Jake McLaughlin is the one to watch out for in new ABC drama series Quantico. He is co-starring as Special Agent Ryan Booth, an ex- marine who arrives at FBI training with an undercover mission. Despite being tasked to surveil Alex (Priyanka Chopra), main character in the drama, he ends up falling in love with her. What makes talk about his role in Quantico interesting is his real life marine experience.
McLaughlin joined the U. S Army in 2002. He was part of the3rd Infantry Division. His unit was one of the first to enter Baghdad. He served in Iraq for four years as a dismount infantry S.A.W. gunner. His unit was tasked with taking over strongholds of three key highway interchanges- known as objectives Larry, Moe and Curly- to allow the US forces to remain in the city centre. In an interview with New York Post he mentions, ‘it was constant battle, constant firefights day-in and day-out.’ He was enlisted after 9/11 twin tower terror attack.
McLaughlin was seriously injured. He told New York post in an interview how he got injured and it goes like this, ‘The RPG came within a foot of my back. I dropped down 6 to 7 feet, and when I landed with my machine gun in my hand, I twisted.’ He suffered with a herniated L5 vertebra and bulging disc.
For his efforts; he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. Combat Infantry Badge, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal and four army achievement medals for his service during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was featured in Soldier of Fortune magazine. He was written about in David Zucchino’s 2004 book Thunder Run which talks about the push to Baghdad, Iraq.
Jake McLaughlin always wanted a career in movies. Before enlisting for U.S army he was a security guard at Universal Studios, Hollywood, which he joined at the age of 18. McLaughlin can be linked to Hollywood; he is the nephew of commercial actor Kevin Gregg. He served in the same battalion as World War II Medal of Honor winner and late actor Audie Murphy.
His career in Hollywood started with 2007 film, ‘In the Valley of Elah’ in which he was casted as Specialist Gordon Bonner. He went back to Los Angeles for a year to fill out his resume with small TV guest spots on TV shows while working construction. The actor recall his early experience in his acting career during auditions in an interview, ‘ there were times when I’d go to lawyer auditions and everyone’s in a suit and I’m covered in concrete and paint,’
McLaughlin is married to Stephanie and has three children. He has two daughters aged 13 and 1, and a son aged 9. He is currently starring in Quantico. He lives with his family in California while his shooting is going on in Montreal. When asked how it feels to be away from your wife and children during filming, he says, ‘when I go on jobs like this, we look at them as deployments.’ He has a happy family and no signs of divorce.
His net worth has not been disclosed yet.