Some of the most beloved shows in TV history feature members of the military. You might remember Hawkeye Pierce and Radar O’Reilly from “M*A*S*H,” the breakout star of the “Andy Griffith Show,” Gomer Pyle, whose spinoff “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” ran for five years.
Mr. T shot to fame in the early ’80s by playing a veteran in “The A-Team as B.A. Baracus. Younger audiences may remember seeing pop-star Jesse McCartney in the final season of “Army Wives” — and fans of “The Office” can catch one of John Krasinski’s latest roles as the title character in “Jack Ryan.”
With Veteran’s Day taking place this Monday, here’s a list of military-themed TV shows to binge to in honor of our veterans.
This sitcom aired from 1965 from 1971, and was set in a German Prisoner of War (POW) camp in WWII. It followed Colonel Robert E. Hogan (Bob Crane) who ran a special operations group from the camp along with an international crew of Allied prisoners. Sadly, it’s not streaming anywhere, but you can order the DVDs on Amazon.
“Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”
A spinoff of the “Andy Griffith Show,” the show followed Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors), a loveably naive gas-station attendant from Mayberry, North Carolina, who enlists in the Marines. He was joined by Gunnery Sgt. Vince Carter, who as played by Frank Sutton. The series ran from 1964 to 1969. It’s also not streaming anywhere, but the DVDs are available for purchase on Amazon.
A classic war comedy and medical drama rolled into one, “M*A*S*H” stands for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. It was one of the most popular shows of all time, following members of the surgical hospital during the Korean War. It aired from 1972 to 1983 and lead Alan Alda to become one of the most popular TV actors of his time for his role as Hawkeye Pierce. Other major characters Father Mulcahy (William Christopher), Margaret Houlihan (Loretta Swit), and Maxwell Klinger (Jamie Farr). The 1983 “M*A*S*H” series finale drew 106 million viewers, making it the most watched television broadcast of all time until 2010 when it was replaced by Super Bowl XLIV. “M*A*S*H” can be streamed on Hulu.
This one started airing in 1983 just as M*A*S*H was coming to an end, and aired until 1987. The NBC action-adventure series followed the members of a made-up U.S. Army Special Forces Unit that were court-martialed for “a crime they didn’t commit” and then go on the run. Mr. T famously played the character Sergeant First Class Bosco “B.A.”, or “Bad Attitude”, Baracus, coining catch-phrases such as “I ain’t gettin’ on no plane.” He starred alongside the pack’s leader, Lieutenant Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith (George Peppard), Lieutenant Templeton Peck (Dirk Benedict), and Captain H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock (Dwight Schultz). You can stream for free on Tubi or with an Amazon Prime Video subscription.
A legal drama with a U.S. Navy theme, “JAG” actually is an acronym for Judge Advocate General. The show aired from 1995 to 2005, initially on NBC and later, CBS. It followed Lt. Harmon Rabb (David James Elliott) and Lt. Sarah MacKenzie (Catherine Bell), who solved cases together. You can binge it on CBS All Access.
You might not have realized that NCIS has military ties, but it actually stands for Naval Criminal Investigation Service. It follows Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), who leads a group in investigating crimes that are connected to Navy and Marine Corps personnel, from murder to espionage. You can binge it on Netflix and CBS All Access.
“Band of Brothers”
This HBO miniseries was executive produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, who were also behind “Saving Private Ryan.” The series, which won the Emmy for outstanding miniseries in 2001, followed the “Easy” Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division, from jump training in the U.S. to Europe and on through Japan’s surrender and the end of WWII. You can stream it on HBO.
Set in Charleston, South Carolina, this Lifetime series ran from 2007 to 2013. It followed the lives of four Army wives, played by Claudia Joy Holden, Denise Sherwood, Roxy LeBlanc, and Pamela Morgan, and one Army husband, played by Sterling K. Brown. Jesse McCartney joined as regular in the 7th and final season. You can stream it on ABC’s website or buy individual episodes on Amazon Prime Video.
Based on the books by Tom Clancy, it follows Jack Ryan (John Krasinski), an ex-Marine who works for the CIA. Just like classic movies featuring the character like “The Hunt for Red October,” “Patriot Games” and “Clear and Present Danger,” the series does not disappoint in terms of high-octane action sequences. You can stream Seasons 1 and 2 on Amazon Prime Video.
This short-lived military drama was canceled this year after one season on CBS. It followed soldiers who tackled legal challenges facing the U.S. Marine Corps. Its stars included Dana Delaney, Luke Mitchell, Anna Wood, Ato Essandoh, Phillipa Soo, and Raffi Barsoumian. Streaming on CBS All Access.
“The Last Ship”
This TNT series starred Eric Dane and aired for five seasons from 2014 to 2018. “The Last Ship” centers around the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Nathan James as its captain Tom Chandler (Dane) and crew navigate life following a global catastrophe that nearly kills off the world’s population. The cast also includes Adam Baldwin, Bridget Regan, Charles Parnell, Travis Van Winkle, Marissa Neitling, Christina Elmore, Jocko Sims, Bren Foster, and Kevin Michael Martin. The series is based on William Brinkley’s novel. Streaming on Hulu.
Described as “a journey into the world of America’s elite undercover military heroes,” this 2017 drama series lasted one season on NBC. It starred Anne Heche as Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Patricia Campbell, and Mike Vogel as Captain Adam “Top” Dalton. You can buy individual episodes on Amazon Prime Video.
Read original story 12 Military-Themed TV Shows to Binge-Watch on Veterans Day At TheWrap