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April 9, 2008

Chief of Naval Operations on PBS Series Carrier

April 9, 2008 | By | No Comments

Our liberal friends at PBS have put together a program on the Navy.

Remember, any time ‘Hollywood’ gets near the military, the result always degenerates to an anti-war film.

nimitz_carrier.jpg

USS Nimitz From: Chief of Naval Operations…

Beginning Sunday, April 27, PBS will air a reality-TV documentary

entitled “CARRIER”, filmed while the production company was embarked

during the entire USS NIMITZ’s 2005 deployment. The program will air

over five nights from Sunday, April 27, to Thursday, May 1, 2008,

9:00-11:00 p.m. ET.

Ten hours of film will be aired, selected from almost 2,000 hours that

were shot over the course of a 6-month deployment to CENTCOM. I have

viewed the production and want to share context and some thoughts

with you.

While “Carrier” shows the outstanding work our young Sailors do every

day and the opportunities the Navy offers, it also shows Sailors

making mistakes in their personal and professional lives. The

snapshot is frank and may be somewhat disconcerting to some who came

into the Navy some time ago. However, that said, I believe it will

also resonate with a significant segment of our country, especially

potential recruits and young Sailors serving today.

1) What we did. We provided unprecedented access to our Sailors,

and this production tells their story in a very personal way. There

is no narrator — the stories are told by the Sailors themselves.

You get unvarnished views from junior personnel about their hopes,

aspirations, and challenges of life in the Navy aboard the carrier.

We did not get between the film crews and the Sailors.

2) What we got. The production highlights the racial, gender,

religious, and socio-economic diversity of our Navy. The hard work

our Sailors perform and the remarkable feat of forging thousands of

individuals on a carrier into a truly unique team really shines

through. Culling through hundreds of hours of video, the producers

created a 10-hour reality-TV documentary that shows selected aspects

of our Sailors’ personal and professional challenges. The

cinematography is very high quality and the visuals and music are

sure to appeal to younger audiences.

3) What we did not get. We did not get a Navy “commercial” in the

traditional sense. “CARRIER” is very different from the hardware

documentaries we have supported in the past. This program focuses on

our people and the reality-TV approach gives it a sense of

authenticity and credibility. Since we did not monitor the

individual interviews and ongoing production, the program contains

material that does not always and fully represent the discipline,

values and mission of the U.S. Navy.

You will see some Sailors making personal and professional mistakes,

and expressing opinions that are different from the Navy’s. However,

the production shows that these are the exception, not the norm, and

that leadership is engaged to shape lives and appropriate outcomes.

There are abundant examples of how the Navy changed Sailors’ lives

for the better by giving them opportunities and a disciplined

environment.

4) Why did we agree to the project? This production, although not an

all-inclusive picture of the Navy, will give potential recruits and

those who influence them a glimpse of what life is really like in the

Navy. We want the American people to know, understand and appreciate

the contribution our Sailors make each and every day while deployed

around the world. We also want them to know us, not as a monolithic

bureaucratic entity, but as a diverse organization of individual

Americans who have set aside the comforts of home and have put

themselves on the line to serve a greater cause. You already know

how inspiring our people are, but few in our Nation get to see our

people in an operational environment.

Some of you may be called upon to offer public comments about this

film to the media or to community groups. We will soon distribute PA

guidance to support your efforts and will be putting additional

information on www.navy.mil in the near future. If you need any

additional information, please contact CHINFO, RDML Frank Thorp.

Thank you for all that you do.

All the best,

Gary Roughead

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Thank you to John Howland at USNA-AT-LARGE for sending this out.

See more pictures.

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