard it is.

Maybe the show will be a recruiting tool. Maybe it’s good for morale to have actual war fighters look soulfully into the camera while responding to leading questions from some reality show producer holding a clipboard. Maybe I missed the point and it’s actually awesome, but early ratings suggest that two solid weeks of promotion during the Olympics didn’t generate much interest in the show.

So here’s the question: does a show like this trivialize the sacrifice and risk that goes into military service or should the producers get a free pass for supporting the troops (even if the show looks a lot like the Superstars with assault rifles)?

You can watch the entire first episode below.

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112 Comments

  1. leftoftheboom says:

    This is not the first show of the type. It is just reality TV with a “patriotic” theme.

    Posers are posers.

    • During WWII actors and atheletes volenteered for the service, even the OSS (our modern day CIA). Yes some of the actors became military, then became spies overseas. So why not this now? Is thee not PATRIOTISM also in our actors, that they would like to see if they could measure up, or not? More power to them.

    • SGTBJH says:

      How about these silver screen heros be REAL Soldiers. Have them recover a Bradly from a very deep mud hole, just like the Ordies have to do. Or have replace the tread on an M1. These people want to do Soilder stuff, let them do the boring stuff we all had to do going through the ranks. I sort of agree with the good Archbishop in the statement that it trivializes war, but I disagree with him telling NBC to cancel it. He has no say in it and WE do not censor programming, we let the viewers do that. Weak rating will CXL the show. That’s the American way.

  2. puresaltA1A says:

    pffffffff they have no idea what the suck really means…

  3. BocaBob says:

    Makes a mockery of the the whole SOF community.
    Oh any clown can get in. The term “star ” is very losely used also.

  4. D'Adda says:

    Wesley Clark, that should be the first indicator of an idea that needs further scrutiny.
    The producers pass off a show with celebrities it is not true at all. In fact it goes to show how trivial the idea among the A listers in Hollywood circles. Not one “A lister“
    This show is a flop.

    • Taylor says:

      Not one A lister supports the military either so whats your point?

      • eric says:

        Touche’

      • Taylor, Robert R. T/ says:

        I have serious doubts that you possess the cranial capacity to absorb this but here goes. I don’t really give a rip about the “A” listers. They haven’t supported us in the past and I don’t forsee them doing so in the future. If you bothered to check the years I was in, you wouldn’t have to ask.

  5. armyguy says:

    You know, I really don’t care if it was a show about monkeys trying to build a car as long as they were contributing to organizations supporting soldiers. I think their heart is in the right place, and as an Iraq vet I can honestly say it doesn’t bother me at all. I think if anything it will give some very small insight into the difficulty and seriousness of our training and combat activity. I hope some good organizations are getting donations they can use to help soldiers and their families in need.

  6. Taylor, Robert R. T/ says:

    Beats getting beat up, spit on, and called “Baby Killer”. Thank God troops these days have the support of the public even if the public doesn’t support the wars.

  7. Doc_C says:

    Interesting angle from this author, but something to consider is that the celebrities participating are looked up to and idolized by some. Even though they have not and never will complete a true mission or endure even a single day in “The Suck”, each half assed mission they fail only solidifies the fact that not everyone is cut out for combat and there are better people to idolize. It appears to be a decent effort to support worthy causes that have a positive impact on veterans mil fams. The end result is money reaching the hands of credible charities and overpaid celebs looking like a bunch of chumps in the presence of true heroes. Enough negative publicity from people like this author could be just enough to kill a good thing.

  8. Chuck says:

    As a retired Marine I found the show fun to watch. Of course we know its not real. I was at NAB Coranado so I know how long it takes to become a SEAL. This show didnt show how much time they got to learn how hot handle weapons so we know its nothing like the real thing. If you watched the show you saw that 2 of the “star” had a hard time in the water wearing vest, weapons and their kevlar. If you dont like the show then dont watch it but its cool money they win will be going to real warriors.

  9. Jeff says:

    I don’t think anyone involved with the show is trying to say these “stars” are doing the real thing. They are getting a real watered down taste. The action star had to be dragged out of the water and couldn’t even finish his first “mission”. It’s a way to show people at home in a way that they can understand that what our armed forces do is NOT the same as how you blow through Call of Duty.

  10. Chilehed ; Gulf War says:

    How about the money spent just for the making of the show go to the vets who are losing there homes or who come back to no jobs…

  11. ShoeShine says:

    The A-Team and American Gladiators both had some type of ratings. If it will get money to needy Military families, I don’t care if they advertise tampon commercials!

  12. SlyFox123 says:

    Are you kidding me? Why.….what in the world have they done, other then ACT…badly!. Let them pay to play. Or better yet, go join a branch of service and “play” for real!

  13. Brian A. OEF/OIF vet says:

    Let’em play. Yeah, the show is lame. But i’m glad all the money is going to veterans charities.

  14. LJ Belsito says:

    I found it amuzing and tuned in to support the troops on the show not the stars. Watching these actors who “play” superheros, mentors, coaches, athletes, on tv and movies realize that our troops are highly trained. They do not serve for fame and fortune. I do not understand why more of these celebs, don’t do more service oriented work to give back. There is plenty of opportunity and the reality is the care for these casualties of this long war will go on for years. I think this show is teaching them the reality yet it is fake. The two actors who almost drowned, learned a valuable lesson, which I know they will never forget. They should donate their own money as most of them have plenty of it. I am sure they are all getting paid well, not to mention wet pay, and the question would be would they do it for free, just pay the soldiers???

    • Taylor says:

      I read somewhere that Terry Crews is reviving a portion of the proceeds for the new expendables and is donating all of it to military charities if that’s true that’s amazing.we need more shows like this fake or not but anything that puts us in a good light for the public to see and think is always a good thing if you ask me.

  15. Chris says:

    General Clark, do you really need the money that bad? Next week, is a retired navy Admiral, going to host a show with sea battles on a pond?

  16. Mike B. says:

    25 years “experience” with the Armed Forces. Don’t really care about what the theme or direction of this reality show is. What I do care about and reject are these “Nobel Laurets” from foreign countries (like Desmond Tutu, for instance) stating that this show “glamorizes the killing of people.” Hey, stick to your own countries and leave us be. After all, we are the reason why you now have a right in most of your countries to speak freely. Before you try and clean up our house, try and clean up yours first!

  17. Geo. Wash. says:

    Combat Missions was a Mark Burnett show back in ’02, was much better, but sucked seeing Spec Ops eliminating each other via “discharge”. This is a weaker interpretation for sure, but I think the “stars” are very humbled by the Spec Ops personnel they are working with.

    I concur with those that say the nobel laureates need to worry about their house first, before trying to screw with US!

  18. PHOENIX5 says:

    Watched it for five minutes after a friend called to tell me about it. EOM (End of mission) having celebrities play military interests me as much as celebrities pushing their political views on me.

    FUGADEBOUDIT! Don’t mean nothin’

  19. steve kaye says:

    I believe the show is a great way for the public to understand the military better, Im hoping the show
    will inspire people to donate to veterens charities
    and more importatly develop a greater appreciation
    of soldiers by showcasing how difficult their jobs are.
    The “kneejerk reaction’ of bashing the show loses sight
    of the big picture

  20. Joe Lombard says:

    As a retired Marine Staff Sergeant, and Operation Iraqi Freedom Vet, all I can say is … it’s Hollywood, and as with anything out of Hollyweird there is built in drama. I’m sure the actual operatives got a huge kick out of watching these guys and gals try and do what they have been doing for years. Couple things, one, these “Stars” are raising money for charities that donate money to Vets, Vet Spouses, and Police Organizations, kudos to them for that. Second, I think from the word “Jump” these “Stars” realize just how difficult the Military Mission, and especially the Spec Ops Missions are, so for all they do on TV, they can always look back and say “Yep, but those troops out there, they are truely the “Real” hero’s” and that is a good thing.

  21. Rick_see says:

    The goal of this show is to make money for producers and sponsors. They are using the military for this purpose alone. What miniscule amount of money that get funneled to Military Charities, remaims to be seen and will probably never be known.

    So we have has beens and never was’ playing Army.

  22. boatguy23 says:

    I watched it, and even though I didn’t think that much of it, at least it was a pro military show. And who gives a rats *** about what Tutu says?! Is he that irrelevant that he is relegated to calling for cancellations of tv shows?

  23. jumper says:

    Everyone needs to get their panties out of a bunch. So there’s a show that shows the military in a respectful and positive light. So what’s the problem? The worst thing that will happen is a bunch of C and D list celebs will talk about how much they respect what we do. What a LOT of people I run into need to realize that the military belongs to the people… something like this is a harmless, fun way for them to see some of it. Not like those abortions Katherine Bigelow calls movies.

  24. David says:

    Why don’t they make a show focusing on real combat Soldiers (Marines, Sailors, Airmen) out on patrol everyday and what we have gone through and are currently going though living on remote FOB’s. I’m sure there are a couple journalists with balls that will live with combat units. Show the American people what we do at the tip of the spear not some hollywood type running through fake explosions and glorifying and making what we do look easy. Maybe this show will spur some donations to wounded warriors but I think showing “real” warriors on the front lines and what we have to endure daily would spur even more donations. For some reason the majority of the journalists that travel to Afghanistan or Iraq never actually go where it’s dangerous. I highly respect the ones that do spend time on the ground with war fighters.

  25. Dylan says:

    So it appears I’m part of the minority here, a military guy that actually likes the show. I found it pretty comical watching washed up celebrities (Except Terry Crews and Eve Torres, I like them) get all dirty and sweaty and fatigued attempting these “missions”, I thought it was hilarious. I did want to punch Ali’s daughter when she asked the Corpsman if he had ever killed anyone.

  26. Tim says:

    I watched the show more to see how the operators would handle it than the “stars”, though I did want to see Terry Crews do well. I think the fact that it showed the difficulty of something as believed easy as jumping from the **** in full gear and swimming in that was enough to eliminate the supposed two most in shape “stars”. Good reality check. I’m actually interested in seeing how the show plays out and bringing awareness to the charities is always a plus.

  27. Tim says:

    Funny that I shortened helicopter to the four letter variant and it was flagged and starred out.

  28. Craigs says:

    I didn’t think the show was that bad. The celebrities were all saying how much more they appreciated the military persons after the “missions”. That’s gotta count for something right?

    Although it wasn’t a real mission (people trying to kill you), I think it worked out ok.

    I think I’d watch it next time — I think it is the best show at that time slot right now on my tv.

  29. Yellow Devil says:

    I don’t watch television, so I haven’t seen this show. But from what I have read so far, I have no issues with what they are doing here. If it works out, than it will keep going. If not, than it will be cancelled due to low ratings. It’s that simple.

  30. jwNYC says:

    Civilian’s opinion: Great show. Fitting tribute to our military…to those who serve w/ a quiet valor…they don’t boast about their heroics, so it’s really nice to have real operatives & cops participate & get noticed. Enjoyed learning more about the training & code of the operatives. The show was really well done & has nothing to do w/ glorifying war, rather it highlights patriotic service & the elite skill demanded marines & specIal ops.

    If the show was condemning the military, as most Hollywood movies do, Tutu & his Nobel prize wining friends (terrorist Arafat was also a Nobel prize winner)would not be protesting. Sorry, Tutu & Code Pink, most Americans are grateful for our fighting men & women in uniform.

    On the show, especially like Navy Seal Chris Kyle who called Todd Palin the man he would like to go to war w/ bc/ of his “Rambo” performance in the mission. Palin, the IronDog champ & father of a son serving in Afghanistan, stole the show among the celebrities w/ a display of heart, determination & athleticism. His & the other clebrities’/athletes’ serious effort in the exercises pays respect to all the operatives who offered their knowledge & commitment. It’s endearing to see them praise soldier who deserve a little limelight.

  31. JJMurray says:

    Anyone who thinks a “reality” TV show actually has any kind of deeper message than making money is just being foolish. Saying this glorifies war is sort of like saying Jersey Shore glorifies being an idiot.

  32. Ronimal says:

    Negative. “Stars” can earn their stripes when they sacrifice their time away from their home, friends and family for months and years at a time. Without a TV camera. Without fans. Without a commercial break and a craft-service table 10-feet away, making just barely enough money to keep their heads above water. That’s when they can earn their friggin’ stripes.

    • Rosalee says:

      Yeah but that is NOT what they are all about as a norm
      It if provides a spotlight on them, they are there.….……
      I love the ones who just do it, no fanfare, no spotlight
      THAT to me is the ones who count

  33. Keith Mc says:

    If they want to earn strips then they should really join the military. It’s just another stupid reality show that I’ll never watch. It’s a big waste of time.

  34. Chief_P says:

    Doc_C I was thinking the same thing as I read through these posts. We hear how everyone wants young people to idolize the true hero’s of our day (who are not on the big screen!) yet here we see the bashing of a show that is trying to point out this very thing. Our young generation needs a reality check, and this show has a pretty good way of doing it from several angles to include known actors/celebs and by blowing stuff up and showing what military mission preparation looks like. We need interested young people to consider military service for some of their life and not just believe that they are owed a spot on American Idol or going from High School straight to the NBA. This show has some good qualities even though some of it is corny.

  35. Nobel says:

    I have watched the show..really not that bad. However, this is something that the 99% of the rest of american’s should watch. It is cold, it is hot; it often dark and muddy; and no you can not go back to the hooch for a brew. It does not replicate what has happened in Iraq or Afghanistan.… but is what every Soldier, Marine, Sailor, Airmen and Coast Guardmen will have to do as their part of the “duty”; somewhere in the world. The 1% are somewhere cold, wet, no TV or Radio and eating MREs.

  36. mikeym1a says:

    Well said. I guess asking them to go through ‘boot camp’ is out of the question.….….….…

  37. OMEGATALON says:

    Stars can earn stripes by joining the USO and performing for US troops abroad or participating in events aimed at helping veterans like George W Bush’s 100-kilometer mountain bike ride; but doing anything else is just a personal lie.

  38. Ralph says:

    What BS. Did my 24 in the navy and fortunately came out virtually unscathed. Would love to have had these folks in the SAR pipeline. Back in the days, no guns just a lot of swimming, 10 & 10’s and a good PT three mornings a week and then do your normal work. No excitement at all, unless a lost engine or an in country rescue while taking fire is exciting.

  39. Ed Mucha says:

    To come back to the one basic question; “Do stars deserve stripes”? Answer: YES, prison stripes would be
    the most appropriate I can think of for many of them for their anti-military, anti-US rants, opinions and actions. Maybe get Sean Chavez Penn in there, and maybe C-looney. The real starts are the grunts, GIs, operators and their backups.

  40. Rosalee says:

    Rah rah rah rah
    ((((rolls eyes))))))

  41. Rosalee says:

    Not enough glamor for la la land

  42. c. douthitt says:

    They do not have the ‘A List’ stars– because they still have to WORK in the business and are hired by the hoplophobe film industry.

    But at least they are putting forth the effort to learn a little about being in the service. Gotta pat them on the back for that. They may not have the part about the ‘blank check payable to the country’ at heart, but maybe they will help the rest of the industry ‘get it’. These folks “get it.. ” or they wouldn’t be there.

    It may be all hype but no one ever said that Hollywood wasn’t duplicitous and clever.

  43. Rosalee says:

    Key word being USING but La la land has always been quite accomplished in that part of it

  44. J. C. Snodgrass says:

    As a retired Navy veteran I watch this show along with my shadow and we both saw stuff that reminded us of the A-Team on TV but that is about it. The rest is funny stuff cause war is not like what their doing. If their doing a fun raiser, then get with the local armed forces recruiting staff or a the reserve units they’ll tell you what they need in the field. We agree on is if you want to play soldier, join up and play soldier for a few days or if you want to help them over in the war zone do like Bob Hope did us vet’s bring them something from home! USO is a wonderful place to start.

    I served from 3 Dec 1963 to 1 Sep 1992.

  45. TikiJoe UDTR32wc says:

    Look, everyone knows reality shows are not really reality. If you do, you are on another world. These actors or so are playing a game to win $$$$ for badly needed charities. I don’t see anyone out there giving 5k or 10k to the charities in a nice check. No, its a $1 here or a $1 there. Real combat is not what you see there, we all know it. What we see on the show is a little more than an hour or two of entertainment. That’s all it is. Who cares about stripes, buttons, or any other device indicating these armchair quarterback actors have to show they made it to another round and more $ for the charities. I have watched it and at times have had a good laugh slapping my knees which have been replaced and stretching my fused spine, VA does a great job on us old vets. Watch it, laugh and take it for what it is.

    • jponce says:

      I agree, I dont begrudge them for sweating alittle. Its the least they can do, to play a game trying to earn money to give to these very worthy causes. They’re just entertainers providing entertainment. Dont like it, dont watch it, go back to dancing w/ no name stars!

    • alen jarvis says:

      You are so right on there. I totally agree. Have now seen it yet, but I intend upon watching it. The money goes to a good place and again you are correct. No one else is giving away that kind of money except the Gates!!

    • Toni says:

      TikiJoe although this has nothing to do with the article above I just wanted to take a minute to say Thank You for serving our country. In my opinion those words need to be said and often. I come from not only many generations of military but am also a soldiers wife for 17 years. I think it’s fair to say I know what you guys have to go through. Just thought I would take the time to say to an “old vet”(lol)Thank You for all that you have done for us.

    • LaurieD says:

      I agree that we do recognize that these are celebrities and not soldiers. They do not pretend to be anything else. They are using their celebrity status to do some good for very deserving people. I actually have enjoyed the show and will continue to watch with my family. On the funny side, I never thought I’d cheer for a Palin, but…there it is! Thanks NBC for raising money for very deserving charities.

  46. Carl Steckler USMC R says:

    I don’t know about most of the “stars” but as for Street she has accomplished a lot and paid the price for her fame. From 1988 to 2000 she was in rehab for a severely injured leg that required extensive surgery. I am sure that she at least has some understanding of what real marines, Soldiers, Airmen and sailors may have to face as a result of their military experience. That she trained to be a superb athlete shows her conviction to a cause and I am sure that she felt that same conviction to winning money for her supported charity.
    By the way SlyFox which service did you serve in and what is your combat experience. There was a bunker at Khe Sahn that had written on it “To the Veteran, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know” Yes these stars do not know that flavor of freedom, but they do understand what the protectors of that freedom must offer up every day of their service.

    Vietnam 6/1967 — 7/1969 USMC

    • John Cordova USMC says:

      usmc 1964–1968
      vietnam 1965–1966 1967–1968
      chul Lai and places„, **** Ha, Quang Tri, Hue, Miloc, Phuloc, Ashau, Anhoa, etc etc etc.
      I think the actors are bringing recognition to the military in their own way. Without it our current day military would go unrecognized like we were. So any thing that anyone can do to bring attention to the plights our military face is good.

      And yes combat ribbon from both tours, hit once, etc etc,

  47. retired Army SFC says:

    Leave the show on, I prefer this any day then to watch the sex/violence/bad language/killing shows they think is entertainment. This show is serving a good purpose with the charities for the military on people who really need and deserve it. We need more shows that are clean and entertain at the same time. I watched this show and liked it!

  48. Daniel says:

    And during Apartheid in South Africa, Bishop Tutu was advocating the use of the “necklace”? (tying the hands of a supposed informer together, putting a tire around their waist, pouring diesel fuel in the tire and lighting it up basically burning the person in half). He is so full of crap!

  49. Victo says:

    I think it’s great. I’m an army airborne and I’m glad to see the entertainment industry bring glory to our men and women in arms.

  50. Joe Silva (SGT prior says:

    The only thing I like about the show is that it brings back a lot of memories of what I trained for years to do. I gave my all for over 6 years to my country and I am proud to have done it and if I physically could I would still be beside my fellow brothers at arms!
    I say let the show go on as the military charities the are promoting need the help. The show will bring badly needed notarization to the programs and may possibly bring more donations from other places to them.

  51. Former Devil Doc says:

    This show reminds me of the ******* kids running around in “cammie” items because it is currently “cool” to do so, but would never have the guts to join the military. Hopefully, this “reality” show and others will go the way of the dinosaurs. This show probably only donates to military charities in an attempt to stay on the air at the risk of NBC being labeled “unpatriotic” if the network cancels this show.

  52. SSGChester says:

    Ya know…back in WWII, a ton of actors joined up. Now John Wayne was a third tier actor. The story goes he had a bad back. Reality was, he was getting the jobs the actors who went to serve should have gotten.
    The director John Ford never ever let John Wayne forget that fact.
    So I look at these “wanna be’s” and laugh. Mr. Tillman went as did his brother and lost his life.
    They say they “support” the troops, but honestly, it is an acting gig for them.
    However, I do still carry recruiter cards with me at all times. So when I hear someone go on about “liberals” and how they “support” the troops, I always hand them a recruiters card.
    I also tell them, that, “America needs people like you in the armed forces.…let’s go call the recruiter now.” All of them quickly back peddle…LOL
    Sadly, in the real military, you can’t yell “CUT!” when something goes wrong.….

    • Toni says:

      I really like your recruitment card idea, that’s great. As a military wife I get really sick of hearing about how people support our military, yet when I ask how I have Never recieved an answer other then “well by supporting what they do”. B.S. is what I say. If you support our Heros don’t talk it, do something! I think it’s just a in vogue kinda of thing, a way to separate themselves from the pathetic a%# holes that terriorized our own upon coming home from Vietnam!

  53. paramedic70002 says:

    I’m a career civilian but my Dad was in Korea and nearly killed when he was run over by a truck one night while in his tent during light restriction. Rain and muddy ground saved his life. He was on his way to front line combat when the truce was signed but still lost a couple buddies to snipers who didn’t get the word.

    I think it’s great that us civilians can get some perspective on the military that isn’t a manufactured movie, but instead has real Operators involved. Of course it isn’t real or representative of what most of the military does. That would be boring, just like my job, nobody wants to see EMS wash and inventory the unit, sit around watching TV, cook dinner, and haul old sick people back and forth all day long. I also prefer it as entertainment over most of what else there is out there. Money to charities may be just a salve to cover egos and profits, but at least somebody thought of it.

  54. D. Wright Downs says:

    the General is doing what he does best…raising money for the troops and the others. He is calling attention to the needs that the are not being met. The “entertainers/stars” are doing their part, too. I have watched it and like it. I remember my 1st afraid of height rappell and how I felt after it…I remember a few other things watching the show. No, it may not be realistic, but it brought back a few feeling of trieumph over adversity from the old days. Reminded me how character building and how much fun I had and why I had such a hard time fitting into the non-green blood scene. The same thing that is happening with our current generation of soldiers.

  55. DAlnb says:

    It seemed to me they Over-indulged and patronized Palin! His presence puts a political twist I do not think is appropriate. Other than that — it was a bit entertaining but I do not think I will watch it a second time!

  56. DAlnb says:

    Agree — if we spent half the amount where it is needed rather than on politicizing efforts we would all be better off!
    I spent 27 ½ years in the Air Force and Army and I get tired of hearing the hurrahs from people who have never walked on anymore than the streets of home, TV sets or political offices.

  57. ISGRet_USA says:

    Just so sad that Clark has anything to do with anything made a sorry commanding officer way to self severing. In my 23 years the worst served under! However if these guys give their money to the troops that’s great, I won’t watch but have at it.

    • Retired LTC says:

      Not sure where you served, but General Clark was one of the finest commanding officers I ever knew in 20 years of Army service.

  58. SFC James W. Holland says:

    I am stating that I watched about 15 minutes of the show but it was conflicting with the WWE, so of course I had to leave it. But my Comments are:

    1. Gen. Wesley Clark should have had some DI aka– Drill Instructors’ and Field First Sgts. there.

    2. He is NOT a CSM, or a PSG he is a General. I was both a SFC & PSG (I had orders for 3 years that I was a PSG E-7, but when I retired, I was retired as a SFC E-7) There is a difference. PSGs’ command people directly, Generals Command through the Command Structure. But I commend General Clark for his efforts’, but he has to learn to be a Sergeant if hew is going to try to act like one!

    3. So in this case, he modley coddled these people, so they did not get any PAINFUL butt chewing’s, hence they did not “EARN” their “STRIPES”. They were awarded them for being nice little boys and girls, which is ok.

    4. They did learn as they went along for they were very smart people, and were doing a good deed in a familiarization course that was easy on them without to much stress. Eve Torres’s was a very abt student due to her environment in the WWE. She is one tough lady, and she already has done a lot for the Wounded Warrior Program and has been to Iraq and Afghanistan representing the WWE man times and has been to Walter Reed and other Military and Naval hospitals as part of her job in the WWE. Those folk I in the WWE not only Entertain, but they perform a great deal of Community service, particularly for my (OUR) Soldiers, Sailors’, Marines, Coast Guard, and Airmen.

    5. I do intend to watch the episodes in my ATT-Uverse on-demand. Its good and I also commend the folks that are so called celebrities’ for donating their time to this PROJECT!

    • Rich Sabatowski, Pri says:

      Eve does her part, granted but until they sweat under incoming, this reality show is far from real and they are not to be equated with the troops in the crap. If even one of them suffers PTSD from this show, let me know and I will apologize. Shame on the liberal media NBC for this reach.

  59. I gave it a shot with my Sweet Baboo (AirForce vet). We will not waste our time again watching this again.

  60. Rich Sabatowski, Pri says:

    This is an hour show? How many breaks do they get or do they slog 10–12 hours? As for helping, they can volunteer for Wounded Warriors or support Gary Senise ‘s Foundation without acting it. Now there is a brother that is “doin’it”. ‘Lt. Dan’ is my hero and I respect him and his band to no end. They do the Bob Hope thing all the time and much more for the vets at home and he does it quietly without much fanfare and with utter devotion to the men and women of our military. As for the General hawking this TV farce, he is to be pitied.

  61. Toni says:

    I just want to say to you Sgt Taylor,though long over due, Thank you! I am very sorry for the way you guys were treated upon coming home. Coming from a long line of military (army, navy,marines and air force), and being a soldiers wife, it ****** me off! You were treated in a horrific way during that era! It still ****** me off (and Im only 37 so wasn’t around yet). I see what my Father goes through to this day,for doing what had to be done! War is ugly and not for everyone, but it is sometimes a necessity like it or not. So again Thank you and a very belated Welcome Home!

  62. Al says:

    I believe that if you want to play soldier, then you need to do it the same way the rest of us did it. I get so tired of seeing “celebrities” riding back seat in a multi-million dollar fighter because they want to. Those of us that worked in snow, rain, 100 degree plus heat, sand in our nether regions don’t have that pleasure. If being a celebrity is the way to do those things we worked so hard at then maybe we should send them to do those jobs they criticize us so diligently and let them dodge bullets and IED’s

    • Rob says:

      I do think it makes a mockery of the men of women of the service regardless if money is donated t charity. I am certain it pales in comparision to what the actors are getting not to mention the network from advertising. The amount of money to produce this mess should have went toward the servicemembers and their cause. RWill USN retired

  63. Bill Griffith says:

    Get this scum sucking pos off the air, you money grubbing dirt bags. And find the low-life worthless poser who green lighted this project and deploy his useless butt to Afghanistan for the duration. This is our Armed Forces, made up of the bravest men and women in our country, not some carnival sideshow. NBC is banned from my home until this drek is gone, but not before I find which companies are sponsors and encourage anyone I can to boycott their products and services. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!!!

  64. Toni says:

    I don’t know I always kinda thought Jersey Shore was doing just that, glorifying the IDIOTS on there lol. You are right though. Dont see how this idiot Tutu came to the conclusion that this glorifies war. Mike B you hit the nail on the head! Where do these fools from other countries get off talking about what’s going on in ours, especially about a show that may, hopefully be beneficial to our military charities. While giving a slight insight to what our real Heros go through!

  65. kurt arnold says:

    my bother was killed in vietnam, father was a navy wwII vet i’m a vet i did not enlist so hollyweird could make a mockery of the men and women who serve our country wether in war or piece

  66. Michael Smith says:

    I agree that having Wesley Clark, the political general who just endorsed Obama, is certainly reason enough to pass on this piece of crap show! Didn’t Chairman of Joint Chiefs Dempsey just condemn former military types speaking up about politics? This is just a “fake” show hosted by a retired General who likes the camera.

  67. cphayes01 says:

    Most of the modern stars are not really talented as they rely on technology th make their performances look good so now they want to mock our military with fake stripes eather than serve in our military and earn them as we did.

  68. Richard Sabatowski says:

    Less than 1% of what NBC clears from the sponsors.
    “Garry Owen”

  69. Ed Reese says:

    They are working with the real thing to honor the real thing. Many of them are from the entertainment industry. More power to them, therey are too damned few.

  70. Ed Reese says:

    They are working with the real thing to honor the real thing. Many of them are from the entertainment industry. More power to them, therey are too damned few.

    BTW — Todd Palin won the Alaska Iron Dog race 4 times, once with a broken arm. Not a mean feat and not your usual hollywood wimp.

  71. H. E. Kahl says:

    The whole thing is just a load of crap.

  72. Robert J says:

    The show’s objective is to make money. That’s not to say that it’s void of any good-will. My major objection is that it’s all play and no peril. The make-believe danger is a dis-service to the warfighters who, despite their fears, bravely engage a very real enemy with no guarantee that they’ll survive. As for the show’s cast, each day on the set is nothing more than a good work-out, regardless of how earnest their motivations.

  73. pete says:

    Too many ‘actors’ since WWII are all too anxious to put on a uniform with a bunch of medals to ‘honor’ out troops, but very few if any have, in their entire lives, ever considered actually BECOMING one of those troops for a full enlistment.

    I’m in complete agreement with the guy who said let them engage in the everyday mundane things we did. March 8 to 10 hours, set up night positions, did fighting holes, fill sand bags, stand 4 hour guard shift, then do it all again tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

    If they really want to show military life, they must show the days and weeks and months of boring routine as well as the comparative seconds of madness.

    RVN 67–69

  74. First Sgt says:

    It’s called “entertainment” folks. Get over it! For the prior service/military folks on here that are pooh poohing the efforsts of the “celeb’s” to raise money for the various charities that support or troops, then I say to you, “Contribute the money yourselves”! When a liberal media like NBC starts dropping ten, twenty, thirty, a hundred thousand dollars tos support our military, then I hope we take every penney they offer and use it to benefit our troops. As for the “stars” that are on the show…I give them props for giving their time and efforts (even if they are paid) to do something to raise money to support our troops. For the military folks on here that are ******** about the show because it doesn’t show the “real” military , I say to them “YOU chose your career path..either do you job and quit ******** or get out and become a civilian”!!! I personally enjoy the show, thank the stars AND the military/leo’s etc who are trying to get the message out to the folks in society that “FREEDOM ISN’T FREE” and that it takes special folks to choose the military and put their life on the line to insure the “WHINERS” in some of these comments have the opportunity to continue whining. I’ll continue to watch and enjoy.
    First Sgt/U.S.Air Force Retired/Vietnam Vet

  75. kt007 says:

    raising tens of thousands of dollars for military charities is a bad thing?? it’s not real but let’s get real. they are out there trying hard & overcoming fears for entertainment purposes in order to donate $$…kudo’s to all involved

  76. Mary Villano says:

    War is no game. It is lethal. Actors should only represent wartime soldiers in movies they make. This so-called game they are playing does not represent the REAL war experiences.

    I would like to see just how much benefit the charities are receiving from this so-called benefit program.

    To me, it is just an excuse for air time.

  77. ReallyOldGuy says:

    I’d like to see them burning the ******** like we did in ‘Nam…that’d be interesting to watch.

  78. Auxie01 says:

    I don’t see the Coast Guard mentioned here at all! Aren’t all five of our Armed Forces going to be in it? If not, why not?!
    Perhaps none of the actors know (care) how to lay their life on the line to help save a person’s live on the water. or near the shore

    • Marc says:

      Good call Auxie01! Maybe the reason they don’t have any Coast Guard is that these so-called “celebrities” can’t swim worth a damn!

      Marc,
      82nd ABN, 1979–1990

  79. Terrance Johnson says:

    I agree, this all for the show.… if they really want to see what the military life is like, let them go through the Basic Training, the Advanced Infantry Training, the NonCommissioned Office Training, then go on the fake missions, with the so call “dangerous” live fire.… the viewer will then be able to see just what a current soldier has to go through before they get the glory of being shot at or blown up…

  80. Bruce Dees says:

    If they want to earn some stripes and show real tribute to the men and women in uniform, “GO SIGN ON THE LINE AND PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE FOR OUR GREAT COUNTRY!!!!!” Then and only then would I even think of watching this!!!

  81. John says:

    I served 1 1/2 years in vietnam and all I have to say about service members and celebrities is read this poem.

    A Soldier’s Thoughts

    It Was Easier To Leave The Liberty That I Loved,
    Than To Return To The Liberty I Lost.

    As Long As One Person Acknowledges
    My Life Sacrifices And Gains By It,

    Then Shall The Sting Of Death Soften Its Grip
    And Immortality And Honor
    Be Given Its Rightful Name.….…

    HERO.…Then Shall I Rest.
    Written By Larry Richardson And Presented To John P. Anderson 2005

  82. Tom says:

    Nobody dies on this show if they make a mistake.

  83. Charles Simmons says:

    I have no problem with the program, it’s entertainment, that’s all. It does not sanitize war. Any one who has served in a combat zone knows the difference. As a Vietnam Vet I can look at the wall in D.C., count the names I know, and tell the difference between reality and make believe.
    Old Sgt

  84. jw says:

    On topic & well worth a very intereting, first account read by Delta Operative on SES:

    http://​www​.commandposts​.com/​2​0​1​2​/​0​8​/​d​a​l​t​o​n​-​f​u​r​y-a

  85. bill59 says:

    As a former marine I wanted to watch to see my take, and what I came away with was yes it is a game to raise money for vets. But I too saw that you have very physcally fit actors that show just how hard it is to complete a mission. If people watch they will see the physcal and mental metal the troops had to have to complete the acual missions. The only thing missing is the feeling of being shot at and knowing it could be your last but pushing through to do their job. For all that served thank you brothers and sisters.

    • William says:

      I agree with you. Hollywood has made it look like anybody can go out and do these missions. This show takes very fit actors and teams them up with people who have done these kinds of missions in real life. They get some training, and then they do a simulated mission (with no one firing back at them) for time. The winners raise money for military related charities.

      I know most of you, that have served, see this show as BS, but maybe those who haven’t will get a better understanding of how hard it is to do these things. For example, in the first show, two VERY strong men were unable to stay afloat after jumping from a helicopter into water with all of their gear. The “operators” on their teams had to rescue them!!!

  86. Angela says:

    I think this show is terrible it makes our troops look bad. We have men and women dying everyday to defend our country and they are trying to make it look like a reality show like it is some kind of game its not its hard and the families that are watching this think it is a disgrace to our servicemen and women if they want to pretend to be in the military let them enlist!!! I think the show should be taken off , show some pride for our troops !!!!

  87. Jennifer Woodard says:

    I am so grossed out and my OEF Veteran husband regards this awful “homage” the same way I do the show Sons Of Guns. How are you supposed to feel honored for touring a 3rd world country full of sand and kids with guns and bombs strapped to them aiming to kill you and your country, by people who make more money than they deserve, and come learn in a few mins what they are taught over years’ time?! Its ballistic BS, I’m so glad that the show may actually be cancelled, I prayed for it! Some soldiers are enveloped safely in a big base overseas, others like my husband & the rest of DELTA camped out in damn tents with no showers, burger kings, and all the other **** they have in big bases. They are enduring mortar attacks, constant IEDs, losing brothers to snipers and hidden explosives. They deserve the pay that is totally denied them, along with the transition and recovery assistance. Families at home will never understand the severity of the trauma, and make things worse by acting so damn selfish. You ALL should be A S H A M E D! Vets I know and am related to are NOT watching and are DISGUSTED by you dainty, pretty fake lazy people.

  88. Jennifer Woodard says:

    they are just doing it for looks, they would not like to be so dirty or hard as soldiers are. They are rediculous, frankly I’m sick of celebs trying to “walk the walk,” they are too pretty and just drama queens. Why do you think they are on tv?!

  89. Jennifer Woodard says:

    its a LOW BLOW to the men and women who have endured the REAL thing. Its patronizing and pathetic and everyone knows these people are just in it for the money one way or the other. G.I.Jane has been made, Act of Valor has been made, now there is nothing left for these people to make. Get over it and donate some money to REAL SOLDIERS & VETERANS who are out of work, disabled, and have needs and families to take care of. You people are pitiful!

  90. Jennifer Woodard says:

    Armyguy, you must have been one of the guys in Iraq who was sheltered and well fed on a big base huh?

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