Wanted: A few good military veterans for prime-time reality show
Stars and Stripes August 16, 2009
On July 20, NBC premiered a reality show unlike any other, showcasing the caliber of the professionals trained in the U.S. armed forces.
"The Wanted" brings together the experience and skills of former Navy SEAL Scott Tyler and retired Army Special Forces officer Roger Carstens, as well as a handful of other experts from the fields of intelligence, journalism and the armed forces.
The program follows this team as they conduct interviews, gather and analyze information and follow leads, with the ultimate goal of confronting accused terrorists and war criminals — who have yet to answer to any system of justice — and give them an opportunity to respond to the allegations against them before a global audience.
Scott TylerFormer Navy SEAL Scott Tyler started his military career in the Marine Corps. He signed up five days after the United States began its air raids in the first Gulf War in January 1991.
"I wanted to get over [there] and get into the fight," Tyler says.
And he did. Tyler completed a five-year enlistment in the Marine Corps then went on to attend college at the University of California, Berkeley. But he soon found himself looking for another opportunity in the military.
"I missed the challenges, camaraderie and quality of personnel who serve in the armed forces," he says, "the caliber of people and dedication to duty that seem to exist exclusively in the armed forces."
Tyler was commissioned and served seven years in Naval Special Warfare. In 2007, he started his own consulting company, Qaletaqa Corps LLC., "to provide service to clients working in operationally-challenging environments."
When approached to participate in "The Wanted," Tyler was immediately intrigued by the opportunities the show presented. "I hoped to make a positive change in the world by taking skill sets and things I learned in the low-profile arena of Special Operations and applying them to the field of journalism and news," Tyler says.
Despite the Hollywood backing of the project, completing the shows was far less than glamorous at times. He says the toughest moments came in "having to maintain nonviolent discussions with people who have no respect for human life or decency."
Tyler attributes his discipline to his experiences in the military, and reflects back on his service as the foundation for many of his successes.
"Everyone has the ability to have a significant impact on the world around them," he says.
Roger CarstensCarstens gave 24 years in service to the United States, retiring in 2008 as a lieutenant colonel in Army Special Forces.
"The West Point motto of ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ inspired me," says the 1986 U.S. Military Academy graduate. "I just knew the military would be home to me."
These days, the avid runner and reader has a daunting work and travel schedule.
Carstens’ many professional projects don’t permit for what some of us might call a "regular" day.
"There’s no such animal," he jokes. "Regardless of where I am or what I am doing, the only ‘regular’ in all of it is — in my opinion — still rooted in Duty, Honor, Country."
Carstens jumped on board with the show when he found out they would be going after a man accused of involvement in the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. When the atrocities were occurring, his team in Germany was ready to go into Rwanda and prepare for the arrival of additional forces to stabilize the country. But the mission was canceled, and Carstens had to view from his couch the atrocities televised from Rwanda.
So when he was offered the opportunity to address the genocide in Rwanda through his work on "The Wanted," he wanted in on this mission. It is his hope that by bringing the story of the atrocities in Rwanda, and other such atrocities perpetrated by war criminals and terrorists, citizens of the world will understand and join in his mission for justice.
See episodes of "The Wanted" at www.nbc.com.