The Greek military was not paid for extras on the set of “The Expendables 4”

Members of the Greek Armed Forces, involved in extras during the filming of the Hollywood war film The Expendables 4 last November in Thessaloniki, complain that they were not paid for their work.

The incredible story came to light after Greek armed “actors” complained to the military associations of the Regional Units of Drama (ESPEED) and Pieria (ESPEEP) through the Panhellenic Federation of Military Associations (POES) that “they performed services that went beyond and far from the purpose of their mission as officers of the Greek Armed Forces, for a private company.”

According to ESPED and ESPEP documents, Greek soldiers have been involved in the filming of the film since November 29, 2021 for 26 days. Officers and soldiers have already told military associations that they didn’t even know that their assignment meant they would be involved in the filming of the film.

They now claim they were not paid a single euro for “use for film production purposes with a budget of 20,000,000 euros”. In a letter dated 8 April addressed to the Minister of National Defence, POES strongly demanded compensation for its members, emphasizing that “the Greek armed forces cannot be available for all types of work” and therefore should not work for free.

“We strongly protest and ask for your immediate intervention so that, on the one hand, the officers who were in any way involved in the filming of The Expendables 4 from November 26, 2021 until the end of filming, receive compensation not only in accordance with the provisions armed forces and current legislation for those involved in cinema, but also, on the other hand, call on a private production company to compensate the Ministry of National Defense for the disposal and use of the M60 A3 tank and the M / S 290GD vehicle, ”underlines POES.

The Greek military (in the background) who starred in The Expendables 4 for 26 days and ended up without pay.

In listing their filmmaking responsibilities, POES noted that as of November 29, 2021 and for a period of twenty-six (26) days, military officers have also been used as film company guides/instructors for the filming needs of The Expendables 4.

Emphasizing that the officers were away from home for 26 days and worked in excess of the required 8 hours a day, POES added that their daily employment exceeded the legal 8-hour daily work, “they worked 12 hours a day.” Complaining that the officers, after returning to their units, did not even receive days off from their constant daily activities “as a minimum recognition of their overtime work and, therefore, compensation for their physical fatigue during the filming of the above action.

They also indicate that for two (2) weeks the shooting was carried out in the morning (from 07:00 to 19:00), and on other days – at night (from 17:00 to 05:00). It should also be noted that within the framework of the above-mentioned deployment of officers, the same work schedule was also on weekends.

The POES letter to the minister notes that the officers will be paid by the military, which will apparently be paid by the production company behind The Expendables 4.

“The company will pay the appropriate amounts for each of them, since the officials involved are not employees of the company itself, therefore they cannot receive compensation, as it would be illegal,” POES noted and indicated that “compensation may be delayed because such , i.e. the availability of military personnel and filming facilities is happening for the first time.”

It is worth noting the fact that worries the officers that “their units did not send any documents or applications to the competent economic entities for the above compensation, since there is no specific financial fund for such actions.”

The history and writing of POES has been published extensively on military related websites such as and etc.

In short:

  • The production company behind The Expendables 4 has reached an agreement with the Greek army to provide military personnel for the filming needs.
  • The amount of payment for the services provided was agreed.
  • The armed forces ordered the soldiers and officers to arrive at the filming site and follow all the orders of the producers.


  • Nobody knows how many soldiers and officers were involved in filming.
  • No one knows if the production company paid compensation.
  • No one knows where and to whom the money went. Or was this rather tidy sum lost somewhere in pockets corridors of the Ministry of Defense. And if he knows, then for some reason he is silent. However, why is not difficult to guess.

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