"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.
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.
"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.
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.
Ax-Crazy: He went to war because the idea of killing people excites him.
Black Comedy: he earns the nickname "Whopper Jr"note which comes from the name "Burger King", which itself is derived from "Baby Killer" for his suspect actions against Iraqi civilians; it's used good-naturedly.
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.
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.
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).
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.
"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.
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, likely to avoid Unfortunate Implications).
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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!"
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 Idiotinvoked: 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 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.
Only Known by Their Nickname: his real name is never stated in the book. This is deliberate, since Wright didn't want him to get harassed about his actions. The series averted this: in the DVD, he's constantly referred to by his first name (Dave), and the Blu-Ray version shows his full name in the Chain of Command extra.
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.
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.
Catch Phrase: During his briefings to his officers, he's fond of "What does Godfather think?" as a lead-in to his summation.
The Chains of Commanding: Most of his orders involve using his Recon Marines for missions they are entirely poorly suited for (massed assaults, high speed gun-and-run mounted recons, etc. rather than small teams of highly trained scouts). He is getting his orders from General Mattis, and feels he isn't in any position to refuse them.
Godfather: Major General Mattis's plan went against all our training and doctrine, but I can't tell a general I don't do windows.
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
Genghis Gambit: knows exactly how ridiculous it is to keep harping on the Marines for the grooming standard, and not only does he do it so they can hate him as an outlet, he has Gunny Wynn tell him when morale drops so he can time it right.
Pappy lampshades this after Sixta chews him out for not having yet shaved his moustache.
Sgt. Patrick: "Well, we all got jobs to do. Sgt. Major Sixta's job is to be an asshole... and he excels at the position."
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.