The 11 most beloved characters in military movies

We all have our favorite military movies. Whether or not they depict combat isn’t as important as the aspects of military life they bring to the screen. Military films remind us of our own experiences and those with whom we deployed. The characters in these movies have been with us so long, it’s like we know them personally. Like the real-life people you deployed with, the characters are mixed bag: you like some more than others. Some you can’t stand, some you absolutely love. These are the military movie characters closest to the hearts of America’s veterans.

These are the military movie characters closest to the hearts of America’s veterans.

The WATM crew talked about these war movie characters and others on our podcast. Check it out below or subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS | More Subscribe Options

[powerpress]

1. Everyone in “Full Metal Jacket”

“Full Metal Jacket” is supposed to be an anti-war movie, a treatise on the effects of overly macho masculinity, brainwashing in military training, and the combination of those forces in war.


Inside of the military, however, it’s the single most quoted movie ever. Everyone knows these characters and R. Lee Ermey’s performance as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman cemented everyone’s view of the Marine Drill Instructor in his own image, forever. Everyone from Animal Mother to Joker to Private Pyle makes this the perfect storm of characters.

2. Sgt. 1st Class Norm “Hoot” Gibson, “Black Hawk Down”

Hoot is actually based on three real people, based on Sgt. 1st Class John Macejunas, Sgt. 1st Class Norm Hooten and Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Rierson. In a movie full of memorable lines and moments, Hoot’s stand out and stay with you, especially his speech at the end.

Related: This is why ‘Black Hawk Down’ has the best military movie cast ever >

3. Lt. Aldo Raine, “Inglorious Basterds”

Brad Pitt is really getting into World War II movies. On top of 2014’s “Fury,” he has another coming out in 2016 called “Allied.” Before all that, he was Aldo Raine, the gung-ho leader of a band of Jewish troops dropped into Fortress Europe to strike fear in the hearts of Nazis. It worked and we loved watching him do it.

4. Staff Sgt. Sykes, “Jarhead”

Swoff’s scout sniper training instructor is funny, good at his job, cares about his Marines, and is one of the most memorable Marines in film and television history. Which is saying a lot.

5. Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore, “Apocalypse Now”

Apocalypse Now is an older film, the second oldest on this list (1979), so it may move a little slower than audiences today are used to. Still, in a movie full of legendary characters and performances by the actors portraying them, Kilgore stands out among them because he’s not paranoid or crazy, but he genuinely enjoys war.

6. Lt. (j.g.) Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, “Top Gun”

Goose was the ultimate wingman, the guy who always has your back.

WW7xK

Related: 7 military movie deaths we’re still bummed about >

7. Private Trip, “Glory”

Trip was angry, brooding, and resentful of the country he had to fight for. He’s the first to voice his displeasure with the idea that nothing will change for blacks in post-Civil War America. He’s the first to protest unequal pay. It makes you wonder why he bothers to fight at all until you realize he’s fighting for everyone around him and for what lives they could have.

8. Gen. George S. Patton, “Patton”

This is the oldest movie on the list here, but is so chock full of moments that, in movie buff circles, more people remember George C. Scott’s depiction of the man than the man himself.

9. Lt. Dan Taylor, Forrest Gump

Even Gary Sinise once said that Lieutenant Dan became a part of the actor himself and make Sinise dedicate his time and energy toward wounded veterans. When the actor walks through veterans hospitals, the attitudes of the patients literally change because Lt. Dan just walked in. That’s powerful.

10. Pvt. Dewey “Ox” Oxberger, Stripes

It’s not easy to choose which character in “Stripes” stands out the most. There are strong cases for Bill Murray’s John Winger and Harold Ramis’ Russell Ziskey, but John Candy’s Ox will steal your heart.

11. Adrian Cronauer, Good Morning Vietnam

The relatively recent death of Robin Williams may have made this performance a little more poignant, but the real-life Adrian Cronauer himself admitted that Williams’ portrayal of him was more epic than he ever was in real life.

TOP ARTICLES
These are the military traditions for deployed troops celebrating Thanksgiving

While you're deployed, weekends aren't really a thing — neither are most holidays. Thanksgiving, however, is a moment when the military slows down.

Forget multitasking, this Navy squadron has only one mission — rescue people

The Navy has an entire squadron for search and rescue, and it is the only squadron in the Navy that has an advance life-support helicopter platform.

How the Coast Guard intercepts half a million pounds of cocaine

For the last couple decades, the Coast Guard has pushed out further, taking more aggressive stabs at the flow of drugs that make their way into the U.S.

More remains of Special Forces soldier found in Niger

The Department of Defense announced that military investigators found additional remains that they have positively ID'd as Sgt. La David T. Johnson.

'Butcher of of Bosnia' sentenced to life in prison for genocide

"The Butcher of Bosnia" was handed a life sentence on November 22nd, 2017, for war crimes and the slaughter of 8,000 men and young children.

New engravings on the USMC War Memorial honor Iraq and Afghanistan Marines

On Nov. 22, the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial was updated to include Afghanistan and Iraq in the list of campaigns that runs along the memorial's base.

ISIS may focus on a virtual caliphate after losing real-world war

As the Islamic State loses the in real life war they've waged against the world, they've moved their game online- waging war in the virtual world.

Everything you need to know about Zimbabwe's ousted dictator

The dictator of Zimbabwe announced his resignation on Nov. 21, 2017 after the county's army took of the capital and family, forcing the resignation.

Watch this Marine get pinned by his 3-year-old son

Watch this adorable little boy steal into the hearts of all the Marines and civilians present as he promotes his dad and pins on his promoted rank.

Watch a North Korean defector dodging bullets to cross the DMZ

A North Korean attempting to defect to the South, who was found to be full of parasites, was shot by his fellow soldiers. We Are the Mighty has the video.