Private Cole: Why is it us? Why us?
Colour Sergeant Bourne: Because we're 'ere, lad. Nobody else. Just us.Sergeant Rock is a tough non-commissioned officer (NCO), usually serving in a position of leadership. The naval equivalent is either the Bosun or the Chief (depending on the organization), who usually fills the same role on a ship. Named for the DC Comics character who first appeared in 1958. Rock served in the European Theater of Operations, was known for keeping his head in the ugliest situations, and for growling a lot of gung-ho sound bites. See Sgt. Rock. Sergeant Rock is what The Neidermeyer dreams he is. However, Sergeant Rock differs from The Neidermeyer in that he may be a bully and a blowhard, but he gets the job done while never ordering his troops to do anything he would not be willing to do himself, and thus the troops respect him, while not necessarily being too fond of him personally. Also, unlike the Neidermeyer, even if he'd never tell them he usually cares deeply about the soldiers he's in charge of. Only out of simple necessity does he invoke We Have Reserves. If The Squad is only the size of a squad, he may be the man in charge. Otherwise, he's either helping Ensign Newbie learn the ropes, or making sure whatever Colonel Badass needs done gets done (sometimes both). Either way, he's usually a lot rougher around the edges than the officer he serves under. Whatever the situation, you can be sure Sergeant Rock is right in the middle of the firefight, whatever the odds, and whatever ordnance is being tossed around. Has a very, very high chance of being Made of Iron and also a badass. Compare Drill Sergeant Nasty. The Stern Teacher is more or less the civilian version. Is the military specific version of The Reliable One. This archetype is indeed Truth in Television, and many Real Life military forces actively encourage this kind of behavior and personality.
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Anime and Manga
- Full Metal Panic!: Sagara Sousuke. Along with being a Drill Sergeant Nasty. Despite being a pretty harsh and sadistic teacher, he does get remarkably good results. Just look at the transformation of the whole army of girly rugby players. He's an even more effective teacher than Gauron, despite Gauron having actually been a reputable and respectable AS instructor at a camp. Sousuke's coaching of Kaname actually managed to make it so that she could best Yu Lan, the assassin that was trained since childhood by Gauron to be a merciless killer.
- Combat Instructor Captain Nanoha Takamachi of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. Don't be fooled by the girly title; Nanoha can and will vaporize anything in her way, and she expects you to do the same, no excuses. She's respected by her entire unit because they know all their harsh training is because she wants them to be the strongest.
- Lieutenant Natarle Badgiruel - in spirit if not rank - from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, as a foil to the Cool Big Sis / Team Mom Captain Murrue Ramius.
- Hiruma from Eyeshield 21 acts like one to his team. He may be a serious jerkass that his teammates fear, but they all genuinely respect him and are genuinely loyal to him.
- Batou and the Major can be pretty strict on their subordinates in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex but really care about them and do everything they can to protect them.
- Lady Une from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, is called the Iron Lady for her stern and cold demeanor. However, she makes a few questionable decisions (such as holding the space colonies hostage in order to defeat the Gundams), causing her beloved commander Treize to encourage her to "act more gracefully". This causes her to develop a Split Personality which is a Proper Lady whose one goal is to serve Treize; by the end of the series she resolves the personality conflict and combines the competence with the kindness to become A Mother to Her Men.
- Sergeant Knox of the space marines in Star Blazers / Space Battleship Yamato.
- The aforementioned Sgt. Rock of DC Comics, of course.
- Green Lantern:
- Kilowog of the Green Lantern Corps also qualifies. Bonus points for also being a former drill sergeant and one of the highest ranking members of the Corps.
- Kilowog's successor as drill sergeant, Stel, is rockier than rock, being made of metal.
- The literal sergeant rock in Bizarro Comics Green Lantern Reserves story.
"Although I am a genderless chunk of stone I expect you to address me as 'sir'!"
- Parodied by Alan Moore in his series Supreme with "Sergeant Strong and his Gold-Brickin' Dogfaces." Parodied again by Moore in the Image crossover Judgment Day with "Battlin' Baron and his Roarin' Roughnecks." (These also parody Nick Fury and his Howlin' Commandos, but the art style is clearly meant to evoke Sergeant Rock.)
- Nick Fury started out as this with the Howling Commandos before moving on to become a Colonel Badass.
- Combat Kelly was another Marvel character who qualified.
- Cherry in "Sgt. Cherry and her Squealing Commandos".
- Captain Simon Savage from Captain Savage and His Leatherneck Raiders. Marvel Comics really love this trope.
- In a Fantastic Four story, while helping a team of marines to escape a timeless dimensional pocket, Ben Grimm (not the Thing at that moment) shows badass command skill. The actual marine sergeant offers him a job as drill sergeant on the spot.
- Tomahawk: Tomahawk was this to the Rangers, already being a veteran of French-Indian War by the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.
- The Transformers (IDW): Kup has been reworked to invoke this image, particularly in The Transformers: All Hail Megatron.
- Shining Armor assumes this role in Shell Shock. He's heavily implied to be special forces of some kind.
- Telny has this role in Racer And The Geek. Out of all the mercenaries, he's one of the more aggressive and skilful ones.
- In Slipping Between Worlds. junior British army officer Philip Holtack meets a lot of sergeants, both on Roundworld and on the Discworld, and finds himself concluding that however they differ in appearance, aptitude, applied life skills and personal inclination, they are all, without exception, chips off Sergeant Rock. Even, in his own personal way, Sergeant Fred Colon.
- The plot of Old Soldiers Never Die is touched off when Harry ends up asking for help from a group of these-cum-retirees who collectively come up with a way to remove the 'retiree' from their titles, and give Harry the authority to back it.
Film - Animated
Film - Live Action
- Subverted with Sergeant First Class Troy Barlow from Three Kings. Although he is a trained and capable Sergeant in his own right, he's every bit as fallible as the rest of his squad, and addresses his troops in a more polite, nonchalant manner, as opposed to the more stern and harsh way that is common for this trope. He also isn't exactly gung-ho about going into battle, and is the most reluctant about wanting to continue on with the heist after a botched first attempt.
- Color-Sergeant Bourne in Zulu is practically the trope codifier.
- Sgt. Apone from Aliens is also a textbook example.
- Tom Sizemore's Sergeant Horvath from Saving Private Ryan. His reaction to being shot twice is "I just got the wind knocked outta' me, I'm fine."
- Barnes in Platoon - at least to most of the platoon. Even the Heads respect (and fear) his abilities, even if they want him dead.
- Sgt Maj Basil Plumley, from We Were Soldiers, potrayed by Sam Elliott. Straight Up Badass with his .45 Automatic (which he carried because he felt the new, plastic M-16 to be unproven compared to his previous, much more solid-feeling weapons.)
Sgt. Savage: "G'mornin', Sergeant Major."Plumley: "How do you know what kind of goddamn day it is?"Sgt. Savage: "Beautiful mornin', Sergeant Major."Plumley: "What are you, a fucking weather man now?"Col. Moore: "I think you oughta get yourself an M-16."Plumley: "Sir, the time comes I need one, they'll be plenty lying on the ground."Plumley: *standing in the middle of a hail of bullets* "Can't take no pictures from down there, sonny."Galloway: "Sir, I'm a non-combatant."Plumley: "Ain't no such thing, today."Plumley: *after all the fighting is done* "Now, that's a nice day, Sergeant Savage."
- Sgt Foley from An Officer and a Gentleman.
- After learning the ropes from his Drill Sergeant Nasty instructor, Carl Brashear goes on to become a Naval Master Diver and reaches the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer in Men of Honor.
- Sergeant Major Rawlins, played by Morgan Freeman, in the 1989 movie Glory.
- In Heartbreak Ridge, Gunnery Sergeant Tom Highway played by Clint Eastwood is made of this trope.
- The unnamed Sergeant played by Lee Marvin in The Big Red One.
- Staff Sergeant Nantz in Battle: Los Angeles.
- Sgt. (later Lt.) David Manning in When Trumpets Fade is a radical deconstruction of this trope. He's definitely cool under fire, and he leads his squad of very green replacements to victory. Of course, he's also a Dirty Coward who tends to get his men killed saving his own hide when he's not shooting them in the back himself.
- Big Joe (Telly Savalas) from Kelly's Heroes is a veteran sergeant who's got de facto leadership of his platoon thanks to the captain being a lazy idiot who spends more time profiteering than leading. Unlike the captain, Big Joe has earned every ounce of respect he gets from his men.
- John Styker (John Wayne) in Sands Of Iwo Jima (and about any other war movie John Wayne made).
- Kevin Costner is this in The Guardian. He is a Petty Officer training rescue swimmers for the Coast Guard. He is something of a Drill Sergeant Nasty and believes in The Spartan Way, but that is because he is a perfectionist about saving lives. He is also Tough But Fair and very much Married to the Job.
- Sykes from Oblivion (2013). Complete with one-liners, Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, and Big Damn Heroes moment.
- Duke from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
- 'Sarge' from Doom (Played by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson) is an inversion - he starts out the most respected member of the crew but gradually steers his team towards immoral actions and is eventually infected by the monsters.
- Sgt Kinnie (James Whitmore) in Battleground
- Sgt Rolf Steiner from the book and movie versions of Cross of Iron. Slightly subverted, as the character was inspired by real-life NCO Johann Schwerdtfeger, who had the oakleaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, making him even more highly decorated than the nonetheless bemedalled Steiner played by James Coburn in the film. In both the book and the movie, Steiner drives the action and is often the only one still calm when things turn bad. All the soldiers in his platoon look to him for leadership and guidance, and fall apart when he absents himself from them.
- Pretty much every sergeant in the McAuslan series. But particularly Regimental Sergeant-Major Mackintosh, who served twelve years in the Scots Guards and then in the Commandos during WWII, and is utterly unflappable.
- Although Sergeant Baxter is The Neidermeyer among them.
- 1st Sgt. Welsh in The Thin Red Line, although several other NCOs (e.g. Bell) qualify as well.
- In the later novels, Detritus the troll becomes the drill sergeant in charge of training new troops, also notable because Detritus is literally made of rock.
- Played straight with Sergeant Jackrum in Monstrous Regiment. While Corporal Strappi (The Neidermeyer and The Political Officer) bullies the weaker members of the squad, Jackrum is protective of them, while pushing the ones he thinks will push back, at the same time making sure Lt. Blouse (Ensign Newbie) gives the right orders.
- Sergeant-at-Arms John Keel/Commander Sam Vimes in Night Watch. The original version taught young Vimes everything he knew, and helped keep the city together during a revolution. The second version... also taught Vimes everything he knew and helped the city through a revolution.
- Fred Colon is described by Vimes as "one of nature's sergeants," to the extent that it's more or less impossible for Vimes to imagine Colon in any other role.
- When Vimes isn't standing in for his dead commanding officer in order to repair the timeline, he's more of a Colonel Badass. Vimes' Battle Butler, Willikins, definitely fits the trope, though, when he joins the military in Jingo.
- In the later Sharpe books, Patrick Harper takes on this role. Interestingly averted when Sharpe himself attained the rank - he spent his days as a Sergeant as an armory assistant in Seringapatam, then an intelligence officer' adjutant, and then as part of Arthur Wellesley's staff. He fits this trope in all but rank later on.
- "Jelly" Jelal of Starship Troopers was a sergeant and fit the trope of getting the job done, whether the troops liked him personally or not.
- Sgt. Zim also counts, once he takes to the field and captures the Brain Bug.
- From the Starfist series of books, Hammer Schultz is a perfect example, even thought he's a Lance Corporal
- Honor Harrington positively revels in this trope, with many examples, including the one of the most memorable Sergeant Rocks around — Sir Horace Harkness.
- In the Phule's Company series, there's a sergeant who literally changed his name, appearance and accent just to emulate the perfect British Sergeant-Major— and he's not even British.
- The Mercenary and its sequels, part of the Falkenberg's Legion series, has Sergeant Major Calvin, right-hand man to soldier-turned-mercenary Colonel Badass John Christian Falkenberg.
- Death Star has Master Chief Petty Officer Tenn Graneet, head gunner on the Death Star, was like this to his men. He wasn't a bad boss at all provided that they did their jobs well.
- X-Wing Series: Wedge Antilles might be softer than most examples on this page, being Mildly Military and a Reasonable Authority Figure who will handily forget regulations and rules if it's in someone's best interest. Even so, to the Ragtag Band of Misfits on their Last-Second Chance who he forms into Wraith Squadron, he can at times be extremely cruel. He berates and scorns Kell Tainer for cowardice and folding up when people need him; cuts down Tyria Sarkin for attacking another pilot; all but taunts Castin Donn for being uneasy around nonhumans; mocks Myn Donos. It actually helps them shape up, and the same people he's cruelest to, when they make the effort, he is extremely protective. He looks out for them.
- Dale Brown books have Ranger Sergeant Major Ray Jefferson and Marine Corps now-Master Sergeant Chris Wohl, who won't take any nonsense from their officers.
- Colonel TR Steele of the Tour of the Merrimack series. Not kind, not polite, but definitely the person you want watching your back when fighting a Horde of Alien Locusts.
- Gretchen was something of a Sergeant Rock to the other camp followers in 1632.
- Valiar Marcus from Codex Alera is a somewhat odd example of this trope, because In addition to being an experienced centurion and managing to be given "Valiant" as his actual legal name, he's also Fidelius Ex Cursori, a spy.
- Jubal Branch in the Company Z series by J.T. Edson.
- And Billy Jack from the Civil War series.
- Alaric the Grey Knight is promoted after the first novel, but he starts as Justicar — their analog of Sergeant. He is little bit more low-key than the trope's standard too. While he gets to be Acting Brother-Captain at the end of the first book, afterwards he is returned to the rank of Justicar. This was because the higher ups distrusted his unusually imaginative and curious mind.
- Gaunt's Ghosts:
- Major Rawne is an officer, but fulfills the trope perfectly: he is a ruthless and manipulative bastard who has told his commanding officer (a Colonel Badass) to his face that he intends to kill him, turns his top subordinate into an even more ruthless killing machine, and ran a black market before joining the Imperial Guard, yet is highly respected by his subordinates and his squad is considered one of the Ghosts' deadliest units.
- Most of the Ghosts fit this trope to some extent. Corbec, despite being a Colonel, is well loved by the men and is always in the thick of the fighting. Other's who fit the trope are pretty much any of the Sergeants (Especially Mkoll) and most of the captains (especially Kolea).
- Staff Sergeant (later Gunnery Sergeant) Torin Kerr of the Confederation of Valor series lives, breathes, eats and excretes this trope. An excellent example of the trope, as the first book has her being a Sergeant Rock not just to her subordinates, but also to a newly minted second lieutenant assigned as her superior.
- Earl Swagger from Stephen Hunter's novels served with distinction in the United States Marines during WWII and won the Medal of Honor for his heroism. He then returns to civilian life and becomes an Arkansas State Trooper, where he continues his tradition of badass antics.
- Sergeant Breckenridge from the Tom Clancy novel Patriot Games, a United States Marine who serves as the firing range instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy.
- Stark's War has the titular Sergeant Stark, and also a lot of the other sergeants we meet. They contrast sharply with most of the commissioned officers, who are on a spectrum between "useless" and "active liability", being Armchair Military who direct (or rather, screw up) combat operations via remote communications link. The troops certainly consider their sergeants more solid and reliable than their officers.
- Sgt. Hietanen and corporals Lahtinen and Rokka in The Unknown Soldier.
Live Action TV
- I pity these pretenders! Sergeant B.A. Baracus is THE real example, FOOL!
- Babylon 5 has this in the one-shot character Sergeant Major Plug. He comes aboard as the chief enlisted Marine in a battalion of several thousand, and is first seen arresting several Marines for brawling, regardless of who had the moral high-ground. He shouts constantly, seems to treat his men like trash and likes phrases like "mutant maggots," but, at the end of the episode, is decent enough to give a female Marine a minute to give her lover a kiss goodbye as they head off for combat.
- Sgt. Chip saunders (Vic Morrow) in Combat!
- Sergeant Major Jonas Blaine, NCOIC of Alpha Team, The Unit.
- Master Sergeant Ronald Greer is rapidly on his way to becoming this in Stargate Universe.
- In The Pacific, Sgt. John Basilone fits this trope, but not as much as badass Sgt. Elmo 'Gunny' Haney.
- Firefly: Malcolm Reynolds during the Battle for Serenity Valley. While a milder version of this trope, he wasn't very kind to his men at all during the battle. He did nothing to alleviate their despair at the grim future that awaited them, and he verbally berated at least a few of his men, but they still all followed him to the end, for the most part. That being said, due to Independent High Command being taken prisoner/killed he wound up with four thousand men under his command. As a sergeant.
- Staff Sergeant (later Sergeant First Class) Zeke Anderson inTour of Duty, especially in the first few episodes.
- Colour Sergeant Anderson in Soldier, Soldier was an early role for Robert Glenister.
- Plenty of these guys appear in minor roles on JAG. Not surprising considering the fact that the creator and showrunner was a former Marine.
- Gunnery Sgt. Victor Galindez is an example of a recurring character on the show who exhibits this trope. Both in the office and after he requests a transfer back to combat duty post-9/11.
- Buffer and Duchy from Sea Patrol are the ships Bosuns.
- CPO Miles O'Brien in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- Sir Ansgar on the fantasy-themed reality show, The Quest, who starts out being very harsh with the Paladins (contestants) but gradually warms up to them.
- Despite being a (self appointed) captain, Mainwaring in Dad's Army has elements of this - on multiple occasions, he chose to do a particularly dangerous task himself rather than endangering his men.
- Elite Agent Rotor in Dino Attack RPG.
- Warhammer 40,000 has them in droves — after all, while the usual modus operandi of Imperium's armed forces in We Have Reserves, the world around is so dangerous that you need NCOs to keep their heads level.
- Gunnery Sergeant Harker of the Catachan Devils is one tough bastard, known for hauling around a Heavy Bolter that he calls "Payback".
- Colour Sergeant Jerran Kell of the Cadian 8th serves as the loyal bodyguard of Lord Castellan Ursarkar Creed and makes sure that the men under the Castellan's command obey his orders to the letter.
- Ironhand Straken of the Catachan 2nd is a Colonel, but has the demeanor and attitude down pat. So far, in fact, that he provides the bulk of the page quotes.
- The Tau Empire's Cadre Fireblades tend to be Sergeant Rocks. They are high ranked Fire Warriors who declined the chance to pilot Battlesuits, usually either because they understand the practicality of having a commander fight with the infantry or simply because they prefer to continue to fight with the lower ranked Fire Warriors.
- The Tau special character Darkstrider is similar. He's certainly brave and talented, and has a long list of battlefield successes attributed to him, but he refuses to move beyond the rank of a Pathfinder team leader. Given the Fire Caste's views on tradition and deference to authority, this is grounds for insubordination and termination, but because he's so good at what he does, they overlook it and allow him to stay in his unit.
- Sgt. Major Avery J. Johnson revels in this trope. A little-known video of him introducing the audience to Halo: Combat Evolved at its release party in Chicago gives a pretty good indication of his personality:
Johnson: "Alright all you greenhorns, listen up! My name is Sergeant Johnson. When you are not in my presence you can call me anything your degenerate hearts desire, assuming your tiny brains can string together a couple of cuss-words. But while I'm here, you will address me as 'Sir, yes sir!'"
- For his full resume, click here.
- The Master Chief qualifies as well — 'Master Chief Petty Officer' and 'Sergeant Major' are the same pay grade. One's just Navy, and the other Army or Marines. Though people who've only played the games would know him as more of a One-Man Army, he's shown in the Expanded Universe to be a capable leader (in fact, he's the de-facto leader of most of the Spartan-IIs).
- There's also lesser-known Recurring Extra Sgt. Stacker - a milder-mannered counterpart to Johnson who can be identified by his soft cap instead of a proper helmet. But he can think of some pretty funny insults against bad guys. In fact, he actually survives the entirety of the original trilogy (along with the Australian Chips Dubbo), and even makes a brief appearance in Halo 4.
- Sergeant Forge from Halo Wars. His men all say "He's the guy you'd want next to you in a foxhole, but you'd never introduce him to your sister." He's even badass enough to go man-to-man against an Arbiter and win, using an Energy Sword to finish the job.
- Sgt. Major Avery J. Johnson revels in this trope. A little-known video of him introducing the audience to Halo: Combat Evolved at its release party in Chicago gives a pretty good indication of his personality:
- Captain Narville from Killzone 2 has a zero tolerance for negativity, but he is respected by his men who knows he takes great risks, and would never ask them to do anything he wouldn't do himself.
- Captain Price of Call of Duty fame, especially in 4. He may be a jerk, but he cares about his troops, and you have to respect a man with a mustache like that.
- In the sequel, there's Sgt. Foley, is willing to put himself and his squad at risk to get the job done. In one instance, he disobeys a retreat order so that they could continue to cover evacuating civilians.
- The third one also has Sandman, a Master Sergeant. He leads his team with great skill and courage, and his men have undying respect for him. Like Foley above, he also refuses a retreat order and insists on continuing the mission.
- The first game (and its expansion) has a textbook example in Sgt. Moody, who spends every minute of screentime calming panicking privates, bawling out cowardly medics and performing minor miracles at Captain Foley's request.
- Matilda in Last Scenario, a rare female example.
- From the same developer, Bast and Generals Eander and Keyser from Exit Fate also count - although Bast is a somewhat more approachable version.
- The Soldier in Team Fortress 2, although he does not necessarily lead either team. He also (mis)quotes and highly reveres Sun Tzu, which should probably qualify him for Cultured Warrior as well.
- Musaad, the bonus squad member from Valkyria Chronicles. His ego is considerable, but the guy is a legend for a reason.
- Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark: Although he isn't a sergeant by rank, Onslaught leads the five Combaticons by assertively issuing his orders to his men. And they listen, not just because they don't have a better combat plan of their own, but because that his orders usually wins the battle.
- Sabres of Infinity:
- Sergeant Solhammond Lanzerel is tough, brave, disciplined and of course, not afraid to his hands dirty. He's also got no tolerance whatsoever for baneblooded buggers who are likely to get him or his men killed.
- Sergeant Aethelstan Harlech fits the core of this trope while subverting a lot of the expectations. He's loyal to his men and they to him, and he's always in the mud and blood with them, but he is not The Reliable One. His "lads" are more like a street gang than a military unit (though they fight like berserkers once sabres are drawn), and he feels no loyalty whatsoever to the baneblooded officer who he has to serve under. Winning that loyalty takes some doing.
- Varin, the leader of the Brutes tribe, from Digital Devil Saga is a villainous example. He's a hardass of the highest calibre but, as his offscreen decimation of the Wolves tribe shows, he's also an extremely talented military commander whose men are fiercely loyal to him - as shown when the party invades his base. It's sadly subverted when it's revealed that he truly doesn't care about them and just wants to escape the Junkyard's Forever War.
- The Head of Security from Space Station 13 is supposed to be this, being the best equipped member of the security team and directly commanding them from the field. In practice, it can depend on the player.
- Sgt. Rita Torres in Exo Squad.
- Duke from G.I. Joe.
- In The Simpsons episode "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in 'The Curse of the Flying Hellfish'", Grandpa Simpson is portrayed as a Sergeant Rock; the DVD commentary even notes that World War II-era Abe Simpson was directly based on the Trope Namer.
- Though he was underused as such, Ironhide from Transformers (the original) was intended as this kind of character. It shows on occasion.
- Captain Rex on the CG Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie and series, especially in the 1st season episode "Rookies".
- Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles version of Zim fit this mold (The film and novel versions were rather different characters).
- Gunnery Sergeant Jackson from v4 of Open Blue. Considering he and his squad had to keep up with a sword-tossing Warrior Monk and a highly agile Tyke Bomb armed with a Sinister Scythe blessed with elemental lightning, he's pretty Badass Normal indeed.
- Sarge from Red vs. Blue is a walking parody of this trope. He seems more concerned with keeping up the appearance of this than actually accomplishing anything, and his competence is directly proportional to how closely his situation parallels how he thinks warfare should go (which is not often.) Claims to have been personally trained by Sgt. Avery J. Johnson. (Listed above under Video Games.)
- Character development late in the eighth season brings him a fair bit closer to playing this trope straight, though.
- Agent Washington is currently serving as this for the Blue Team. Trying his best to mold them into a fighting force with something resembling discipline.
- Cry Havoc's Karcharoth is The Stoic outside of battle, but changes distinctly into a Sergeant Rock when the lead starts flying.
- The late General Esteban from A Loonatic's Tale was such an outstanding military officer in general that, even though he lacked the capacity to address his men in any tone but "enraged bellow", he was beloved and well-respected by the men and women under his command, and in death is well-regarded by both sides of a bitter war during which he served.
- Sgt. Schlock in Schlock Mercenary can be this. Sure, he's an ultra-violent and borderline sociopathic Manchild, but he's also utterly cool under fire, a sound tactician, a skilled fighter, and an excellent battlefield leader. Even though Tagon usually assigns an officer to (barely) keep him under control, once the shooting starts they inevitably follow Schlock's lead. Almost the entire arc of "Massively Parallel" had characters asking, "What would Schlock do?"
- Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller, the legendary United States Marine Corps officer whose service would take him from Haiti and Nicaragua, to the bloody Pacific in World War 2, to the frozen hell of the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. He would earn five Navy Crosses for his service and is, to this day, considered the greatest Marine to have ever lived. Known for the famous line: "We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things." Once he became an officer, he more than qualified as a Colonel Badass, and later, when he became a Marine Corps general, a Four-Star Badass. He is very much a Memetic Badass among the Corps and is the example all Marines aspire to.
- Another example from the United States Marine Corps would be Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, who served as a sniper in The Vietnam War (who in addition to being a Sergeant Rock was also a Friendly Sniper). During the war he had 93 confirmed kills (although the actual number is estimated to be much higher, with some estimates running in the 200-300 range) and even participated in a highly dangerous mission deep behind enemy lines that resulted in him successfully killing a North Vietnamese general. The North Vietnamese were so scared of him that they nicknamed him "the White Feather" (due to his practice of keeping a white feather in the brim of his boonie cap) and placed a large bounty on his head. His career in the Marine Corps ended when a vehicle he was riding in hit an anti-tank mine. Hathcock heroically pulled 7 marines out of the burning vehicle, while himself receiving horrific burns that would permanently disable him. Today he is regarded as a legend in the Marine Corps, and much of the USMC Sniper Training doctrine is based on examples set by him.
- The members of Napoleon Bonaparte's "Old Guard" could all be considered a Sergeant Rock. These were men who had spent almost two decades of their lives following Napoleon across all of Europe and kicking the ass of anyone who got in their beloved General's way. Their sheer fighting abilities, loyalty, and veteran status were so respected by Napoleon that they were one of the few military units whose members could openly complain in his presence without rebuke. This led to them being known as Les Grognards (The Grumblers). They could also be considered an example of the Badass Army.
- This is the policy for unit commanders in the Israeli army. The head of the unit is the first guy in and the last guy out.
- A Troperiffic, although Real Life example: Sergeant Max Wolff Filho was a WWII Brazilian Sergeant Rock, down to the gung-ho sound bites. His last known words (to a soldier who asked him for a knife) "Krauts aren't fowl". This was 17 days before V-E day, no less. Still, it was probably his own fault that he didn't quite managed to be the last casualty in the ETO; he should have known better than to speak about returning home to his little daughter. For his deeds, not only was the Brazilian Army's Sergeants' School (among others) named after him, but also a Distinguished Service medal for Sergeants and Ensigns.