Follow TV Tropes


Context Main / VeteranInstructor

Go To

1->''"If he is such a great sweeper, why is he here, teaching us?"''-->-- ''VideoGame/{{Minesweeper}} TheMovie''A [[OldSoldier decorated war vet]] who teaches [[EnsignNewbie novice officers]] instead of advancing up the UsefulNotes/CommonRanks ladder. Probably a military [[ShroudedInMyth legend]] and always gets his chance to shine in the OldMaster or RetiredBadass way sooner or later. There can be various reasons for him getting stuck in that position:# He has a reputation of a MilitaryMaverick who wouldn't make a very good commander ([[TheLastDJ at least, in his superiors' eyes]]).# He considers teaching the next generation more important than fighting itself, so he deliberately refuses promotion.# He has actually already retired but was reactivated because the military needed skilled personnel badly.# He is assigned this duty as his military's standard policy of assigning notable combat veterans as instructors since they are considered more useful teaching new recruits the skills they learned in the field. He usually hates being taken out of the action, but gradually realizes that the policy is right as he gets scores of new recruits ready for battle.In a way, a commissioned counterpart to DrillSergeantNasty, in that he can put his students through a TrainingFromHell just as easily. On the other hand, he is usually [[OfficerAndAGentleman much more gentlemanly about it]]. Notably, they will be the first to tell the fresh faced recruits something like, "First thing, WarIsHell, and if you want the best chance to survive it, you will ''listen'' to those who know."----!!Examples:[[foldercontrol]][[folder:Anime & Manga]]* Nanoha Takamachi in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'' is the second type. Notable in that she is already a veteran at the [[ImprobableAge age of 19]] due to having been on the job [[ChildSoldiers from the age of 9]].* ''Manga/OnePiece'': Marine Vice Admiral Monkey D. Garp becomes this during the TimeSkip. After retiring from active Marine duties, he retains his rank and stays on as a Marine instructor in order to bring up new and young Marines. Even before the time skip, he manages to turn two wimps, Coby and Helmeppo, into hardened Marine officers.* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed'', the Earth Alliance tried to do this to [[AcePilot Mu La Flaga]] at Alaska by reassigning him as a training instructor in California. He was about to get on the boat leaving Alaska until he remembered he'd forgotten something and ran back to the base to get it.[[labelnote:*]]He actually wanted to take the chance to say one last goodbye to Captain Ramius.[[/labelnote]] The result is that he's still on-base when ZAFT attacks and the boat leaves without him, so he stays with the ''Archangel''.* In the manga version of ''Manga/SailorMoon'', Sailor Venus takes this role early on, using the Sailor V Game to pass on his experience to the other Sailor Senshi until she has to enter the battle openly. It's implied she continues off-page even after that.[[/folder]][[folder:Comic Books]]* In ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'', Street Judges who have been injured/wounded in ways that leave them no longer useful to serve on active duty are often given teaching posts at the Academy of Law to train young cadets to be future Judges.* ComicBook/SgtRock has pulled training duty stateside, but is so committed to Easy Company that he insists on rejoining them on his furloughs.[[/folder]][[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]* ''Film/DodgeballATrueUnderdogStory'' has the protagonist team trained by legendary (wheelchair bound) dodgeball player Patches O'Houlihan. Parodied to hell and gone as Patches is [[BunnyEarsLawyer ''extremely'' eccentric]] and puts the protagonists through TrainingFromHell (including dodging wrenches, in a scene massively [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil spoiled by the trailer]]), and ultimately [[MentorOccupationalHazard dies before]] the BigGame.* [[Creator/ClintEastwood Gunny Highway]] in ''Film/HeartbreakRidge''. He is sent back to school to train a Recon squad, even though he is a highly decorated Marine. Yeah, he tends to get into bar fights and tell off his superior officers.* Both LTC Moore and CSM Plumley in ''Film/WeWereSoldiers''.* SFC Clell Hazard in ''Gardens of Stone''.* In ''Film/TopGun'', the flight instructors at the eponymous school are all experienced veteran pilots. At the end of the movie, Maverick suggests that he might want to become an instructor himself. In the novel, he does.** Based on the actual school, which had ace pilots as instructors. However, the storyline misses one important point of the actual school: Graduates of the Top Gun training course are intended to return to their original squadrons to teach the techniques they just learned to their comrades.* ''Film/TheGuardian2006'': Senior Chief Randall was a veteran Coast Guard rescue swimmer who took a teaching assignment at the training center. [[TruthInTelevision The movie was based on a true story.]]* In ''Film/TheTuskegeeAirmen'', the trainees -- the first African-Americans ever trained as pilots by the US military -- are surprised that one of their lead instructors is also African-American... and that the other instructors often defer to him. He turns out to be the only instructor with combat experience (having previously served in the Royal Canadian Air Force).* In ''Film/TheMartian'', [[spoiler:this is Mark's new job after he rescued from Mars, as the foremost expert in long term survival techniques for astronaut candidates]].[[/folder]][[folder:Literature]]* Creator/TerryPratchett has Sergeant Jackrum of the Borogravian army in ''Literature/MonstrousRegiment'', who's been in the army so long that retirement papers have been in hot pursuit for years now, but has never advanced any further in rank. It's implied Jackrum's responsible for recruiting and training most of the high ranking officers in the army.* Commissar Literature/CiaphasCain ('''HERO OF THE IMPERIUM''') becomes a Commissariat instructor in an Schola Progenium once he's reached his "retirement". The GodEmperor having a sick sense of humor, being retired does not make him any less likely to be eaten, shot, or otherwise attacked than when he was still active.* After the war ends in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', Jake works training a squadron of morphers for the US military. He remarks on how bizarre it is that he's instructing soldiers five to ten years older than he is, but it's justified since Jake and his friends are probably the most experienced morphers in existence (the Andalites, who invented the tech, tended to use it very sparingly).* Alastor Moody from ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire'' is brought from retirement by [[BigGood Dumbledore]] to teach Hogwards' students the ways of wizards' warfare for the inevitable impending struggle against [[BigBad Voldemort]]. He makes a stunning impression on the youths with his rough demeanor, vindictive punishment of evil deeds, epic TrainingFromHell and demonstrations of [[WarIsHell what wizards' ways of causing harm are like]]. [[spoiler:It turns out that he's actually an imposter...but everything seen of the real Alastor Moody indicates that he would've taught the students in largely the same way.]]* Literature/HonorHarrington spends a couple years as commandant of the Advanced Tactical Course at Saganami Island while grounded undergoing medical treatment.* Creator/RobertAHeinlein's novel ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'' has a RetiredBadass - a famous war hero InUniverse - commanding the Mobile Infantry's Officer Candidate School, even taking a (temporary) demotion from ''General'' to do so.--> '''Rico:''' Yes, ''that'' Nielsen...** Pretty much all instructors at the Mobile Infantry Officer Candidate School are this. They are not as famous InUniverse, but they are all war heroes and {{Retired Badass}}es who received invalidating wounds and refused to be discharged, and so were posted there to teach officer candidates how to do their job. The most notable of them are the History and Philosophy teacher, a blind man with a ''sharp'' brain, and a paraplegic combat instructor who can still kick the asses of the candidate officers.** Even basic training instructors are veterans, as indicated by them having the rank to do so (being career soldiers with ''at least'' one combat drop being a prerequisite to rising above corporal in the MI), the diffences with their Officer Candidate School counterparts being they're all in active service, are for the most part noncoms, and, in the case of the few officers, are relatively lower-ranked. They're still good at their job, to the point that when [[SergeantRock Zim]] is deployed for active combat he had to be referred by his rank until ''after'' the action or the reader would have known everything would go well.* Aral Vorkosigan in the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' regularly takes time out from his duties to give the seminar at the Imperial Academy about how to know when an order is criminal and what to do then.* For the first book of the ''Literature/XWingSeries'', Tycho Celchu serves this role in Rogue Squadron, helping train the next generation of pilots while serving as Wedge Antilles' executive officer. He ''would'' be flying combat missions, there's just the matter of him being a suspected ManchurianAgent that has New Republic Intelligence adamantly against the idea.* Invoked in ''Literature/EndersGame''. Mazer Rackham, Earth's most successful commander against the Buggers, is forced to travel for fifty years at relativistic speeds so that he'll be able to transmit his knowledge to Ender, who was literally born and bred for the role.[[/folder]][[folder:Live Action TV]]* At the end of one season of ''Series/{{Bones}}'', Booth (a former Army Ranger sharpshooter) was reactivated and went to Afganistan to train snipers.* John Basilone in ''Series/ThePacific'' goes from receiving the Medal of Honor to being put in charge of training Marines at Camp Pendleton.* At the conclusion of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', O'Brien heads back to Earth to become one of these at the Academy. He'd been doing a fair bit of the VeteranInstructor schtick as part of his regular duties during the last two seasons anyway. Especially to Cadet Nog, who was whose period of "field training" away from the academy ended up being much longer than usual because of the Dominion War.* In the finale of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', Janeway volunteers as a guest lecturer on the Borg for Barclay's class, being one of very few people who have extensive experience with them.[[/folder]][[folder:Tabletop Games]]* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':** One SpaceMarines special character is Ultramarines scout sergeant Tellion, who stayed a sergeant to teach new recruits, and has even been loaned out to the Ultramarines' successor chapters to further distribute his skills. This seems to be a common occurrence among scout sergeants, see below.* The GaidenGame ''TabletopGame/{{Necromunda}}'' allows you to play as the Adeptus Arbites, an officially-backed riot squad rather than the usual street gangs. Given their access to better equipment, characters who reach a certain level are removed and considered to have become this for game balance reasons.** Tau Fire Caste warriors can either keep serving or go up the ranks until they're removed from active service to become this. If that sounds limiting, bear in mind the Fire Caste's sole purpose is to fight for Tau, and Tau parents are genetically screened to ensure the best offspring comes out. [[HappinessInSlavery Not that]] [[MoreThanMindControl they mind.]]* In ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'', Clan sibko instructors subvert this; rather than being decorated veterans sent to educate the next generation they have been removed from active duty thanks to age, poor performance or political disgrace. The majority of them are ''very'' bitter about this and are more than willing to take out their anger on the teenaged cadets they train; which is probably one of the the reasons (along with all training being done with live weapons) why Clan training programs [[TheSpartanWay have a 90% attrition rate]].[[/folder]][[folder:Video Games]]* ''VideoGame/AceCombat'':** Jack Bartlett from ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'' is Type 1: because of his actions during the Belkan War, his superiors mistrust him without any proof, so he is stuck teaching "nuggets" on Sand Island. Gets to shine late in the game when [[spoiler:he escapes a squadron of fighters with precious cargo on board a ''transport plane'' (though, to be fair, you assist him) and then pulls off an AirstrikeImpossible like your own team ''on his own'']].** A subverted Type 3 in ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar'': The legendary ace Dietrich Kellermann, who became an instructor after retirement, is sent back to the frontlines during the Belkan War to boost the Belkans' morale.* Master Miller of ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' has served with Big Boss back when he was running the MSF, then trained [=SEALs=] and other mercenary outfits.* Sergeant Cyrus from ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar 2'' is a veteran Blood Raven who prefers to teach the chapter's initiates as Scout Marines and is implied to have trained the player character and the rest of the main squad. This doesn't stop him from playing an active role during the [[BugWar Tyranid invasion]], [[LegionsOfHell Chaos incursion]], and chapter civil war, nor will it stop him from bringing along his Initiates - [[TrainingFromHell it's part of their training, after all]].* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsOfColdSteel'' revolves around student life at the prestigious Thors Military Academy, and several of the faculty are military veterans, most notably Major Neithardt, Professor Beatrix, and Principal Vandyck. In ''Cold Steel III'', the protagonist Rean Schwarzer becomes this, as he is now an instructor at the Thors branch campus, and he has over a year of solid military service under his belt as the [[RedBaron Ashen Chevalier]] fighting in the Erebonian Civil War, defeating multiple incursions by the Republic of Calvard at the Erebonian border, and participating in the invasion of North Ambria. The branch campus also boasts Major Michael Irving from the Railway Military Police in its instructing staff and former General Aurelia Le Guin as the principal.[[/folder]][[folder:Web Original]]* Lampshaded in the [[RealTrailerFakeMovie trailer]] for ''VideoGame/{{Minesweeper}} TheMovie'', where a couple of sweeper trainees wonder why a famous veteran instructs newbies instead of sweeping mines himself. Towards the end of the trailer, it is implied that the instructor [[ShellShockedVeteran suffers from PTSD]].[[/folder]][[folder:Western Animation]]* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' with Marvin Marsh.-->'''Jimbo:''' And now, to clarify how the reenactment should unfold, let's bring up our master historian, Grandpa Marvin Marsh, the only man [[MethuselahSyndrome old enough to have actually seen the Civil War]]... [[BaitAndSwitchComment reenactment of 1924.]]* Commodore Tolwyn in ''WesternAnimation/WingCommanderAcademy'', due to his being ReassignedToAntarctica.[[/folder]][[folder:Real Life]]* TruthInTelevision. During WWII, the Allies would pull their best aces out of combat and send them back to train new pilots. This served two purposes: it kept famous aces from being killed in combat, thus avoiding the blow to morale that it would cause, and it allowed new trainees to benefit from the aces' vastly greater experience, making them better pilots. It must have been a great incentive for pilots to excel, aka "Make Ace, get excused from combat sooner." Notably, Japan did ''not'' bring their aces out of combat (the idea being that they should stay where they could do the most damage against the enemy), and they were almost all killed eventually (the lone survivor was only pulled from the lines and sent to train new pilots due a stress-caused error causing him to get a bullet in the eye) -- and the quality of Japanese pilots took a sharp downturn near the end of the war. This is also why the best known Axis aces had higher kill counts than their Allied counterparts.** They did it with the snipers too. For example, the most famous Soviet sniper, Vasily Zaitsev, actually has relatively modest kill count, even compared to the other Soviet snipers, because he was pulled from the action quite early after he was made an example, as the brass realized that letting him to be killed would be a blow to the morale. So he was transferred from the frontlines and got posted as an instructor in the sniper school. * This is fairly standard procedure for many armies around the world. Training is much more effective if the trainer actually has some practical experience in what he teaches, as opposed to purely theoretical knowledge. In a pinch, where there is no time or resources to train replacements, veteran instructors can also be re-fielded as opposed to instructors with no combat experience which are near useless in an emergency by comparison.** This is especially true of specialist, highly skill-based support vocations such as the medics, signallers and combat engineers. The latter in particular can have a School reconstituted as an Engineer formation with very little effort.** Additionally, for many fields that use instructors who cannot be sent into combat, every single one of them formerly did it. A lot of the instructors for US Army Special Forces formerly served in Special Forces teams, but can no longer do so for reasons such as having left the military (often due to being a now-retired [[SergeantRock SNCO]]) or still being in the military but having received a disabling injury (at some point early in TheNewTens, there was an instructor who was blind).* The [[UsefulNotes/NazisWithGnarlyWeapons Third Reich]] did quite the opposite [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII by early 1944]], by gathering most experienced Panzer instructors and veteran commanders into the elite Panzer Lehr Division and arming them lavishly with more and better machinery than either Heer or Waffen-SS Panzer Divisions. In practice it backfired, since they were expected to fight back the assault of Allied troops ten times their number, so the life expectancy in the Division was quite short. By the surrender in May 1945, the fighting men had been depleted and replaced a few times over.* In a lot of work situations this is standard for new hires. Rather than just hand someone manuals and expect them to figure it all out on their own, they'll assign someone experienced to teach them and answer any questions.[[/folder]]----


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: