Master Sargent Mulcahey
Did he follow the troops into battle?share
No, he is a boot camp instructor. That's his role. Remember Louis Gossett Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman? Same thing.share
I'm not sure if you mean in the movie or real life, but the answer would have been "no" either way.
In the movie, Morgan Freeman's character was shown wearing sgt. major's stripes once the 54th regiment mobilized. There would have been only one sgt. major per regiment, so no Mulcahy.
In real life, none of the characters in the movie version of the 54th Massachusetts regiment ever really existed other than Col. Shaw, so there was no Sgt. Major Mulcahy at all.
From a real life military standpoint, someone at Mulcahy's rank (sergeant major) would have been the top enlisted man in the entire regiment, several layers of rank structure above the privates. He would not have been personally involved in instructing what amounted to a squad of new recruits (called "camp of instruction" in CW times, not "boot camp"). Part of his job as sgt. major would have been overall discipline among the enlisted ranks and to ensure the NCOs in the regiment were doing THEIR job. Basic drill at the company, platoon, and squad level such as that shown would have been the responsibility of the lower level NCOs, primarily the eight corporals and five sergeants within each of the ten companies of approximately 80 privates each (total of approx. 100 troops per company x ten companies in a newly formed regiment such as the 54th) which would have made up the entire 54th regiment. There is no way one person, particularly a sgt. major, would have been trying to personally train the several hundred privates that would make up a regiment like the 54th.
As Hollywood typically does, this movie combines what many people would have done into a few fictional central characters the audience could identify with, and in so doing completely muddles the real life structure and organization of a regiment for the purposes of drama and staging. That aspect, as well as the much of the movie in general, is pure Hollywood.
Kentor, Thank you for taking the time to post an informative messageshare
He was great. "Are you a gentleman? Are you a member of congress?"share
Halfway through the film, as the new 54th Regiment is parading in review before the governor, Mulcahey can be seen in the crowd, saluting them, as they pass by on way to their first assignment. He was not part of the regiment.share
Halfway through the film, as the new 54th Regiment is parading in review before the governor, Mulcahey can be seen in the crowd, saluting them, as they pass by on way to their first assignment. He was not part of the regiment.
I wonder why he was looking for the god damned prince of Africa.share