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Courage Under Fire

Corrected entry: During the rescue scene it looks like Meg Ryan is firing an M16A3 rifle (looks like an A2 but fires full auto). The first Gulf War ended in 1991 and the M16A3 wasn't fielded until 1994. In 1991 no one had A3s.

Correction: If you look closely, this is not an M16A3, this weapon system is an M16A1 with A2 hand guards attached. While it is rare for trained soldiers to fire in fully automatic, Hollywood likes the intensity. Chances are that if you see an M16 firing full auto in a movie, it has either been converted to full auto or it is an M16A1 with A2 handguards.

Corrected entry: During the rescue, Capt. Walden is shown firing the M-16 A2 on full auto. An M-16 A2 is incapable of firing on full auto. It will only fire semi-auto or a three round burst.

Correction: It could have likely been an M16A3, which looks the same as the A2, but has fully automatic capability.

Corrected entry: During the "confrontation scene" when SGT. Monfriez shoots Capt. Walden, he is firing a weapon that shoots 7550 rounds a minute. In other words, in the second and a half that he holds the trigger down he pumps roughly 20 rounds into Capt. Walden's abdomen at point blank range. There should have been a hole in her stomach big enough to put both arms through; instead we see a few drops of blood on her flight suit.

Correction: When he returns fire, he is already moving the weapon away. So while it is still miraculous that only one or two rounds hit her, (it's never specified) there's no guarantee that the shots would have hit her.

Corrected entry: All through the movie, questions are asked concerning whether or not the M-16 ran out of ammunition, and it is stated several times that the M-16 ran out of ammo. However the Squad Automatic Weapon that SGT. Monfriez is carrying uses the EXACT SAME ammunition, so if the SAW (which was firing during the rescue) had ammunition so did the M-16. Lt. Col. Serling would have known that both Ilario and Monfriez were lying when they said the M-16 was empty; all they would have had to do, was pull the bullets out of the belt and put them in a magazine.

Correction: Loading a magazine is very time-consuming, and would have required taking the SAW out of use temporarily, leaving them defenseless. Under the circumstances it is entirely reasonable to not have wanted to deprive the more powerful SAW of its ammo to feed the M-16. Furthermore, Serling might have had his own reasons to not question their claims at the time. Perhaps he did not want to let on that he knew they might be lying; surely investigators use this tactic all time. In any case, the essence of their claim – that the intended ammo for the M-16 was gone – could have been accurate, and Serling's suspicions, lack thereof, or actions based on either are character decisions that do not qualify as movie mistakes.

Corrected entry: This movie is used as a reference during our annual LOAC (Law of Armed Conflict) requirement, because Meg Ryan's character would never have been considered for a medal of honor. She would have been court martialed. The helicopter she piloted featured a Red Cross. This means that the vehicle cannot fire and participate in battle, otherwise, no one will respect the emblem. The director obviously did not consult any military lawyers since this was the premise of the movie.

Correction: This would come down to the brass at the Pentagon and the current administration. Do they discuss the Mei Lei massacre in your class? President Bush's defying the Geneva Convention on treatment of Iraqi prisoners? The handling of "enemy combatants" at Gitmo? This administration says it is not torture, but aggressive interrogation. One senior senator even said that if torturing Iraqi prisoners will save 1 American life all he has to say is 'Red is positive, black is negative'. There are members of the international community asking that Bush be brought up on war crime charges. His lawyers advised him that "aggresive interrogations" are allowed by the Geneva convention. What could happen, what should happen and what does happen when it comes to the law is always up to the people that enforce it.

Rlvlk

Corrected entry: During a flashback, showing Karen Walden (Meg Ryan) at a graduation ceremony, she is shown wearing the insignia of a Nurse Corps officer on her uniform lapels, and she does not have any rank insignia on her shoulders. Nurses do not pilot helicopters.

Correction: Karen Walden (Meg Ryan) was not wearing Nurse Corps insignia. She was wearing Medical Service Corps insignia. Army Aviation has its own branch insignia, but MEDEVAC pilots belong to the Medical Service Corps and likewise wear that branch's insignia. Karen Walden is not wearing rank on her shoulders because she just graduated. The first time officers wear their Class A uniform they do not wear rank. Bar pinning ceremonies take place later, usually in private. It is perfectly reasonable that twenty minutes later her family could have pinned her rank on her shoulders in a private ceremony.

Corrected entry: Karen Walden's Medevac and the Blackhawk chopper were both shot down near Kufa, Iraq, which is next to Najaf. In the first Gulf War, no American forces went that far north into Iraq with the exception of jets conducting air raids.

Correction: The movie isn't a documentry on the Persian Gulf War, it is a dramatization. If the screenwriters wanted a battle to happen that far North, they can do it.

Rlvlk

Corrected entry: Along with the Red Cross/Gun debate, by the time Desert Storm came along, Huey helicopters had been almost completely replaced by Black Hawks. Hueys, if there were any, would have been used only for transportation of supplies. They would not have flown them over a battle zone for any reason, nor would they have been used to transport soldiers. Hueys have two blades and runners. Black Hawks have 4 blades and wheels.

Correction: I am a soldier in 2nd ACR at FT Polk LA...and the US Army still uses Hueys as MEDEVAC choppers, as I see them flying here everyday, with red crosses painted on them and all. I thought all Hueys had been retired from Active Duty inventory, but they are still used as MEDEVAC today, in 2004.....strange world.

Corrected entry: The sight on a tank is like a gunsight, in that the gunner must place his eye right up to it. Denzel's gunner was acting like he was playing a video game or watching TV.

Correction: The sight on a tank can be viewed from a distance when the night vision is enabled..you can sit back and still make out objects pretty well ...and Denzel's gunner's face glows green in the movie, indicating the night vision is enabled.

Corrected entry: At the end of the conversation in Hershberg's office, as Serling is leaving, he does not pick up his file folders and tape recorder. Yet when we see him emerge from the room, he is carrying them. The film shows a smooth exit from the room with no time to pick up the folders.

Correction: As Serling is leaving the office and exits the door, his back is to the camera and his hands are in front of his body. You cannot see if he is holding anything. When he exits the office, his hands are still in front of him and he is holding the files.

Corrected entry: During the confrontation scene, Meg Ryan points her pistol at the bad guy. Later in the confrontation, she works the action, to emphasise how serious she is, I guess. That's probably a script trick left over from Westerns. But the thing is, revolvers can still fire when uncocked; automatics can't. Not only was the hammer uncocked, but there wasn't even a round in the chamber - and everyone in the scene would have known that. So why was anyone intimidated?

Correction: The handguns used by US forces since the 80's are double-action--they CAN be fired with the hammer uncocked. The only person who would know if the weapon was loaded or unloaded is the operator.

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Mistakes

At the award ceremony, the Congressional Medal of Honour is hung around the daughter's neck. In the next shot we see of her looking up at the planes, the medal is gone.

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Trivia

The unit that was portrayed in the tank battle was to be the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment because they were actually in a friendly fire incident. During the shoot, someone showed the director the 2nd ACR's patch and he thought that was better looking.

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