It’s easy to poke fun at the movies that screw up a portrayal of life in the military. Hell, most veterans and troops make drinking games out of just uniform errors alone — and that’s not even touching plot holes or the nonsensical dialogue.
But this isn’t that list. These films got the tiny details right. In fact, in addition to perfectly executed one-liners, these films get many things right.
1. A large portion of troops only enlisted for the benefits.
“Sir, I got lost on the way to college, sir.” – Anthony Swofford, Jarhead (2005)
2. We love f*cking with civilians.
“I wanted to meet interesting and stimulating people of an ancient culture… and kill them.” – Pvt. Joker, Full Metal Jacket (1987)
3. There isn’t much that scares officers.
“Nah, I don’t think so. More like chewed out. I’ve been chewed out before.” – Lt. Aldo Raine, Inglorious Basterds (2009)
4. NCOs f*cking hate meaningless small talk.
“Good Morning, Sergeant Major” … “How do you know what kind of goddamn day it is?” – Sgt. Savage to Sgt. Maj. Plumley, We Were Soldiers (2002)
5. NCOs are cocky only because they can back it up.
“My name is Gunnery Sergeant Highway. I’ve drunk more beer, pissed more blood, banged more q**ff, and stomped more ass than all of you numb-nuts put together.” – Gunny Highway, Heartbreak Ridge (1986)
6. Deployments are hell…
“Saigon… sh*t. I’m still only in Saigon.” – Capt. Willard, Apocalypse Now (1979)
7. No matter what, we’re all American GIs.
“We’re all very different people. We’re not Watusi. We’re not Spartans. We’re Americans, with a capital ‘A.’ You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog. We’re mutts! Here’s proof: his nose is cold! But there’s no animal that’s more faithful, that’s more loyal, more loveable than the mutt. Who saw ‘Old Yeller?’ Who cried when Old Yeller got shot at the end? I cried my eyes out. So we’re all dogfaces, we’re all very, very different, but there is one thing that we all have in common: we were all stupid enough to enlist in the Army.” – Pvt. Winger, Stripes (1981)