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Actor Gerard Butler Has Given More Pentagon Briefings In The Past 5 Months Than The DoD's Spokeswoman
Instead, the actor Gerard Butler – King Leonidas himself – took the podium to answer questions.
Neither Mattis nor White use the briefing room much anymore. White’s last news conference was in May and Mattis has conducted two on-camera briefings this year: After the April 13 strikes on Syria and then in August to tell reporters that planning was continuing for war games in South Korea – President Trump appeared to contradict him shortly thereafter.
With Mattis and White enroute to Vietnam on Monday, Butler became the de facto face of the U.S. military when he talked to the Pentagon press corps about the Navy’s help for his upcoming film “Hunter Killer,” in which he plays the captain of a fast attack boat that is part of a mission to rescue Russia’s kidnapped president.
Unsurprisingly, the movie is the most adoring love letter to the Navy since “The Hunt For Red October” more than a generation ago – though it lacks the brooding pace of Tom Clancy-inspired military thrillers.
Butler praised the Navy relentlessly for allowing him and the movie’s director to spend time on submarines so that they could make “Hunter Killer” feel more authentic for moviegoers.
“I’d like to thank the Navy for all their help because we couldn’t have done it without them – or we could, but it would not have been a good movie,” Butler said.
Despite Butler’s obvious commitment to making “Hunter Killer” as accurate as possible, in one scene his character clearly says “Oorah” — the Marine Corps’ battle cry.
So Task & Purpose asked him on Monday whether the line was a shout out to his many fans in the Marine Corps – the other maritime service.
“Absolutely, yes!” he replied. “It was a shout-out to anyone who would listen.”
Butler explained that he heard one of the sailors say “Oorah” about a submarine, so he decided it would work perfectly for the film.
“I was very gratified and excited to hear when they first did it,” Butler said. “And that was something that wasn’t originally in our movie but that really worked beautifully at a very appropriate point in the drama.”
Cmdr. Sarah Self-Kyler, of U.S. Submarine Force, told Task & Purpose that submariners do not say “Oorah” a lot, but it is possible that sailors aboard the submarines that Butler visited had used the term.
“Each submarine has a unique battle cry,” Self-Kyler said on Monday. “The use of ‘Oorah’ is not widespread across the submarine force.”
Butler is an aficionado of submarine movies including his favorite, “Das Boot:” A German movie about a U-Boat during World War II. His first film role was a British sailor in a James Bond movie. His line was four words – “Torpedoes bearing, range 6,000” – but it was cut to just two words at the advice of a Royal Navy adviser, he said.
“Ever since then, it was my dream to play a naval commander, to act in the movie, and to produce the movie so that nobody could cut my lines,” Butler said.
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
It all began with a medical check.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
The US military now has to ask the Iraqis for permission before giving close air support to troops in combat
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
Army Spc. Clayton James Horne died in Saudi Arabia on Aug. 17, making him the eighth non-combat fatality for Operation Inherent Resolve so far this year, defense officials have announced.
Horne, 23, was assigned to the 351st Military Police Company, 160th Military Police Battalion, an Army Reserve unit based in Ocala, Florida, a Pentagon news release says.
The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.
Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).