Got Your 6, the campaign that unites nonprofit, Hollywood, and government partners to promote veteran leadership in civilian life, has announced its first round of 6 Certified projects, as part of an overall effort to recognize content that accurately and responsibly portrays veterans in popular media.
That American Sniper tops the list should be no surprise, since the film about legendary Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is the most successful military-themed movie of all time. You might be more surprised to find out they chose Amira & Sam, a remarkable romantic comedy written and directed by Army veteran Sean Mullin. You can read our interview with Sean and rent the film from iTunes or Amazon Video.
Check out a full list of honorees below and find how how Got Your 6 chose the winners.
Amira & Sam
The "6 Certified" program was enacted to encourage film and television creators to challenge misconceptions about veterans in popular culture and to foster a better understanding between veterans and civilians by moving away from the negative and stereotypical depictions of veterans and military families.
“Through ‘6 Certified’ we can battle the stereotypes and misconceptions about veterans that so often dominate popular culture, while drawing attention to projects that portray veterans reasonably and accurately,” said Chris Marvin, executive director of Got Your 6. “Each of the selected projects helps to craft a new cultural narrative with an asset-focused view of veterans.”
A “6 Certified” program must follow at least one of the following six pledges:
- Research or consult with real veterans, family members, or subject matter experts in an effort to create accurate representations
- Hire a veteran actor to play a substantial role
- Employ a veteran writer to contribute to the narrative
- Develop a multi-dimensional veteran character
- Develop a narrative with meaningful and accurate veteran themes
- Have veterans present for consultation throughout the filmmaking process
Here are the four TV episodes that round out the six honorees (2+4=6, get it?):
Dancing with the Stars (Season 20) – The inclusion of contestant Noah Galloway, an Army veteran and double amputee who appeared on the recent 20th season of Dancing with the Stars, counters stereotypical portrayals of veterans as "charity cases." Noah's own motto, "No Excuses," embodies the resilient qualities of many veterans who have been faced with loss. Check out all our Noah Galloway/DWTS stars coverage here.
Hawaii Five-0 (Episode 18, Season 5) – This exciting police procedural portrays veterans as leaders and problem solvers. The lead character Steven "Steve" J. McGarrett was a Navy SEAL and uses his operational training to aid him in his work as a civilian.
Modern Family (Episode 22, Season 6) – This television program provides a balanced depiction of veterans through Ed O'Neill's character Jay Pritchett, who served in the Navy. The character's time in service does not define him but merely adds another level of depth and color to the characterization.
The Night Shift (Episode 12, Season 2) – Veteran characters on "The Night Shift" use skills they learned in the military to save lives on the show. "The Night Shift" creators collaborated with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden for a recent episode that explored post-traumatic growth and resilience among veterans, an epsiode we covered here.