Complete Monster: Staff Sergeant Sam Croft is the Commander of a Recon Platoon, which he rules with an iron fist, during World War II. Croft comes across as a simple martinet jerk before the audience is first introduced to his sadistic side. In one scene, he gives a Japanese prisoner some cigarettes and chocolate and thus the illusion of being spared. Right after he kills the guy despite having just learnt the soldier has a wife and kid back home. From there on it's made increasingly clear that Croft is a cold-blooded killing machine with love of combat andkilling. His first kill was not even in the war, but when he was serving in the Texas National Guard, during which he killed a man in a riot just to see what it was like. When newly ensigned Lt. Hearn is assigned to the platoon, Croft resents being placed at second-in-command. Later, after he crushes an injured bird to death to spite a soldier, Hearn forces him to apologize. Croft experiences this as humiliating. He retaliates by misleading Hearn into thinking the path ahead is clear, thus getting Hearn killed by a machine gun. Later, Croft quells a mutiny in his usual manner by threatening to shoot those responsible.
Jerkass Woobie: Gallagher is a short-tempered, anti-Semitic jerk. However, when his wife dies, he mourns him deeply; he realizes that despite their fights, he truly loved her, and she understood him better than anyone.
Tear Jerker: Gallagher's wife dies in childbirth. Most heartbreaking is when he keeps getting letters from her after being notified of her death, and his reaction to the last letter, which shatters his attempt at denial.
Values Dissonance: Several of the platoon openly displayed sexist and bigoted views. Roth and Goldstein are targeted for anti-semitism.