The USC Schwarzenegger Institute was proud to continue its collaboration with the armed forces by hosting a round table conversation with senior leaders of the United States Marine Corps. On August 26, Lieutenant General Joseph L. Osterman, Commanding General of the First Marine Expeditionary Force and Brigadier General Sean M. Salene, Director of Communications for the United States Marine Corps, visited Governor Schwarzenegger's production company offices for a conversation on increasing collaboration between the entertainment industry and the Marine Corps.
Joining both Generals for the conversation were Governor Schwarzenegger, John Milius, Gabriel Luna, Jonathan Mostow, as well as other senior writers, directors, producers and executives from across the entertainment industry interested in building a deeper understanding of the United States military's operations and personnel.
“It’s important that Hollywood tell the story of the real action heroes, our nation’s women and men in uniform and the incredible families that stand behind them, correctly and accurately, said Schwarzenegger. I’m proud the Schwarzenegger Institute can help foster conversations between artists and servicemembers, and hope it leads to entertainment that depicts their heroism with great dignity.”
The meeting with Generals Osterman and Salene follow similar events that the Schwarzenegger Institute held over the past three years with senior Naval and Pentagon leaders, including Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver and former Navy Seal and current President of the McCrystal Group Chris Fussell and former Pacific Fleet Submarine Force Commanders Admiral Darryl Caudle and Admiral Fritz Roegge.
Military leaders, both in and out of uniform, acknowledge the profound impact that media has on morale and recruiting within the military and the need for clear lines of communications between the armed forces and the creative industries.
Sarah Watson, Creator of The Bold Type, and an upcoming Amazon Television series acknowledged the impact of the military's and Institute's outreach efforts, stating that they directly resulted in the inclusion of military and veteran storylines within shows popular with audiences that would otherwise not be familiar with the missions and people in our armed forces.
“I work on shows where our audience isn’t looking for a heavy military or action storyline. These outreach events help me find unique ways to incorporate military characters into the stories that we do tell, and hopefully bridge the gap between today’s generation of an all-volunteer service and previous generations where everybody had to serve,” said Watson. “For me, it’s not about the guns and missiles. It’s about the people.”
As the Defense Department returns to an era of great power competition, and television and feature films are increasingly seen by foreign audiences, it is vital that the US and Defense Department work to accurately portray the military services, and America as a whole. The Schwarzenegger Institute, positioned at the crux of entertainment and policy, is always interested in supporting the armed forces and welcomed the opportunity to help facilitate that conversation.
Governor Schwarzenegger has a longstanding relationship with the United States military. California is home to more active duty and reserve military personnel and their families than any other state in America. Governor Schwarzenegger saw that as one of California's great strengths and created the Governor's Military Affairs Advisory Council to help advise his administration on how best to support this important community.
Access to education was one of the areas the Council highlighted as important to military personnel and veterans in California and encouraged the Governor to find ways to help military personnel make the transition from service to college and the building trades. Governor Schwarzenegger launched the "Troops for College" initiative and supported the non-profit "Helmets to Hardhats" organization to help retiring soldiers, sailors and airmen.