Talk about giving mixed messages. Anyone who is familiar with the work of America’s special forces knows that their identities are a close-guarded secret. That is, until now.
A new Hollywood film appears to be blowing the cover of the ultra-secretive Navy SEALS, ruffling a few feathers along the way.
In a new movie, “Act of Valor,” Navy SEALS play…themselves. Filming for the movie began in 2007, and apparently US defense officials didn’t get word of it until the movie wrapped. The movie is scheduled to premiere on February 24th, and tells a fictional story of SEALS rescuing a kidnapped CIA agent.
Using the Real Soldiers
While the original plan for the movie was to hire actors, the Bandito Brothers production company managed to persuade the active duty commandos to stick around and take on the leads themselves.
With an office that actually vets scripts and negotiates with Hollywood producers, the Pentagon was not pleased when it found out about this venture. One defense official, who spoke anonymously with AFP said,
“It’s one thing to be filmed parachuting out of a plane, but it’s another thing to be parachuting and land on the red carpet.”
Vince Ogilvie, the deputy director for entertainment media at the Pentagon said, in a guarded statement, “Obviously, clearly we wish it had gone through the normal channels.”
Defending the Choice
Defending the actions of the SEALS and other elite troops in the film, Admiral William McRaven said,
“We’re conscious of the fact that they are active duty Navy SEALs in there. I can tell you they volunteered. There was no concern on their part of their individual (security) or the security of their family.”
While the names of the commandos don’t appear in the credits, this seems to be a weak way to defend the actions. The Pentagon is certainly making sure that such a situation doesn’t arise again. They are emphasizing that all movie projects must be approved before being made. As one defense official said, “This hasn’t been swept under the carpet.”