Celebrating Heroes

National Geographic to Air Documentary Series Showcasing Military

As the military and civilian populations grow ever more distinct, a documentary series from such an influential and wide-reaching network as National Geographic will do a lot to bridge that gap.

National Geographic has created a new documentary series, Chain of Command, that brings light to the actions and valor of today’s military.

The series will “provide an intimate portrait of the war against violent extremism, and the men and women devoting their lives to it.”

Chain of Command will document the actions of military personnel at all levels of command. From General Joe Dunford and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the individual service members executing their orders.

Unprecedented access

Air Forces Central Command allowed National Geographic to film inside the cockpit of the F-22 aircraft during a live mission, something never before captured in the media.

Over the course of eighteen months, crews were granted access to the Pentagon as well as the military units on the front lines.

The series will show how decisions made at the highest levels of command are then translated and carried out. It will include “a rare on-camera sit-down with General Joseph Dunford Jr, the 19th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

Chain of Command will also portray the human side of command and leadership within the military. It intends to show “how men and women in the U.S. military handle authority and responsibility, as well as the sacrifices they make in their personal lives.”

Film crews also checked in with personnel assigned to the 101st Airborne Division working in Mosul, Iraq, as well as Air Forces Central Command leaders in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Viewers will be able to see live feeds from drones as well as the rescue of civilians on the street amid sniper fire. The crew also included footage of the turnover process, in which command leadership turned over the responsibility of the mission to incoming personnel from the 82nd Airborne Division.

Air Forces Central Command allowed National Geographic to film inside the cockpit of the F-22 aircraft during a live mission, something never before captured in the media.

Producers also prioritized including background and insight into “the mindset of what makes a radical extremist tick.” This important detail does a lot to show the entire picture of the war on violent extremism and what the military is working against.

This series comes at an important time for America’s military and civilian populations. As the two grow ever more distinct, a documentary series from such an influential and wide-reaching network as National Geographic will do a lot to bridge that gap.

Celebrities supporting veterans

“I think this series is an important opportunity for all of us to understand and appreciate the people who put their lives on the front line every day to keep us all safe,” Chris Evans said.

Chris Evans, of Captain America face, is narrating the series. “We couldn’t think of a more natural fit to narrate our series about America’s real military heroes than Chris Evans, one of America’s favorite big-screen action heroes,” National Geographic’s President of Original Programming and Production Tim Pastore said in a statement.

Chris Evans is also honored to be a part of the project. “I think this series is an important opportunity for all of us to understand and appreciate the people who put their lives on the front line every day to keep us all safe,” the actor said.

Evans has also served as a spokesman for Got Your Six, a collective effort of Hollywood and nonprofit programs to support veterans. As actors, Evans and others work to make sure that veterans are depicted accurately in Hollywood productions. Got Your Six also works to empower veterans by providing opportunities.

The eight-part series is set to air on January 15 at 9/8c on the National Geographic Channel.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Katie Begley

Katie Begley is a US Naval Academy graduate and former Surface Warfare Officer. In addition to being a military spouse, she is a freelance writer specializing in travel, education, and parenting subjects. Katie has worked in numerous communications roles for volunteer organizations and professionally for a local parenting magazine.

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