Iraq War Film 'Megan Leavey' Receives "6 Certified" Stamp of Approval From Veteran Organization

Kate Mara in 'Megan Leavey'

The nonprofit Got Your 6 is honoring the biopic starring Kate Mara for its realistic depiction of veterans.

Megan Leavey has earned an official "6 Certified" verification.

The Iraq War film, helmed by Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite and starring Kate Mara in the eponymous role, has been verified by the committee of service veterans and entertainment industry experts of the Got Your Six foundation, a nonprofit aimed at promoting more normalized depictions of veterans in film and television. 

"Very proud to receive the Got Your 6 certification," Cowperthwaite said. "We all say 'Thank you for your service,' but what does that really mean? In many ways we're just not equipped as civilians to give [veterans] what they need. Megan Leavey sheds light on a specific story but hopefully it cracks that issue open a little bit."

Megan Leavey tells the real-life story of a young U.S. Marine corporal whose unique discipline and bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq. The film follows their journey of more than 100 missions.

“Since I’m playing the real-life veteran, Megan Leavey, it was important to me to honor her service by portraying her honestly, accurately and getting it right,” Mara said of her role.

“I love to see that ‘veteran’ doesn't have to be a defining characteristic of a character; it can just be an aspect of who they are or that their life was enriched by service,” Got Your 6 review committee member Rory Brosius said. “Megan's story and struggle with transition seemed real, accurate and, most importantly, hopeful. The film did not shy away from what can be a truly challenging portion of the veteran transition: finding a new mission in life. While some of the story may be fictionalized, this is an important narrative for our community.”

In order for a film to earn the certification it must contain a "representative and balanced depiction of veterans" as well as fulfill at least one of six "actions" set forward by the foundation. Such actions include casting a veteran, hiring a veteran as a writer or consultant on the film and portraying a "multidimensional veteran character."

"Our research shows that due in part to the narratives they see in films and television, most people view veterans as 'broken heroes,'" said Got Your 6 executive director and Iraq War veteran Bill Rausch. "That's why we're proud to recognize projects like Megan Leavey that defy stereotypes to accurately portray our veteran men and women as they really are: civic assets and community leaders in small towns and big cities across America."

This year, Got Your 6 celebrated its fifth anniversary, verifying 13 projects, the most in its history. Other honorees include When We Rise, This Is Us, Taken, Criminal Minds, Spike's digital short series VOW, Crown Royal's digital short Seeing Blind, documentary short Seven Dates With Death, Ken Burns' docuseries The Vietnam War, Netflix's Five Came Back, documentary American Veteran, Sand Castle and the Oscar-winning film Fences.