"Smell that? You smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... Victory."In most if not all war movies, there's an officer who seems to actually enjoy the war. He runs into battle with a smile on his face and seems sad that the war has to end someday. Named after Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore in Apocalypse Now, though you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a pun on "Kill-Gore" we made. This trope is the intersection of Blood Knight with Colonel Badass. Not necessarily The Neidermeyer (who is hated by his subordinates), and usually not a General Ripper (who's paranoid and crazy), nor a Sociopathic Soldier (who doesn't necessarily enjoy war). Not necessarily mean to the troops or totally obsessed, just someone who enjoys the war a bit too much. They also tend to be very good at combat and more often than not may be on the thick of the carnage himself. Any commanding officer from a Proud Warrior Race will automatically be this trope; just expect the words "honor in battle" to be thrown around a lot more. See also It Amused Me and Blood Knight.
— Lietuenant Colonel Kilgore, Apocalypse Now
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Several examples in the Gundam universe:
- A less villainous example would be the original Mobile Suit Gundam's Ramba Ral. He's a pretty nice guy who none the less seems to genuinely enjoy fighting. The point is driven home quite nicely in the novelization, where instead of a soldier he's a secret service agent & bodyguard to Zeon dictator Gihren Zabi, a job he finds no pleasure in & which causes problems in his relationship with his love interest, Hamon.
- Rakan Dahkaran, a Neo-Zeon Ace Pilot and mobile suit commander in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, who shows what happens when a Sociopathic Soldier and Blood Knight gets promoted to command rank.
- Played with in the character of Colonel Ulube Ishikawa from Mobile Fighter G Gundam. He spends the first 45 episodes of the show as a Reasonable Authority Figure before the reveal that he was one of these all along and was just quietly biding his time for his own chance to seize the Devil Gundam.
- Major Solf Kimblee of Fullmetal Alchemist was one of these during the Ishvallan war. In a campaign in which nearly everyone else was demoralized and guilt-stricken by the atrocities they were committing, Kimblee happily did his job and speaks about loving the sound of screaming and the atmosphere of the battlefield. The Silver Alchemist, Major Giolio Comanche, was another example, entering battle with a Slasher Smile on his face.
- The Major from Hellsing. Apparently, he likes war a bit. That is, enough to gather the remnants of the Nazi war machine, turn them into vampires, and send them all off in zeppelins to fight the unkillable monstrosity Alucard, just for something to do.
- The Punisher
- In Garth Ennis's run, especially in the miniseries The Punisher: Born, Frank Castle is said to enjoy violence. In Born, Castle tricks a general threatening to close down his firebase into standing in a sniper's view, is said by the narrator to be in love with combat, and apparently "talked" to with a supernatural force which claims that Castle wants battle and urges him to take a deal that will make his war last forever. When everything's falling apart and castle is surrounded by VC, he agrees to the deal. Only afterwards is it revealed that the price of survival and continuing war is his family.
- Marvel Knights flat out portrays Castle monologuing how he wanted Vietnam to last forever.
- Fury (Max), also by Ennis, has Col. Rudi Gagarin. He loves war, to an almost disturbing degree. Fury himself is close to this, but tries to keep his eyes on fighting a war that will win a peace, rather than just fight them for the sake of it.
- G.I. Joe's drill instructor, Sgt. Slaughter fits this trope to a tee.
- Superman: If Zod is a classic General Ripper, his wife and Number Two (be it Ursa Post-Crisis, or Faora in the New 52) is usually portrayed as a bloodthirsty combat junkie looking to mix it up at close range. Post-Crisis she even carried a Kryptonite knife for use on her fellow Kryptonians.
- A Crown of Stars: Lieutenant Asuka loves fighting. It's what she has been trained for since she was a little child. She loves being a soldier, going to war, crushing the enemy and achieving glory. Shinji loathes fighting but even so he can not help to be drawn to her warrior spirit.
- Evangelion 303: Asuka, commanding officer of the "Evangelion" squad, is a heroic example. Although she can be abrasive and rude, she is not a bad person... but she genuinely likes fighting and showing off her superiority.
- HERZ: Asuka has rank of Captain and loves fighting.
- Thousand Shinji: Asuka Langley Sohryu is a Khornate berserker. She is drawn to conflict like a moth to a flame. She loves fighting, crushing and brutally killing the enemy and spilling their blood. She will jump into a battle, skirmish or mere brawl, roaring "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE" as hacking heads off. Later she became the Goddess of War.
Films — Animated
- Shan Yu, leader of the invading Hun army of Mulan.
Shan Yu: This doll came from a village in the Tung Show Pass, where the Imperial Army is waiting.
Hun Archer: We can avoid them easily.
Shan Yu: No. The quickest way to the emperor is through that pass. Besides, the little girl will be missing her doll. We should return it to her.
Films — Live-Action
- The Trope Namer is Colonel Kilgore from Apocalypse Now, the ludicrously badass commander of an Air Cavalry regiment. He's introduced casually Strolling Through the Chaos of a vicious battle. He later speaks poetically about his love of napalm, which "smells like victory." He seems to share equal enthusiasm for combat as he does for his hobby, surfing. He attempts to indulge both pastimes at once, ordering his men to surf in a warzone despite their discomfort (and the bullets whizzing past them into the water). He looks downright sad when he says to Captain Willard and Private Lance that, "someday this war is gonna end." Kilgore loves war as much as he loves life itself.
- Spartan King Leonidas in 300 is what a pre-medieval Kilgore would look like.
- Colonel Miles Quaritch in Avatar. It helps that Kilgore was one of the inspirations for the character, right down to the coffee-drinking in the middle of an airstrike. While he loves his battle, he is also appreciative of his soldiers and it's his reason why he wants to escalate the conflict since his men get killed. Though seeing that great tree seemed to have been too much even for him...
- Battle of the Bulge has the fanatical Colonel Hessler: after disabusing his driver of the idea that the Ardennes offensive will allow Germany to win the war:
Conrad: "I don't understand. If we have not won, and we have not lost, than what is happening?"Hessler: "The best thing possible is happening. The war will go on!"
- Cadet Colonel Brett C. Shelton from Child's Play 3 is a budding teenage Kilgore, being aptly described by his superior Colonel Cochran as having "an excess of zeal" when it comes to his duty, and all things military for that matter.
- In Crimson Tide during an early dinner table conversation, Captain Ramsey is obviously enamoured with the glory of war and destroying the enemy in the line of duty.
- General Turgidson from Dr. Strangelove both hates the commies and anticipates the war he is supposed to help prevent with the glee of a five-year old playing with army men.
- Peacekeeper Commander Thread in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Already one in the book, here he starts the crackdown in District 12 by shooting his pistol into the air.
- Sergeant First Class William James of The Hurt Locker - though he gets his fun primarily from disarming bombs. Hunting terrorists will do, though.
- The titular Basterds from Inglourious Basterds, especially Staff Sergeant Donny Donowitz.
- Staff Sergeant Bob Barnes from Platoon is this to the point of being a Psycho for Hire.
- In Utu (1983), the British Colonel (Tim Elliot) caused the Maori rebellion by massacring allied tribes. He takes the credit for the successful defence of the stockade, and personally leads a squad in pursuit of Anzac Wallace's character. His way of identifying an enemy sympathiser was to kill the suspect, and count the number of flies that landed on the corpse.
- In Rick Cook's Limbo System, Major De Lorenzo. His paranoia does manage to save the ship, though he has to be killed to prevent his blowing it up.
- In Kim Newman's The Hound Of The D Urbervilles, narrator and Villain Protagonist Colonel Sebastian "Basher" Moran was this, a talented soldier and fairly smart man who also has very few morals, he basically just enjoyed killing people and after being mauled during a tiger hunt, he's sent back to England and basically forced out of the army. He's a classic Blood Knight who takes to murder for hire quite well once he starts working for Professor Moriarty.
- Lieutenant Sayle of The Drowned Cities is a Sociopathic Soldier who loves the ongoing warfare because it gives him the chance to hurt people. He constantly drives his men into more and more dangerous missions, promising victory, while seeking only further violence.
- In his long military career, Flashman serves under different commanders that fit every military trope on the site, but he singles out service with the Colonel Kilgore types as the most stressful and dangerous. This is mainly due to the fact that Flashman himself has an undeserved reputation as a Kilgore, and real ones immediately assume he's a kindred spirit.
- Colonel Prentice, from The Last Kashmiri Rose made his name on the Pathan border, doing counter-raids and reprisals. He had entirely adopted the Pathan Proud Warrior Race ethos.
- Just about every Calvarian officer depicted in The Reynard Cycle is prone to this, but Drauglir is a particularly good example. Given that Calvarian society is essentially one large armed camp, this is not surprising.
- Ironically, the one Calvarian general who orders the sadistic torture of the civilian population in order to draw Reynard into a fight with him is depicted as being the sort of man who would far rather be home with his sweetheart, drinking a cup of tea.
- In the Literature/McAuslan series, George MacDonald Fraser's Author Avatar, Lieutenant Dand McNeill, has a milder and more thoughtful version of this. Offered the chance of turning his war-service only commission into a regular Army career, he seriously considers this but turns it down out of an aversion to peacetime service. His stated reason is that the British Army in wartime was worthwhile because the ceremonial, spit and polish and general bullshit aspects were set aside as things nobody had that much time or inclination for. What he describes as the relaxed, happy-go-lucky attitude of wartime service was dissappearing fast, as the generation of war-service-only officers he felt a kinship with were demobilising, leaving only the more austere "Sandhurst-and-by-the-book" types who would manage an Army in peacetime. He compares the two Colonels, the outgoing villainous type who led the regiment by his own rules in war and immediately afterwards, against the stiffer, more formal, new man who would manage it in peacetime. Then decides the Army is no longer for him and tears up the application forms.
- While the supreme commander of the Minbari Warrior Caste in Babylon 5 is a bit of a buffoon, his second in command Neroon is a clear example of the trope. He becomes one of the most important secondary characters and one you easily come to Love to Hate. He doesn't fight for his entertainment, but war is his whole existance and purpose.
- In the BBC series Clone, Colonel Black (Mark Gatiss) casually kills all the subordinates who he feels have failed him and openly enjoys torturing prisoners, especially Ian.
- Elite Agent Rotor in Dino Attack RPG serves this role, with the bonus of also being an Ace Pilot. The Kilgore components of his character are especially evident in the scenes where he casually listens to classical music... provided he hasn't hooked it up to the speakers of his helicopter and started blaring it across the battlefield while blowing the living daylights out of his enemies. He even got to form a Battle Couple of sorts with fellow pilot Cabin. Atton Rand actually took a great deal of inspiration from Kilgore himself, initially from the infamous "Ride of the Valkyries" scene alone (this being before he actually saw the full movie), and if that weren't obvious enough Rotor becomes best friends with a surfer named Lance Williams.
- Granted, this is probably what Rotor is at his best. At worst he's a Sociopathic Soldier (his controversial Kangaroo Court and the fact that he got away Scott-free with torturing a child while the guy that actually tried to make up for it took the blame certainly didn't help).
- It does also make for a rather bleak fate for him after the war finally ends, as Rotor is left unable to adjust to a mundane lifestyle and his relationship with his girlfriend quickly spirals downhill (the fact that she has PTSD from the same war certainly doesn't help). It would hardly be a surprise if he was Driven to Suicide.
- Also to a lesser extent Agent Ronald "Soldier" E. Army", but nobody takes him as seriously.
- Warhammer 40,000: Orks live for war. Every Warboss gleefully charges into the fray without a second thought (or a first), followed by countless more Orks with their choppas and gunz regardless of whether they win or lose. And seeing as they release a cloud of spores on death that will mature into even more orks, losing isn't even an option. The only thing keeping them from taking over the galaxy is that they keep fighting each other.
- It makes them bigger and stronger. That's also how their societal hierarchy works - the bigger you are, the more fights you've walked away from. Their currency is "teef", and it's fortunate that they make shark orthodonture look tame.
- Any Eldar Exarch has been lost on an Aspect Path is this - doubly so, because that's what distinguishes squad leaders. Their battle commanders ("Autarchs") are Eldar who went down an Aspect Path, had the raw willpower to claw their own way back into what we would consider sanity... and then rinse and repeat.
- "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!" That's the warcry of the followers of Khorne the Blood God, the Chaos god of war. Much like orks, they don't really care if they win or lose, as all blood spilled in battle goes to Khorne, and his skull throne is made of the skulls of worthy warriors (regardless of original allegiance).
- The Imperium has Warmaster Macharius, the only thing in his mind is war, and more worlds to conquer, when he thought he couldn't conquer any more worlds he would fall to his knees and weep. Fortunately (for this trope and for players) the grim and dark 41st millenium is in no danger of peace.
- It also helps that he was directly and blatantly based off of Alexander the Great: he didn't run out of worlds to conquer, he wanted to push into the outer fringes of the galaxy, past the range of the Astronomican (where his Navigators couldn't guide his ships). His officers outright refused to continue. Subsequent books make it clearer that he was actually assassinated before it could get that far, which had a huge downside: if he had brought his troops back along the way he came, he might have been able to prevent a war breaking out, but because he died so suddenly, his supporters turned on each other.
- The entirety of Khador in Iron Kingdoms. Being patriotic in the extreme they see it as their duty to fight for their country. National hero Kovnik Jozef Gregrigorvich considering any day he does not spend fighting an enemy of his country to have been wasted.
- Richard of Gloucester demonstrates this in his opening speech, when he laments "these weak-piping times" (that is, peacetime). Ian McKellen hits it home a little more closely in the 1995 movie version, in which he delivers "Now is the winter of our discontent" as a celebratory speech, but says what he really feels in private. All of Richard's actions can be interpreted as those of a man who misses the battlefield and is whipping up a war of his own.
- Most of the Team Fortress 2 characters probably count for this. The Soldier continued fighting in WW2 until 1948 because he didn't realize it had ended and was enjoying killing Nazis too much. By Nazis, we mean normal Germans—considering where he first arrived (Poland), maybe not even that close.
- The Sniper and the Spy kill because that's their job, though they do enjoy it a fair amount. The Heavy loves "Sasha", his minigun more than life itself, and certainly more than the lives that are taken by it. The Medic needs a constant supply of wounded men to "practice medicine" on. The Engineer fights For Science! and what better way to test-run his turrets than with live targets? The Scout is just super-aggressive (and feels he has something to prove, being the youngest of nine children). The Pyro is quite literally insane, and seems to honestly think he/she is spreading happiness and rainbows rather than horrible burning death. The Demoman comes from a long line of proud explosives experts, and his skill with grenades and swords is almost In the Blood.
- According to his bio, Bill in Left 4 Dead. He's overall a good guy, but suffered from aimlessness and general resentment of his retired life until the Zombie Apocalypse hit, at which point he became the de facto leader of a group of survivors with no military training and helped them become badass.
- Metal Gear is full of these guys, some of them mercenaries, others black-ops — and even plain military. Revolver Ocelot is a former Spetnaz who is said to have grown disgusted with Soviet buracracy and gone freelance, where he was able to torture and maim without having to worry about red tape.
- Colonel Volgin in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. He's a transparent lunatic and wannabe warlord, but he's also an efficient spymaster. Also, he's so scary that soldiers think twice about deserting.
- Big Boss himself is arguably an example of this trope. He decides that he only feels truly alive when he has a gun in his hand and he has someone to shoot at, and so he creates his own Private Military Company where he can make a profit out of war and participate in any conflict he chooses without restrictions from military officials. The arguable part is that despite being a warrior Big Boss still has morals and doesn't fight simply because he can, he won't take missions that he views as corrupt.
- Colonel Cobar of Killzone, whose love of war is second only to his loyalty to General Metrac. Also Colonel Radec, whose badassery goes other places as well.
- The Hellscream lineage in Warcraft. Grom Hellscream drank demonic blood twice to defeat a powerful foe and skirmished with enemy forces even against direct orders. His son Garrosh may be even worse; he's fought Thrall for leadership of the Horde, goads King Wrynn into a fight whenever he can such as during a diplomatic meeting about an old god getting loose, and invades the Night Elf lands in the middle of the apocalypse.
- Referenced as a weapon in Bayonetta, a pair of twin Rocket Launchers are named Lt. Col. Kilgore and are stated to have the Colonel's soul put inside them.
- Call of Duty: World at War has Sgt Reznov, who ruthlessly kills as many Germans in his path. He may have done it for two reasons, 1) revenge and 2) spare then from being sent into prison camps.
- Parodied in Red vs. Blue with Sarge, leader of the Red team. So strongly does he believe in Red Army propaganda, that Grif has come to realise that if Sarge ever claims to have bad news, chances are it's going to be something good like: "Looks like those peace treaties are making progress."
- Sarge isn't even good to his own men, with his primary strategies being suicide runs even when not necessary, and what little favor he finds in them is largely based on who's kissing up best. Thankfully, Character Development from Season 8 onward tempers him into more of A Father to His Men...or at least one less willing to shoot them.
- Even though Adolf Hitler never reached the rank of colonel in the German army, this trope resumes his idea of war, hence the persecution of pacifists in Nazi Germany and World War II. Although, having been gassed in the First World War it might be safe to say he didn't so much enjoy fighting so much as he enjoyed being a xenophobic power crazed megalomaniac with sharing issues.
- General George S. Patton. Perhaps somewhat appropriately, he died in an accident shortly after the war ended. The movie played it up.
- A certain Company Commander in the US Army's 2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment said this to his four platoon leaders.
"Last time I was in Iraq, I killed three men, with my own weapon. Fuckin shot 'em dead, killed 'em. I enjoyed that. I really did, man. Killing people is fuckin fun. You get this kinda bloodlust. It's hard to control sometimes."
- Even Gentleman General Robert E. Lee is famously quoted as struggling with this:
"It is well that war is so terrible — lest we should grow too fond of it."Cpl. Joshua Ray Person, The Killer Elite
- Early 19th century Russian Romantic poet Mikhail Lermontov. Also known as "the Demon" (that's what Chechens called him), or "Lieutenant Death" to friends. By his own account, his affair with bloodshed was very much love at first sight; he cut out a Chechen highlander's heart in a flawless, artistic manner in his first battle during a Chechen rebellion that happened while he was exiled to the Russian military in the Caucasus, and never lost his love for war ever since. Hence his nicknames.
- Major Douglas A. Zembiec was an officer in the United States Marine Corps during the Iraq War. In interviews, he stated that he enjoyed being in combat, and that part of the reason he stood in the Marines was to fight. He was also respected by his men as an effective and compassionate leader. He was killed on May 11, 2007 in a firefight with Iraqi insurgents in Baghdad; he was 34.
- Lieutenant-Colonel Jack Churchill allegedly declared following VJ day that "If it wasn't for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years!" Churchill is credited with causing the last known bow-and-arrow war casualty (shot a German sergeant with a barbed arrow from his longbow), walked back into German held territory after capturing 42 German soldiers to retrieve his longsword, and charged a Norwegian beach from a landing craft while playing his bagpipes. His perspective on the war, like his perspective on virtually everything else, was . . . unique.
- King Richard the Lionheart was more interested in going on crusades than being king. He would have sold England to fund his crusades if he could've found a buyer and preferred leading his knights into battle to ruling.
- Genghis Khan was credited with the "What is best in life?" question and answer. Given his conquests, it seemed like he really liked his work.
- Tom Kratman of Carrera's Legions fame often gives the impression he wanted to be one of these, except that he never got the chance because he never got to see combat.