History Main / ElitesAreMoreGlamorous

6th Feb '17 1:49:43 PM Jake18
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* Captain Martin Walker, the PlayerCharacter of ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'' is a Delta Force operative. However, the game quickly subverts this trope as Walker and his squad prove to be ''way'' out of their depth.
22nd Jan '17 2:34:48 PM TomTheEducator
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** Taken even ''further'' in his characterization of [[NickFury Fury]], where long-term Special Operations officers really do believe they can do anything, and as a result keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Worse than that, they get so addicted to the action - fighting a war how they want to, without the restraint of too much army discipline - that ''winning'' wars no longer their goal; they just want to [[BloodKnight ''keep fighting them'']].

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** Taken even ''further'' in his characterization of [[NickFury Fury]], where long-term Special Operations officers really do believe they can do anything, and as a result keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Worse than that, they get so addicted to the action - fighting a war how they want to, without the restraint of too much army discipline - that ''winning'' wars is no longer their goal; they just want to [[BloodKnight ''keep ''[[BloodKnight keep fighting them'']].them]]''.
22nd Jan '17 2:30:49 PM TomTheEducator
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* In ''Manga/RoseOfVersailles'' the military units that receive the most screentime are literally the elite of the elite: the Garde du Corps du Roi is the elite regiment of the French cavalry and Oscar serves in their first company (that is considered even more elite than the rest of the regiment), and in the French Guards (''the'' elite regiment of the French Army: they may be infantry, but they're considered more prestigious than any cavalry due being a BadassArmy) she commanded a grenatier company (grenatiers being infantry), identified as such by the uniforms. Even the named units that received screentime are elite: the La Fere (manga only, thanks to UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte showing up to provide a SequelHook) had earned the fame as elite artillery (and taught recruits how to fire cannons), the Royal-Suédois (thanks to Fersen being their commander) was elite Swedish infantry, and the Royal Allemand (that got [[TheWorfEffect Worfed]] by the rebelling French Guards even when supported by an unidentified grenatier regiment) was elite German cavalry.

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* In ''Manga/RoseOfVersailles'' the military units that receive the most screentime are literally the elite of the elite: the Garde du Corps du Roi is the elite regiment of the French cavalry and Oscar serves in their first company (that is considered even more elite than the rest of the regiment), and in the French Guards (''the'' elite regiment of the French Army: they may be infantry, but they're considered more prestigious than any cavalry due being a BadassArmy) she commanded a grenatier company (grenatiers being infantry), identified as such by the uniforms. Even the named units that received screentime are elite: the La Fere (manga only, thanks to UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte showing up to provide a SequelHook) had earned the fame as elite artillery (and taught recruits how to fire cannons), the Royal-Suédois (thanks to Fersen being their commander) was elite Swedish infantry, and the Royal Allemand (that got [[TheWorfEffect Worfed]] by the rebelling French Guards even when supported by an unidentified grenatier grenadier regiment) was elite German cavalry.


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[[folder: Comic Books]]

* Deconstructed ''heavily'' in many works by ''Creator/GarthEnnis'', notably ''ComicBook/FuryMyWarGoneBy'', ''ComicBook/TheBoys'', and ''ComicBook/FuryMax''. Elite formations such as the SAS, Green Berets, Delta Force and Spetsnaz ''are'' more glamorous to civilians and rank-and-file soldiers, and they're certainly trained and equipped to make spectacular splashes... but ultimately, they're too few in number to actually win wars. That's the job of the great masses of the regular armies, navies and air forces, who endure horror, boredom and vastly more casualties (and for much longer) to assure a lasting victory. So, they may be ''glamorous'', but they're not as ''effective'' as many would believe.
** Taken even ''further'' in his characterization of [[NickFury Fury]], where long-term Special Operations officers really do believe they can do anything, and as a result keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Worse than that, they get so addicted to the action - fighting a war how they want to, without the restraint of too much army discipline - that ''winning'' wars no longer their goal; they just want to [[BloodKnight ''keep fighting them'']].
--> ''"Too many of us had started out in Special Operations. The way we told the story, it was guys like us that had beat the Krauts and the Japs by stealth alone... When, really, the war was won by the grunt in his foxhole, sitting in a foot of water for a month. The navy gunner who keeps on firing, even when the fucking kamikaze crashes down his throat. The kid who climbs into his B-17 for one more mission, pissing his pants to Berlin and back, coming home with the co-pilots intestines slopping in his lap. Again and again and again. For what seems like forever. But we saw it differently. So we found the evidence we needed and ignored the rest, just to sell the notion that the special forces - the little units that could do '''so much''' - were the future. And somewhere along the way, we got the idea there was nothing we couldn't do."''
* Hilariously Averted in in the character of [[TheAuthority Kev Hawkins]], another Ennis creation. A veteran of the British Army and the Special Air Service, Kev has seen combat on every continent and is a truly formidable soldier... who is also narrow-minded, slovenly, foul-mouthed, often manipulated, somewhat bigoted and perpetually broke. He's by no means an exception: throughout his own miniseries, most of his SAS friends are shown to be similarly low-class and cash-strapped, doing what they do because that life is ''all they're good at''. So, yes, they may be horrifyingly lethal, but they're certainly not glamorous.
--> ''"Look, you know as well as I do: being in special forces doesn't make you bulletproof, and it doesn't mean you're some kind of fucking superman. Half the time somebody fucks up and it all goes to ratshit, anyway. '''That's''' what's true. Everything else is just a load of shit some cunt made up for a film - but you try '''telling people''' that... All they want is fucking Rambo, mate."''


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7th Jan '17 9:04:10 AM nombretomado
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** 4Chan's fan-chapter [[http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Galactic_Partridges the Galactic Partridges]] tend to swoop in, make the last blow on the enemy, and take the credit from the people who actually did the work. They even spy on other chapters so they can better know when to take the credit. They have special drop pod that release a butt of doves, JohnWoo style, in order to make more dramatic entrances. They are more of a parody of "elite" teams than anything else.

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** 4Chan's fan-chapter [[http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Galactic_Partridges the Galactic Partridges]] tend to swoop in, make the last blow on the enemy, and take the credit from the people who actually did the work. They even spy on other chapters so they can better know when to take the credit. They have special drop pod that release a butt of doves, JohnWoo Creator/JohnWoo style, in order to make more dramatic entrances. They are more of a parody of "elite" teams than anything else.
8th Nov '16 8:18:03 PM erforce
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** ''Call of Duty 3'' zigzags this trope. The SAS is featured, fighting alongside the [[LaResistance French Resistance]], but they play a relatively small role in comparison with the US 29th and 90th Infantry, the Canadian 4th Armoured, and the Free Polish 1st Armoured division. The plot of the game concerns closing the Falaise Pocket, which is accomplished by the conventional units, while the SAS missions are largely unconnected to that objective.
** ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' ([=CoD=] 4) has your characters being in the USMC Force Recon and SAS. The SAS ''are'' conducting the special operations for which they are famous; the USMC Force Recon, however, are largely playing the role of much more standard Marines or even regular army, so, oddly enough, ''they'' are the out of place unit.
** ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare2'' now gives us the U.S. Army Rangers, and the international special ops unit Task Force 141. Again, though, both are largely doing the correct missions for their sorts of units.
** ''[=CoD=] World at War: Marine Raiders/1st Marine Division'' and ''150th Rifle Division'' (Historically the formation whose soldiers raised the Soviet flag on the Reichstag). However, the 150th Rifle Division might not exactly be considered elite, but ThatOtherWiki states that the 3rd Shock Army they were in, all Shock Armies in fact, received more artillery and armour support than other armies in Russia.

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** ''Call of Duty 3'' ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty3'' zigzags this trope. The SAS is featured, fighting alongside the [[LaResistance French Resistance]], but they play a relatively small role in comparison with the US 29th and 90th Infantry, the Canadian 4th Armoured, and the Free Polish 1st Armoured division. The plot of the game concerns closing the Falaise Pocket, which is accomplished by the conventional units, while the SAS missions are largely unconnected to that objective.
** ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' ([=CoD=] 4) ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDuty4ModernWarfare Modern Warfare]]'' (''[=CoD=] 4'') has your characters being in the USMC Force Recon and SAS. The SAS ''are'' conducting the special operations for which they are famous; the USMC Force Recon, however, are largely playing the role of much more standard Marines or even regular army, so, oddly enough, ''they'' are the out of place unit.
** ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare2'' ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDutyModernWarfare2 Modern Warfare 2]]'' now gives us the U.S. Army Rangers, and the international special ops unit Task Force 141. Again, though, both are largely doing the correct missions for their sorts of units.
** ''[=CoD=] ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDutyWorldAtWar World at War: War]]: Marine Raiders/1st Marine Division'' and ''150th Rifle Division'' (Historically the formation whose soldiers raised the Soviet flag on the Reichstag). However, the 150th Rifle Division might not exactly be considered elite, but ThatOtherWiki states that the 3rd Shock Army they were in, all Shock Armies in fact, received more artillery and armour support than other armies in Russia.



** In ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare3'', you play a large part of the game as Frost, member of the Delta Force squad "Metal"; as WorldWarIII has started, their missions are sometimes real special forces work and sometimes they are just called in to help for more conventional tasks. Also, Yuri, the other main playable character, is former Spetsnaz and [[spoiler:Captain Price, as whom you play during the last mission, is former SAS and Task Force 141.]]

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** In ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare3'', ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDutyModernWarfare3 Modern Warfare 3]]'', you play a large part of the game as Frost, member of the Delta Force squad "Metal"; as WorldWarIII has started, their missions are sometimes real special forces work and sometimes they are just called in to help for more conventional tasks. Also, Yuri, the other main playable character, is former Spetsnaz and [[spoiler:Captain Price, as whom you play during the last mission, is former SAS and Task Force 141.]]



* ''[[VideoGame/{{Battlefield}} Battlefield 2]]'' has a Special Forces class for each of the playable factions, and even a Special Forces expansion pack which features the [[YanksWithTanks US Navy SEALs]], [[RussiansWithRustingRockets Russian Spetznaz]], [[BritsWithBattleships British SAS]], and [[MiddleEasternCoalition MEC]] Special Forces.

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* ''[[VideoGame/{{Battlefield}} Battlefield 2]]'' ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}''
** ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield 2}}''
has a Special Forces class for each of the playable factions, and even a Special Forces expansion pack which features the [[YanksWithTanks US Navy SEALs]], [[RussiansWithRustingRockets Russian Spetznaz]], [[BritsWithBattleships British SAS]], and [[MiddleEasternCoalition MEC]] Special Forces.Forces.
** Hilariously averted in ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany'', where the cast is part of the RedshirtArmy and knows it, once [[LampshadeHanging lampshading]] that they're going into an important but dangerous mission first just to see ''how'' dangerous it is, because the elites cost more money to train and are thus "too expensive to waste." Subverted in ''Bad Company 2'' when Sweetwater insists the squad be the ones to tackle the villain's scheme, not trusting the spec-ops guys and their "[[TakeThat pussy-ass]] [[VideoGame/ModernWarfare heartbeat monitors]]" to get the job done. [[BadassNormal The boys of B-Company succeed.]]



* Averted in the beginning of ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' where your unit, Squad 7, is made up out of a bunch of civilian militia recruits and local police forces with the only exceptional item being your main characters father's tank. However, not only do your units gain 'elite' status when leveled high enough, by the end of the game your unit is taking on all the truly epic missions anyway. Hell, Squad 7 is the only reason Gallia doesn't fall, as the entire army-- the ''entire main army''-- gets completely obliterated towards the end of the game. Absolutely ''nothing changes'', because the army was useless anyway. That said, Squad 7 is actually treated by the rest of the army as mere {{cannon fodder}}; they were [[SurprisinglyEliteCannonFodder just too awesome to die]]. But while they might not have been officially named elites, that's what they really were.
* Played with in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesII''; while your team members are all cadets from Gallia's most elite military academy, the actual class they're in is a dumping ground for said academy's [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits underachievers, eccentrics, and social undesirables]]. That said, they still end up proving themselves to be some of Gallia's best soldiers.
* Also played with in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesIII'', where your unit is a black-ops penal legion. However, their exploits (though [[TheGreatestStoryNeverTold not their fame]]) go on to rival those of Squad 7 itself.

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* ''Valkyria Chronicles''
**
Averted in the beginning of ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' where your unit, Squad 7, is made up out of a bunch of civilian militia recruits and local police forces with the only exceptional item being your main characters father's tank. However, not only do your units gain 'elite' status when leveled high enough, by the end of the game your unit is taking on all the truly epic missions anyway. Hell, Squad 7 is the only reason Gallia doesn't fall, as the entire army-- the ''entire main army''-- gets completely obliterated towards the end of the game. Absolutely ''nothing changes'', because the army was useless anyway. That said, Squad 7 is actually treated by the rest of the army as mere {{cannon fodder}}; they were [[SurprisinglyEliteCannonFodder just too awesome to die]]. But while they might not have been officially named elites, that's what they really were.
* ** Played with in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesII''; while your team members are all cadets from Gallia's most elite military academy, the actual class they're in is a dumping ground for said academy's [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits underachievers, eccentrics, and social undesirables]]. That said, they still end up proving themselves to be some of Gallia's best soldiers.
* ** Also played with in ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChroniclesIII'', where your unit is a black-ops penal legion. However, their exploits (though [[TheGreatestStoryNeverTold not their fame]]) go on to rival those of Squad 7 itself.



* Partially averted in ''VideoGame/OperationFlashpoint: Dragon Rising''. While there are plenty of missions where you play as a Force Recon unit named Saber, performing stealth and infiltration tasks...most of the ''really'' epic battles in the game have you in the role of a unit of standard frontline infantry named Dagger. [[spoiler:And they're who you play as in the final, war-winning mission of the game.]]

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* ''VideoGame/OperationFlashpoint''
**
Partially averted in ''VideoGame/OperationFlashpoint: Dragon ''Dragon Rising''. While there are plenty of missions where you play as a Force Recon unit named Saber, performing stealth and infiltration tasks...most of the ''really'' epic battles in the game have you in the role of a unit of standard frontline infantry named Dagger. [[spoiler:And they're who you play as in the final, war-winning mission of the game.]]



* Hilariously averted in ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany'', where the cast is part of the RedshirtArmy and knows it, once [[LampshadeHanging lampshading]] that they're going into an important but dangerous mission first just to see ''how'' dangerous it is, because the elites cost more money to train and are thus "too expensive to waste." Subverted in ''Bad Company 2'' when Sweetwater insists the squad be the ones to tackle the villain's scheme, not trusting the spec-ops guys and their "[[TakeThat pussy-ass]] [[VideoGame/ModernWarfare heartbeat monitors]]" to get the job done. [[BadassNormal The boys of B-Company succeed.]]



* The two protagonists of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'' were both elites in their previous careers (Jill was Delta Force and Chris was a USAF Fighter Pilot), and in-game are members of S.T.A.R.S., itself an elite squad in the Raccoon Police Department.

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* The two protagonists of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'' ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil1'' were both elites in their previous careers (Jill was Delta Force and Chris was a USAF Fighter Pilot), and in-game are members of S.T.A.R.S., itself an elite squad in the Raccoon Police Department.



* ''VideoGame/{{Titanfall}}'' and its [[VideoGame/{{TitanFall2}} sequel]] has the Pilots, an elite squad of soldiers who went through extensive and often perilous training regiments for both physical and mental preparation so they could fight as well on foot as when piloting a Titan. They're so renowned, you'd often catch allied NPC grunts pointing you out, remarking how amazing you are, and openly claiming the enemy stands no chance now.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Titanfall}}'' and its [[VideoGame/{{TitanFall2}} [[VideoGame/{{TitanFall 2}} sequel]] has the Pilots, an elite squad of soldiers who went through extensive and often perilous training regiments for both physical and mental preparation so they could fight as well on foot as when piloting a Titan. They're so renowned, you'd often catch allied NPC grunts pointing you out, remarking how amazing you are, and openly claiming the enemy stands no chance now.
18th Oct '16 4:19:32 AM MrKosta
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* In ''Film/RedScorpion'', Creator/DolphLundgren stars as Nikolai Radchenko, a Spetsnaz Lieutenant.
15th Oct '16 4:21:45 AM Vanguard1505
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* ''VideoGame/{{Titanfall}}'' and its [[VideoGame/{{TitanFall2}} sequel]] has the Pilots, an elite squad of soldiers who went through extensive and often perilous training regiments for both physical and mental preparation so they could fight as well on foot as when piloting a Titan. They're so renowned, you'd often catch allied NPC grunts pointing you out, remarking how amazing you are, and openly claiming the enemy stands no chance now.
19th Sep '16 9:12:05 AM LtFedora
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* The Nazis usually called units "elite" for propaganda purposes, such as the ''Afrika Korps''. Other branches, including the ''Fallschirmjäger'' and the U-Boat Service, were considered elite. The Waffen-SS zig-zagged this, as their actual combat prowess often paled in comparison to the rest of the Wehrmacht, but their elitism was rooted in their fanaticism to the Nazi cause. Generally though, being a member of the SS did move you up socially.
19th Sep '16 7:30:24 AM Morgenthaler
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* In his political treatise ''ThePrince'', Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli complains bitterly about the Italian system of relying on mercenaries for war. One of his specific criticisms was that your average Italian mercenary group was almost entirely cavalry, because mounted soldiers were perceived as more elite. The fact that they could charge more for cavalry probably helped too.

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* In his political treatise ''ThePrince'', ''Literature/ThePrince'', Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli complains bitterly about the Italian system of relying on mercenaries for war. One of his specific criticisms was that your average Italian mercenary group was almost entirely cavalry, because mounted soldiers were perceived as more elite. The fact that they could charge more for cavalry probably helped too.
19th Aug '16 12:19:49 AM Chabal2
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** The Imperial Guard themselves have their own elites with stormtroopers, the best of the best who're often requisitioned by Inquisitors who need a lot of firepower. The grunts tend to think of them as overrated ("chocolate soldiers" is one term).
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