Navy SEALs: Heroes or Villains?

The Navy SEALs, arguably the most elite members of the US armed forces, have become popular in the modern day due to their professionalism and the public’s opinion of their feats. Thanks to their successful mission to kill Osama Bin Laden, the SEALS have been hailed as modern day super heroes. With their extensive training and highly advanced technology it is no wonder why they would replace a classic super hero such as Superman, who can only be read about in comic books or seen in movies.  They present a real life role model that represents good and the pursuit for a better world.  In the modern day where the younger generation has grown up in the midst of the war on terror, this very elite army unit is a more than suiting set of heroes leading the conquest for good. With recent technology such as XBOX 360, kids can even play as their favorite heroes in new war games like the Call of Duty series and feel like a member of the SEALs taking on bad guys and fighting for the U.S.

From the above image, the correlation between SEALs and super hero is clearly shown. From what I see, the child replaced his Superman poster with a poster of a Navy SEAL and is sitting and admiring his new idol. This is very telling because superman is the ultimate super hero and to have him placed in a trash can simply shows the overpowering influence the Navy SEALs now have as modern day heroes. From an almost unknown and secretive group in the armed forces to national icons, the transformation of the SEALs surely is due to their heightened importance in the war on terror. These men are great warriors and the best at what they do but the big question that arises is if it is right to idolize men who are literal killing machines and whose operations are not released to the outside world due to their severity and loss of human life.

The classic super heroes like superman pictured above are heroes because of their ability to combat evil without killing others or doing harm to innocent people which was often something villains did. That is why they are idolized and their posters get hung on little children’s walls. It is the reason why they are considered the “good guys”. The Navy SEALs fight for their country and do things in the best interest of the U.S. but are they doing so in true super hero fashion? The modern day is in no way like the Wild West where everything can be solved with a gun and some bullets. Is the image of the Navy SEALs as gun-slinging killers a positive influence on the youth of the modern day or is it best to stick with heroes that are not so real? It is up to the public to determine whether the SEALs are worthy of hero status or if they are actually international villains.

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3 comments

  1. This topic is interesting to say the least. I completely agree with your view on Navy Seals and their influence on America, particularly children. In my early childhood, I always took note of how the super hero never willingly killed the villain. In today’s society, killing is almost glorified. What with violent video games and the emphasis put on being patriotic, some people might be lead to believe physical altercations are the only answer.

  2. I thought your topic was very unique and interesting, certainly not a question I’ve ever thought of myself. I like your image because it did a great job of getting the point across, animation is most often easier to interpret. I also was impressed with your historical facts about the Seals and their ideal. The comment about the XBOX caught my attention, because it was a great example of how young people try to emulate these highly trained individuals. I only had one problem with the essay, i didn’t really know where you were going with it until the last paragraph and i couldn’t identify a clear thesis, but other than that great job.

  3. WOW! Your argument is insulting with the consideration that Navy Seals are, “international terrorists” “you decide” come on. Lets give them and the entire military some credit here. Start with the American people who vote its leaders into the position they have to use military force at their leisure. Then go with the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    Navy Seals or any military unit don’t go off on their own and do their thing. They are send to action its leaders policies… period. As far as them being hero’s… i couldn’t think of anyone better. A person who dedicates his life and body to service for his country, takes risks for the greater good protecting the lives of his teammates and innocent civilians that may be their enemy in disguise, and last do not have supernatural powers to stop bullets therefore taking real risk rather than imaginary. It’s all about perspective, and war is a sad part of the human condition but, I am thankful that their are REAL people taking REAL risk and if I ever found myself in chains captured by some “bad guys”. That there are REAL people who would risk everything for me as the Seals have done for others. If we paint that picture, what greater image of a hero is needed?

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