[[caption-width-right:280:That's '''Gunnery Sergeant''' R. Lee Ermey to you, maggot!]]

Gunnery Sergeant '''Ronald Lee Ermey''' (born March 24, 1944) is a former United States Marine Corps drill instructor and VietnamWar veteran turned actor/media personality.

Having appeared in the film ''The Boys in Company C'' (playing -- what else? -- a Marine drill instructor) and served as a technical advisor to Creator/FrancisFordCoppola for ''Film/ApocalypseNow'', Ermey became a pop culture icon with his role in Creator/StanleyKubrick's ''Film/FullMetalJacket'', which had him play a foul-mouthed drill instructor whose sadistic training methods end up driving one recruit insane and lead to his death. Incidentally, his scenes are one of the few times Kubrick ever allowed improvisation in any of his films.

The role made him the poster child for the trope DrillSergeantNasty and landed him work in other films (most notably ''Film/{{Se7en}}'', where he ironically plays against type as a rather mellowed out police captain), as well as a slew of voice-over work due to his distinct gruff voice (such as Sarge, the leader of the Army Men in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory''), and ultimately a hosting job for several [[TheHistoryChannel History Channel]] military-themed shows (''Mail Call'' and ''Lock n' Load with R. Lee Ermey''). He's also guest-starred as the abusive ex-Drill Sergeant Nasty father of the title character of ''Series/{{House}}''.

He actually retired from the Marines as a ''Staff'' Sergeant. In 2002, he was the first person in Marine Corps history to be promoted after retirement when the Commandant of the Marine Corps ordered an honorary promotion to Gunnery Sergeant "in recognition of his continuing support to Americans in military service, and of his service as an unofficial ambassador for the Marine Corps."

* AdamWesting: In ''Saving Silverman''.
** Also, his Geico commercial.
* AscendedExtra: Originally brought on to ''Full Metal Jacket'' for accuracy advice, his demonstrations of how to do a DrillSergeantNasty were so good that he was cast in his famed role.
** Said demonstration was unflinchingly chewing out the camera with both tennis balls and rotten oranges being thrown at him, and he continued to chew out the camera for ''fifteen straight minutes'', during which he never once moved, changed his expression, or ''repeated himself''.
** What really sealed the deal, however, was when he spoke to [[PrimadonnaDirector Stanley Kubrick]] on the set and said "YOU STAND UP WHEN I TALK TO YOU!!!" and Kubrick found himself doing so automatically.
* {{Badass}}: Ermey was an established U.S. Marine drill instructor at age 21.
* BadassBiker: Shows off his shooting skills on the back of his bike on Lock 'N Load.
* BigOlEyebrows: Just look at 'em!
* CastTheExpert: How he got his most famous role.
* {{Defictionalization}}: Being cast as a Gunnery Sergeant (E-7) in his iconic role despite having retired as a Staff Sergeant (E-6) always caused a bit of awkwardness when people would inevitably refer to him as the former. 15 years later the Marine Corps graciously offered to remedy the situation with an unprecedented post-retirement promotion to Gunnery Sergeant due to his continued service promoting the Corps and its values.
* TheDeterminator: Was once in a car accident which knocked him off the road. He flashed his lights for hours until someone found him.
* DrillSergeantNasty: He is the consummate master of this trope.
** To the point of TypeCasting.
** Ironically, despite the TypeCasting as a DrillSergeantNasty, he's actually a NiceGuy in RealLife, and can be very approachable, and conversational. However, this is usually the case with most Drill Sergeants, as explained in the trope page.
* LargeHam: Screaming profanities is practically his trademark.
* RealLife/MeanCharacterNiceActor: He can be downright mellow and soft-spoken when he's not in DrillSergeantNasty mode. Stanley Kubrick initially thought Ermey was too nice to play Hartman in ''Full Metal Jacket'', prior to his aforementioned audition. For that matter, in the bloopers that showed after ''Mail Call'', he often came across as a [[BumblingDad bumbling old dad type]] when he flubbed his lines, albeit a bumbling old dad with a ''very'' salty mouth.
** Incidentally, this is fairly typical of mainy DrillSergeantNasty types in RealLife. The military typically tries to find well-balanced soldiers who can ''pretend'' to be deranged sadists in order to properly motivate and train recruits without actually harming them. It can be disconcerting to meet an instructor after training and find that they're actually a bubbly and cheerful person when not wearing the campaign hat.
* NoIndoorVoice: His roles tend to run on this.
* SemperFi: He was once a Drill Instructor in the Marine Corps. It shows.
* ThrowItIn: A good bit of the lines from Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, in ''Full Metal Jacket'', were adlibbed by Ermey, who was one of the few actors that Kubrick allowed to go off-script when shooting scenes.
** Note: He had to explain what a "reach around" was to Kubrick, who stopped filming the scene early to ask what it was, after Ermey ad-libbed the line. After it was explained, Kubrick laughed and said that he was going to keep it in the movie.
* TropeCodifier: Most DrillSergeantNasty characters take a page from his book (if they aren't played by him in the first place).
* TypeCasting: Perhaps the UrExample. Seriously, if he's not playing a drill instructor, he's playing someone who ''acts'' like a drill instructor.
** A minor Against Type role was that of a phony televangelist in Fletch Lives.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: He was only 42 when he filmed ''Full Metal Jacket''. He looks almost the same from then as in his Geico commercial...over 20 years later.


* BulletTime: What did you expect with all of the guns on ''Lock n' Load''?
* TheCameo: On the Artillery episode of ''Lock and Load'', the hwacha, an ancient Korean multiple rocket launcher, is mentioned and shown being fired. It's the exact same one that the ''{{Series/MythBusters}}'' Build Team constructed, as shown by the mismatched wheels, though this fact is not mentioned in the show.
* DoesNotLikeSpam: ''Mail Call'' has the host note that watermelons are his "sworn enemy", and hence uses them as target practice. This gets carried over to ''Lock n' Load''.
** However, Ermey actually plays with the trope in an episode of ''Lock and Load''. "Some people think I don't like watermelons. Well, that's not true - I just believe you gotta kill it before you eat it."
*** In another episode, he comments that he has nothing against watermelons, it's just that heads are so much more expensive.
*** Maybe a shout out to FMJ, since the one thing Private Snowball wouldn't like was that (in addition to fried chicken) watermelon isn't served on a daily basis in his mess hall.
** Another episode of ''Lock n' Load'' had Ermey mow down several jars of gumballs with an uzi, prefacing the destruction by saying "[[FelonyMisdemeanor I HATE Gumballs, they cause tooth decay!!]]"
* FourthWallMailSlot: The main point of ''Mail Call''.
* MoreDakka: Look, ''Lock And Load'' is about ''firearms''. What do you expect? (Taken to its logical extent with episodes devoted solely to machine guns, from the original hand-cranked Gatling onwards.)
* NotSoStoic: In a ''Lock and Load'' episode, when the host fires a .44 Magnum and gets knocked down in the process, he promptly does not want to fire it again.
* PinPullingTeeth: Ermey addresses this in an episode of ''Mail Call'', pointing out how doing this is a good way to lose teeth.
"SemperFi." ''(salutes)'' Carry on.