History Film / WeWereSoldiers

7th Feb '18 1:01:26 AM MadCormorant
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* WeHaveReserves: The NVA leadership's attitude towards their soldiers.

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* WeHaveReserves: The NVA leadership's attitude towards their soldiers. In real life, not entirely willingly so; much of the local PAVN elements' crew-served weapons were knocked out or unavailable.
3rd Feb '18 11:09:42 AM maxwellsilver
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—->Get small! Get small! It’s dropping right on top of you!

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—->Get -->Get small! Get small! It’s dropping right on top of you!
3rd Feb '18 11:09:05 AM maxwellsilver
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—> “[[ThisIsGonnaSuck Get small! Get small! It’s dropping right on top of you!]]”

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—> “[[ThisIsGonnaSuck Get —->Get small! Get small! It’s dropping right on top of you!]]”you!
3rd Feb '18 11:08:10 AM maxwellsilver
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** The scenes that critics complained were cheesy, corny, melodramatic or unrealistic tended to be the ones lifted ''directly from real life!'' This includes lines said by soldiers as they were dying. In the director's commentary the director himself brings this up, which makes the rather ironic point that it would have been far more unrealistic if the soldiers had said something witty or clever as they were lying dying in enormous pain with little mental faculties left. Critics also tend to forget that the dark cynicism now associated with the Vietnam War only set in as the conflict dragged on for years; soldiers going into combat and civilians at home were both quite optimistic and supportive at the outset of the war, so a dying soldier declaring how proud he is to give his life for his country wasn't exactly out of the ordinary.* ApronMatron: Julia Moore, who is a very queenly TeamMom to all the [[MyGirlBackHome Girls back home]] at the base.

to:

** The scenes that critics complained were cheesy, corny, melodramatic or unrealistic tended to be the ones lifted ''directly from real life!'' This includes lines said by soldiers as they were dying. In the director's commentary the director himself brings this up, which makes the rather ironic point that it would have been far more unrealistic if the soldiers had said something witty or clever as they were lying dying in enormous pain with little mental faculties left. Critics also tend to forget that the dark cynicism now associated with the Vietnam War only set in as the conflict dragged on for years; soldiers going into combat and civilians at home were both quite optimistic and supportive at the outset of the war, so a dying soldier declaring how proud he is to give his life for his country wasn't exactly out of the ordinary.ordinary.
* ApronMatron: Julia Moore, who is a very queenly TeamMom to all the [[MyGirlBackHome Girls back home]] at the base.
3rd Feb '18 11:07:40 AM maxwellsilver
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* ApronMatron: Julia Moore, who is a very queenly TeamMom to all the [[MyGirlBackHome Girls back home]] at the base.

to:

* AluminumChristmasTrees:
** Picking up radio transmissions from the far side of the world is very possible with radios operating on certain bands, due to a quirk of signals under certain atmosphere conditions: they can bounce off of one of the upper layers of the atmosphere, using it like a reflector to bankshot transmissions around the curvature of the Earth.
** The scenes that critics complained were cheesy, corny, melodramatic or unrealistic tended to be the ones lifted ''directly from real life!'' This includes lines said by soldiers as they were dying. In the director's commentary the director himself brings this up, which makes the rather ironic point that it would have been far more unrealistic if the soldiers had said something witty or clever as they were lying dying in enormous pain with little mental faculties left. Critics also tend to forget that the dark cynicism now associated with the Vietnam War only set in as the conflict dragged on for years; soldiers going into combat and civilians at home were both quite optimistic and supportive at the outset of the war, so a dying soldier declaring how proud he is to give his life for his country wasn't exactly out of the ordinary.
* ApronMatron: Julia Moore, who is a very queenly TeamMom to all the [[MyGirlBackHome Girls back home]] at the base.



* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Minigun]]: Before the training sequence, the officers of the soon-to-be 7th Cavalry are seen standing around an [[GatlingGood M134 minigun]] on a table. The minigun makes its appearance later during [[spoiler: the aformentioned GunshipRescue.]]
* ClickHello: A group of [=NVA=] troops are trying to find Savage's lost platoon in the jungle at night. Due to the thick foliage and tall grass, the Americans end up HiddenInPlainSight (thanks to the near-total darkness, and they don’t know the NVA are right there, either, until one of Savage’s troopers whispers that he can smell them), even with the Vietnamese troops almost right on top of them. The [=NVA=] troopers [[OhCrap realize this]] when Savage switches his safety selector from "Single" to "[[MoreDakka Auto]].” It turns into a MassOhCrap when an illumination round reveals that the two sides are just a couple of feet apart, resulting in a BlastOut.

to:

* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Minigun]]: ChekhovsGun: Before the training sequence, the officers of the soon-to-be 7th Cavalry are seen standing around an [[GatlingGood M134 minigun]] minigun on a table. The minigun makes its appearance later during [[spoiler: the aformentioned aforementioned GunshipRescue.]]
* ClickHello: A group of [=NVA=] troops are trying to find Savage's lost platoon in the jungle at night. Due to the thick foliage and tall grass, the Americans end up HiddenInPlainSight (thanks to the near-total darkness, and they don’t know the NVA are right there, either, until one of Savage’s troopers whispers that he can smell them), even with the Vietnamese troops almost right on top of them. The [=NVA=] troopers [[OhCrap realize this]] this when Savage switches his safety selector from "Single" "Semi" to "[[MoreDakka Auto]]."Auto.” It turns into a MassOhCrap when an illumination round reveals that the two sides are just a couple of feet apart, resulting in a BlastOut.



** Of particular note is Colonel Moore's personal radioman, who got that job during training after he managed to tune in on a radio transmission from a firefight happening in Vietnam, on the far side of the world. This scene was TruthInTelevision, due to a [[RealityIsUnrealistic quirk of certain bandwidths of radio signals]]. The signals can bounce off of the upper atmosphere under the right conditions, effectively bank-shotting the signal around the Earth.
** Another radioman had the primary responsibility of calling in artillery strikes and air support. [[AllThereInTheManual According to the book the film was based on]], he was a fighter pilot who was trained to serve specifically in this role.
*** [[ShownTheirWork If you look closely, you can see that his uniform's branch insignia says "U.S. Air Force" rather than "U.S. Army".]]
* CoolGuns: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] and [[SubvertedTrope subverted]]. Colonel Moore seems to like the new M16 rifle. Sergeant Major Plumley thinks it feels too much like a toy compared to the weapons he's accustomed to. So instead he decides to play the trope straight with his Colt Model 1911A1 (he uses an M14 for a rifle, [[TruthInTelevision as a lot of older soldiers did at the beginning of the war]], as well as those not yet equipped with the M16). He picks up an M16 only once in the entire movie [[spoiler: to hand to the photojournalist to defend himself with during a fierce NVA attack.]]

to:

** Of particular note is Colonel Moore's personal radioman, who got that job during training after he managed to tune in on a radio transmission from a firefight happening in Vietnam, on the far side of the world. This scene was TruthInTelevision, due to a [[RealityIsUnrealistic quirk of certain bandwidths of radio signals]].signals. The signals can bounce off of the upper atmosphere under the right conditions, effectively bank-shotting the signal around the Earth.
** Another radioman had the primary responsibility of calling in artillery strikes and air support. [[AllThereInTheManual According to the book the film was based on]], on, he was a fighter pilot who was trained to serve specifically in this role.
*** [[ShownTheirWork
role. If you look closely, you can see that his uniform's branch insignia says "U.S. Air Force" rather than "U.S. Army".]]
Army".
* CoolGuns: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] and [[SubvertedTrope subverted]]. Colonel Moore seems to like the new M16 rifle. Sergeant Major Plumley thinks it feels too much like a toy compared to the weapons he's accustomed to. So instead he decides to play the trope straight with his Colt Model 1911A1 (he uses an M14 for a rifle, [[TruthInTelevision as a lot of older soldiers did at the beginning of the war]], war, as well as those not yet equipped with the M16). He picks up an M16 only once in the entire movie [[spoiler: to hand to the photojournalist to defend himself with during a fierce NVA attack.]]



** [[ApronMatron Julia Moore]] and Barbara Geoghegan take it upon themselves to deliver the letters themselves, both to save the taxi driver from some of the anguish and out of a sense of responsibility to their neighbors.

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** [[ApronMatron Julia Moore]] Moore and Barbara Geoghegan take it upon themselves to deliver the letters themselves, both to save the taxi driver from some of the anguish and out of a sense of responsibility to their neighbors.



* DisconnectedByDeath: Implied. An [[CommunicationsOfficer RTO (radio telephone operator)]] manages to tune in on frantic radio transmissions from an ARVN unit and their American special forces advisers heavily engaged in combat with the enemy in Vietnam. The signal is lost abruptly, but it is unclear if it was because the special forces troops were killed, or due to more mundane reasons, given the extreme range they picked up the transmission from. Colonel Moore uses this signal to further explain to his officers that they need to watch each other's back, because when the shooting starts, each other is all they'll have.

to:

* DisconnectedByDeath: Implied. An [[CommunicationsOfficer RTO (radio telephone operator)]] operator) manages to tune in on frantic radio transmissions from an ARVN unit and their American special forces advisers heavily engaged in combat with the enemy in Vietnam. The signal is lost abruptly, but it is unclear if it was because the special forces troops were killed, or due to more mundane reasons, given the extreme range they picked up the transmission from. Colonel Moore uses this signal to further explain to his officers that they need to watch each other's back, because when the shooting starts, each other is all they'll have.



* EnsignNewbie: One of the platoon commanders, LT Herrick, [[LeeroyJenkins carelessly leads his men into the woods in pursuit of some fleeing NVA scouts]], and end up [[TrappedBehindEnemyLines cut off from the rest of the American troops.]] [[spoiler:He is very quickly killed [[HeroicSacrifice attempting to lead his men back to safety]], along with his platoon sergeant, who tried to rein him in, leaving [[YouAreInCommandNow Sergeant Savage, a young squad leader, in charge of the cut-off platoon.]]]]
** A deleted scene features a 2nd Lieutenant fresh out of ROTC trying to boss around a seasoned veteran sergeant. Said sergeant manages to put the LT back in his place...by coming out [[NakedPeopleAreFunny just wearing his boots and his Medal of Honor]]. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome The LT salutes him immediately]].
*** He was actually wearing two Medals of Honor. Which is why this scene was deleted, as that hadn't happened since 1918.
* FallingIntoTheCockpit: Galloway, who has spent most of his time on the battlefield laying low and talking to people, is handed a blood-soaked rifle and tasked with helping defend the wounded (and himself). As soon as the enemy has been pushed back, he [[CallToAgriculture hangs the rifle from a tree and picks up his camera again]] (in RealLife, his noncombatant status was discussed a week prior to the battle, and he arrived there with a rifle).

to:

* EnsignNewbie: One of the platoon commanders, LT Herrick, [[LeeroyJenkins carelessly leads his men into the woods in pursuit of some fleeing NVA scouts]], scouts, and end up [[TrappedBehindEnemyLines cut off from the rest of the American troops.]] troops. [[spoiler:He is very quickly killed [[HeroicSacrifice attempting to lead his men back to safety]], safety, along with his platoon sergeant, who tried to rein him in, leaving [[YouAreInCommandNow Sergeant Savage, a young squad leader, in charge of the cut-off platoon.]]]]
]]
** A deleted scene features a 2nd Lieutenant fresh out of ROTC trying to boss around a seasoned veteran sergeant. Said sergeant manages to put the LT back in his place...by coming out [[NakedPeopleAreFunny just wearing his boots and his Medal ''two'' Medals of Honor]]. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Honor. The LT salutes him immediately]].
*** He was actually wearing two Medals
immediately. The fact a double awarding of Honor. Which is the Medal of Honor has not occurred since 1918 might explain why this the scene was deleted, as that hadn't happened since 1918.
deleted (it's also stated he worked for Sgt. Maj. Plumley and was ''scared shitless'' of him).
* FallingIntoTheCockpit: Galloway, who has spent most of his time on the battlefield laying low and talking to people, is handed a blood-soaked rifle and tasked with helping defend the wounded (and himself). As soon as the enemy has been pushed back, he [[CallToAgriculture hangs the rifle from a tree and picks up his camera again]] again (in RealLife, his noncombatant status was discussed a week prior to the battle, and he arrived there with a rifle).



** Moore's Vietnamese counterpart to an extent, though unlike Moore he's a little more willing to use WeHaveReserves. It’s clear that he doesn’t take their deaths lightly, though.

to:

** Moore's North Vietnamese counterpart to an extent, though unlike Moore he's a little more willing to use WeHaveReserves. It’s clear that he doesn’t take their deaths lightly, though.



* {{Foreshadowing}}: During their training, Moore, wanting to [[AnyoneCanDie make a point]], declares that one of the platoon commanders, Lieutenant Herrick, is now "dead", and that the platoon sergeant next to him is now in command. He then declares the platoon sergeant dead, because he hesitated. A squad leader, Sergeant Savage takes charge and orders the men to get off the chopper. [[spoiler: Once the fighting starts, two of the first men to be killed are Lieutenant Herrick and his platoon sergeant, leaving Sergeant Savage in command of the platoon.]]
* AFriendInNeed: DiscussedTrope: Colonel Moore makes a point of visiting Major Crandall's squadron and introducing himself, reasoning that pilots won't fly into a dangerous situation for someone they don't know. [[spoiler: As discussed above, Crandall and his men later on [[{{Determinator}} tenaciously support Moore and his troops]] when they are fighting for their lives at LZ X-Ray]]

to:

* {{Foreshadowing}}: During their training, Moore, wanting to [[AnyoneCanDie make a point]], point, declares that one of the platoon commanders, Lieutenant Herrick, is now "dead", and that the platoon sergeant next to him is now in command. He then declares the platoon sergeant dead, because he hesitated. A squad leader, Sergeant Savage takes charge and orders the men to get off the chopper. [[spoiler: Once the fighting starts, two of the first men to be killed are Lieutenant Herrick and his platoon sergeant, leaving Sergeant Savage in command of the platoon.]]
* AFriendInNeed: DiscussedTrope: Colonel Moore makes a point of visiting Major Crandall's squadron and introducing himself, reasoning that pilots won't fly into a dangerous situation for someone they don't know. [[spoiler: As discussed above, Crandall and his men later on [[{{Determinator}} tenaciously support Moore and his troops]] troops when they are fighting for their lives at LZ X-Ray]]



* GentlemanAndAScholar: Lt. Colonel Moore holds an advanced degree from [[IvyLeagueForEveryone Harvard]] and is an astute student of military history, but both the testimony of his fellow officers and his subsequent [[BadassBookworm conduct on the field]] prove that is is not an [[IntelligenceEqualsIsolation out-of-touch]] "intellectual" (as one officer contemptuously puts it). True to form, he is an [[ThePatriarch excellent father and husband]].

to:

* GentlemanAndAScholar: Lt. Colonel Moore holds an advanced degree from [[IvyLeagueForEveryone Harvard]] and is an astute student of military history, but both the testimony of his fellow officers and his subsequent [[BadassBookworm conduct on the field]] prove that is he is not an [[IntelligenceEqualsIsolation out-of-touch]] "intellectual" out-of-touch "intellectual"]] (as one officer contemptuously puts it). True to form, he is an [[ThePatriarch excellent father and husband]].



* IconicItem: Galloway's [[IntrepidReporter camera]] [[spoiler: and rifle]], Sergeant Major Plumley's [[OldSoldier M1911]], the French bugle, the NVA trooper's diary, and Lieutenant Geoghegan's bracelet with his newborn daughter’s name on it.
* ImminentDangerClue: When the North Vietnamese troops are looking for Savage's platoon in the thick foliage and end up standing right in the middle of them [[HiddenInPlainSight without realizing it]], their first and last clue before the bullets start flying is when Sgt Savage thumbs his fire selector to "[[MoreDakka Auto]]" with an audible click.

to:

* IconicItem: Galloway's [[IntrepidReporter camera]] camera [[spoiler: and rifle]], Sergeant Major Plumley's [[OldSoldier M1911]], [=M1911=], the French bugle, the NVA trooper's diary, and Lieutenant Geoghegan's bracelet with his newborn daughter’s name on it.
* ImminentDangerClue: When the North Vietnamese troops are looking for Savage's platoon in the thick foliage and end up standing right in the middle of them [[HiddenInPlainSight without realizing it]], it, their first and last clue before the bullets start flying is when Sgt Savage thumbs his fire selector to "[[MoreDakka Auto]]" "Auto" with an audible click.



-->'''Joseph Galloway''': ''Refugio, [[EverythingIsBigInTexas Texas]], sir. ''

to:

-->'''Joseph Galloway''': ''Refugio, [[EverythingIsBigInTexas Texas]], Texas, sir. ''



* LastStand: Averted but discussed several times. Everyone remembers that this is [[InTheBlood Custer's unit]] but they manage to ScrewDestiny, thanks to advancements in technology allowing TheCavalry to come to their rescue, in the form of GunshipRescue.

to:

* LastStand: Averted but discussed several times. Everyone remembers that this is [[InTheBlood Custer's unit]] unit but they manage to ScrewDestiny, thanks to advancements in technology allowing TheCavalry to come to their rescue, in the form of GunshipRescue.



* MeaningfulEcho: Sergeant Savage's greeting to Sergeant Major Plumley early in the film: "Good Morning, Sergeant Major!" When he first uses it, Plumley's response is less than friendly. Later variations on the greeting result in heavier doses of spite (and profanity). Finally, towards the end of the film, Sgt. Savage is standing and looking around [[spoiler: at the battlefield, surrounded by dead and wounded, himself covered in dirt and blood after having spent the night with his platoon cut off and fighting for their lives, but having also kept them alive.]] Sgt. Major Plumley looks him in the eye and says "[[WellDoneSonGuy Now it's a nice day, Sergeant Savage.]]"
* TheMenFirst: Moore refuses an order from his superiors to evacuate just him, telling them that he will not abandon his men.
** Also, just as he promised earlier in the movie, he is the first man to set foot on the battlefield and the last one to leave at the end.

to:

* MeaningfulEcho: Sergeant Savage's greeting to Sergeant Major Plumley early in the film: "Good Morning, Sergeant Major!" When he first uses it, Plumley's response is less than friendly. Later variations on the greeting result in heavier doses of spite (and profanity). Finally, towards the end of the film, Sgt. Savage is standing and looking around [[spoiler: at the battlefield, surrounded by dead and wounded, himself covered in dirt and blood after having spent the night with his platoon cut off and fighting for their lives, but having also kept them alive.]] Sgt. Major Plumley looks him in the eye and says "[[WellDoneSonGuy Now "Now it's a nice day, Sergeant Savage.]]"
"
* TheMenFirst: Moore refuses an order from his superiors to evacuate just him, telling them that he will not abandon his men.
**
men. Also, just as he promised earlier in the movie, he is the first man to set foot on the battlefield and the last one to leave at the end.



** The radioman calling in air support shortly after Colonel Moore declares "Broken Arrow". Unfortunately in the confusion he accidentally gives the wrong position to one aircraft, which ends up dropping a bomb too close to US troops, and ends up killing several of them. Despite that, Colonel Moore attempts to [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone snap him out of his funk]], telling him to ignore that bad call, and to keep the bombs coming, as he's the only one keeping them alive at this crucial moment.
* NomDeGuerre: Amongst the Air Cavalry pilots, we have [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Too Tall]] and [[PrecisionFStrike Snake Shit]][[note]]An "Affectionate Appellation" by Major Crandall's men, referring to the fact that he [[AcrophobicBird flies lower than snake shit.]][[/note]].

to:

** The radioman calling in air support shortly after Colonel Moore declares "Broken Arrow". Unfortunately in the confusion he accidentally gives the wrong position to one aircraft, which ends up dropping a bomb too close to US troops, and ends up killing several of them. Despite that, Colonel Moore attempts to [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone snap him out of his funk]], funk, telling him to ignore that bad call, and to keep the bombs coming, as he's the only one keeping them alive at this crucial moment.
* NomDeGuerre: Amongst the Air Cavalry pilots, we have [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Too Tall]] Tall and [[PrecisionFStrike Snake Shit]][[note]]An Shit[[note]]An "Affectionate Appellation" by Major Crandall's men, referring to the fact that he [[AcrophobicBird flies lower than snake shit.]][[/note]].[[/note]].



* RealityIsUnrealistic: Picking up radio transmissions from the far side of the world is very possible with radios operating on certain bands, due to a quirk of signals under certain atmosphere conditions: they can bounce off of one of the upper layers of the atmosphere, using it like a reflector to bankshot transmissions around the curvature of the Earth.
** The scenes that critics complained were cheesy, corny, melodramatic or unrealistic tended to be the ones lifted ''directly from real life!'' This includes lines said by soldiers as they were dying. In the director's commentary the director himself brings this up, which makes the rather ironic point that it would have been far more unrealistic if the soldiers had said something witty or clever as they were lying dying in enormous pain with little mental faculties left. Critics also tend to forget that the dark cynicism now associated with the Vietnam War only set in as the conflict dragged on for years; soldiers going into combat and civilians at home were both quite optimistic and supportive at the outset of the war, so a dying soldier declaring how proud he is to give his life for his country wasn't exactly out of the ordinary.



* {{Retirony}}: PFC Jimmy Nakayama, though he wasn’t leaving the Army. [[TearJerker He had actually just found out that his pregnant wife had gone into labor that morning]].

to:

* {{Retirony}}: PFC Jimmy Nakayama, though he wasn’t leaving the Army. [[TearJerker He had actually just found out that his pregnant wife had gone into labor that morning]].morning.



** A deleted scene has a soldier telling his buddies a story about Plumley, whom he knew from his old unit. He describes his old platoon sergeant. Big scary dude, with scars on his face. When their new platoon leader, [[EnsignNewbie a 2nd lieutenant fresh out of ROTC]], gets in his face about not wearing all his decorations, he goes back to the barracks, and comes back wearing ''[[NakedPeopleAreFunny only]]'' his boots, all of his ribbons and medals ''pinned directly to his chest'', and ''not one but two Medals Of Honor''. (The LT then promptly salutes him per military custom.[[note]]It's a ''de facto'' rule that anyone who has won the Medal of Honor is entitled to a salute from all personnel present, regardless of rank.[[/note]]) The soldier telling the story then reveals this sergeant is ''not'' Sgt. Major Plumley (as the last double Medal of Honor award was in 1918), but works for Sgt. Maj. Plumley and is ''terrified'' of him.

to:

** A deleted scene has a soldier telling his buddies a story about Plumley, whom he knew from his old unit. He describes his old platoon sergeant. Big scary dude, with scars on his face. When their new platoon leader, [[EnsignNewbie a 2nd lieutenant fresh out of ROTC]], gets in his face about not wearing all his decorations, he goes back to the barracks, and comes back wearing ''[[NakedPeopleAreFunny only]]'' ''only'' his boots, all of his ribbons and medals ''pinned directly to his chest'', and ''not not one but two ''two'' Medals Of Honor''.Honor. (The LT then promptly salutes him per military custom.[[note]]It's a ''de facto'' rule that anyone who has won been awarded the Medal of Honor is entitled to a salute from all personnel present, regardless of rank.[[/note]]) The soldier telling the story then reveals this sergeant is ''not'' Sgt. Major Plumley (as the last double Medal of Honor award was in 1918), but works for Sgt. Maj. Plumley and is ''terrified'' of him.



* TagalongReporter: Galloway. The first time we see him, he is [[QuickNip finishing his drink]] before he impulsively jumps onto a chopper heading to Landing Zone X-Ray. Spends most of the rest of the movie [[TheWatson talking to the soldiers]] and [[ActionSurvivor staying alive.]]
* [[strike:[[TalkingIsAFreeAction Talking]]]] [[TalkingIsAFreeAction Bugling Is A Free Action]] ([[KilledMidSentence Nope.]])

to:

* TagalongReporter: Galloway. The first time we see him, he is [[QuickNip finishing his drink]] before he impulsively jumps onto a chopper heading to Landing Zone X-Ray. Spends most of the rest of the movie [[TheWatson talking to the soldiers]] soldiers and [[ActionSurvivor staying alive.]]
* [[strike:[[TalkingIsAFreeAction Talking]]]] [[TalkingIsAFreeAction Bugling Is A Free Action]] ([[KilledMidSentence Nope.]])



* TrapIsTheOnlyOption: {{Discussed}}. Moore and Plumley have both [[GenreSavvy been around the block]] enough times to recognize an obvious DefensiveFeintTrap when presented with one. That said, their entire mission is to seek out the NVA and engage them in open combat, so this is as good an opportunity as they expect to get.

to:

* TrapIsTheOnlyOption: {{Discussed}}. Moore and Plumley have both [[GenreSavvy been around the block]] block enough times to recognize an obvious DefensiveFeintTrap when presented with one. That said, their entire mission is to seek out the NVA and engage them in open combat, so this is as good an opportunity as they expect to get.



** Specifically, the bayonet charge at the end didn't happen (they were reinforced by two battalions and withdrew, and a B-52 bombed the NVA positions), and Joe Galloway's noncombatant status was discussed over a week prior - he arrived at the battle with an M16 (he was also at the Plei Mei Special Forces camp, and fed an M60 with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Alvin_Beckwith Chargin' Charlie Beckwith]]). His discussion on his status was also with Colonel Beckwith.
* VillainousValor: [[NotSoDifferent to no surprise.]] Special mention goes to the PAVN soldier who breaks through, if only for a moment, to the American command post. [[spoiler:Moore recovers the man's diary in a TearJerker near the end, and has it sent to the man’s widow.]]
* WarIsHell: Particularly for [[EnsignNewbie Lt. Herrick's]] platoon, who spend most of the battle cut off from the rest of the battalion and pinned down by the enemy. Nevermind [[BodyHorror poor Jimmy]].

to:

** Specifically, the bayonet charge at the end didn't happen (they were reinforced by two battalions and withdrew, and a B-52 bombed the NVA positions), and Joe Galloway's noncombatant status was discussed over a week prior - -- he arrived at the battle with an M16 (he was also at the Plei Mei Special Forces camp, and fed an M60 with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Alvin_Beckwith Chargin' Charlie Beckwith]]). His discussion on his status was also with Colonel Beckwith.
* VillainousValor: [[NotSoDifferent to To no surprise.]] surprise. Special mention goes to the PAVN soldier who breaks through, if only for a moment, to the American command post. [[spoiler:Moore recovers the man's diary in a TearJerker near the end, and has it sent to the man’s widow.]]
* WarIsHell: Particularly for [[EnsignNewbie Lt. Herrick's]] Herrick's platoon, who spend most of the battle cut off from the rest of the battalion and pinned down by the enemy. Nevermind [[BodyHorror poor Jimmy]].Jimmy.
3rd Feb '18 10:39:18 AM maxwellsilver
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--> '''Sgt. Major Plumley''': ''[[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments If any of you sons of bitches calls me grandpa, I'll kill you.]]''

to:

--> '''Sgt. Major Plumley''': ''[[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments If ''If any of you sons of bitches calls me grandpa, I'll kill you.]]''''
3rd Feb '18 10:37:43 AM maxwellsilver
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* ActionSurvivor: Pretty much anyone who's still alive by the end of the film, but Sgt. Savage in particular after being TrappedBehindEnemyLines.
29th Jan '18 5:43:44 PM Historian1912
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* {{Foreshadowing}}: During their training, Moore, wanting to [[AnyoneCanDie make a point]], declares that one of the platoon commanders, Lieutenant Herrick, is now "dead", and that the platoon sergeant next to him is now in command. He then declares the platoon sergeant dead, because he hesitated. A squad leader, Sergeant Savage takes, charge and orders the men to get off the chopper. [[spoiler: Once the fighting starts, two of the first men to be killed are Lieutenant Herrick and his platoon sergeant, leaving Sergeant Savage in command of the platoon.]]

to:

* {{Foreshadowing}}: During their training, Moore, wanting to [[AnyoneCanDie make a point]], declares that one of the platoon commanders, Lieutenant Herrick, is now "dead", and that the platoon sergeant next to him is now in command. He then declares the platoon sergeant dead, because he hesitated. A squad leader, Sergeant Savage takes, takes charge and orders the men to get off the chopper. [[spoiler: Once the fighting starts, two of the first men to be killed are Lieutenant Herrick and his platoon sergeant, leaving Sergeant Savage in command of the platoon.]]
8th Nov '17 10:11:53 AM YT45
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* AcePilot: Major Bruce "Snake Shit" Crandall and his right-hand man, Warrant Officer Ed "Too Tall" Freeman, are UH-1 Huey pilots, who fly in and out of heavily contestelanding zones to drop off troops and supplies, and to collect the wounded. In RealLife, both men received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the battle.

to:

* AcePilot: Major Bruce "Snake Shit" Crandall and his right-hand man, Warrant Officer Ed "Too Tall" Freeman, are UH-1 Huey pilots, who fly in and out of heavily contestelanding contested landing zones to drop off troops and supplies, and to collect the wounded. In RealLife, both men received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the battle.
22nd Oct '17 9:11:30 AM YT45
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A 2002 war drama directed by Randall Wallace, set in the UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar and focusing on the RealLife campaign of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry (cavalry with helicopters not horses that is) in the Ia Drang valley in 1965, the first major battle between the United States and North Vietnam.

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A 2002 war drama directed by Randall Wallace, set in the UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar and focusing on the RealLife campaign of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry (cavalry with helicopters helicopters, not horses horses, that is) in the Ia Drang valley in 1965, the first major battle between the United States and North Vietnam.



* AcePilot: Major Bruce "Snake Shit" Crandall and his right-hand man, Ed "Too Tall" Freeman, are UH-1 Huey pilots, who fly in and out of heavily contestelanding zones to drop off troops and supplies, and to collect the wounded. In RealLife, both men received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the battle.

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* AcePilot: Major Bruce "Snake Shit" Crandall and his right-hand man, Warrant Officer Ed "Too Tall" Freeman, are UH-1 Huey pilots, who fly in and out of heavily contestelanding zones to drop off troops and supplies, and to collect the wounded. In RealLife, both men received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the battle.



** Evidently, his practice of invoking this trope in a transport helicopter is what earned Major Bruce Crandall the nickname "Snake Shit". Justified in this case, as flying at low altitude and high speed is a popular method of avoiding anti-aircraft fire (known as "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nap-of-the-earth Nap-Of-The-Earth]]").

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** Evidently, his practice of invoking this trope in a transport helicopter is what earned Major Bruce Crandall the nickname "Snake Shit".Shit" (“Because I fly lower than snake shit”). Justified in this case, as flying at low altitude and high speed is a popular method of avoiding anti-aircraft fire (known as "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nap-of-the-earth Nap-Of-The-Earth]]").



* BenevolentBoss: Lieutenant Geoghegan, who makes a point of making a soldier take off his boots so he can inspect his feet for blisters when he sees him wincing while marching, and reminding the other men to do the same.

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* BenevolentBoss: Lieutenant Geoghegan, a young platoon leader who makes a point of making a soldier take off his boots so he can inspect his feet for blisters when he sees him wincing while marching, and reminding the other men to do the same.



** Someone is hit by a chunk of burning phosphorus. He's saved... by someone slicing off the part of his face it's stuck to.
* BoomHeadshot: The Vietcong soldier who attempts to stab Colonel Moore with his bayonet suffers this fate [[spoiler:after the latter turns around to shoot him in the head.]]

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** Someone is hit by a chunk of burning phosphorus.white phosphorus, which burns its way straight through his face. He's saved... by [[MeatGrinderSurgery someone slicing off shoving his combat knife into the part of his face it's stuck to.
wound to dig, scrape, and gouge out the phosphorus]].
* BoomHeadshot: The Vietcong NVA soldier who attempts to stab bayonet Colonel Moore with his bayonet suffers this fate [[spoiler:after the latter turns around to shoot him in the head.]]



* CameraAbuse
* TheCaptain: Moore.
* CaptainSmoothAndSergeantRough: Moore, as noted above, is the father to his men type. Plumley is there to kick them in the ass whenever they need it. (And sometimes just because).
* CallBack: Early in the film Sgt. Savage attempts to greet Sgt Major Plumley when passing by him, but is brushed off harshly each time. At the end of the film, Sgt Major Plumley greets Sgt Savage in a similar manner after the battle is over and the latter is rescued after being surrounded by enemy troops.

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* CameraAbuse
CameraAbuse: Dirt, soot, and blood frequently splatter on the lens.
* TheCaptain: LTC Moore.
* CaptainSmoothAndSergeantRough: Moore, as noted above, is the father to his men type. Plumley is there to kick them in the ass whenever they need it. (And sometimes just because).
because). The Colonel’s and Command Sergeant Major’s opposing styles complement eachother quite well, maximizing the advantages of both methods, and each holds the other in high regard.
* CallBack: Early in the film Sgt. Savage attempts to greet Sgt Major Plumley when passing by him, but is brushed off harshly each time. At the end of the film, Sgt Major Plumley greets Sgt Savage in a similar manner after the battle is over and the latter is rescued after being surrounded by enemy troops.having kept his men alive while cut off and surrounded.



* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Minigun]]: Before the training sequence, the officers of the soon-to-be 7th Cavalry are seen standing around a [[GatlingGood minigun]] on a table. The minigun makes its appearance later during [[spoiler: the aformentioned GunshipRescue.]]
* ClickHello: A group of [=NVA=] troops are trying to find Savage's lost platoon in the jungle. Due to the thick foliage and tall grass, the Americans end up HiddenInPlainSight, even with the Vietnamese troops almost right on top of them. The [=NVA=] troopers [[OhCrap realize this]] when Savage switches his safety selector from "Single" to "[[MoreDakka Auto]]".

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* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Minigun]]: Before the training sequence, the officers of the soon-to-be 7th Cavalry are seen standing around a an [[GatlingGood M134 minigun]] on a table. The minigun makes its appearance later during [[spoiler: the aformentioned GunshipRescue.]]
* ClickHello: A group of [=NVA=] troops are trying to find Savage's lost platoon in the jungle. jungle at night. Due to the thick foliage and tall grass, the Americans end up HiddenInPlainSight, HiddenInPlainSight (thanks to the near-total darkness, and they don’t know the NVA are right there, either, until one of Savage’s troopers whispers that he can smell them), even with the Vietnamese troops almost right on top of them. The [=NVA=] troopers [[OhCrap realize this]] when Savage switches his safety selector from "Single" to "[[MoreDakka Auto]]".Auto]].” It turns into a MassOhCrap when an illumination round reveals that the two sides are just a couple of feet apart, resulting in a BlastOut.



** Another, less extreme example is when the North Vietnamese overrun the Americans' lines and briefly end up fighting Moore and his officers in their own headquarters, with the wounded American soldiers that had been awaiting medevac now fighting the enemy soldiers at point blank range. The Americans end up having to call an air strike [[TrialByFriendlyFire on their own position]] to force the North Vietnamese off (granted, they didn't mean for the strike to land ''quite'' as close as it ended up - the American jets end up killing several of their own troops by mistake.)

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** Another, less extreme example is when the North Vietnamese overrun the Americans' lines and briefly end up fighting Moore and his officers in their own headquarters, command post (a couple of radios next to a termite mound), with the wounded American soldiers that had been awaiting medevac now fighting the enemy soldiers at point blank range. The Americans end up having to call an air strike [[TrialByFriendlyFire on their own position]] to force the North Vietnamese off (granted, they didn't mean for the strike to land ''quite'' as close as it ended up - the American jets end up killing several of their own troops by mistake.)



* CoolGuns: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] and [[SubvertedTrope subverted]]. Colonel Moore seems to like the new M16 rifle. Sergeant Major Plumley thinks it feels too much like a toy compared to the weapons he's accustomed to. So instead he decides to play the trope straight with his Colt Model 1911 handgun (he uses an M14 for a rifle, [[TruthInTelevision as a lot of older soldiers did at the beginning of the war]], as well as those not yet equipped with the M16). He picks up an M16 only once in the entire movie [[spoiler: to hand to the photojournalist to defend himself with during a fierce NVA attack.]]
* DareToBeBadass: Sgt. Major Plumley to Joe Galloway, who he finds trying to take pictures of the battle while also lying flat in the grass to avoid getting shot.

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* CoolGuns: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] and [[SubvertedTrope subverted]]. Colonel Moore seems to like the new M16 rifle. Sergeant Major Plumley thinks it feels too much like a toy compared to the weapons he's accustomed to. So instead he decides to play the trope straight with his Colt Model 1911 handgun 1911A1 (he uses an M14 for a rifle, [[TruthInTelevision as a lot of older soldiers did at the beginning of the war]], as well as those not yet equipped with the M16). He picks up an M16 only once in the entire movie [[spoiler: to hand to the photojournalist to defend himself with during a fierce NVA attack.]]
* DareToBeBadass: Sgt. Major Plumley to Joe Galloway, who he finds trying to take pictures of the battle while also lying flat in the grass to avoid getting shot. Of note is that Plumley is standing upright, completely unconcerned with the incoming fire.



* DisconnectedByDeath: Implied. A [[CommunicationsOfficer radio operator]] manages to tune in on frantic radio transmissions from a group of special forces soldiers heavily engaged in combat with the enemy in Vietnam. The signal is lost abruptly, but it is unclear if it was because the special forces troops were killed, or due to more mundane reasons, given the extreme range they picked up the transmission from. Colonel Moore uses this signal to further explain to his officers that they need to watch each other's back, because when the shooting starts, each other is all they'll have.

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* DisconnectedByDeath: Implied. A An [[CommunicationsOfficer radio operator]] RTO (radio telephone operator)]] manages to tune in on frantic radio transmissions from a group of an ARVN unit and their American special forces soldiers advisers heavily engaged in combat with the enemy in Vietnam. The signal is lost abruptly, but it is unclear if it was because the special forces troops were killed, or due to more mundane reasons, given the extreme range they picked up the transmission from. Colonel Moore uses this signal to further explain to his officers that they need to watch each other's back, because when the shooting starts, each other is all they'll have.



* EnsignNewbie: One of the platoon commanders leads his men into the woods in pursuit of some fleeing NVA scouts, and end up [[TrappedBehindEnemyLines cut off from the rest of the American troops.]] [[spoiler:He is very quickly killed [[HeroicSacrifice attempting to lead his men back to safety]], leaving [[YouAreInCommandNow Sergeant Savage in charge of the cut-off platoon.]]]]

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* EnsignNewbie: One of the platoon commanders commanders, LT Herrick, [[LeeroyJenkins carelessly leads his men into the woods in pursuit of some fleeing NVA scouts, scouts]], and end up [[TrappedBehindEnemyLines cut off from the rest of the American troops.]] [[spoiler:He is very quickly killed [[HeroicSacrifice attempting to lead his men back to safety]], along with his platoon sergeant, who tried to rein him in, leaving [[YouAreInCommandNow Sergeant Savage Savage, a young squad leader, in charge of the cut-off platoon.]]]]



* FallingIntoTheCockpit: Galloway, who has spent most of his time on the battlefield laying low and talking to people, is handed a blood-soaked rifle and tasked with helping defend the wounded (and himself). As soon as the enemy has been pushed back, he [[CallToAgriculture hangs the rifle from a tree and picks up his camera again]] (in RealLife, his noncombatant status was discussed a week prior to the battle, and he arrived at there with a rifle).

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* FallingIntoTheCockpit: Galloway, who has spent most of his time on the battlefield laying low and talking to people, is handed a blood-soaked rifle and tasked with helping defend the wounded (and himself). As soon as the enemy has been pushed back, he [[CallToAgriculture hangs the rifle from a tree and picks up his camera again]] (in RealLife, his noncombatant status was discussed a week prior to the battle, and he arrived at there with a rifle).



** Colonel Hal Moore. In one example, he watches helicopters flying overhead when he first moves into his new post. He later goes to talk to the pilots while they're playing an impromptu baseball game. He first compliments them for flying on a weekend even though they didn't have to, and states that since pilots won't fly into an area for anyone they don't know, he goes to introduce himself to them. [[spoiler:This pays off in spades later, as Major Crandall and the other pilots fly continuously to Colonel Moore's position to help ferry troops and supplies, and evacuate the wounded, all while under fire from the Vietcong no less. This is after the medevac helicopters refuse to land because of how dangerous the situation is.]]
** Moore's Vietnamese counterpart to an extent, though unlike Moore he's a little more willing to use WeHaveReserves.

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** Colonel Hal Moore. In one example, he watches helicopters flying overhead when he first moves into his new post. He later goes to talk to the pilots while they're playing an impromptu baseball game. He first compliments them for flying on a weekend even though they didn't have to, and states that since pilots won't fly into an area for anyone they don't know, he goes to introduce himself to them. [[spoiler:This pays off in spades later, as Major Crandall and the other pilots fly continuously to Colonel Moore's position to help ferry troops and supplies, and evacuate the wounded, all while under heavy fire from the Vietcong NVA and Vietcong, no less. This is after the medevac helicopters refuse to land because of how dangerous the situation is.]]
** Moore's Vietnamese counterpart to an extent, though unlike Moore he's a little more willing to use WeHaveReserves. It’s clear that he doesn’t take their deaths lightly, though.



* {{Foreshadowing}}: During their training, Moore, wanting to [[AnyoneCanDie make a point]], declares that one of the platoon commanders, Lieutenant Herrick, is now "dead", and that the platoon sergeant next to him is now in command. He then declares the platoon sergeant dead, because he hesitated. Sergeant Savage takes charge and orders the men to get off the chopper. [[spoiler: Once the fighting starts, two of the first men to be killed are Lieutenant Herrick and his platoon sergeant, leaving Sergeant Savage in command of the platoon.]]

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* {{Foreshadowing}}: During their training, Moore, wanting to [[AnyoneCanDie make a point]], declares that one of the platoon commanders, Lieutenant Herrick, is now "dead", and that the platoon sergeant next to him is now in command. He then declares the platoon sergeant dead, because he hesitated. A squad leader, Sergeant Savage takes takes, charge and orders the men to get off the chopper. [[spoiler: Once the fighting starts, two of the first men to be killed are Lieutenant Herrick and his platoon sergeant, leaving Sergeant Savage in command of the platoon.]]



** Also explained by Crandall, who warns the [=RTOs=] that the Air Cav troopers need to mark their positions because everyone looks the same from the air.



* GloryHound: While observing their troops during a training exercise, Moore makes note that Lt. Geoghegan is a great leader, while Plumely points out another lieutenant who's yelling at his men, and says that that LT just wants to win medals.
* GodzillaThreshold: Colonel Moore declaring "Broken Arrow" over the radio when the Vietcong start showing up en masse around their position. An officer then explains to another one after hearing it that the code word means an American unit was in danger of being overrun by enemy forces. Therefore they send every single aircraft they have to the area to prevent the enemy troops from wiping out the American unit. The next scene shows exactly that, many US combat planes taking off and [[GunshipRescue dropping bombs]] on enemy units near the Americans.
* GoryDiscretionShot: Averted for the most part. The film makes sure to show off soldiers who have suffered combat injuries, including [[spoiler:one whose skin rips off after getting hit by napalm.]]
* GreaterNeedThanMine: A wounded soldier gives up his spot on a chopper to a more seriously wounded soldier saying he'll get on the next one. [[spoiler: While patting the other soldier as the chopper is about to leave, he's shot and killed]].

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* GloryHound: While observing their troops during a training exercise, Moore makes note that Lt. Geoghegan is a great leader, while Plumely points out another lieutenant lieutenant, Herrick who's yelling at his men, and says that that LT just wants to win medals.
medals. Also serves as a bit of foreshadowing, as Herrick’s LeeroyJenkins tendencies quickly get himself and several others killed at LZ X-Ray.
* GodzillaThreshold: Colonel Moore declaring "Broken Arrow" over the radio when the Vietcong NVA start showing up en masse around their position. An officer then explains to another one after hearing it that the code word means an American unit was in danger of is being overrun by enemy forces. Therefore they send every single aircraft they have to the area to prevent the enemy troops from wiping out the American unit. The next scene shows exactly that, many US combat planes taking off and [[GunshipRescue dropping bombs]] on enemy units near the Americans.
* GoryDiscretionShot: Averted for the most part. The film makes sure to show off soldiers who have suffered combat injuries, including [[spoiler:one whose skin rips sloughs off after getting hit horribly burned by napalm.]]
* GreaterNeedThanMine: A wounded soldier gives up his spot on a chopper to a more seriously wounded soldier saying he'll get on the next one. [[spoiler: While patting the other soldier as the chopper is about to leave, he's shot and killed]].killed. The wounded men aboard pull him into the helicopter in a futile attempt to save him, and the overloaded Huey is barely able to claw its way into the sky]].



* IconicItem: Galloway's [[IntrepidReporter camera]] [[spoiler: and rifle]], Sergeant Major Plumley's [[OldSoldier M1911]], the French bugle, the NVA trooper's diary, and Lieutenant Geoghegan's bracelet.

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* IconicItem: Galloway's [[IntrepidReporter camera]] [[spoiler: and rifle]], Sergeant Major Plumley's [[OldSoldier M1911]], the French bugle, the NVA trooper's diary, and Lieutenant Geoghegan's bracelet.bracelet with his newborn daughter’s name on it.



** Some soldiers suffer this fate in the final battle, including a Vietcong soldier attempting to radio for help.

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** Some soldiers suffer this fate in the final battle, including a Vietcong an NVA soldier attempting to radio for help.



* KillItWithFire: Napalm dropped from attack planes, as well as what appears to be a phosphorus grenade at one point.

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* KillItWithFire: Napalm dropped from attack planes, as well as what appears to be a white phosphorus grenade at one point.



* MeaningfulEcho: Sergeant Savage's greeting to Sergeant Major Plumley early in the film: "Good Day, Sergeant Major!" When he first uses it, Plumley's response is less than friendly. Later variations on the greeting result in heavier doses of spite. Finally, towards the end of the film, Sgt. Savage is standing and looking around [[spoiler: at the battlefield, surrounded by dead and wounded, himself covered in dirt and blood after having spent the night with his platoon cut off and fighting for their lives.]] Sgt. Major Plumley looks him in the eye and says "[[WellDoneSonGuy Now it's a nice day, Sergeant Savage.]]"

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* MeaningfulEcho: Sergeant Savage's greeting to Sergeant Major Plumley early in the film: "Good Day, Morning, Sergeant Major!" When he first uses it, Plumley's response is less than friendly. Later variations on the greeting result in heavier doses of spite.spite (and profanity). Finally, towards the end of the film, Sgt. Savage is standing and looking around [[spoiler: at the battlefield, surrounded by dead and wounded, himself covered in dirt and blood after having spent the night with his platoon cut off and fighting for their lives.lives, but having also kept them alive.]] Sgt. Major Plumley looks him in the eye and says "[[WellDoneSonGuy Now it's a nice day, Sergeant Savage.]]"



* MoreDakka: The point of the "Mad Minute," mentioned above under GenreSavvy. If you suspect the enemy is hiding somewhere, perforate that somewhere with sustained automatic fire.

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* MoreDakka: The point of the "Mad Minute," mentioned above under GenreSavvy. If you suspect the enemy is hiding somewhere, perforate that somewhere with sustained automatic fire. It also serves as “Recon by Fire,” find the enemy by shooting where you think they might be hiding to see if they shoot back.



** Sgt Savage's platoon ends up TrappedBehindEnemyLines after his platoon leader orders them to chase after a Vietcong scout. They end up running after the man, only to then find themselves surrounded by Vietcong troops. Many more US troops end up getting killed when they attempt to rescue the trapped platoon, and the leader gets killed for his idiocy.
** The radioman calling in air support shortly after Colonel Moore declares "Broken Arrow". Unfortunately he gives the wrong position to one aircraft, which ends up dropping a bomb too close to US troops, and ends up killing several of them. Despite that, Colonel Moore attempts to [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone snap him out of his funk]], telling him to ignore that bad call, and to keep the bombs coming, as he's the only one keeping them alive at this crucial moment.

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** Sgt Savage's platoon ends up TrappedBehindEnemyLines after his platoon leader orders them to chase after a Vietcong scout. They end up running after the man, only to then find themselves surrounded by Vietcong NVA troops. Many more US troops end up getting killed when they attempt to rescue the trapped platoon, and the leader gets killed for his idiocy.
** The radioman calling in air support shortly after Colonel Moore declares "Broken Arrow". Unfortunately in the confusion he accidentally gives the wrong position to one aircraft, which ends up dropping a bomb too close to US troops, and ends up killing several of them. Despite that, Colonel Moore attempts to [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone snap him out of his funk]], telling him to ignore that bad call, and to keep the bombs coming, as he's the only one keeping them alive at this crucial moment.



* NowYouTellMe: Colonel Moore's radio operator calls Crandall's helicopters to tell them they have a hot LZ. Crandall receives this message as his Hueys are being peppered with small arms fire.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Moore laments about the actions of US President UsefulNotes/LyndonJohnson prior to being sent to Vietnam, which will leave his battalion understrengthed.

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* NowYouTellMe: Colonel Moore's radio operator calls Crandall's helicopters to tell them they have a hot LZ. Crandall receives this message as his Hueys are being peppered with small arms fire.
fire. Crandall plucks out a bullet stuck in the cockpit wall and growls, “No shit.”
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Moore laments about the actions of US President UsefulNotes/LyndonJohnson prior to being sent to Vietnam, which will leave his battalion understrengthed.understrength and without some of its most experienced men.



* RealMenWearPink: Moore and Geoghegan again. The [[EnsignNewbie young lieutenant]] has just become a father and is wearing a string of pink and white beads with his daughter's name, something one would expect to see on a teenage girl's wrist, at least if not for this trope. When Moore notices it, the lieutenant tries to take it off, but Moore ''orders'' him to leave it there.

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* RealMenWearPink: Moore and Geoghegan again. The [[EnsignNewbie young lieutenant]] has just become a father and is wearing a string of pink and white beads with his daughter's name, something one would expect to see on a teenage girl's wrist, at least if not for this trope. When Moore notices it, the lieutenant tries to take it off, but Moore (a proud and doting father himself) ''orders'' him to leave keep it there.



* {{Retirony}}: Jimmy Nakayama.

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* {{Retirony}}: PFC Jimmy Nakayama.Nakayama, though he wasn’t leaving the Army. [[TearJerker He had actually just found out that his pregnant wife had gone into labor that morning]].



* RousingSpeech: Sergeant Major Plumley gives his commander one of the shortest ones on record.

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* RousingSpeech: Sergeant Major Plumley gives his commander one of the shortest and most effective ones on record.



** A deleted scene has a soldier telling his buddies a story about Plumley, whom he knew from his old unit. He describes his old platoon sergeant. Big scary dude, with scars on his face. When their new platoon leader, [[EnsignNewbie a 2nd lieutenant fresh out of ROTC]], gets in his face about not wearing all his decorations, he goes back to the barracks, and comes back wearing ''[[NakedPeopleAreFunny only]]'' his boots, all of his ribbons and medals ''pinned directly to his chest'', and ''not one but two Medals Of Honor''. (The LT then promptly salutes him per military custom.[[note]]It's a ''de facto'' rule that anyone who has won the Medal of Honor is entitled to a salute from all personnel present, regardless of rank.[[/note]]) The soldier telling the story then reveals this sergeant is ''not'' Sgt. Major Plumley (as the last double Medal of Honour award was in 1918), but works for Sgt. Maj. Plumley and is ''terrified'' of him.
* UsefulNotes/TheSeventhCavalry: The characters {{lampshade}} the fact that the 1st Battallion is part of the same cavalry unit that Custer infamously lead at Little Big Horn. Colonel Moore, a [[FanOfThePast history enthusiast]], can't help but dwell on the similarities between his unit's situation and that of Custer's men, although Sergeant Major Plumley rather bluntly points out their differences as well.

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** A deleted scene has a soldier telling his buddies a story about Plumley, whom he knew from his old unit. He describes his old platoon sergeant. Big scary dude, with scars on his face. When their new platoon leader, [[EnsignNewbie a 2nd lieutenant fresh out of ROTC]], gets in his face about not wearing all his decorations, he goes back to the barracks, and comes back wearing ''[[NakedPeopleAreFunny only]]'' his boots, all of his ribbons and medals ''pinned directly to his chest'', and ''not one but two Medals Of Honor''. (The LT then promptly salutes him per military custom.[[note]]It's a ''de facto'' rule that anyone who has won the Medal of Honor is entitled to a salute from all personnel present, regardless of rank.[[/note]]) The soldier telling the story then reveals this sergeant is ''not'' Sgt. Major Plumley (as the last double Medal of Honour Honor award was in 1918), but works for Sgt. Maj. Plumley and is ''terrified'' of him.
* UsefulNotes/TheSeventhCavalry: The characters {{lampshade}} the fact that the 1st Battallion is part of the same cavalry unit that Custer infamously lead led at Little Big Horn. Colonel Moore, a [[FanOfThePast history enthusiast]], can't help but dwell on the similarities between his unit's situation and that of Custer's men, although Sergeant Major Plumley rather bluntly points out their differences as well.



* TheStrategist: Some officers joke that Colonel Moore is a bookworm officer when they first see him moving into his quarters with his family. The next scene then shows him carrying a lot of books in. Luckily for them Colonel Moore studied said books, and used what he learned in them to help his unit to survive when battling the Vietcong.

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* TheStrategist: Some officers joke that Colonel Moore is a bookworm officer when they first see him moving into his quarters with his family. The next scene then shows him carrying a lot of books in. Luckily for them Colonel Moore studied said books, and used what he learned in them to help his unit to survive when battling the Vietcong.NVA.



* TrappedBehindEnemyLines: Sgt Savage's platoon suffers this fate after their platoon leader gets a little too zealous chasing after a Vietcong soldier. His platoon leader gets shot for his efforts, and they're quickly surrounded. At one point the Vietcong even attempt to capture them at night, but the remaining US soldiers manage to successfully repel their attack.

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* TrappedBehindEnemyLines: Sgt Savage's platoon suffers this fate after their platoon leader gets a little too zealous chasing after a Vietcong soldier.an NVA scout. His platoon leader gets shot for his efforts, and they're quickly surrounded. At one point the Vietcong NVA even attempt to capture them at night, but the remaining US soldiers manage to successfully repel their attack.



* UnusualEuphemism: Major Bruce Crandall is addressed by his subordinates with the less-than-dignified nickname of "Snake Shit". He refers to it as an "Affectionate Appellation" when asked about it by Colonel Moore.

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—> “[[ThisIsGonnaSuck Get small! Get small! It’s dropping right on top of you!]]”
* UnusualEuphemism: Major Bruce Crandall is addressed by his subordinates with the less-than-dignified nickname of "Snake Shit". He refers to it as an "Affectionate Appellation" when asked about it by Colonel Moore. It is actually a compliment referencing his skill at nap-of-the-Earth flight.



* VillainousValor: [[NotSoDifferent to no surprise.]] Special mention goes to the PAVN soldier who breaks through, if only for a moment, to the American command post. [[spoiler:Moore recovers the man's diary in a TearJerker near the end.]]

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* VillainousValor: [[NotSoDifferent to no surprise.]] Special mention goes to the PAVN soldier who breaks through, if only for a moment, to the American command post. [[spoiler:Moore recovers the man's diary in a TearJerker near the end.end, and has it sent to the man’s widow.]]



* WeHaveReserves: The Vietcong leadership's attitude towards their soldiers.
* WhatTheHellHero: A helicopter officer angrily confronts Major Crandall about his pilots being ordered to fly into a hot zone where there was still enemy activity with their helicopters being continually shot at. Major Crandall, having just survived many of those said ordeals, including witnessing one helicopter getting shot down attempting to airlift wounded soldiers out, doesn't take too kindly to any of the man's criticisms, and promptly knocks him away, while also pulling his pistol on the man. Fortunately other men around them help to defuse the situation, though one could hardly blame the Major considering what he just lived through.

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* WeHaveReserves: The Vietcong NVA leadership's attitude towards their soldiers.
* WhatTheHellHero: A helicopter An officer from the Medevac squadron angrily confronts Major Crandall about his pilots being ordered to fly into a hot zone where there was still enemy activity with their helicopters being continually shot at. Major Crandall, having just survived many of those said ordeals, including witnessing one helicopter getting shot down attempting to airlift wounded soldiers out, doesn't take too kindly to any of the man's criticisms, and promptly knocks him away, while also pulling his pistol on the man. Fortunately other men around them help to defuse the situation, though one could hardly blame the Major considering what he just lived through.



* ZergRush: The Vietcong attempt to do this repeatedly. Unfortunately other than against the French unit in the beginning of the film, it doesn't work very well due to the intervention of American artillery and [[GunshipRescue air support.]]

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* ZergRush: The NVA and later the Vietcong attempt to do this repeatedly. Unfortunately other than against the French unit in the beginning of the film, it doesn't work very well due to the intervention of American artillery and [[GunshipRescue air support.]]
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