Capt. Rick Hoffman’s Battleship Boot Camp


Hollywood just went to boot camp — surface Navy-style.

The task of getting the cast of the forthcoming movie Battleship to look and speak Navy fell to the retired Navy captain who served as the film’s technical adviser. It was no easy task.

“Is that your war face? What kind of a face is that!” retired Capt. Rick Hoffman, who in real-life commanded frigate DeWert and cruiser Hue City, shouts at one actor in jest during a movie trailer released April 3. “Wipe that smile off your face, sailor!”

This is all part of what he called “Capt. Rick’s boot camp.” In the film, all that stands between the alien horde and human annihilation is, yes, the Navy’s gray warships. So making the actors believable surface warriors was of the utmost importance. To get them ready, Hoffman ran a sort of SWO-101. Key the radiotelephone before speaking! Get standard commands right! “Don’t fall off the boat!”

Yet despite the tough love, Hoffman was a cast favorite.

“Rick was wonderful and he loves sharing this information,” said star Liam Neeson, who plays Admiral Shane in the film.

And for his work, Hoffman got a bit of a promotion: a cameo as the fictionalized four-star chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The film opens May 18 in the U.S.


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  1. I’d love to see a movie like Battleship, but you can leave off the sci-fi theme. Life on a battleship was no picnic, any more than life on a carrier is today.
    The biggest difference between battleships of WWII and the destroyers and cruisers of today is the technology and the size.
    The attraction is just that, the size. A battleship is a formidable monster on the high seas, and a sight to behold.
    It is impressive.

  2. Aaron Westbrook on

    That is so awesome! Hoffman was my commanding officer when I served on the USS Dewert! Best C.O. I ever served with too! Congrats to him! Lucky man!! Looking forward to seeing his part in the movie!!

  3. The Navy didn’t invent the board game, someone decided to fund a movie based on it. From the previews and from this, as much as its science fiction, atleast they got the right guy out there to get what was practical as authrentic as possible. If it were supposed to be life on a Battleship, it would be on Discovery and it would be a documentary so let go a little and enjoy.

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