2008, Technology  -   55 Comments
Ratings: 7.68/10 from 53 users.

CarrierAll Hands - Five-thousand sailors and Marines bid farewell to their loved ones before the mammoth USS Nimitz pulls out of California.

Controlled Chaos - An aircraft carrier is a perilous environment.

Super Secrets - Many aspects of life on a nuclear aircraft carrier are hush-hush.

Squared Away - Deployment is stressful for everyone aboard, and there can be friction between enlisted personnel and their superiors.

Show of Force - The Nimitz arrives in the Gulf and conditions are extreme.

Groundhog Day - After two months in the Gulf, one day starts to become indistinguishable from the next.

Rites of Passage - The last day in the Gulf before the Nimitz heads home.

True Believers - This episode explores the many expressions of faith onboard the USS Nimitz.

Get Home-itis - A six-month absence places a heavy burden on relationships.

Full Circle - The journey home, and the reunions at the pier.

The playlist below contains all 10 episodes of this series, each 56 minutes long. Almost 10 hours of watching in total.

More great documentaries

55 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Jaysen

    Wish I would have seen this documentary when I was just outta high school. I would have enlisted the next day. .

  2. William Henrickson

    I bet a lot of American commentators have not given a thought to how many killer people would come and take our country if there was no Navy. If people knew how much they do not realize how an expert, or at least an elder knows via experience that they are speaking foolish bullshit.

  3. zvq

    Easily the best documentary I have EVER seen.

  4. Peter

    Love the cliques you see in this series of films, surprising anyone gets anything done! From the 'hail fellow well met' full of something pilots to senior officers spouting the party line and the poor hard grafting souls actually running things (as they bake) on the flight deck. I do feel particularity for the 'ratings' (UK term for junior sailors, sorry airmen in this case) since it seems they live an underpaid, unsung, tough, boring and potentially dangerous existence. I really hope that many of them are able to take advantage of the college program or otherwise use their service as a positive springboard in whatever direction they chose. Also impressed that some quite serious dissent was shown so no air brushing of the actual reality as seen by those living it, whatever those in charge may like to think.

  5. Andrea Mattson

    My man is a Nuclear Engineer. I wanted to see a closer look of what his experience will be like but there is absolutely nothing in this show about them. I mean, they're the ones making the ship go! They're the brains behind the whole operation. I'm really disappointed and have yet to learn more about what he's doing.

    1. Andy H.

      Pretty much anything nuclear in the Navy is extremely classified so it's not surprising they didn't show anything nuclear. There's no way they'd ever get clearance to put that stuff on film.

  6. Dave Koch

    Really excellent.

  7. zenobia123

    This is a very good documentary that shows what it's like to be a soldier, which is discipline and very hard work by teams of people who wouldn't normally even hang out together. It's not easy being a soldier and this shows all of what there is to it. It is very complete in all of the aspecs...exceptionally good!

  8. Jimmy Zipper

    I came to watch a doco about life on an aircraft carrier yet already we are discussing 9/11. 'Merica

  9. manfruss

    Now, if we can only get the "camaraderie" on the boat, to happen between nations. Then there would be no need to "complete the mission" and bomb people.

    1. zenobia123

      Most nations are run by individuals whose main goal is to satisfy their own personal goals not the good of others or mankind. You're never going to see them them do anything other than stop day dreaming.

  10. Glen Hale

    The USA super rich funded the Communist so USA would have a reason to spend money on power and brain wash the world saying we need a military and any country that democratically elected a government that was not in the USA plan of things had the CIA etc at their door over throwing the elected.
    Watch The Power Principle and find out why we are all being conned.
    USA spends enough on the military to lift the poor out of poverty 20 times over.
    USA is the enemy.
    Two Russians save the world from nuclear war.

    1. David Nightingale

      The USA. Super. Rich. Funded. The Communist? So USA would have a reason to spend money on power and brain. Wash the world. Saying we need a military and any country that democratically elected a government. That was not in the USA. Plan of things. Had the CIA etc at their door. Over. Throwing the elected.
      Watch The Power Principle and find out why. We are all being conned? USA spends. Enough on the military! To lift the poor out of poverty 20 times over: USA? Is the enemy Two Russians? Save the world from nuclear war!

    2. zenobia123

      Watch your toes, nothing above your neck is working!

    3. Horst Manure

      I like people like you those who don't read or listen
      the two Russians were Sub Cpts during the cuba crisis Russia let them decide if they wanted to fire Nuclear missiles or not but had to be 3 man decision only 1 wanted to,,read about it next thing you will try to tell us Hinkely shot Reagan when the doc's could not find a bullet.

  11. Ray Stewart

    The Twin Towers where hit by Afghans.

    Why go to war with Iraq, why hunt Suddam (the same man the US Government put in to power)
    The reason why the US military is in Iraq has nothing to do with your Freedom, it is more to do with Oil, Politics and Show of Strength as a world Super Power.

    I was deployed in Iraq for six months in the Royal Air force as an engineer.
    During that post, I heard hundreds of guys / women (Both US and British) saying how stupid it is for them to be in Iraq, so long after Saddam's power crumbled to dust.
    If we had gotten the hell out of there then, over 1000 fellow service men and women lives would of been saved.

    The military has it in their head that to prevent other countries from invading their home, they must attack first........that’s bull ****, that’s how Hitler thought in a way.

    I really love my work and am proud to be in one of the larger militaries in the world to day, but that does not make me brainwashed to thinking what I did or what my fellow service people are doing is the right thing or the only thing one can do.

    You can't fight terrorists by using ships and submarines, planes and bombs, bullets and guns.
    The Russians found that out in Afghanistan, the US should of learnt that from Vietnam.

    1. Devon Griffiths

      Ray, I think you did what you were supposed to do. It's important that the military follow the orders of the civilian government and not make decisions on its own. What would happen if, for instance, a nation was invaded by, say, the Nazis, and the military found themselves in agreement with fascist politics and stood down? No, I think if you are in the military, you must do what the civil government decides - even if you disagree. In fact I'm a lot more comfortable with a military that isn't political at all, and simply acts as the elected government decides.

      The blame must be shouldered firstly by the government of the day, and secondly by the people who put them in power, to the degree to which they did so.

    2. danton

      ray, the twin towers were not hit by afgans, they were hit by saudi's, and funded by saudi's. get your facts straight.

    3. Horst Manure

      So who got the buildings & and why were the TT doubled insured??

    4. Horst Manure

      And you were using being shot at with ammo supplied by Mark Thatcher. Maggie's son

  12. Tim Crabtree

    I enjoyed this doc as I didnt know much about the navy. I was in a combat action unit in the army from 04-08,100% males, so my experience with the military is waaay different then how the navy was portrayed in this doc. One example, my unit practiced "blood rank". When you get promoted...everyone with a higher rank lines up and beats your new rank into your body with the pins exposed..there is blood more often than not.

    Before seeing this doc I thought the navy had it very easy at sea. Now I realize that I would rather get shot at daily then run that ship..hats off to you navy boys and girls.

    @saylor04 Any decent ground combat officer DOES eat,sleep and crap with their men and it is a ground combat "thing".

    For all you peacefreaks...there will be a serious problem when voices like yours arent heard..and if that day comes leave it to the warriors to do something about it..not people like you. Funny how that works. Peace;)

  13. saylor04

    Wow most of you are clueless when it comes down to the men and women that sacrifice their lives and everything for you to be able to bash them for their decisions to join the military. They fight for your freedoms daily and you repay them with ignorant talks but that's OK we understand that aspect of our service and we thank you for your opinion. If it wasn't for our service members volunteering our military would be left with the weak minded people like you who don't understand military life and would not even make it out of boot!

    Having served our the US Navy for 6 plus yrs. I was stationed in 2 foreign countries for many years and traveled to dozens of other countries on the US dime when attached to the aircraft carrier USS Kitty-hawk out of Japan. I must say that this doc. was great for me to see and is very accurate in the vision it gives others of the Navy and personnel attached to a ship of any kind and the aspects of their lives as shown here.

    Great doc. and thanks to the men and women who served and currently serve our great nation's military power without them where would we be? Thanks MA2

  14. sheezah

    Post Script; I know that the actual military personnel have no say as to where they are sent and where to drop the bombs. But, I still think that if you are going to do that sort of thing, knowing what you are doing has consequences and understanding 'why' is extremely important. She is still a citizen and has a responsibility to hold her politicians responsible for their actions.

  15. sheezah

    Yikes....The female nugget said she didn't understand the terrorists, and leave that to the politicians. I find that attitude of following with 'blind faith', very disturbing. Maybe that kind of thinking left Iraq in absolute shambles. Precious museum pieces were looted, innocent civilians maimed and Killed. Worst of all, due to the depleted uranium in their bombs, the soil in Iraq is contaminated for decades, causing extreme health hazards, birth defects, etc. for years to come. Let's face it, Iraq meant OIL. It was Afghanistan that should have been the main target, (and perhaps Northern Pakistan ).

  16. TonyIII

    The name of his series should not be "Carrier" but "Modern Slavery". We have come such a long way from the "peace movements" when we were fighting the communists; but on, on the other hand who cares: just obey orders. Our rulers are making money and we can expect to live in a perfect world one day. Jesus might even reappear ; wth Moses and Joshua at his side!

  17. Chris Seguin

    It seems like religion is pretty front and center - too bad you had to feature this part in the show . . . the religious ministries in the US armed forces or any nation's armed forces should be shut down. The mix of backward-assed ideas and deadly weaponry should not be tolerated.

  18. AM1983

    I discovered this documentary, by accident, about three years ago, and was instantly hooked. Just a few days ago, I found it again, also by accident and re-watched all ten episodes.

    This is definitly one of the greatest reality programs of all time. It's amazing to see what reality T.V. could be, as opposed to what is usually is (case in point: anything on E! or VH1).

    I'm not embarrased to admit that I got teary-eyed at least three times while watching (especially during episode nine, when a female sailor is re-united with her children).

    Watching this show should be mandatory for any misinformed person who claims to hate Americans or military people, because it shows what America is really about, and who our people really are.

    1. Martin Hedin

      That is whats scary though. Like Heidegger said about the holocaust: that what made the holocaust possible was not hate but the modern organization and work morale. He said it was not possible to kill 6 million people without a daily routine and having people dedicated to their task.

      I have no doubt that all these people are any different than any other person on the planet. Think about it, Talibans are probably as nice people. A relationship between a Taliban a Westerner would probably be infected from the start with all the differences (Talibans wanting to kill americans, and Americans supporting the Palestine occupation, being in Iraq and Afghanistan and all that). But if you would actually know and live in the same neighborhood, without cultural differences, you would probably find them good people.

      The problem is not if these guys are good people or not. The problem is the US foreign policy. Support for Israel and the occupation. Going into Iraq for the oil (lets face it).

      For example in the Iraq war. The big problem is how a super powerful nation is invading a inferior country, maybe to liberate, but why have some many civilians died in Iraq? The body count is currently 103013 - 112571. While American losses is 4287 (and 30182 wounded). If this war was meant to liberate, why inflicting such many deaths?

      The aircraft carrier is a horrible tool made to control the world politically, not for the worlds sake but for the US.

      And using torture, or getting help to torture from Egypt, what kind of image of the US is that?

  19. arlips

    There really needs to be a dislike button on this site.

  20. Art Vinette

    This is a very well done documentary about life at sea on a US aircraft carrier. In my mid 20's I was very eager to join the military for the travel, excitement and team work involved. When a senior retired military officer discovered what I was going to do, he pulled me aside and told me what life in the military was really going to be like and strongly me advised me agaisnt it. This was in 1991 at the beginning of the Gulf War.

    This conflict would claim many soldiers lives from the effects of the burning oil wells in Kuwait.

    That said in my youth I never envisioned the negative effects of war but rather focused on the exitement and adventure of it all.

    Since then the United States military has been involved in several manufactured conflicts to secure oil for the United States.

    Is this the right use for the military or should the money be better spent on research and development of better engine technologies that do not use oil?

    Listening to the stories from the carrier I find it all very interesting.

    A good recruitement tool for the Navy that I believe accurately shows what young people can expect when thye join the Navy to serve aboard a US aircraft carrier.

    For many young people this would be the ideal job, without a doubt.

  21. migrantworker

    -Motti: "Any attack made by the Rebels against this station would be a useless gesture, no matter what technical data they have obtained. This station is now the ultimate power in the universe! I suggest we use it!"

    -Vadar: "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force."


  22. Rick

    OMG Thank you I've been looking for this doc since I seen it a couple years back when it aired. Part of me has always wanted to join the navy, but another part of me is anti military and war. I'm 22, still haven't decided. I mainly want to join for the travel and adventure. Not sure If I want to become government property though.

  23. Ruben Fragoso

    When I was young I always though that the army, or any military service, was bulls.. Until one day I decided to have a first hand experience, and so I suspended my studies, and volunteered into the Navy. So for 2 years, since that I volunteered, I had to stay in the navy, because to leave before, it would mean that I would have had to pay back the money the Navy had invested on me.

    Now, to give you a bit of context, I am Portuguese, so this was in the Portuguese Navy, not the US one.

    I left the navy and resumed my studies, this was at the age of 19, and what I now with 32 years old have to say is this:

    The Navy, or any other military branch, will teach you many things: the first one, is that it will teach you how to deal with crap (from other people), either in the sense of having to swallow your young and naive pride, but it will also teach you how not to take other's people crap(yes i know that this sounds contradictory) . This is something that you also learn in civilian life, although not as fast as in the military.

    Another aspect of the Military, is that you will gain a huge and truthful meaning of Team Spirit, something that you will very hardly find in the civilian/corporate world.

    The navy has one thing different from the other branches, that something is that no matter if a country is at war or not, you are always "deployed" and no matter what, your actions, or lack of it, affect the actual life of others in the ship.

    It does not matter if you are poor or not, no one is pointing a gun at you saying: "join the arms forces, or die"

    Also agree with InedibleHulk.

    Peace out.

  24. InedibleHulk

    Recruitment tool or not, it stands on it's own informative and aesthetic merits as a decent show. If you recognize it as propaganda and have your own convictions, it shouldn't hurt you, right? If your interest in ships or the US Navy goes beyond general, I'd recommend this video. If not, I still wouldn't disrecommend it.

    And Nick, I take mild offense to your insinuations. I'm a long-haired, bearded, unemployed pothead who believes the American military-industrial complex is inherently evil and that life is far more valuable than money. But I, and many of "my ilk", don't let that blind me to the beauty of friendship, art and nature, or the fact that these exist even in boardrooms and battlefields.

    Regardless of what the Internet may suggest, most "hippies" I know are pro-love first and anti-hate second. Hakuna Matata and Yvan Eht Nioj to you, my friend!

  25. Greg

    Cool documentary.

    I can't help but think that we are becoming a little too desensitized if this falls under this is considered more appropriate in the category "Technology" than "Military and War". The documentary does cover much of it's capabilities but it's ultimate purpose is mentioned just as much in the series.

  26. Nick

    One of my biggest petpeves on this site is when people start off a comment with "I haven't watched this documentary but.."

    Sure we can all have our opinions on Americas foreign policy but seriously this show has nothing to do with it. Its about the real lives of American citizens who chose to serve their country for one reason or another. They made their choices and this show shows just what their lives are like now. These peoples lives mostly changed for the positive..this is a good thing.

    All you hippes, pot heads and new world order simpletons get a life. Start looking at the world in a positive perspective and you'll see theres more good then evil.

  27. Billy Bingbong

    Enjoyable watch this one.

  28. Farren

    It's a fine piece of machinery, and many there take their jobs seriously. They love their jobs.

    It would be so much better if it was used for just and noble actions in the world. The fact that it's used to kill many innocents, by a lying government and media, for greedy and secret political objectives, means that it's all for nothing.

    karma is a universal law. lie? get lied to. kill and hurt and destroy lives and homes and children of innocents? it will come round again, eventually.

    1. Xbow

      Karma you got that right. I guess thats why Muslims are getting greased all over the world. You talk about a group of folks that have built up a lot of bad Karma over the last 1300 years and your talking about the practitioners of Islam.

    2. WTC7

      And I guess that's why Americans are so liked all over the world. Karma, my friend, that must be the reason, because they have done so much good in this world... and they still don't have enough of doing good...

    3. MyReligionIs2DoGood

      Let me just look up the history of Christianity in the last 1300 years...

  29. TuT

    ahhh!!! shhhhhh!!! Mel Gibson helped produce this 00:23 in but Shhhhh he is the debbile!!!! lol

    :=):) Good Doc

    Thank ya

  30. pppppp

    pf ! so cool !
    it seems that they have collect people that have no other means to prove to themselfs that they worth something other than going and kill people and feel grate that they do something for the navy!

    great f@king sivilisation!

    great !

  31. hydrot

    Great documentary. I would tend to disagree with some of the previous comments stating that this series is somehow propaganda. if anything it portrays life on the carrier as an incredibly challenging and complicated affair, and I found the series both informative and at times pretty damn heart wrenching.

  32. MIchael22541

    I laugh, I cried, I truly enjoyed this docufilm, I wish the best to everyone who was part of this, and can only wonder what they are up these days, with this great economy of ours.

  33. Dreighen

    My father was 20 years in the Navy, I went into the Army instead after seeing his own homemade vids on VHS about how Navy life really was aboard the ships. I haven't watched this yet, but I am glad I chose Army.

  34. aaa

    im with chris, i havent watched the documentary yet; but im looking forward to seeing the might and power of a carrier. Sure i dont agree with the new world order and their plans for global enslavement; but i sure as hell admire modern war fleets. I play this game called Star Craft; and the carriers fly in the sky and carry about 24 jets inside of it.. kind of like a future carrier. In any case; i am not watching this army movie to see the producers clown on the navy; i want it to show the navy in a good light; if i wanted a negative portrayal then i would look for a documentary about navy commanders and the politicians that are their bosses-- i would not look for a documentary on a specific type of ship used in the navy's fleet. Grow up Hesus; intelligent people like seeing all sides of a picture.

  35. Easter bunny

    Pretty sad why these kids are joining NAVY. Money problems, especially because of scholarship. Why should be education conected with service duty? That is just sick. No one who is willing to study should be treated like that. "I am not a gun boy, nothing like that" - but you are responsible for killing people too dumass.
    Or all the family issues! So what, pack yourself, move out and start your own life. Ah that is simply to much responsibility.

  36. Carl Hendershot

    Very cool. 33 and joining. Work no play is what keeps the demons away. Just wish more would come out when ships come in to dock. Feels like the people have lost there respect for our service men and women. Or are just plain lazy and would rather get a big mac from mc ds and forget what this country is all about. Respect.

  37. Krissto

    The Great Killing Machine In Action! Long Live America!
    Please Watch This Documentary After The ''Carrier'', as well:

    ''The New American Century''. It's very enlightening.

  38. chris

    I think you're being a little ridiculous. There are plenty - maybe too many - documentaries that criticize most every aspect of the military. Take your pick. This one happens to shed some light on the day-to-day life of our US Navy personnel.

    What exactly is sensational about it?

  39. Hesus

    Again bitterly dissapointed by the american documentary production. Whole thing is like a commercial and a reality show for little kids to enlist in to navy. Everything is sensational. No real knowledge is conveyed. If you want new soldiers don´t make them think too hard. They just might get a headache.

    1. Aaylsworth

      Yep couldn't even watch this thing.. what a piece of crap!!

  40. chris

    As an officer in the U.S Army, I was astonished to see the level of separation between the officers and enlisted. I imagine it has its uses, and is just an ingrained characteristic of the navy, but my lord, I couldn't fathom leading soldiers in combat if I didn't live with them, eat with them, etc.

    Officers' toilets? LOL.

    1. saylor04

      So a leader must eat, sleep and S#@% with their men and women to lead them in combat really? Your vision must be a Army thing. I totally disagree with you on that one boss. Thanks for your service