Characters: Generation Kill
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Bravo Co., 2nd Platoon, Team One Alpha
Sgt Brad "Iceman" Colbert
"All this religion aside, people who can't kill will always be subject to those who can."
The orderly, cerebral and unflappable squad leader of Bravo 1. Nicknamed "Iceman" for his competency and cool head, Colbert is an Afghanstan vet who's made the military his career. If the series can be said to have a central character, it’s him.
- Actually Pretty Funny: When Person makes a joke about what got him, Colbert, and Trombley to sign up and the reality (very different from any of the scenarios Person brought up), even Colbert cracks a smile.
- Airplane Arms: at one point in the series, he whips off his shirt and runs around like this for no apparent reason, much to the amusement of others.
- Amicable Exes: he's (allegedly) still friends with his ex-fiancee. From his description of their "relationship", it's very obvious that if she thinks they're still friends, it's only because he's masking his hatred and resentment very well.
- Badass Biker: it's not seen in the series for obvious reasons, but he owns a motorcycle and, in direct contrast to his professional persona, he's a very reckless biker.
- Badass Boast: "Gentlemen, we just seized an airfield. That was pretty fucking ninja".
- Cold Sniper: he may not have the gun, but he certainly has the attitude.
- Communications Officer: He fills this role whenever they're driving, using his radio headset to communicate with Lt. Fick and relay information to the rest of the people in the vehicle.
- The Determinator: He got through Recon training with a broken ankle.
- Field Promotion: to Staff Sergeant, in an instance that is rare for modern warfare.
- Happily Adopted: into a well-to-do family with a rich talmudic tradition, no less.
- Insufferable Genius: this quality is particularly noticeable during his rants against religion and procreation.
- Knight in Sour Armor: he’s quite obviously disillusioned (more so than the rest) with the war, with the higher command and with the general idiocy happening around him, but he’s steadfast and conscientious in performing his job.
- Not So Stoic: he lets his emotionless facade fall when he realizes Trombley has shot an Iraqi boy on his own orders.
- Sherlock Scan: he deduces that a civilian is actually a deserter from the military-style belt he wears.
- Surfer Dude: inverted. Surfing is one of his main hobbies, but personality-wise he's about as far from this trope as they come.
- Team Dad: To his squad. He took responsibility for all of his team's screw ups, namely Trombley's shooting of the "camels," and he sees his squad's morale as his own personal responsibility.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Person. Doubles as Odd Friendship since the two of them have wildly different personalities.
Corporal Josh Ray Person
Played by: James Ransone
"If Saddam invested more in the pussy infrastructure of Iraq than he did in his fucking gay ass army, then this country would be no more fucked up than, say, Mexico."
Colbert's best friend in the battalion - the frenetic, outspoken, obscenity-spouting Marine driving Bravo's lead Humvee. Like Colbert, he's a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. His sole purpose for participating in the invasion seems to be to mock everything around him - a goal he accomplishes with ease and finesse. While others often poke fun at his white-trash trailer-park background and over-the-top behavior, he's still considered to be something of a genius in the unit.
- Disappeared Dad: was raised by a single mother.
- Dumbass Has a Point: consistently. If you concentrate on what he says rather than how he says it, he's actually very reasonable.
- Functional Addict: His bizarre behavior stems from an addiction to legal stimulants; he mellows down considerably after he's forced to go cold turkey.
- Geek: in high school, he was pudgy, nonathletic, and a member of the debate club.
- Genius Ditz: as a result of near-permanent Alcohol-Induced Idiocy.
- Glamorous Wartime Singer: played with; he dreams of being a rock star, but since he insists on deliberately butchering the stuff he sings for the fun of it, his actual musical skills are hard to evaluate.
- Guys Are Slobs: he can't eat or drink anything without getting half of it all over himself.
- Heroic Fatigue: he is sleep-deprived and able to drive for days on end only thanks to ripped fuel.
- Hidden Depths: He was on the debate team at school, he can play a multitude of musical instruments, and he was planning on studying philosophy in college before he took a 180-turn and became a Marine.
- Jerkass: While he cares for his friends, he can be extremely insensitive and his warped sense of humour is extremely offensive. However, a great deal of this is due to a mix of fatigue, combat stress, and being high on ripped fuel.
- MacGyvering: he's good at fixing bum radios with whatever is lying around. Or by unplugging everything and licking sockets.
- Making a Spectacle of Yourself: he dons golden "Elvis impersonator" shades which look doubly ridiculous on a Marine in full battle gear. They also hold the honor of being featured on the miniseries cover.
- OOC Is Serious Business: subverted; when he detoxes (cold turkey), he becomes noticeably quiet and subdued. Which is worrying, sure - except that is his real, off-stimulants personality.
- Sad Clown: addiction to stimulants and insecurity are the two things fueling his hilarious and uber-offensive humor.
- Universal Driver's License: he's not actually licensed to drive the Humvee.
Cpl Walter "Walt" Hasser
Played by: Pawel Szajda
"Ooh ooh, dress blues and a sword!"
The friendly, golden-haired Marine manning V01's Mark-19 gun. Occupies the Turret position of the vehicle.
- Does Not Like Spam: Peanuts, since he's allergic to them. Too bad MRE rations include peanut butter all the time.
- Glamorous Wartime Singer: in direct contrast to Person, he has a wonderful singing voice, but doesn't like to sing. This information did not make it from the book to the series.
Lance Cpl Harold James Trombley
Played by: Billy Lush
"Hey, you know what sucks? All those dead bodies we saw today, and I didn't get to shoot any of them."
The lead vehicle's machine gunner (and youngest occupant) - a baby-faced Marine with the heart of a natural-born killer. He enlisted specifically to be able to shoot people in the line of duty.
- A Real Man Is a Killer: He seems to think so.
- Ax-Crazy: He went to war because the idea of killing people excites him.
- Black Comedy: he earns the nickname "Whopper Jr"note for his suspect actions against Iraqi civilians; it's used good-naturedly.
- Blood Knight: All he wants to do is kill people and dogs.
- Dissonant Serenity: Trombley is completely unfazed by combat situations of every kind and he fights in a sort of serene calm. His squadmates remark that this is because he's a born cold-hearted killer.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: He fired off two short bursts, maybe around seven rounds total, from a a moving vehicle at man-sized targets about 200 meters away, and he hit what he was aiming at. Walt lampshades this when he calls Trombley a "cold-on, dead eyed killer."
- Kick the Dog: He attempts to literally do this with the use of high-velocity lead on many an occasion.
- My Girl Back Home: he's married to a Mexican girl and is planning on having kids after he comes back home from the war.
- New Meat: He's explicitly younger and less experienced than veterans like Brad and Ray, although he isn't the youngest, and he tends to be slow on the uptake when it comes to certain recon traditions. Still, he is an extremely well trained Marine in Force Recon, and his marksmanship is astounding.
- Psychopathic Manchild: A rare non-villanous example. On a related note, he's a self-professed cat lover.
- Sociopathic Soldier: overlaps with Sociopathic Hero, since he is one of the protagonists.
- Southern-Fried Private: Comes off like it, although at one point its mentioned he's actually from Michigan.
Evan "Rolling Stone" Wright
Played by: Lee Tergesen
A Rolling Stone
reporter embedded with the 1st Recon Battalion of the USMC. The other Marines quickly warm up to him (especially once they learn he used to write for Hustler
), though he still doesn't get to be one of the guys.
- Butt Monkey: subverted. The Marines quickly adopt him as their own, and when they start hazing him he realizes that they've started to like him.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: the other Marines invariably refer to him as Reporter, Scribe, Rolling Stone, Beaver Hunt, or some variation on his profession thereof. His actual name is never said in the series, and since the book is written from his perspective, the same thing is true.
- First-Person Peripheral Narrator: in the book.
- Gas Mask Mooks: Subverted in a couple of different ways. Most obviously, he completely fails to don his chemical warfare gear the first time it is needed, partly due to it being the wrong size for him (he ends up spending most of the war with the crotch ripped out of his suit).
- Hollywood Tactics: "always run in a serpentine fashion!"
- Non-Uniform Uniform: His chemical warfare suit is in desert camo, while everyone else in the battalion was issued woodland green chemical warfare suits due to a supply snafu.
- Off the Record: Averted. He is told by the Marines to write it how he sees it, including quoting the various outrageous things they say and some of the more dubious orders given down.
- The Teetotaler: he had quit drinking a short while before going to Iraq.
- Nerves of Steel: he shows remarkable restraint in combat situations, despite being a civilian with no prior combat training or experience. This actually wins him a lot of respect from the Marines, who all thought he would pack his bags and leave after his first combat experience.
Bravo Co., 2nd Platoon, Team One Bravo
Sgt Antonio "Poke" Espera
Played by: Jon Huertas
"The real story of Pocahontas is about a bunch of white boys who come to my land, bribe the corrupt Indian chief, kill off all the warriors and fuck the Indian princess silly."
Assistant squad leader to Colbert, and the leader of Team One Bravo. He's efficient, professional and, much like Person, prone to spewing rants at the drop of the hat (most of them about how the white man screws everyone else over). He's also an Afghanistan vet like Colbert and Person.
Cpl Gabriel "Gabe" Garza
Played by: Rey Valentin
Starts the series as the gunner on Colberts team, but is eventually transferred to Espera’s team, where he mans the Humvee's M2 .50 cal machine gun.
- Friend or Foe: comes under fire from members of Alpha Company at one point, after they mistake him for an Iraqi due to his dark skin color and the general tension of fighting deep in enemy territory. (In the series, this incident is elaborated with Garza having appropriated an Iraqi helmet for use).
- Specs of Awesome: he's the only character in the series who wears glasses, which makes him easy to identify.
Cpl Jason Lilley
Played by: Kellan Lutz
The driver of Bravo Vehicle 02 who undertakes the task of filming the invasion in the hopes of selling it to some news channel later on.
- Battle Couple: subverted. His wife enlists in the Marine Corps, but they obviously won't get to serve together.
Cpl Nathan Christopher
Cpl Hector Leon
Bravo Co., 2nd platoon, Team 2
Lt Nathaniel "Nate" Fick
Played by: Stark Sands
"Most people in America right now probably think of Iraq as a dangerous country. Now, if I were to stand up, I might get killed. But to us, behind this wheel, it's pretty safe. So to us, Iraq is a safe country."
The commander of Bravo's 2nd platoon. Clear-headed and logical, he often gets in trouble for questioning the inane orders of the higher command.
- Berserk Button: do not mess with his men.
- Character Development: Through the course of the book, he goes from being an idealistic believer in the justness of the war to a state of bitter resentment at how badly the Americans are screwing everything up and making things worse.
- Cultured Warrior: as expected from a graduate of Dartmouth.
- Family Business: his grandfather and father served as Marines in WW2 and the Korean War, respectively.
- A Father to His Men: Despite being younger than some of the troops, Fick is always looking out for them. He even tells one of his marines who is shooting wide how he's making a mistake and how to fix it. Interestingly, his care for his men at times causes him to be more callous towards the Iraqi people when looking out for the Iraqis exposes his marines to danger. A perfect example of this occurs when a small detachment of marines sets up a roadblock on a road for the duration of a night with orders to shoot anything that doesn't turn around before getting to close. When Brad questions this, Fick tells him exactly why they can't afford to take chances:
The R.O.E. aren't a lot of help here. We're all alone. And to our south, we've got an entire hostile town in between us and closest friendlies. And 40 kilometers to our north, we've got a full mechanized division up there in Al Kut. And there's 70 of us, Brad, holding this road.
- The Fettered: As he is an officer in the army, him disobeying his superior officers would have dire consequences both in battle and in a court-martial. As such, no matter how stupid his company and battalion commanders are acting, the most he can do is respectfully voice his objections.
- Heroic Fatigue: Like all the other men in his platoon, Fick gets very little sleep over the course of the series. However, his situation is played for more drama as he, being the platoon's commander, is responsible for the well-being of his men.
- Hero of Another Story: his memoir One Bullet Away shows many of the same events as Generation Kill, albeit from a different POV, and with the insight into the inner workings of the Marine Corps that Rolling Stone would not have.
- Ivy League: he attended Dartmouth.
- Nice Guy: In keeping with being A Father to His Men, Fick is always very polite and civil when dealing with his men and often goes out of his way to help them with any problems they have, be they big or small.
- Not So Above It All: although his position in the platoon means he can't voice his displeasure with the resident Neidermeyers as openly as the enlisted men.
Gunnery Sergeant Mike "Gunny" Wynn
Played by: Marc Menhaca
Platoon gunnery sergeant and the driver of Vehicle 04.
- Southern-Fried Private: A Texan Sergeant. According to him, the SERE instructors tried to use this to get under his skin.
- Team Mom: as platoon sergeant, his main concern is the safety of his men.
Sgt Larry Shawn "Pappy" Patrick
Played by: Josh Barrett
Team 2's squad leader who doubles as the platoon scout sniper.
- Ice-Cream Koan: he occasionally disperses bits of wisdom such as "Don't pet a burning dog".
Sgt Rodolfo "(Fruity) Rudy" Reyes
Played by: Rudy Reyes
"I don't dress like no goddamn pimp queen! I wear clothes that are body conscious".
A bubbly (yet super-manly) spotter to Pappy's sniper who also serves as the driver for V03. He's fond of New Age philosophy and keeping fit, and joined the Marines "for idealism and romance".
- Even the Guys Want Him: The soldiers say you're not gay if you think Fruity Rudy is hot.
- Family Business: His father was a US Marine as well. Subverted, however, as Rudy describes his father as a rather broken, abusive man, and specifically denies that he joined the Marines in order to follow in his father's footsteps.
- Hidden Depths: Has an interest in East Asian philosophy and spirituality.
Cpl James Chaffin
Played by: Eric Ladin
Sgt Michael Budweiser” Brunmeier
Played by: Justin Shaw
Cpl Anthony Manimal” Jacks
Played by: Rich McDonald
Mans V03's main gun.
- "Dear John" Letter: the first piece of correspondence he receives is divorce papers from his wife.
Evan ”Q-Tip” Stafford
Played by: Wilson Bethel
A Marine from Tampa, FL, who identifies strongly with the black culture (especially the music and philosophies of Tupac Shakur
- Big Brother Mentor: In one scene in the series, he is shown teaching Christenson the general tricks of observing building compounds.
- Catch Phrase: "Screwby", a word used to denote a variety of emotions - from "this sucks" to "this is awesome".
PFC John Christenson
Played by: Daniel Fox
The youngest (and lowest-ranking) member of Bravo's 2nd platoon, most often seen in the company of Stafford.
Bravo Co., 2nd Platoon, Team 3
Sgt Steven Lovell
Played by: Langley Kirkwood
Team leader of Team 3.
Sgt Leandro “Shady B” Baptista
Played by: Mike Figueroa
The Brazilian driver of V05.
Cpl. Ray Person: "Goddamned Baptista! How would he like it if I joined the Brazilian marines and only spoke English!?"
Corpsman 2nd Class Second Class Timothy "Doc" Bryan
Played by: Jonah Lotan
A navy hospitalman who serves as 2nd Platoon's medical support. He has tons of common sense, a caring heart and a remarkable ability to criticize his superiors to their faces.
- Brutal Honesty: Both played for laughs and played for drama:
- Played for Drama: Whenever company or battalion command is being particularly stupid, Doc will not hesitate to criticize them, even to their faces. In fact, when Encino Man, trying to appear more relate-able to the men under his command, asks them to openly state their grievances and promises not to punish anyone who insults him, Doc straight up told him, "it's just that you're incompetent, sir," although he obviously didn't enjoy saying it.
- Played for Laughs: Whenever people make idiots of themselves around Doc, he will not hesitate to tell them how retarded they are. For instance, he once told Rolling Stone, who was previously having certain... problems with his bio-hazard suit, "Reporter, you are possibly the biggest fuck-up I have encountered."
- Combat Medic: He himself carries a weapon and fights as well as any other man in the platoon.
- The Conscience: When they bring him the wounded child, he's horrified that he was shot by a Marine weapon.
Bryan: "Marines shot this kid. Fucking jackasses. Trigger-happy motherfucker."
- Fiery Redhead: While he's usually calm and collected, his tendency to harshly and angrily insult superior officers ("You dumb motherfucker, sir, even the most boot-fucked marine knows danger-close.") cements him as this.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Doc's refusal to sugarcoat anything he says makes him come off as more than a bit of a dick, but he's a good man who looks out for his platoon mates, especially the younger, less experienced ones, and who would fight tooth and nail to save the life of a single Iraqi casualty.
- Nice Hat: His bandana of badassitude.
- With Due Respect: He speaks his mind to his incompetent superiors and doesn't bother with including any "due respect" because, as far he's concerned, they don't deserve his respect.
Bryan: "Dumb motherfucker, sir, even the most boot-fucked Marine knows danger close, sir!"
Cpl Teren “T” Holsey
Played by: Sydney Hall
Corporal Michael Stinetorf
Played by: Bjorn Steinbach
Other members of Bravo Company
Captain Craig “Encino Man” Schwetje
Played by: Brian Wade
Bravo’s CO - a former intelligence officer put in a position he is distinctly unsuited for.
- Dumb Jock: He was a football player in college, and the stereotype of athletes being dumb definitely applies to him. He manages to sound off like a dumb jock when pushing the Humvee out of its predicament in the bridge, via Major Eckloff's motivational speech.
Cpt. Schwetje: "Men! Over here! Two-minute warning, guys, two-minute warning!" (The men move the stuck Humvee) "YEAH! WHOO! Gentlemen, this is the end zone! (Does an end zone dance) Whoo! Whoo! Yeah! Go Yellow Jackets!"
- Rousing Speech: Attempts one but it's so terrible, it makes Sixta's rants look like poetry
- Too Dumb to Live: Inverted: He tries to call in an artillery strike practically on his own position, despite the protests of his subordinates. He is saved only because he manages to screw up both the protocols for properly calling in an artillery strike, and isn't even using the right grid coordinates to accidentally kill himself and his men. His Epic Fail is so complete that it loops right back around and saves him and his men.
- What an Idiot: He's so boneheaded that even other characters thinks he's a dumbass. Case in point, he tried to call in an artillery strike suicidally close to his own position, although luckily, he was stupid enough to get the protocols wrong:
Sgt Lovell: "Sir, that's a cunt hair over 200 meters, sir. That's danger-close for artillery."
Cpt. Schwetje: "Danger-close?"
Sgt Lovell: "Sir, "danger-close" is an artillery strike within 600 meters of a friendly position. 200 meters... That's pretty much on top of our heads."
Gunnery Sgt “Casey Kasem” Griego
Bravo Company Operations Chief. He's Encino Man’s senior enlisted man and is similarly disrespected by the Marines.
- The Neidermeyer: initially; however, after the events of the book/series, he was put in a position of leadership, where he excelled, thus becoming…
Captain Dave "Captain America" McGraw
Played by: Eric Nenninger
The inept commander of Bravo’s 3rd platoon, prone to bouts of hysteria and stupidity. Due to his higher rank, he has the right to order Fick and his men about — a right that he doesn’t hesitate to abuse.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: "Follow my tracers!"
- Bayonet Ya: When he isn't using an AK, he always appears to have his bayonet fixed to his issued service rifle, despite being well out of range to use it.
- Ensign Newbie: of the worst sort.
- Karma Houdini: Due to Godfather's unwillingness to act and having connections he manages to go unpunished for his attempted murder of a prisoner and mental torture of another.
- The Neidermeyer: Not so much a nasty officer, but completely incompetent and utterly despised by the men under his command. Any interactions he has with his men end with them shaking their heads - even when he's being friendly.
Captain America: "Godspeed! God-fucking-speed to you!" (He waves to Colbert, Fick, and Kocher)
Kocher: "Fucking Captain America."
Sgt Eric Kocher
One of 3rd platoon team leaders.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: he is infinitely more capable than his platoon commander.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Eric actively tries to counteract the dangerous idiocy of Captain America including slugging him in the jaw to prevent his execution of a prisoner. On another occasion Captain America psychologically tortures a prisoner as Kocher stares on horrified and tries to talk him out of it. The entire team is reported as Kocher is suspended whilst Captain America retains his position.
- Only Sane Man: in his relationship with Captain America.
Other battalion members
Lt. Colonel “Godfather” Ferrando
Played by: Chance Kelly
Previously a commander of the parade ground at Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington DC, now the man in charge of 1st Recon battalion. He's the highest ranking officer in the field and answers directly to General Mattis.
- Glory Seeker: in the book, the men speculate he’s trying to get his men killed on purpose.
- Guttural Growler: He has a very distinct low voice due to having had throat cancer.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: It varies from one scene to another; his decisions are not very popular with the Marines, but he’s definitely competent and he'll often come to some sort of compromise.
- Third-Person Person: He often refers to himself as "Godfather" or "Ferrando."
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He seems to think he's in charge of an armoured infantry unit instead of a light recon unit. In fact, if he had been put in charge of armoured infantry, his orders and tactics would be perfectly valid, and as pointed out during the mini-series, his superiors are using his unit like they were armoured infantry anyway, and expecting Godfather to follow that. Later editions of the book say that the men under his command, in hindsight, acknowledge that he was a good commander and making the right decisions based on the intel and resources at his disposal.
Major Todd Eckloff
Played by: Benjamin Busch
- Death Glare: Shuts up a panicking Captain America with one
- Pink Mist: The result of him using his below mentioned shotgun on an Iraqi soldier in the book
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Carries a Benelli automatic twelve-gauge shotgun in the book and more than proves it's effectiveness when called upon.
Sgt Major John Sixta
Played by: Neal Jones
1st Recon Battalion Sergeant Major.
Captain Bryan Patterson
Played by: Michael Kelly.
CO of Alpha Company.
- Foil: to Encino Man. Each commands a company, yet Patterson actually knows what he's doing.
- OOC Is Serious Business: After most of the action is done, he has what is officially described as an "outburst", which is to say he puts Encino Man into a headlock and slams him into a wall after Encino Man roughly shoulder-checked an enlisted Marine from Alpha during an athletic competition.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: the one shining example among the higher command.
Sgt Christopher Wasik
The battalion driver, famous for his characteristic Hitler ‘stache.
Lt Alex Aubin
Played by: Nabil Elouahabi
The 19-year-old Kuwaiti Battalion Translator.
- Blatant Lies: half of what he's translating for Bravo men is made-up shit, per orders from above.