A pet peeve of mine is: Military themed movies that get it wrong. Maybe I’m a bit too sensitive about this issue, and given the big picture maybe it’s a rather insignificant thing to be peeved about, but being a former military guy myself I find it disrespectful. Today, even low-budget films are big-budget affairs. With all of the unemployed military veterans out there you would think that Hollywood could spring for a few bucks to hire a consultant or two, or three.
It’s not like they would have to be a general or anything—in fact just about any enlisted person could fill the billet. If the film in question is historical in nature then maybe a good military historian should be put on the payroll along with a veteran(s) of the time (if we don’t go back too far in time that is). Basically, I would just like to see some accuracy on the simple stuff: Proper insignia worn correctly, decorations displayed appropriately, uniforms and equipment true to the times. And correct military courtesy and protocol.
In almost every movie depicting military personnel and events I see: Insignia worn upside-down, improper display of awards and decorations, mistakes in identifying ranks, egregious errors in the wearing of uniforms and equipment, and often times the military courtesy and protocols are ludicrous to the point of laughter. For anyone in the know these transgressions reek of laziness, ignorance and disrespect. And they detract from the viewing experience.
For crying-out-loud producers do your homework and hire the appropriate consultants—we’re talking about mere pennies in your otherwise lavish budgets. Give a veteran(s) a job, and bring some dignity, pride and professionalism back to our men and women in uniform. And while you’re at it why not hire them as extras (what a concept). Our troops are taught to wear their uniforms with pride and distinction, they shouldn’t be disrespected by dumb-ass Hollywood types that don’t have a clue. The same goes for our men and women in law enforcement, and our firefighters too. If you can’t get the details correct your movie lacks credibility.
Reading this over just now I know that it sounds trivial to the uninitiated, but it really chaps my hide. Just take a moment, and a few bucks, to get it right. It is not that much to ask for, and our service personnel will greatly appreciate it.