‘SEAL Team’ Star David Boreanaz Wears Helmet of Former Operator Who Was Deployed 13 Times

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

“SEAL Team” star David Boreanaz said the opportunity of wearing an actual operator’s helmet is significant to him.

Instead of a prop, Boreanaz said he pays homage to a real-life SEAL Team member who wore the helmet into 13 deployments. The actor said the feeling is “intense.”

“We’ve gotten very positive feedback from veterans, Tier-One operators, and armed forces people thanking us,” Boreanaz told Parade Magazine in 2019.

‘SEAL Team’ Prop Plays Role In Show

Boreanaz says the cast works to bring a sense of realism and respect to their roles. 

The series covers many topics, including the role of mental health in a soldier’s well-being. Other issues include PTSD, trauma, and the constant pressures of deployment and multiple deployments. With those deployments come the struggle of adapting back to everyday life.

One particular character named Brett Swann, played by Tony Curran in six episodes. Swann struggled to come to terms with a traumatic brain injury. Sadly, that struggle ended with the “SEAL Team” member taking his life. 

Boreanaz said the show aims to “shine light on these guys who suffer in what they do for a living and how they protect us.” 

Similarly, another character deals with injuries he sustained to his legs. As a result, Clay Spenser must cope with being out of action for eight months. Max Thieriot plays Spenser in the show.  

Boreanaz said he wears the actual helmet in every episode as a tribute to a SEAL Team operator’s deployments.

That particular SEAL brought the idea to the show. Notably, he took part in the Osama bin Laden assassination.

“I could wear a lighter [prop] helmet,” the actor also said. “But I decided to wear his actual helmet to honor him.”

Fans, Former SEALs Appreciate The Effort

With close involvement in the show’s deals, many real-life SEAL members are keen on its realism. The Bob Woodruff organization’s Got Your 6 campaign has also worked with the show. A primary goal is to bridge the civilian-military divide.

Ultimately, the group’s purpose is to “work to advance the conversation.”

They also work to show veterans and military families “as assets to their communities.”

In a 2017 sofrep.com review, one SEAL shook off his skepticism of the show.

Calling the plot “very solid,” the reviewer had more compliments. He also said there were “some compelling characters and a realistic plot.” He also liked the action, saying there were “pretty good action sequences.”

Also, the former SEAL said the show had “just about the right mix of military lingo and jargon.”

He rounded out the review by saying it was “about all you can ask for in a military drama” and was “on track to deliver.”