Dear readers, I have a bit of a confession to make. No, I’m not obsessed with the Royal Family, nor do I have a thing for Prince William. I have a weakness for men with adorable accents…and men in uniforms. There is something about a man in uniform that just does it for me. Military, police, fireman, seeing a man all spiffed up in uniform sets my heart pitter patter.
Whenever I see someone in uniform, I detect a sense of pride and confidence. They stand straight, have their shoulders back, and walk proud and tall. I think it has something to do with the fact that men in uniform seem to automatically project strength, courage, and honor, which is VERY appealing, as far as I’m concerned. For example, there is that famous scene in An Office and a Gentleman when Richard Gere strides in wearing a Navy uniform, and sweeps Debra Winger away. That is a sigh worthy and swoon worthy moment for sure. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a handsome man in dress whites scooping me up and whisking me away. Just saying.
My fascination with uniforms and the military dates back to when I first started watching the show JAG. Week after week, I tuned in to watch the adventures of Commander Harmon “Harm” Rabb, Jr. and Lt. Colonel Sarah “Mac” MacKenzie. Harm and Mac are officers in the Navy and Marines, respectively, and are lawyers with the Judge Advocates General’s Corps, which means they conduct investigations involving soldiers and violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and deal with all aspects of the military justice system. For the first time, I saw a positive portrayal of our men and women in arms who take pride in what they do, have a deep love for their country, and hold themselves to the highest possible standards. The military is tough, demanding, and expects nothing but the best, so only the best are admitted in. I have to admit that I had a bit of a crush on David James Elliot’s Harm. Harm was a bit cocky (but in a good way) and is so passionate about justice, and serving his country just made me melt into a puddle of goo. And the fact that he looks SO GOOD snapping a salute and wearing that uniform was just icing on the cake. 😉
But it isn’t just soldiers who appeal to me. Our everyday heroes are not just members of our armed forces protecting us abroad. They are among us in the community ever day. Our local police officers may not be in constant harm’s way 24/7, but the potential for danger is always there. I spent one summer as an intern for my local police department, and it was an eye opening and illuminating experience. I know the police may not have the best reputation amongst some, but that summer, I saw countless men and women who were genuine and earnest about saving lives and keeping the citizens of their city safe. Yes, they teased me mercilessly, and I had lots of fun and adventures (remind me to tell y’all about the ride along I went on one night) but I came away with deeper appreciation of how dangerous the job can be, and what a toll it can take. My hat is off to every officer I knew and met that summer. Shows like Hawaii Five-0 may not always get it right, and don’t accurately portray all aspects of police work, but they nail the dedication and commitment. Folks don’t go into these lines of work for the glory or the pay (because there isn’t much of that going around, I’m afraid). They do it because they love and believe in what they do.
Naturally, men and women who are strong, dedicated to serving their country, are rich fodder for romance, and are heroes and heroines waiting to happen. Jessica Scott writes fantastic military romances, and happens to be a real solider (she’s an officer in the Army) in addition to being a romance novelist. Suzanne Brockmann is famous for her Navy SEAL heroes. Katie Porter (the writing team of Carrie Lofty and Lorelie Brown) has a series called Vegas Top Guns, which are erotic romances featuring U.S. Air Force pilots from the 64th Aggressor Squadron. Nora also has several great books featuring police officers and firefighters. (Personal faves include Night Smoke, The Heart of Devin MacKade, Bluesmoke, Dance Upon the Air, and High Noon, among others). The military/law enforcement lifestyle give romance writers the perfect opportunity to delve into how hard the life is, and the tolls and sacrifices required of not just the soldier, police officer, or firefighter, but their families and loved ones too. The show Army Wives really explores the theme of how the military lifestyle is a family thing, Claudia Joy Holden (played by Kim Delaney) pays tribute to military wives and family members by saying “We serve too.” And indeed they do.
But it isn’t just about how good the guy looks in uniform. For me, it’s about what that uniform represents. Every police officer, soldier, and firefighter put their lives on the line for us every time they put on the uniform. They do their jobs knowing that it’s possible they may not go home at the end of the day. Soldiers, firefighters, and police officers are true public servants who represent the highest ideals of service and sacrifice. I am humbled by their willingness to protect and serve so that we can stay safe. They put their lives on the line for us all every day because they believe in a higher ideal, and being part of something bigger than a mere individual and die in service to their community, their country. That takes an extraordinary amount of strength, courage, and selflessness. It takes a very special type of person who would be willing to do that. And for that, they have my everlasting gratitude and utmost respect.
So, let’s talk hot men who serve in uniform! Do you like heroes who are in the military, or cops or firefighters? Are you married to one in real life? Any favorite romances featuring soldiers, cops, or firefighters I missed? Let’s discuss below!