What military shows, movies, and plays often lack is the element of authenticity. When military special operations veteran David Broyles and Academy Award nominee William Broyles created History Channel’s new Navy SEAL show “SIX,” based on SEAL Team Six, they wanted to get it right.
They opted to send the cast to SEAL FIT, a 10-day course modeled after the grueling Navy SEAL training program known as BUD/S.
“It’s to break you mentally, not only physically, and I think all of us broke at one point or another,” actor Kyle Schmid told Task & Purpose in an interview. “It’s a really humbling experience.”
Schmid plays Alex Caulder — the show’s free-thinking warrior, who espouses a playboy philosopher persona.
“We were up at 5 o’clock in the morning getting ready to do a 5K run, followed by being in the pool, followed by a 15-mile jog on the beach with a 40-pound rucksack on your back, thrust into doing log lifts,” he said. “It was was hell.”
Schmid, who has been acting for 20 years, said he first met the directors back in 2015. They gave him a script and asked him to consider it.
“I fell in love with it,” he said. “It was honest, and just something I really wanted to be a part of.”
His character was raised by an absent single mother, and he got his high school sweetheart pregnant. He joined the military to try and do right by them, but as you come to find out in the show, he ultimately chooses his Navy SEAL brothers over his wife and daughter, and that conflict essentially drives his storyline.
In the SEALs, Schmid said, “[Caulder] found purpose in his life and found something he was truly good at. He found a brotherhood and a family which was something he hadn’t had growing up.”
Referring back to his training, Schmid said that it’s hard to really understand the psychology until you starting working as a team. That’s what SEALs do really well, and it makes for an unbreakable bond.
Of the rest of the cast, he added that they didn’t know each other very well, but emerged from SEAL FIT feeling like brothers — something he hopes adds to the authenticity of “SIX.”
The show premiered on Jan. 18, and opens with controversial scene where team leader Richard “Rip” Taggart, portrayed by Walton Goggins, essentially kills a man in cold blood.
“It introduces an honesty about how difficult going on mission after mission can be. There’s a very grey area out there I think. It’s very frustrating to have to chase bad guys and protect your brothers,” Schmid added.
A number of the characters in the show have dark pasts that both provide motivation for and introduce conflict in the show. Schmid believes that this is meant to ground the show in reality.
“I think everyone has their personal reasons as to why they serve in the military. Whatever it may be, you have to admire that person that does, or even tries,” Schmid said. “What I hope this show does, is allow our audience some perspective to see how much these men and women, and their families, sacrifice.”
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."