5 Unforgettable Quotes From R. Lee Ermey, The Iconic Marine-Turned-Actor Buried Today At Arlington

Mandatory Fun
R. Lee Ermey: In Memoriam

R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.

Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.


A Vietnam War veteran and former Marine drill instructor, Ermey leveraged his military experience to pursue a career as an actor and technical adviser, who racked up more than 60 film and television credits, while still making time to support active duty service members deployed overseas.

Though his onscreen roles included a few "kid friendly" performances like his green army man, Sarge, in Toy Story, it was Ermey's knack for cutting loose with a string of profanity that bordered on poetic that so perfectly captured the image of the hard-as-nails Marine Corps drill instructor. He had a unique ability to be both hilarious and intimidating, and it's one that will be sorely missed and remembered.

Here are five of R. Lee Ermey's greatest rants, speeches, and quotes.

On recruit training

Perhaps one of the most iconic boot camp scenes of all time, nearly every sound, syllable and word that came out of his mouth during the first half of Full Metal Jacket is a gem, which is pretty high praise, not just of Ermey's performance, but because he also wrote about half of his lines, notes Rolling Stone magazine. Here's just a snippet of Gunnery Sgt. Hartman's welcome aboard brief:

"If you ladies leave my island, if you survive recruit training, you will be a weapon. You will be a minister of death praying for war. But until that that day, you are pukes. You are the lowest form of life on Earth. You are not even human fucking beings. You are nothing but unorganized grab-ass-tic pieces of amphibian shit!"

On discipline

Also from Full Metal Jacket, if you've stepped on the yellow footprints, you'll likely recall at least one drill instructor doing their best to mimic the legendary actor's colorful ass chewings, though none will ever be quite as good as this one:

"You little scumbag! I got your name! I got your ass! You will not laugh! You will not cry! You will learn by the numbers! I will teach you! Now get up! Get on your feet! You had best unfuck yourself, or I will unscrew your head and shit down your neck!"

On constructive criticism

In a 2010 advertisement for Geico, Ermey plays a therapist who gives some sage advice to his client.

"You know what makes me sad? You do! Maybe we should chug on over to namby-pamby land, where maybe we can find some self confidence for you, ya jackwagon!" Ermey says in the ad spot, before flinging a box of tissues at his client. Unorthodox, sure. Funny as hell? Also, yes.

Though Ermey's run as Geico's drill-sergeant-therapist was short-lived, allegedly owing to him being let go from the job after his public criticism of the Obama administration, it's possible that he may may have missed his calling in life.

On humor

During a History Channel special in 2001, Ermey discussed his time training Marine Corps recruits during the height of the Vietnam War. In the interview he shed light on a fundamental truth about Marine Corps recruit training: Your drill instructors are pretty much rage-filled stand-up comics.

"I'm a firm believer that the greatest instructors in the Marine Corps today and of yesteryear have always been just damn near stand-up comedians," he said in the segment.

And there's a lot of truth to this, just think about all the times you were told to do something totally bizarre, like hop across the squad bay saying "ribbit ribbit" because you decided to play around with the green cammie paint and the DI thought you looked like a frog. No? Okay, me either...

On motivation

Another observation Ermey made during that History Channel interview is that no matter what, drill instructors will find a way to motivate a nasty recruit to complete whatever task they've set before him or her.

"I could have a private who can do nine pull-ups and damn it, when I'm through talking to him, he can do 12. Why? Because I've intimidated this private so severely that I've convinced him that he can do 12 or he's going to die. That's why."

SEE ALSO: 10 Things You Never Realized About 'Full Metal Jacket'

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(Task & Purpose photo illustration by Paul Szoldra)

Jordan Way was living a waking nightmare.

The 23-year-old sailor laid in bed trembling. At times, his body would shake violently as he sobbed. He had recently undergone a routine shoulder surgery on Dec. 12, 2017, and was hoping to recover.

Instead, Jordan couldn't do much of anything other than think about the pain. Simple tasks like showering, dressing himself, or going to the bathroom alone were out of the question, and the excruciating sensation in his shoulder made lying down to sleep feel like torture.

"Imagine being asleep," he called to tell his mother Suzi at one point, "but you can still feel the pain."

To help, military doctors gave Jordan oxycodone, a powerful semi-synthetic opiate they prescribed to dull the sensation in his shoulder. Navy medical records show that he went on to take more than 80 doses of the drug in the days following the surgery, dutifully following doctor's orders to the letter.

Instinctively, Jordan, a Navy corpsman who by day worked at the Twentynine Palms naval hospital where he was now a patient, knew something was wrong. The drugs seemed to have little effect. His parents advised him to seek outside medical advice, but base doctors insisted the drugs just needed more time to work.

"They've got my back," Jordan had told his parents before the surgery, which happened on a Tuesday. By Saturday, he was dead.

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(Associated Press/Gregory Bull)

The Navy has paused proceedings that could strip Eddie Gallagher and three other SEALs of their tridents while the service awaits a written order to formally stand down, a senior Navy official told Task & Purpose on Thursday.

Rear Adm. Collin Green, the head of Naval Special Warfare Command, was expected to decide on the matter after the SEALs appeared before a review board next month. But Trump tweeted on Thursday that Gallagher was in no danger of losing his trident, a sacred symbol of being part of the SEAL community.

"The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin," the president tweeted. "This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!"

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U.S. President Donald Trump salutes a transfer case holding the remains of Chief Warrant Officer David Knadle, who was killed November 20 in a helicopter crash while supporting ground troops in Afghanistan, during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Delaware, U.S. November 21, 2019. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (Reuters) - President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Thursday to receive the remains of two American soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan this week.

Trump, who met with families of the soldiers, was accompanied at the base by first lady Melania Trump, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and national security adviser Robert O'Brien.

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T-38 Talon training aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Two airmen from Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, were killed on Thursday when two T-38 Talon training aircraft crashed during training mission, according to a message posted on the base's Facebook age.

The two airmen's names are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

A total of four airmen were onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident, base officials had previously announced.

The medical conditions for the other two people involved in the crash was not immediately known.

An investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.

Emergency responders from Vance Air Force Base are at the crash scene to treat casualties and help with recovery efforts.

Read the entire message below:

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Two Vance Air Force Base Airmen were killed in an aircraft mishap at approximately 9:10 a.m. today.

At the time of the accident, the aircraft were performing a training mission.

Vance emergency response personnel are on scene to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts.

Names of the deceased will be withheld pending next of kin notification.

A safety investigation team will investigate the incident.

Additional details will be provided as information becomes available. #VanceUpdates.

This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information is released.

Photos: 1st Cavalry Division

The Army has identified the two soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Wednesday as 33-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle, and 25-year-old Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr.

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