To Protect and Serve-Men in Uniform

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.

Sigh. Thud. Melt.

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.

Harm (David James Elliott) and Mac (Catherine Bell) from JAG

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.

Lots of eye candy and gorgeous scenery!

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! 

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12 thoughts on “To Protect and Serve-Men in Uniform

  1. Lisa, My son is in the Air Force. He left for basic today, actually. These kids go into the military and come out strong and ready to handle anything. Two soldiers were one of the first to respond at the Boston Bombing last week. They didn’t think. They just did. This is the kind of training these guys receive.

    You have to admit, that kind of “alpha” male is extremely sexy too. I’ve been recently reading a great deal of contemporary romances with this type of male character. I really like it. Stephanie Laurens is another one if you like historicals. It’s irresistible: that handsome, strong, ready to deal with anything kind of guy.

    Amy

    • Oohh good luck to your son, Amy! You must be so proud of him. I haven’t read Stephanie Laurens but will have to check her out.

      I think you nailed it-the strength, I can handle anything attitude and will protect you is really appealing and sexy!.

  2. Hi Lisa, I agree with you 100% about men in uniform! I was a Marine out of high school and married a Marine… how could I not? The Marines are adorable in dress blues… but I also discovered not only the US Marines have a to-die-for dress uniform.

    I was a Marine Corporal in 1975 during the Marine Corps’ BiCentential at Quantico, VA. During the week of the Marine Corps Birthday each year they have formal balls, google images of the Marine Corps Ball, the formal dress uniform is amazing! Anyway, I volunteered to be a hostess at five balls, (I basically volunteered for anything that got me out of work!) which means I wore a formal dress and greeted everyone as they arrived. My WM friends loaned me their bridesmaids dresses for me to wear.

    Why would someone who is not girly or pretty, volunteer for five evenings in floor length gowns & heels? Because the first job I volunteered for was sitting on top of several buildings that week painting all the large parade speakers red, white and blue -and getting a tan! That was why I was the first Woman Marine to meet the foreign visitors who had arrived to help us celebrate and practice their ‘tattoo’ on the parade grounds…

    The Royal Scottish Marines! OMFG… okay, I am old enough now to know better but the memory still makes me swoon! A gaggle of tall, handsome men in skirts, okay kilts… Golden, red hair everywhere, and the blue-est eyes ‘d ever seen and green jade ones too! I was in teenage heaven!

    My boyfriend did not volunteer, he was volunteered to be a host at the same balls because he owned a full dress uniform including the sword. Those nights at nineteen, I learned the steamy-benefits of making your boyfriend jealous as I danced with men in skirts all night long for five nights! My boyfriend proposed on the fifth night LOL. Sadly, we had no iPhones or I would have burned up youTube… my friends had to listen to my storytelling and for the first (maybe only) time in my life, no one complained about me repeating my stories LOL

    Okay, I need to do dishes or hop on the treadmill or something to clear my head, I have to write not spend the day smiling and daydreaming. (just lied to new husband about the grin on my face!)

    • Thanks for coming by and commenting Christine. And thank you for your service! I did google some images and they look amazing! It must have been quite an experience to be there in person. LOL to dancing with other men and making your bf jealous. 😉

  3. I love military characters. I come from a strongly military family–female and male (though I break out in hives at the thought of drill sergeants, PT, and deployment, haha)–and the pride of service is deeply ingrained. When I look at past ideas and MSS, I find many soldiers and sailors in there without even noticing! Perhaps this unconscious appeal is why I am enjoying writing romances set during WWI.

    • Hi Evangeline,
      I’m with you all the way. I have the utmost respect and admiration for our soldiers, but the training involved? I can’t even fathom it, and I know I’d never be able to handle it. I can certainly understand your family pride and how it influences your writing. 🙂 Very interesting that the WWI era holds such appeal for you-there aren’t many romances set during that time period. (Though Beatriz Williams’ fabulous Overseas is partly set during WWI) I am more fascinated and drawn to WWII myself.

  4. I enjoy military romances, but so many authors get obvious details wrong (including Brockmann).

    Being an USAF brat, I’m partial to those. Merline Lovelace (a retired USAF Colonel) has written some good ones. Adding in police officers and firefighters my list of favorites would be too long.

    • Thanks for coming by and commenting Kelly! Since you grew up in the military, I imagine all the errors are glaring and jump right out at you. I’m hoping there were small, and not so egregious as to suggest that the author just made it all up and didn’t even bother to do any research! I have the same issue with L&O and other procedurals sometimes. “That is NOT how it happens.” “That lawyer would never be allowed to do that!” lol

  5. I haven’t had much luck with military (true military) novels until I read Jessica Scott. But firefighters? You betcha. I’ll take those in a hot second. Paramilitary organizations seem to play more prominently in the contemporaries I read these days (Maya Banks with her KGI series, for example), but in terms of historicals, if I get a vote, I’ll take the wounded, slightly damaged military hero any day. Thanks, Lisa!

  6. I think Jen Bernard writes a lot of firefighter heroes, no?

    Oh, yes, a wounded slightly damaged military hero is quite appealing! 🙂 Tessa Dare wrote some great ones in A Night to Surrender and Twice Tempted by a Rogue.

    I have some Jessica Scott books in my TBR pile but it sounds like I need to move it to the top,

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