TV Shows about the Marine Corps

Since the age of Television began back in the 50’s, some men and women – some who have served and some who have not – have sought to depict various aspects of life in the Marine Corps. Some creators have used humor/pathos to show life in the Corps. Others have sought to depict the more dramatic aspects of being a Marine. Moreover, some of these depictions have been spot on while others have missed the mark. Here are a few of the most iconic TV shows that have portrayed the Marine Corps in all of its multifaceted glory.

  • Men of Annapolis: This short-lived TV show was filmed at the U.S. Navy Academy in Maryland and ran for 41 episodes. The main cast included Darryl Hickman and Art Gilmore and featured episodes directed by legendary director Richard Donner.

  • Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. This show – which was a spin-off of the immensely popularJim_Nabors_Frank_Sutton_Gomer_Pyle_1966 Andy Griffith Show – starred Jim Nabors as Private Gomer Pyle. The show depicted the humorous aspects of Marine life but did so in an authentic and respectful manner. Indeed, The Marine Corps actually promoted Nabors’ character to corporal in 2001 and 2007 as a way of thanking the show for its depiction of the Marines.

  • Major Dad: Running from 1989-1993, this show starred Gerald McRaney and was set in fictitious Camp Singleton (based on Camp Pendleton). The show portrayed the humorous experiences of a by the book marine who was also the father of three girls.

  • The Lieutenant: Starring Gary Lockwood, Robert Vaughn and Don Penny, this short-lived show was created by Gene Roddenberry of Star Trek fame. The show centered around Lockwood who starred as USMC Second Lieutenant William Tiberius Rice and idealistic officer and recent graduate of the United States Naval Academy.

  • BAA BAA Black Sheep / Black Sheep Squadron: This show starring Robert Conrad of Wild, Wild, West fame was loosely based on Gregory Boyington (Boyington, was a technical adviser for the series). It was centered on a group of fighter pilots based in the Solomon Islands during World War II.

Yes, TV has long honored this esteemed branch of the military. It has done so at times using humor and at other times using drama to depict the complicated life in the Corps. You too can honor the Marines by wearing a Marine Corps Jacket or making a present to someone who has or is serving one of our many other USMC gifts.

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