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,” or Gomer Pyle from “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” which 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 Veterans 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 during World War II. It followed Col. Robert E. Hogan (Bob Crane) who ran a special operations group from the camp along with an international crew of Allied prisoners. The series is not streaming anywhere, but the DVDs are available for purchase 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.
Just as "M*A*S*H" was coming to an end, "The A-Team" hit airwaves. The NBC action-adventure series, which first aired in 1983, followed the members of a fictional U.S. Army Special Forces Unit who were court-martialed for "a crime they didn't commit" and went on the run to help fight against those who abused their power against the less fortunate.
Mr. T famously played Bosco "B.A." Baracus, where he had several memorable catch-phrases and became one of the most recognizable faces on TV during that time. Baracus was featured alongside the pack's leader, Lt. Col. John "Hannibal" Smith (George Peppard), Lt. Templeton Peck (Dirk Benedict), and Cpt. H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock (Dwight Schultz). The show ended in 1987. It can be streamed 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 stands for Naval Criminal Investigation Service. It follows Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), who leads a group that investigates crimes that are connected to Navy and Marine Corps personnel, from murder to espionage. It can be streamed on Netflix and CBS All Access.
"Band of Brothers"
The HBO miniseries, which won the Emmy for outstanding miniseries in 2001 and was executive produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, followed the "Easy" Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division. It traced the group's journey from jump training in the U.S. to Europe and on through Japan's surrender at the end of World War II. It can be streamed on HBO.
Set in Charleston, South Carolina, this Lifetime series 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. It ran from 2007 to 2013. It can be streamed on ABC's website and individual episodes can be purchased on Amazon Prime Video.
Based on the popular novels 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 in 2019 after one season on CBS. It followed soldiers who tackled legal challenges facing the U.S. Marine Corps. The show's stars were Dana Delaney, Luke Mitchell, Anna Wood, Ato Essandoh, Phillipa Soo, and Raffi Barsoumian. It can be streamed 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” centered 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 killed 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. It can be streamed on Hulu.
Described by NBC as "a journey into the world of America's elite undercover military heroes," this 2017 drama series lasted one season on the network. It starred Anne Heche as Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Patricia Campbell, and Mike Vogel as Captain Adam "Top" Dalton. Individual episodes can be bought on Amazon Prime Video.