Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Coast Guard Featured in Pentagon Channel Documentary, Hollywood Film
WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2006 – The U.S. Coast Guard will be featured in two major productions debuting this month: an original documentary episode of "Recon" airing on the Pentagon Channel entitled "Always Ready," and a Hollywood feature film entitled "The Guardian," starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutchner. Despite participation in nearly every conflict, U.S. forces have been involved in, most Americans know very little about the Coast Guard's wartime contributions and way of life. As the smallest military service, the Coast Guard's many unique missions aren't always recognized by other servicemembers and civilians, officials said. However, this is about to change.
"The history of the Coast Guard is a story of continual adaptation since 1790," U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, Adm. Thad Allen said during an interview for the "Always Ready" show. "So while changing and adapting to port security in the post-9-11 world, we have actually done a lot over the history of the service," he said.
Taken from the U.S. Coast Guard's motto, "Semper Paradus," or "always ready," the documentary first aired on the Pentagon Channel Sept. 22. In addition to airing on cable and satellite, it is available through video-on-demand and podcast online at www.pentagonchannel.mil.
Recon is the Pentagon Channel's signature original, monthly, half-hour series that provides an in-depth look at a variety of topics and issues from real-world operations, missions, military events, and other subjects highlighting the accomplishments of U.S. military men and women.
Interest in producing a show about the Coast Guard stems from Air Force Master Sgt. Daniela Marchus' time spent with USCG Port Security Unit 308 in Gulfport, Miss., in the days following Hurricane Katrina. A producer for the series, Marchus was part of a five-member Pentagon Channel team sent to Mississippi and Louisiana to cover military participation in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
"They opened their doors to our team and let us move right in and set up shop for our coverage of military operations in the wake of Katrina," she said. "Many evening hours were spent winding down and swapping stories about where our service had taken us over the years," she said.
That's when she learned all of her perceptions of what the Coast Guard is and does were way off the mark. "That made me want to do a little something to help change similar perceptions others might have," Marchus said.
"Always Ready" features the Coast Guard's involvement in Operation Iraqi Freedom, introduces viewers to the service's enlisted boot camp and its officer academy and finally, tells the story of the service's heritage and where it is going in the future.
Marchus summed up her perception with, "The Coast Guard does so much, yet gets so little recognition for their efforts."
"Now, more people will have a chance to get two distinct looks into the unique service via Hollywood and Washington," she said. The Hollywood film partly filmed at Barksdale Air Force Base, in Louisiana, hits screens nationwide Sept. 29.
The Pentagon Channel, the Department of Defense's cable television channel, broadcasts military news and information for and about the 2.6 million members of the U.S. armed forces -- active duty, National Guard and reserve -- to more than 12 million households through commercial distribution on satellite and cable systems nationwide. In addition, Pentagon Channel programming is available online through video-on-demand and podcasting at www.pentagonchannel.mil.
The Pentagon Channel is available on-base to more than one million servicemembers who live and work on 325 military bases, camps and installations in the U.S. The channel also is available to the 800,000 servicemembers and their families serving overseas in 177 countries via the American Forces Radio and Television Service.