FRANKFORT, Ky. - When Service members are tasked with a job, a school or training, they may have to travel far from home. Even in the National Guard, some Soldiers' assignments take them around the world. For one Kentucky National Guard member, the mission was on a movie set in Hollywood, Calif.
In a coordinated effort, Warner Brothers Entertainment partnered with the National Guard to market the upcoming Superman movie, "Man of Steel." Soldiers from around the country were selected to assist with and appear in a National Guard advertisement appearing in conjunction with the movie's marketing campaign. A total of 22 Guardsmen from 18 states converged on Hollywood for the week-long shoot, including Kentucky's own Pfc. Kierre Brown.
The 21-year-old from Frankfort, Ky., is an infantryman with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry. Brown also works full-time with the Kentucky Guard's Recruiting and Retention Command. He and the 21 other Soldiers were chosen out of more than 4,000 applicants for the unique assignment.
"I loved my trip to Hollywood," said Brown. "From the moment I stepped off the plane and met Kareem Abdul Jabbar to the last night of being there and hanging with the entire cast and crew for we had become such great friends."
The 1-minute-long spot depicts the Citizen-Soldiers, just like Superman's alias, Clark Kent, as ordinary individuals who at any moment could be the hero needed in difficult times. Brown said the filming was a unique adventure and not unlike military training at times. Brown is one of the Soldiers on the roof of the building helping the family be hoisted by a helicopter.
"It was intense," he said. "We had a director and set people telling us where to be and when and to do this here. It got to be pretty hectic and we had to look good for the camera at the same time."
"I was able to be a part of the making a movie commercial, and see what it takes to make just a mere 1 minute and 24 seconds of footage. Now I know it takes a lot."
In his role as an actor, Brown said the Hollywood treatment was pretty nice, staying in a very nice hotel, having his own make-up and wardrobe assistant, meeting "Man of Steel" director, Zack Snyder - but the food, gourmet selections from a food truck, was his favorite part.
Hollywood antics aside, Brown said the opportunity to represent the National Guard to the world was a humbling experience. And working with and making friends with the other Soldiers was the highlight of the trip.
"I'd have to say my favorite part about the entire experience would have to be the individuals I meet who have become lasting friends to me. Guardsmen coming from states like Washington, New Jersey, Maryland, New Mexico, California, Illinois, Utah, and Arkansas. I was completely surprised that out of all the Guardsmen in the country a mere 4,000 applied for the chance."
Brown has only served in the Kentucky Guard for 18 months. So far he has accomplished a lot to be proud of, but like any good, forward-looking Soldier, he's keeping his eyes on what's next.
"I'd have to say that to be the only Kentucky Guardsman to be chosen to represent my state and my country is by far one of the coolest things I've done so far in my Guard career," said Brown. "But let me tell you, it won't be the last. Somehow, someday I'll top this."
Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=agWOW5uy3TA to view the commercial.
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