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5 Fictional Military Leaders We’d Actually Follow Into Combat
There’s no shortage of bad leadership in war movies. It’s not even that the leaders are always bad or incompetent, though some are — like Jeremy Renner’s character in “The Hurt Locker,” who seems to have a death wish that he wants to share with his entire team.
Other leaders from action flicks and war movies, like Bruce Willis’ character in “Tears of the Sun,” just aren’t real; they’re not believable or relatable in the slightest. His character is just a walking, but not talking, action figure.
However, there are quite a few characters who hit pretty close to the mark. Here are five leaders from war movies who we’d actually follow into combat.
Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Highway
The consummate infantry leader, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Highway, played by Clint Eastwood in “Heartbreak Ridge,” is the baddest mother fucker around. He knows it, you know it, and his men know it, too — he makes sure of that.
While his training methods are a bit unorthodox — pretty sure he didn’t do an ORM before firing live rounds at his Marines — it does appear to work. When the Marines land in Grenada, it’s not the first time they’ve taken fire.
Capt. John Miller
Tom Hanks’ character in “Saving Private Ryan” is a quiet, humble, and self-assured commander. Battle-tested, yet compassionate, he leads from the front, from the beaches of Normandy, to far behind enemy lines.
Miller wouldn’t ask his men to do anything he wouldn’t or hasn’t done himself. That’s a leader.
Staff Sgt. Sykes
There’s a staff noncommissioned officer like him in every unit, and tons more in an infantry battalion. Tough, stern, smart, and sarcastic as hell, Jamie Foxx’s character from “Jarhead” can be both endearing and terrifying at the exact same time. When not playing fuck-fuck games, Sykes is training his Marines for combat, or leading them into it.
He even delivers a few off-the-cuff counselings and motivational speeches to the Marines when they need it, along with a few well-deserved ass chewings.
Lt. Jordan O'Neil
She isn’t intimidated by a goddamn thing.
That’s an important quality in a military leader, and not just in combat. Military life is unfortunately full of moments where people in leadership positions back down from an argument with a superior, even though they’re right. Demi Moore’s character in “G.I. Jane,” Lt. Jordan O’Neil, doesn’t play that game.
She’s also not one to balk from a fight, and in the film’s climactic battle she drags her wounded command master chief to cover and saves his ass.
Col. Terry L. Childers
While it may be tempting to paint Samuel L. Jackson’s character as a blood-thirsty Marine infantry officer, he’s not, though the prosecution certainly tried to present him as such during his trial in “Rules of Engagement.” Col. Terry L. Childers, while hard as nails, is not heartless. He’s the kind of leader who understands tough calls must sometimes be made, and bears responsibility for his actions, which though tragic, saved the lives of his Marines.
He also delivers one of the best war movie one-liners of all time: “Waste the motherfuckers.”
No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.
Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.
"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.
Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.
In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.
"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.
(Reuters Health) - While army suicides have historically decreased during wartime, that trend appears to have reversed in recent decades, a new study of U.S. records finds.
Researchers poring over nearly 200 years of data found that unlike earlier times when there was a decline in suicide rates among U.S. Army soldiers during and just after wars, the rate has risen significantly since 2004, according to the report in JAMA Network Open.