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Sociopathic Soldier

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Trombley: Sergeant, I didn't get to shoot.
Ray: That fucking sucks, Trombley. Did your recruiting officer tell you you could just shoot anyone?
Trombley: Fuckin' A he did.

The grunt version of Insane Admiral (and sometimes Colonel Kilgore or General Ripper). Often people below the rank of Sergeant are all around assholes who plunder, rape, and massacre civilians, or brutally torture and murder the hero's comrades, making killing them less guilt-causing.

These generally come in four flavors:

  1. The Jingo: This guy is swept up in Patriotic Fervor or similar and is doing it because they're convinced their cause gives them the right to be as brutal as they please (racism, fantastic or otherwise, might be involved, or they may have bought in to the rhetoric so much that they genuinely do not see the opposition as people). Particularly likely to target civilians, especially if he just lost a battle buddy, in the belief that supporting the obviously morally wrong enemy is cause enough to be punished.
  2. The Psychopath: The Psycho for Hire who joined up specifically to Rape, Pillage, and Burn and doesn't care whose banner they're doing it under. If he wasn't in the army, he'd be a Serial Killer or other sadistic criminal, or (more likely) an angry average Joe who'd eventually lash out violently once all that bitter hatred boiled over.
  3. The Unwilling Conscript: Your regular neighborhood boy who has been conscripted into the army, has absolutely no interest in war, hates it all, and has only his own personal survival at stake. Often terrorized and brutalized by his own officers and noncoms. Extremely likely to desert, sell their own side out and/or kill their would-be comrades.
  4. The Broken Soldier: He was a Nice Guy once upon a time, just trying to take care of his buddies and protect his home — but then he saw or experienced something that broke him inside, and now he just wants to get things done as efficiently as possible.

If there's a whole bunch of them, expect an Insane Admiral, Colonel Kilgore, or General Ripper in charge. Occasionally, the rest of the soldiers will be relatively sympathetic, but one of these will be the Token Evil Teammate, especially a Jingo who went too far or the Psycho.

Contrast Officer and a Gentleman, Cultured Warrior, and The Soft-Hearted Warrior. Overlaps with Blood Knight, except a Blood Knight is likely to be more sociable and likes the action and excitement of the battle more than carnage or committing war crimes. Compare with the more mercenary Psycho for Hire, who might be a veteran who found out the carnage was enjoyable. Compare and contrast Shell-Shocked Veteran. After leaving the military, this type of character is especially likely to go From Camouflage to Criminal and turn to a life of crime, taking their wartime ruthlessness to use in the criminal underworld. Not to be confused with Psycho Soldier, where the 'psycho' refers to Psychic Powers.

This is Truth in Television. Every war, ever, has examples of this show up on all sides. Some have more, some have less, but no side has none. However, listing examples invites flame wars, so No Real Life Examples, Please!


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    Anime & Manga 
  • They don't get any more sociopathic than Solf J. Kimblee from Fullmetal Alchemist. He's essentially Lack of Empathy in a uniform (and later, a hat and suit). He sees killing as part of his job... and Kimblee loves a job well done. His counterpart in the 2003 anime version exaggerates this to the point where he's less this trope and more of a For the Evulz Psycho for Hire.
    • During the Ishval flashbacks we see that many of the Amestrian soldiers, including Roy Mustang, Riza Hawkeye, Maes Hughes, Basque Grand and even Major Armstrong acted like this during the genocide, running the full range of Types 1, 2, 3, and 4. Unlike Kimblee, they're all haunted by their actions and deeply regret them. In the first anime, Barry the Chopper argues that people really do want to kill each other, but won't do it without permission from the government; hence why people join the army in the first place. Manga!Kimblee makes a similar speech, in which he questions the motivations of Roy and his friends, suggesting that if they were only willing to kill a few people, but not thousands, they shouldn't have joined the army in the first place.
      "Look your victims in the eye. And never, forget them. They certainly won't forget you."
    • In the 2003 anime version, we also have Lt. Colonel Frank Archer, a textbook sociopath and Jingo who joined the army for the prestige, and out of his belief that War Is Glorious. He manipulates the emotions of those forced to work with him, turns anime!Kimblee (a Misanthrope Supreme Psycho for Hire and Mad Bomber) loose on Liore, and willingly hunts down anyone the government tells him is a threat. He is later promoted to a command rank, where his raging paranoia ensures his evolution into a General Ripper.
    • There's also Retired Badass Giolio Comanche, who seems to have enjoyed his time at the front a little too much going off the Slasher Smile he displays when Order #3066 is issued.
  • Along similar lines to Kimblee, Sir Luciano Bradley of Code Geass is a Psycho for Hire type who actually comments that he loves the military as it allows him to kill lots of people and get rewarded for doing so. Bradley even states he doesn't even care about the rewards, he just loves that being in the military lets him take what he believes people value the most: their lives. He's also one of Britannia's Knights of the Round, and takes full advantage of his status to cause as much carnage as he possibly can on the battlefield, caring nothing for the misery he causes.
    • And at least a good chunk of the Britannian troops qualify as this, too. If a few simple words from your superior is enough to get you to gun down unarmed civilians without a sweat, there might be something wrong with you.
  • Zaied of Full Metal Panic! is the hero's Evil Counterpart and a grown-up Child Soldier turned mercenary. He's also a near emotionless sociopath who thinks that winning is all that matters in war and willingly betrays his comrades in order to be on the winning side, later trying to kill his former friend Sousuke on the Big Bad's orders. He never once looks back, bats an eye, or seems to think that he might have done anything wrong.
  • The Titans of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam were a haven for characters like this. Then again, given that they're led by the likes of Jamitov Hymem, Bask Ohm, and Paptimus Scirrocco, this shouldn't be surprising. Yazan Gable is probably the worst, being a Psycho for Hire who joined up solely for the chance to kill AEUG supporters.
    • Yazan received an expy in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ's Rakan Dahkaran, a ruthless Axis-Zeon Ace Pilot who ignores the rules of war and aims to kill as many of the enemy as possible, regardless of whether they are actually combatants. One iconic scene has him impassively firing on hospital ships and refugee craft as they attempt to flee from a Colony Drop; he wants to make sure that no one escapes the blast radius.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 features the A-LAWS who are more or less a collective Expy of the Titans; among their number is another of Yazan's expies, Ali Al-Saachez, a Psycho for Hire and Card-Carrying Villain who freely admits that he loves warfare, and wouldn't know what to do with himself if an actual world peace was established. He later graduates to Colonel Kilgore after being given an officer's rank by Big Bad Ribbons Almark, whom he becomes The Dragon to.
    • Decil Galette of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE takes the worst qualities of both Yazan and Ali and combines them into a single, nasty child-sized package, treating war as a game and his victims as toys. The timeskip has not improved him, and the disconcerting enthusiasm he shows whenever's he's turned loose on his enemies is if anything more disturbing on a thirty-three-year-old.
  • Two of Noin's former trainees in an episode of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing go this route, sadistically murdering their opponents and laughing over the wreckage. If they weren't members of the army, they'd be Psychos For Hire.
  • Many, many examples in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, from ZAFT troops executing surrendered Earth Forces personnel, to Blue Cosmos lunatics who gleefully launch nuclear weapons at ZAFT's home bases in the Plants. The Extended are particularly vicious about it, although that's not entirely their fault. The ZAFT veterans who try to Colony Drop Earth at the start of Seed Destiny are an especially good example, as is Yzak Joule before his Character Development sets in.
  • Given that Millenium, the antagonist organization of Hellsing, was made up entirely of volunteers from the Waffen-SS, it can be assumed that its soldiers were this before being made into vampires. Afterwards, they became obsessed with waging war for the sake of it.
  • Floch Forter in Attack on Titan. He starts as an naive yet cowardly soldier, but after becoming the Sole Survivor of the suicide charge against the Beast Titan he develops a bitter, ruthless and psychotic personality. He pours gasoline into residential buildings, praises Eren's rampage (whick kills multiple civilians and children), gleefully talks about slaughtering the rest of humanity, advocates murdering Child Soldiers in cold blood, gleefully executes foreigners, poisons his own superiors with Titan spinal fluid, and overall becomes A Nazi by Any Other Name.
  • Dilandau Albatou and his Dragon Slayers from The Vision of Escaflowne combine this with Tyke-Bomb, Teens Are Monsters, and—in Dilandau's case—Pyromania and a side of hypocrisy. Dilandau gets to burn and kill whoever he wants to, but god forbid anyone so much as touch Dilandau. He's pretty much a Psycho for Hire who only works for one employer.
  • Kagerou-Nostalgia: The vast majority of the soldiers in General Kiyotaka Kuroda's employ fit into this category. Given that they're sent into battle alongside demons, with orders to butcher and kidnap as many civilians as possible, this is more or less a part of the job description.
  • Several Naruto villains, although given the nature of the setting comparing them to regular soldiers is iffy. Pre-Heel–Face Turn Gaara is a solid example though, as are all 7 Swordsmen of the Mist.
  • Black Lagoon:
    • In his backstory, the leader of the Special Forces unit Grey Fox killed a gang of these (led by a Colonel Kilgore type) to protect Vietnamese civilians.
    • Roberta professes that she was the Jingo while she served in the FARC, killing without remorse to protect the ideals of the Revolution.
  • The Black Dog Knights from Berserk are an army of the worst rapists, murderers, and thieves that Midland has to offer. They're led by Wyald, a real piece of work of an Apostle who enjoys doing horrible things to people for his own enjoyment.
  • Dog Soldier has Col. Harry, Hiba's former commanding officer.
  • Kuroi from Thou Shalt Not Die is a clear sociopath. The only person he cares about is Mashiro; anybody else is expendable, and he will not lift a finger to save them unless Mashiro orders him to. He will also kill anyone he sees as a threat to Mashiro or his relationship with her at the drop of the hat.
  • The Saga of Tanya the Evil: Tanya is an unusual example of an Unwilling Conscript playing the part of a Jingo, as she is a pacifist callously concerned only with her own self-preservation, and joined the military at a young age in hopes of improving her lot in life and working her way into a cushy desk job away from the front lines. Unfortunately, her combat acumen is so great that she constantly finds herself being sent to the frontlines and vents her rage and frustration on her enemies — making her come across as the Psychopath.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run:
    • In Ringo Roadagain's backstory, he's antagonized by a nameless soldier who defected from the Union during the Civil War. This soldier proceeded to murder Ringo's mother and sisters, before attempting to rape Ringo, who was only 10 years old at the time.
    • Axl RO was a soldier who fought during the Civil War, and was responsible for hundreds of deaths. However, in the present day, this trope gets subverted due to Axl feeling immense Survivor Guilt for all the deaths he caused and wanting to atone for his sins, which ended up manifesting as his Stand, Civil War.

    Comic Books 
  • In Watchmen, the Comedian shoots a pregnant woman to death while serving in Vietnam without a hint of remorse. And it was his baby.
    • The Comedian then immediately calls out Dr. Manhattan for not doing anything to stop him despite being all-powerful. From his perspective, Dr. Manhattan is a sociopathic soldier. This has spawned MANY fanfics where Dr. Manhattan teleported the baby to X.
  • Every single soldier who appears in DMZ is depicted in almost uniform fashion as one of these. It gets fairly ridiculous and really fucking ham fisted after a while. Almost as if being a sociopath is a required trait in order for one to qualify as a soldier.
  • Deconstructed in the Two Fisted Tales short story "Kill!", set in the Korean War. On the American side, we have Abner, who continuously sharpens his knife and can't wait to gut some Chinese, while in the Chinese camp we meet Li, who obsessively polishes his submachine gun and compares it to a beautiful woman. In the end, they meet in the field, mortally wound each other and both die unceremoniously.
  • Shooting War had one of these who was also The Fundamentalist.
  • In Sin City, Marv briefly mentions fighting in a war. It's possible that this could be one of the reasons for his mental state.
    • Also oddly averted with Wallace. Given Sin City's penchant for violent heroes, Wallace is a former Navy SEAL, yet is one of the nicest characters in the series.
  • Captain Atom and Green Lantern villain Major Force was already serving a life sentence in a military prison, before being used as a test subject for a Super Soldier experiment. The end result? Turning a remorseless psychotic murderer into a Person of Mass Destruction.
  • Nuke from Daredevil: Born Again is a product of an attempt at making another Captain America. He's a Super Soldier with heightened reflexes, drug-fuelled rage, and hardened plastic under his skin. He's also totally off his rocker, thinks he's still fighting The Vietnam War, and will slaughter anyone he thinks is threatening "our boys"; his gun keeps a count of his kills.
  • In Route 666, Berkely went to war just to sate his bloodthirst - when the war ended, he became a serial killer instead. He wanted to team up with Cassie just so he could kill with a fairly clean conscience again.
  • Suicida, leader of the Gang Green in Marshal Law. Like most "superheroes" in the setting, including Law himself, he and his fellow gang members are disaffected veterans of the catastrophic South American war known as "the Zone". He was trained to kill in the most brutal fashion imaginable and resents the idea that his violent nature can somehow be turned on and off like a faucet. He wears a necklace of human ears and just wants to hurt everything he sees. Law doesn't like Suicida but doesn't blame him for his feelings or his behavior, since very few Zone veterans are doing much better.
  • The Punisher is usually interpreted as this to the point where he cannot even smile at the deeds he does (mentioned when he kills Bushwhacker.) He has essentially taken his war to the streets showing no pity, remorse or fear against gangsters, psychos, killers, rapists, criminals or Hired Guns. Some suggest it was his experience in Vietnam that made him this way, making a Deal with the Devil, all works show it was losing his family that made him nuts. Whatever the case he is a combination of the Jingo and the Broken Soldier, to the point where he regrets not having someone to kill, or even having a wife and kids in the first place (though this can be interpreted as if he didn't they wouldn't have been in the park, they wouldn't have been killed and that he wouldn't have turned into the sociopath he is today.)
    • We later learn in the miniseries The Punisher: Born, which chronicles Frank Castle's final tour in Vietnam, that Castle's Marine outpost of Valley Forge was rife with these. The vast majority of the Marines are depicted as either clear-cut psychopaths, amoral conscripts, or jingoistic sociopaths — half of whom are implied to be addicted to heroin — with a commanding officer who is alcoholic, broken and knows full well that the war is a lost cause. With the young narrator of the story Stevie Goodwin explicitly stated to be an unwilling conscript who wanted nothing to do with the war and whose only desire is to return home safely, but at the same time realizes that sticking with Frank Castle and his platoon is his best bet at getting home in one piece, as Castle is the only competent higher-ranking Marine in the whole outpost.
  • Markus Jung, aka Siegfried, from Über is a full-on Psychopath, with a few smatterings of the Jingo. He takes a lot of glee in slaughtering everything in his path with his new superpowers. Heck, in his backstory, he committed his first murder as a little boy! The Jingo stuff comes largely from him being a fully indoctrinated Nazi (his first victim from the aforementioned childhood murder was a Jew). Even his comrades Siegmund and Sieglinde are disgusted with him.
  • Artificial humans in Copperhead straddle types 2 and 3. As engineered soldiers they are genetically predisposed to enjoy violence; as rational human beings, they're completely aware they're being manipulated to the ends of whoever made them and resentful of their position.
  • The Batman story "The Ugly American" deals with one. He was initially just a patriotic man who was sent to prison for murdering a protester of The Vietnam War. The government decided to make him a Super Soldier by amplifying his patriotism and his combat skills but went way too far and went after anyone that he thought wasn't "American" in his eyes. He escapes and Batman deals with him, but when the government kills the soldier, he calls them out and vows to reveal everything.
  • This is Wonder Woman's oft enemy Ares' natural state. Wondy generally faces off against him when he goes Omnicidal Maniac or tries overtly influencing humanity, but generally, he believes War Is Hell and revels in it and joins armed conflict as either an overeager unregistered conscript or by possessing soldiers who are present. To make matters worse his presence is enough to influence others to behave more in this line.

    Fan Works 
  • The Red Room in Child of the Storm have two shining examples, in the Ax-Crazy Agent Yelena Belova and the psychotic Arkady Rossovich a.k.a. Omega Red, who apparently 'got off' on killing children. The former will kill at the drop of a hat, just because someone's annoyed her, while the latter kills/drains the life out of people because it's fun. Both are the Psycho, though Belova pretends that she's the Jingo.
  • The Human Liberation Front in The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum is composed of every type save for Unwilling Conscripts. There's the Jingoes, who think they can do anything they want to invading ponies, PHL or not, because of their very association with the Advancing Wall of Doom that's destroying their world. The Psychopaths are continually alluded to, and a lot of them happen to be broken by the traumas that set them on the road to being in the HLF. One such example is Victor Kraber, who left the group after a Heel Realization and has since then been The Atoner (though he's still got an itchy trigger finger when it comes to the enemy forces).
  • Sergeant Shining Armor from Shell Shock is a terrifying example of one of these. He doesn't care. He doesn't relent. He doesn't apologize. He just wants blood. He doesn't care who bleeds.
  • Mass Effect: Human Revolution:
    • Captain Edward Grey is a Broken Soldier who was broken by his experience in Akuze. Put through a Treadstone-style programme to be brought back to combat readiness, while he still wants to do the right thing, he's quick to opt for the callous, vicious kill-them-all option against slavers, xenophobic lynch mobs and other criminal scum.
    • This is the justification given in chapter 38 for why Blacklight black ops troops are so easy to defeat, at least for elite superhuman warriors like Adam, Hannibal, and Johann - The Alliance Intelligence Agency selects for the jingoistic ultranationalists willing to cross any line to protect humanity's interests, and as it turns out being a talented combatant and being one willing to get his hands dirty are categories that rarely overlap. Some Psychopaths are also among their ranks, only in it for the opportunities to hurt people.
  • In No Gods, Only Guns, the Crimson Lance are staffed almost exclusively with Psychopaths, with the rest kept in line by them. This is easier than it sounds, as Humanity Is Insane in this setting. In fact, being moral and upstanding is considered a detriment in the Lance, as they're essentially the heavily-armed thugs of an amoral Mega-Corp, and early on Roland is put in a situation where he and his squad have to make a decision between killing unarmed civilians or being executed on the spot in order to prove their loyalty.
  • Nora's Life: Atlas General Hayden White fits the Psychopath type all too well. He's an almost textbook example of The Sociopath and only cares about protecting his own ego and causing people pain For the Evulz. His soldiers note that he had been taking women from tribes he was supposed to be protecting and later raping and murdering them. Nora's mother was almost a victim of being raped by him and she was eventually killed during a Grimm attack that he let in to show the capability of the Atlas military. He is also seen shooting his own soldiers when they get in his way. When he is in Haven, RNJR and Qrow decide to expose him using Ruby as the bait to lure him into a hotel room to catch him in the act. When a Grimm attack breaks out halfway there, he decides to take Ruby in an alley and attempts to rape her there before even thinking to stop the monsters.
  • Marcus Black was a former Atlas soldier in The Black Hearts. He was a Psychopath who only joined to kill people and sate his bloodlust.
  • Noble Six in Wolves That Walk Alone is a Broken Soldier thanks to the Training from Hell he received to become a SPARTAN-III and the traumatic experiences he went through during the Human-Covenant War. If there's anything he can do to take down his target in the quickest way possible, he will use it, regardless of how ruthless it may be, but he will never harm any civilian under any circumstances.

    Films — Animated 
  • General Mandible from Antz: He's a high-ranking general of the soldiers in the colony, but soon reveals himself a genocidal madman willing to exterminate any ant who doesn't live up to his personal standards. Case in point, he deliberately sends thousands of soldiers loyal to the queen to their deaths in a suicidal attack on the termites, so that he can then wipe out the rest of the colony unopposed, and start his own colony that consists of nothing but his loyal soldiers.
  • Commander Lyle T. Rourke from Atlantis: The Lost Empire: He initially appears as a very reliable and praiseworthy commander able to lead his men through perils, but as the film progresses, he turns out to be a highly manipulative, ruthless and sadistic mercenary to steal the Heart of Atlantis and make money off of it, not even caring that the Atlanteans will die without it. When his crew turn against him and join Milo's side, he abandons them to die with the Atlaneans. All in all, Rourke is an evil madman with no regard for anyone but himself. Worse, he clearly enjoys causing suffering—like fatally injuring the elderly king in the gut and punching Milo and smashing his grandfather's photo—and never shows the slightest bit of remorse for his heinous deeds despite knowing he was endangering thousands of innocent lives.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Maggot from The Dirty Dozen is perhaps one of the better pre-Vietnam examples in film. He's a fundamentalist, misogynistic rapist and killer of women who turns on his own team when he can't control his urges during the mission.
  • The military in most of George Romero's Living Dead Series. Just because.
  • Full Metal Jacket has a scene with a particularly sociopathic door gunner on a helicopter. He's had 157 confirmed kills — all implied to be civilians — plus 50 water buffalo.
    Private Joker: Any women or children?
    Door Gunner: Sometimes.
    Private Joker: How can you shoot women and children?
    Door Gunner: Easy, you just don't lead 'em so much! [laughs] Ain't war hell? [laughs some more]
    • The above scene is from Michael Herr's book Dispatches which describes his experiences as a war correspondent in Vietnam. Herr was a co-screenwriter for Full Metal Jacket and was nominated for an Academy Award for his work.
    • Animal Mother (an example of the Psycho for Hire variant) and Crazy Earl (who's "befriended" a dead North Vietnamese) also qualify. Interestingly, he's a rare sympathetic example of the Psycho variation of this trope. Despite being a flamboyant Blood Knight, he focuses his bloodlust exclusively on enemy combatants (at least, during his screentime) and enjoys a genuine camraderie with his squadmates.
  • Almost the entire Japanese Army in City of Life and Death. It's a movie about the Rape of Nanking, so that goes without saying.
  • In Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow (1999), the Headless Horseman was one of these in life. While the other Hessians were mercenaries, he went to fight in America for the love of killing, and loss of life, head, and will hasn't abated that love.
  • The soldiers in 28 Days Later. Besides the Only Sane Man, the CO wants nubile women to try and keep the rest of his soldiers under control. Think about that for a minute.
  • Sergeant Tony Meserve in Casualties of War. He kidnaps, rapes, and kills a young village girl, then tries to kill PFC Eriksson with a grenade in the latrine.
  • Paul Lazzaro in Slaughterhouse-Five. This is clearly defined when he recounts the story of killing a dog by putting some clock parts into a steak that he gives to the dog that bit him. Any time someone makes him angry, he threatens that person with violence, then in the end of the movie, he kills Billy Pilgrim, just as he said he would.
  • PBS documentary Genocide: Worse Than War seems to go more in depth about the first kind.
  • In Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Bad, Angel Eyes, does a magnificent impression of one of these, infiltrating Union lines as a sergeant. He tortures prisoners for information and generally runs his prison camp as though it were Auschwitz (despite the protestations of his Lieutenant). His right-hand man and Torture Technician Wallace is a straight example, being a Union soldier, and a total thug.
    • However, it is averted by the Union soldiers Tuco and Blondie encounter later on, who are led by a likable, humorous fellow who happens to be A Father to His Men, making his sudden death during the ensuing battle a surprisingly tear-jerking moment for a bit character, and there's also a younger lieutenant who seems to be an ordinary man caught up in a war he does not understand.
    • Leone revisits the trope in Duck, You Sucker! (aka A Fistful of Dynamite) in the form of the Mexican soldiers serving under Colonel Gunther Reza. The Mexican army as conceived by Leone seems intent on imprisoning or killing every single person they meet, and their look is modelled on that of the fascist stormtroopers and German soldiers that Leone saw in Italy when he was a child. Reza himself is a terrifying Psychopath and Implacable Man to boot, despite never saying a word.
  • Ewan McStarley, Vinnie Jones' character in The Condemned— a SAS operative who became a Condemned Contestant after setting fire to a Rwandan village, executing 17 men, raping 9 women, and torturing various others.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • William Stryker. Although a superior officer.
    • Victor Creed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, considering his attempted rape of a local during Vietnam, as well as the implied killing of civilians while firing from a helicopter during the same war. Probably caused by having spent the last hundred years as an unkillable soldier giving him a taste for brutality.
  • All the Private Military Contractors in Avatar, particularly Wainfleetnote , as well as all the pilots other than Trudy, with them all being led by a Colonel Kilgore.
  • A lot of the soldiers in Platoon show some evidence of this, but the undoubtedly and unashamedly sociopathic are Barnes and Bunny, who seem to only really feel satisfied with themselves when engaged in some form of gratuitous violence, killing, rape, destruction, etc.
    • Barnes, at least, is trying to win the war but isn't going to do it with, as he sees it, one hand tied behind his back. For Barnes, the end justifies the means. Bunny is purely there for the killing; end and means are one.
  • In the Doom movie, Sarge shows himself to be this, at one point killing the rookie member of his team for refusing his order to kill a room full of unarmed civilians. Small wonder, then, that he mutates into the protagonist's final adversary after becoming infected.
  • Lawrence of Arabia grows closer and closer to this trope as the movie goes on, finally culminating in the massacre at Tafas.
  • In Hollow Man 2, the direct-to-video sequel of Hollow Man, the antagonist Michael Griffin was one of these even before being injected with the invisibility serum. His commanding officer kept him from being charged for war crimes committed in Iraq so he could be part of the project. Since the real purpose of the project was to create a perfect assassin to kill off the project head's political enemies, a test subject with little to no morality was just what the project needed. When Griffin becomes even crazier due to the lethal side effects of the serum which only a special chemical booster can alleviate, his former commanding officer learns the hard way that giving a murderous sociopath invisibility powers and a reason to hate you can backfire.
  • In the movie version of Jack Reacher, the gunman, an ex-soldier, who guns down several people in a Parking Garage is described as being a sociopath who went out of his way to kill civilians in Afghanistan.
    Jack Reacher: There's four kinds of people who join the military. There's the people for whom it's a family tradition. There's the people who do it out of patriotism. There's the people who simply want a job. And then there's the last kind; the kind who enlist because its a legal opportunity to take a human life.
  • Andrew Scott from Universal Soldier. He was a Sergeant in The Vietnam War, where he goes renegade as he starts butchering civilians and kills his own squad when they try to stop him. He cuts off the ears of his victims and wears them in a necklace. He orders Private Luc Deveraux to kill the two remaining 'traitors', two Vietnamese children, doing the job himself when Deveraux refuses. Both are reborn years later as memory-wiped Super Soldiers. As soon as Scott regains his memories he kills his controllers and goes on a blood-filled vendetta across the States to punish Deveraux for disobeying his illegal orders back in Vietnam, graphically killing anyone who gets in his way. At the end he takes Deveraux's elderly parents and his love interest hostage, awarding all of them the death penalty. Despite claims earlier in the film that he thinks he's still fighting the insurgents in Vietnam, Scott later plainly admits that he's fully aware of where he is and what he's doing, and his only motive is revenge for Deveraux refusing to partake in his atrocities.
  • Conspiracy (2001): Deconstructed. SS Major Rudolf Lange is the closest you could get to this, as he's leading one of a number of huge death squads through the occupied Soviet Union shooting unarmed civilians en masse and encouraging racist locals to kill Jews in mobs. However, he and his men are becoming increasingly disturbed by the sheer level of inhumanity they're supposed to inhabit. Heydrich introduces the gas chambers to make the murders easier to carry out for the perpetrators.
  • Déjà Vu (2006): Carroll is a subversion—he aced every single test to enter the U.S. Army, except the psychological profiling, and thus was not allowed to enter. Still, his combination of skills and honest belief that blowing up a ferry with 300 people (that he also believes were fated to die—they were on the ferry, after all) in the middle of Mardi Gras is a necessary sacrifice so America goes into a tougher stance on terrorism makes him a perfect example of the 'jingoistic' type of soldier.
  • The unnamed Colonel in War for the Planet of the Apes. Apart from slaving a race of sentient beings, crucify some of them and deprive them of food and water, he kills his own son and some of his men... and his men's families, to prevent the spread of a non-lethal virus. His sociopathy is probably motivated by his obsession with the survival of the human race.
  • In Fort Massacre, Sgt. Vinson is driven by a fanatical hatred of the Apache and puts the lives of the men under his command in danger to fulfill his mission of personal vengeance.
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017): Gaston is an ex-soldier, but the basic principle is the same. His happy thoughts about the war include such things as "blood, explosions, and countless widows," and the only reason he hunts animals is to have things he can kill, openly admitting in his Villain Song that he uses inhumane hunting methods in doing so.
  • When Trumpets Fade: Manning is a textbook example of the unwilling conscript. He doesn't want any part in the war, but he keeps being promoted due to the high attrition rate of the battle. His brutality extends mostly to the New Meat he's been assigned to lead, but he's not really a coward, proving himself pretty damn capable under fire.
  • In the backstory of Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (later seen in flashback), Captain Templeton snapped and murdered everyone in the village while his partners were robbing the tomb.
  • Hooded Angels: The Confederate militia who raze Silver Creek, killing the men and children and raping the women, in the dying days of the Civil War.
  • Captain Hezekiah Holt in Mohawk, who promotes himself to Colonel after Colonel Hawkes is killed; forces his civilian interpreter to take up arms; tortures prisoners for information; murders civilians, including priests; stabs a prisoner of war in the back; and forces his men to accompany him on mission of personal vengeance rather than taking them to safety.
  • Wrath of Man: Two members of Jackson's crew show different forms of this. Brad has failed to adapt to civilian life and is itching for a new "mission" to end his boredom, with no care about who gets hurt. Jan seems generally unstable and has poor impulse control, leading him to kill Jackson and Bullet to steal the money from their final heist. Bullet only reveals this at the end when he guns down Fortico guards he personally trained with no apparent emotion.

  • Mentioned in Discworld's Night Watch, where Sergeant Carcer is described as "the sort that joins up for the looting... the kind you have to end up hanging as an example to the men".
  • Troopers Lijah Cuu and Murtan Feygor in the Gaunt's Ghosts novels, though the latter tends to be held in check by Colonel-Commissar Gaunt.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Token Evil Teammate Tybalt leads an entire company of these in Defender of the Crown. Most of them are Jingos and Broken Soldiers (when asked why they are torturing captives, two of them explain that they witnessed their loved ones being slaughtered by the enemy and now it's payback time), but more than a few are outright Psychopaths.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, most knights and men-at-arms conform to this trope, particularly those assigned to raid and despoil peasant villages for information and supplies. One character gives a sympathetic monologue that any man conscripted into war can become this way if he survives long enough.
    • Gregor Clegane is a Psychopath. He only fights under Tywin for a chance to hurt people, and when he's not soldiering he's murdering and raping people for his own amusement. He seems to have been this before he became a soldier; as a child, he burnt his brother's face when they tried playing with a toy he didn't want anyway and is rumored to have murdered his father and sister. The men under him, such as the jolly but cruel rapist Chiswyck, the Faux Affably Evil Raff "the Sweetling", and Torture Technician "The Tickler" also count. Averted slightly by Shitmouth, a foul-mouthed fellow who treats the prisoners slightly more kindly, giving them extra food if they ask.
  • Andrea from The Zone series of World War III novels by James Rouch. A stunningly beautiful East German woman with a Mysterious Past and a passionate hatred of communists. She bonds with various soldiers (though never sexually) long enough to absorb their specialist skills, then callously severs the connection to move on to the next teacher. Warning: Keep away from prisoners.
  • The Things They Carried has Azar, who, at one point, blows up a squad member's puppy and mocks everyone. At one point, when he's scared shitless, he claims his Jerkassery is a defense against fear, but he's probably lying again to save his ass.
    Azar: Christ, I'm just a boy.
  • Hakeswill in Sharpe. Senior officers love him (except the ones with real integrity and/or insight into what he actually is) because he defers to them completely and whips soldiers into terrified obedience. Everyone who knows what he's really like loathes him.
    • Brigadier Guy Loup is an example from the French side. When the Riflemen capture two of his men responsible for a particularly brutal massacre of a Spanish village, Sharpe has them executed on the spot. He has no shortage of volunteers for the firing squad.
  • Corporal Lehto in Väinö Linna's The Unknown Soldier. He is a complete sociopath, bully, and ruthless to both enemy and his own squad. His end is tragic: he walks into an ambush in night fight, gets shot and wounded on his spine, gets paralyzed and shoots himself because he considers himself now as cripple and bottom of the pecking order. He doesn't give himself any more mercy or respect than to anyone else, and sees suicide as the only logical conclusion.
  • In Harry Turtledove's The Great War trilogy, one of the PoV characters is Gordon McSweeny, a charming Corporal who, being staunchly Protestant, believes himself to the instrument of God's wrath upon the Confederates, and turned down a command post multiple times. This is because he enjoys personally killing them. With his FLAMETHROWER. He's only slightly nicer to the men under his command; one time not mourning one's death, because he was Greek Orthodox and therefore a heretic, even if he was a nice guy.
    • Lieutenant Boris Lavochkin, in Settling Accounts is even nuttier, burning and slaughtering his way across the Confederacy. You don't feel particularly bad for his victims (they are after all A Nazi by Any Other Name), but he's still very much this trope, as his sergeant, Chester Martin repeatedly lampshades. On the other side, there are the Freedom Party Guards who to say the least, aren't very nice. What do you expect from SS expies?
  • This is how most of the civilians view soldiers, even regulars but especially the more common mercenaries, at the start of 1632. Fairly often they're right and even when they're wrong the armies still have to "scavenge" like crazy to keep from starving.
  • In Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising, KGB soldiers tend to be portrayed this way, as specifically distinguished from Red Army troops. This is apparent in a scene during the Iceland occupation where Lt. Edwards comes upon a farmhouse whose occupants have been raped and murdered by KGB troops. He rescues the sole surviving daughter in Big Damn Heroes fashion and then proceeds to mete out summary justice to the rapists.
  • Taylor in Animorphs is sociopathic even by Yeerk standards. Torture Technician, Manipulative Bastard, and Jerkass extraordinaire, she just plain enjoys hurting people.
    • And on the side of the good guys, there's Token Evil Teammate and Blood Knight Rachel. Unlike Taylor, she's not a sadist, she just likes fighting a bit too much and spends three years slowly Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
    • Alloran is a Broken Soldier. He used to be a normal young Andalite, even a prankster- until the Yeerks rose up and slaughtered his comrades. This embittered him to the point of becoming a General Ripper, unleashing the quantum virus on the Hork-Bajir homeworld and even after his subsequent disgrace is seen executing hostages and trying to force Elfangor to kill thousands of helpless Yeerks. He is so far gone, that even when everything goes to hell, instead of helping secure the Time Matrix he spends his days in hiding, morphing, and demorphing, watching the Yeerk transport for the chance to finish his slaughter. Ironically he seems broken of this again after decades of slavery as Visser Three's host.
    • Aloth, another Andalite, is revealed to have been convicted of selling organs on the battlefield, a war crime, and is generally cold and ruthless (apart from humorless jokes), even for an assassin.
    • Carger from the Hork-Bajir Chronicles, one of the first Yeerks to promote himself to sub-visser is said to be so ruthless and brutal that even a young Esplin (later Visser Three) remarks on it. Possibly subverted as he runs away when ambushed and is never seen again.
  • Most of the once-men in Terry Brooks's The Word and the Void and The Genesis of Shannara are like this.
  • Anaster, the First Child of the Dead Seed, from the Malazan Book of the Fallen is a crowning example. Introduced in the third book, Memories of Ice, he's an Empty Shell of a Death Seeker who commits atrocities in the hopes of forcing someone to kill him and leads an army of cannibals on a rampage across the continent, butchering everything in his path seemingly for the sake of it.
  • Dale in The Thin Red Line is a pre-Vietnam example — a rather slow-witted yet ambitious soldier who seems to take pleasure in doing horrible things to the enemy.
    • Another sergeant in the unit (in an internal monologue) reveals that he is nearly psychopathic, showing that he sees the enemy, civilians, and his own men as merely things he hasn't killed yet. The end of his chapter is the sentence "I HATE EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT IN ME."
  • Redmond Barry a.k.a. Barry Lyndon became one of these while fighting in the Seven Years War. It's implied that Barry's hellish treatment in the Prussian army contributed to him being this way and enthusiastically joining in "foraging" (read Rape, Pillage, and Burn). There's a kind of disturbing scene where in a surprisingly gentle tone he describes a foppish and inexperienced opponent whose skull he bashed in with his musket and whose corpse he looted.
  • Sergeant Bothari of the Vorkosigan Saga is a more complex version of this. He is a sadistic sociopath but has enough conscience to realise that random killing is wrong. So he uses military regulations to tell him when it is OK to kill. His commanding officers learn to think very carefully before taking off his leash.
  • The Drowned Cities:
    • Most of the soldier boys talk like Jingos, act like Conscripts who have been fed slogans from a bygone era without any context, and are all afflicted with shell shock in one way or another.
    • Sergeant Ocho is a deeply screwed up and angry Broken Soldier, hiding his PTSD behind a wall of bitterness.
    • His commanding officer, Lieutenant Sayle in particular takes this to Psycho for Hire levels, being a cold-blooded sadist and icy Psycho who joined the UPF so he could inflict Cold-Blooded Torture on civvies and enemy troopers.
    • One of Ocho's men, Soa, is also a Psycho, of the Ax-Crazy Mood-Swinger variety. He has pretensions of being a Jingo but doesn't even really understand what the words mean.
  • In the backstory of Richard K. Morgan's Black Man, several nations attempted to genetically and socially engineer Sociopathic Super Soldiers. The projects collectively Went Horribly Right, creating the protagonist (initially an Unwilling Conscript shading into a Broken Soldier) and several of the antagonists (Types II and III).
  • Space Force by Jeremy Robinson: Hale believes all of the Russian Ops soldiers are conscienceless killers they don't help their case by gunning down the unarmed Canadian soldiers attempting to talk with them. Averted by Ivan who is a pleasant individual despite his odd qualities.
  • In the Takeshi Kovacs Series, also written by Morgannote , the UN Protectorate's Envoys recruit borderline psychopaths with just the right mix of inhibition and sense of duty. Most end up resorting to crime after they muster out, the titular character usually works as a detective, bodyguard, or mercenary. According to Kovacs, they prefer to recruit from more conventional militaries as they cultivate that mindset. Though it's not entirely clear where along the scale he falls given how often he mentions his pre-recruitment adolescence as a gangbanger.
  • In The Short-Timers, a Vietnam War-era novel by Gustav Hasford, Animal Mother is the sociopathic Marine, although by the end almost all members of the Lusthog Squad display signs of this to a lesser degree. In The Film of the Book, Full Metal Jacket, this is somewhat overshadowed by the character of the "door-gunner" who sets altogether new levels of sociopathy.
  • Marshal Karen Skyre from Dinosaur Frontier does not need much an excuse to torture or kill. She enjoys playing games with her victims and being cruel to anything in her way. In the opening chapter, she runs over a fleeing deserter with her truck and later opens fire with a fully automatic machine gun into a crowd of people which included children.
  • In The Naked and the Dead, Sergeant Croft is a Psychopath. General Cummings also qualifies, but he's more a General Ripper, given his rank.
  • In the BattleTech novel Ideal War, Wide-Eyed Idealist Paul Masters is sent to investigate the planet Gibson and discovers the "small conflict" there is actually a planet-wide rebellion featuring all four kinds of this trope on both sides. Not much of a surprise, given that the book is an Anvilicious metaphor for the Vietnam War.
  • In David Drake's Red Liners, an entire company (much depleted by war) has been driven "past the red line". They're all so damaged by war that they're a danger to themselves and everyone they come in contact with. The proposed solution to this is ... extreme.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Band of Brothers is rather ambiguous with this tropes, but Speirs exhibits traits of a psychopathic killer more than once during the series. His men both fear him and tell stories of his brutality. Historians agree the real man was a brutal soldier, but not a sadist.
  • Clone: In this BBC series, Colonel Black (Mark Gatiss) is a solid Psychopath, there to enjoy all the torture and murder. Given the tone of the show, he gets a great deal of enjoyment.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Sontarans are an entire race of Super Soldiers who behave this way towards their enemies. The one exception is Strax, the Combat Medic that the Doctor recruits in "A Good Man Goes To War", who he'd previously spared and forced to become a Combat Medic, on the grounds that caring for the sick and the weak is a Sontaran's idea of hell, who nevertheless comes to become a good and gruffly caring medic in his own right. This demonstrates that their sociopathy is learned, rather than ingrained. Most Daleks fall under this trope as well thanks to their genetic modifications by Davros, committing genocide at the drop of a hat.
    • The War Doctor became a Broken Soldier, being the one to ultimately succumb to despair and end the Time War by destroying both Daleks and Time Lords... or so it appeared. All of the post-revival Doctors have elements of this as a result, with Danny Pink - a former soldier - contemptuously referring to the 12th Doctor as 'an officer', specifically an officer version of this trope.
    • The soldiers who pursue Rouvray and D'Argenson in "The Reign of Terror," are little more than murderous thugs.
  • A French Village: Janvier, the Milice leader, gleefully orders the whole family of a resistance fighter murdered, referring to this as great fun.
  • Generation Kill: Lance Corporal Harold Trombley is explicitly stated to be a Psychopath as the quote at the top of the page indicates. Also a subversion as while his fellow Marines are disgusted by him shooting children during an assault, they are also impressed by the accuracy that it required and eventually jokingly nickname him Whopper Jrnote .
    "He's a psycho, but at least he's our psycho."
  • In the Highlander episode "Brothers in Arms", Andrew Cord is a Broken Soldier. During the American Civil War, he joined the Union Army's 54th Massachusetts Regiment note , died in action and revived as an Immortal. He continued as a soldier fighting for causes he believed in, but when fighting never seemed to do any good, he slid from idealism to cynicism and finally sociopathy. Flashbacks reveal that when Joe Dawson served in Vietnam (and had both legs blown off by a land mine), Cord was Dawson's platoon sergeant. When another Marine in the platoon raped a Vietnamese girl and she threatened to report it, Cord killed her without hesitation. By the time Duncan meets him in the present day, he's a corrupt mercenary and arms dealer who thinks nothing of selling defective guns to revolutionaries and demanding payment even after the guns have proven useless in battle.
  • JAG: Roscoe Martin, the paraplegic Vietnam veteran in "King of the Fleas" and "The Martin Baker Fan Club", is the broken soldier type who while getting himself in trouble manages to manipulate people around him (including Harm).
  • Lost: Soldier turned mercenary Martin Keamy appears to have always been sadistic and borderline psycho, but the Island really brings out his sociopathy, resulting in him murdering people left and right for spurious reasons and endangering the lives of his ship's entire crew.
  • NCIS: Has had a few of these by its nature, but Jonas Cobb (the Port-To-Port Killer) and Jonathan "Casey Stratton" Cole, both utterly broken Black Ops types, got season-spanning story arcs.
  • Person of Interest: Detective Carter's backstory has her serving as an Army interrogator in Iraq. She managed to talk a detainee into giving up the location of an insurgent supply cache in exchange for protecting him and his family from said insurgents. Then the soldiers Carter was working with killed him offscreen after he led them to the cache.
  • Red Dwarf: Kill Crazy:
    "Let's go KILL SOMETHING!"
  • Revolution: Just about everyone in the militia is this in one form or another. Miles (before he deserted), Monroe, and many others are apparently The Jingoist. Miles, after he deserted, became The Broken Soldier ("Pilot"). Jeremy Baker, from the way he said he thought they were making a better world, is The Jingoist ("The Longest Day"). Strausser is certainly The Psychopath ("Chained Heat", "The Plague Dogs", "Sex and Drugs", "Ties That Bind", "Kashmir", and "Nobody's Fault But Mine"). Jim Hudson is The Unwilling Conscript ("Ghosts", "Clue"). Major Tom Neville seems to be The Broken Soldier because he started as nice, but he changed for the worse after he had to make an Asshole Victim out of his neighbour Rob ("Soul Train").
  • Smallville:
    • Rick Flag is a sociopathic ex-soldier turned Western Terrorist. He's got a thing for Cold-Blooded Torture, bombings, and misplaced Patriotic Fervor, giving an amazing impression of a Right-Wing Militia Fanatic.
      • He's also got a Complexity Addiction - he uses a missile to try and kill one person. Think about that for a minute.
    • Lieutenant Trotter is also an example. Disciple of General Ripper Slade Wilson, she willingly engages in kidnapping, brainwashing, and human experimentation in the supposed interests of protecting the US from metahumans. A Knight Templar whom even Flag believes needs stopping.
      • Her devotion to both Slade and her belief that metahumans need to be stopped gets to a point where she arrests and interrogates three completely normal people, including subtly implying that if they don't answer her questions, they'll never be seen or heard from again. Keep in mind that the only evidence she has against these three is being on Oliver Queen's payroll (Emil), writing a lot of stories about a superhero (Lois), and being Oliver's ex-girlfriend and current business partner (Tess). She badgers them about where the vigilantes are, despite the fact that she has no good reason to think any of them know anything. While she is never flat-out violent towards those three in particular during the interrogations, her orders to move Tess and Emil to a "secure location" heavily sounds like they were either going to be executed or moved to a location where she could use less conversational techniques.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Reese from the episode "The Siege of AR-558" is this. He is shown to be wearing a necklace of ketracel-white tubes (a type drug the enemy needs to survive) picked from killed Jem'Hadar and often sharpening a knife also taken from a dead enemy. He is also used to show the cruelty of war in that he survives while Nice Guy Kellin dies.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: Maquis crewman Lon Suder kills another crewmember just for looking at him the wrong way. He is Betazoid but tellingly has no empathic or telepathic abilities like others of his race.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "A Quality of Mercy", a new replacement is very eager to kill some enemies (Japanese soldiers, in this case), to the disgust of his shell shocked veterans (well, they have been fighting longer than he had). This being The Twilight Zone, he gets his comeuppance when he somehow becomes a Japanese soldier and is forced to obey an Evil Counterpart who repeats his own bloodthirsty words back at him. All Just a Dream, maybe, but he gets the message.
  • Justified gives us Colton Rhodes, a Broken Soldier type whose heroin addiction and inability to cope with his Iraq and Afghan war trauma drives him into becoming a Professional Killer.
  • WKRP in Cincinnati: Venus tells the about a fellow soldier in Vietnam named Weird Larry who would go out a night to "hunt" and would shoot anything. He describes him like a Broken Soldier, whereas Venus had become unable to shoot. On their way home, he jumped out of the helicopter. This led to Venus deserting after arriving in the States with only 3 weeks left until discharge.

  • From the third verse of John Denver's Stonehaven Sunset:
    Stonehaven sunset, the city's on fire. The soldiers just smile and say, "this gun's for hire". Give into the beast, boy, give into the thrill, it's just human nature, to hunt and to kill...
  • One of the numerous dysfunctional soldiers mentioned in Tom Lehrer's song "It Makes a Fellow Proud to Be a Soldier", on An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer, is Pete. He stabbed a cop in seventh grade and joined the Army because they'd give him better weapons than he could get on the street. He's described as "real RA material". Although given his platoon is lead by a Georgian ex-con, he probably is.
  • The End of the Thirty Years War by Jacek Kaczmarski epitomizes this trope in an extremely graphic way.
  • Hüsker Dü's "You're a Soldier" matches the exuberance of its titular sociopathic soldier in music.
    Patrolling the world with your little boy face
    And a grown-up gun that shoots
    You've got a fresh-scrubbed teenage outlook on terror
    And a khaki attitude.
  • Angelus Apatrida's "First World of Terror" has a protagonist who is a raging jingo who acts like he thinks that he's fighting for a good cause but really knows that he's a Blood Knight asshole who just wants an excuse to shoot at things and kill people. The chorus is the front that he puts on to contrast the verses, where he betrays his true mentality.
    I will give my life for this flag
    Fight for freedom till my last breath
    As if dust in strong wind I disappear
    Remember to be proud of me.
  • The Villain Protagonist of David Bowie's darkly humorous "Running Gun Blues", a track from The Man Who Sold the World, is a psychopath who won't let a cease-fire get in the way of a perfectly good killing spree.
    It seems the peacefuls stopped the war
    Left generals squashed and stifled
    But I'll slip out again tonight
    Cause they haven't taken back my rifle
    For I promote oblivion
    And I'll plug a few civilians
  • "Warborn" by the The Black Dahlia Murder most certainly qualifies with its psychopathic Blood Knight of a Villain Protagonist.
    This is my demented playground
    The horizon is howling ablaze
    A skeletal village illuminates the sky
    As fire destroys their grains
    With glee I rape and torture
    My pleasure is inflicting pain
    With a vigor unholy I'll fight to my doom
    Till I've vanquished the Christian's gods ways

  • Elite Agent Rotor in Dino Attack RPG. When he's not mercilessly blowing his enemies to kingdom come, we see him threatening to execute his own men and torturing prisoners.
    • Ronald E. Army is a somewhat darkly comedic version that combines this with Drill Sergeant Nasty. Of course, nobody really takes him seriously and, considering his inspiration is clearly insane.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The sample group, "Bad Company" from the Chronicles of Darkness sourcebook Dogs Of War, are a bunch of Shell Shocked Veterans deployed to Afghanistan, led by Colonel Kane. Having had his heart cut out by a Taliban sorcerer, Kane has thrown the rulebook away in the interest of tracking down the sorcerer... and, incidentally, killing every Afghani who gets in his way. Several other examples are given (especially that one Chechen resistance group), but Bad Company are the standouts. If you're playing a military setting and don't alter your Morality accordingly, it's very easy for any Soldier character to fall into this.
    • In fact, in an attempt to avert this for military PCs, the book recommends introducing an alternative Morality system with a focus on "Triggers" - instead of veering towards sociopathy, those who fail degeneration rolls start to pick up tics not unlike those associated with PTSD. The exception being war crimes: Even using the alternative system, purposefully committing an act that violates the The Laws and Customs of War causes a normal morality check.
  • Pretty much every Ork, Dark Eldar, and follower of Chaos (especially Slaanesh worshipers) in Warhammer 40,000. The rest are either Knights Templar, Scary Dogmatic Aliens, the Tyranids, or the Imperial Guard. And those who qualify among the Guard are usually borderline examples of Training from Hell (Catachan Jungle Fighters) or Shell-Shocked Veteran (Death Korps of Krieg).
    • The requirements for a Space Marine involve "a near-psychotic killing instinct". Granted, this is 40K, so it's not like it's uncommon.
    • Even worse is that to the Orks, it's not even sociopathy, it's fun, war being to them a combination of jihad, mass migration, and pub crawl.
    • The Thunder Warriors, the first Super Soldier army the Emperor created to take control of Terra, were by and large so Ax-Crazy that they made the Space Marines look like models of civility and grace by comparison. The Thunder Warriors were so unstable and unsuited for anything but warfare that the Emperor had them all purged after they had outlived their usefulness.
  • The indie RPG Carolina Death Crawl focuses on a band of Union soldiers attempting to make their way out from Confederate lines while haunted by the evils they have committed in war. The game's prologue begins by detailing the characters' sociopathic prior actions, such as robbery, abuse of civilians, slavering, child murder and committing terrible war crimes on orders, and proceeds with them drawing cards from suits called "KILL", "DISGRACE" and "DESTROY" depending on their evil actions taken place in-game. Dead characters return as ghosts and punish survivors for their crimes until only one person gets out alive.
  • Unsurprisingly common in BattleTech. For the most part, they're Jingos and Psychopaths- any unit with a Fanatical devotion rating is guaranteed to have plenty of Jingos, for example. Unwilling Conscripts are much rarer because Battlemechs, Aerospace Fighters, and even Battle Armor are far too expensive to waste on conscripts, so infantry units are generally the only places they can be found. A lot of Broken Soldiers got created by the Word of Blake Jihad when people who'd joined the Word of Blake suddenly found out that the Word had picked a fight with every other faction in existence and was busy committing war crimes like they had quotas to meet. The knowledge that everyone else was coming for them and they could expect no mercy drove a lot of Blakists who weren't already fanatical (see The Jingo) over the Despair Event Horizon and turned them into Broken Soldiers.

  • The "Kanonen-Song" from The Threepenny Opera has a refrain about soldiers turning people into beefsteak tartare.
    • Specifically, people with darker or lighter skin than the British Army. They're equal opportunity racists.

    Video Games 
  • In the Xbox/PS2 game Shellshock, there are numerous times where your squad massacres civilians even if you don't take part in it. In the second mission, you go to search a village for weapons and a single Vietcong. Or, after you round up everyone in the village, you can start shooting and the others will join in and gun down all the villagers, accomplishing the same objective. Later on, you also kill wounded amputees in a Vietcong hospital. Plus, one of your squadmates (whose name is literally "Psycho") constantly kills POWs in cutscenes and helps the South Vietnamese commissar torture people.
  • Sabres of Infinity Cazarosta, his hatred of the Antari, indifference to the horrors of war and his casual disregard of the rules of engagement amount to this.
  • Half-Life features this trope in the series:
  • How a lot of the opposing grunts are portrayed in SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs - but the few that you get the drop on in conversations casually talk about what their former base used to be, complaining about their Straw Feminist of a CO, or recruiting civilians onto their side with idealistic logic.
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening gives us Henry:
    Avatar: Those deaths were necessary. We had to kill our foes or be killed ourselves. But killing the enemy isn't the same as sacrificing innocents for victory.
    Henry: Seems like an arbitrary line to me.
  • Pale-faced shocktrooper Jane Turner from Valkyria Chronicles, who specifically joined up with Squad 7 to, as she puts it, "put holes in Imps." Yeah, she's a little creepy.
  • The eponymous player characters in Mercenaries have the option of doing this. Then again, there are massive penalties for killing civilians.
  • Apparently, the various grunts in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, especially the Ultranationalists, who purposefully are bombing whole villages.
  • Metal Gear is constantly in conversation with this trope.
    • Solid Snake is somewhere between a Broken Soldier and a Psychopath. He demonstrably has a strong moral code compared to even the other heroic characters in the game, but at various times (especially in the first Metal Gear Solid) characters call him out for enjoying the killing, which he all but acknowledges. (This ties into the fact that the player is, of course, killing people as Snake for their personal entertainment.) In Metal Gear Solid 4, if the player chooses to have Snake kill too many people in one go, Snake has a flashback to Liquid accusing him of enjoying all the killing and vomits. He constantly attempts to quit battle due to his PTSD, but is also constantly drawn back into it again, and says it's the only time he feels truly alive.
    • Liquid Snake is a Broken Soldier, an absolute screwup for similar reasons to Snake, having been raised to believe he was worthless, becoming a horrifyingly effective warlord while still a child and leading a failed coup, then, in adulthood, getting captured and tortured for years as a POW, which apparently caused the last of his sanity to desert him. Liquid is far more emotional than Solid Snake and appears to do awful things out of bitterness and rage to begin with. After his death he seems to become a lot more cheerful, and thereafter openly delights in the chaos and misery he causes.
    • Metal Gear Solid:
      • Mantis is a Psychopath, having absorbed the mind of a serial killer, and choosing to join Liquid "to kill as many people as I could".
      • Sniper Wolf is an Unwilling Conscript turned Psychopath. She is clearly as damaged as she is because of the trauma she underwent as a victim of ethnic cleansing, and turned killer at first only to protect herself, but the fact that she 'falls in love with people before she kills them' puts her somewhat in the serial killer section on the diagram. She tells Snake that her reason for joining Liquid was "to take my revenge on the world".
    • The BB Corps in Metal Gear Solid 4 are Unwilling Conscripts turned Psychopaths, having all started out as helpless victims of war but being deliberately manipulated into becoming ruthless, sadistic cyborg monsters who live to kill.
    • Metal Gear: Ghost Babel:
      • Pyro Bison informs Snake of the number of people he killed, telling him that he's this. (The absolute lowest number of kills he can accuse Snake of is two, due to there being no alternative for Slasher Hawk and Marionette Owl.)
      • Marionette Owl is definitely an example of the Psychopath type - a former serial killer who was recruited into the military in a Boxed Crook situation. His motivation for cornering Snake appears to be to take some of Snake's prettier bones to give to his bunraku puppets.
    • In Metal Gear Solid V, Venom and Kaz are both Broken Soldiers, having once been somewhat more idealistic and flexible, but also have given up their morals after both having virtually all of their men murdered in front of them and getting mutilated.
    • Raiden in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is another Unwilling Conscript gone Psychopath. A deeply traumatised child soldier known as 'Jack the Ripper', he'd successfully managed to restrict most of the trauma until being purposefully baited into regressing to his Ripper persona, which turns out to be a huge mistake on the part of the villains, who now have to deal with a terrifyingly powerful Cyber Ninja who really, really likes killing.
  • Killzone
    • Colonel Cobar from Killzone: Liberation. When he was still a private during the formation of the Helghast military, he shot his military instructor for stopping a training operation because another recruit was wounded. His ascension to colonel made it worse: mere days into the invasion of Vekta, he captured, tortured and dismembered three ISA council members in Sedah City.
    • Rico from the same series takes it up a step further, and apparently is a good guy. His questionable tactics include wielding a heavy machine gun during a hostage situation and not settling for stealth when Helghast can be killed. It gets bad in Killzone 2 when Templar decides in some strange fashion that he is worthy of not only heading up Alpha but also getting the charge to capture Visari. Guess how it ends. In the manual for the first game, it's stated he was a Rhino Squad member, who were known for being unnecessarily violent.
  • The protagonist of The Procession To Calvary is a soldier desperate to kill more people despite the newfound peace.
  • Team Fortress 2: With all nine playable characters being agents of a Private Military Contractor, this trope was bound to happen.
    • The Soldier is a classic Jingo taken to comical levels. According to his backstory, he tried to join the army to kill Nazis and was turned down, so he bought a ticket to Poland and embarked on a "Nazi killing spree" that lasted until 1949... In other words, four whole years after the Nazis had surrendered. Given his tenuous grasp on reality, one can only wonder how many of those "Nazis" were actually innocents. This has only gotten worse with time, thanks to Soldier drinking heavily polluted water instead of the bottled water that the mercenaries were supplied. By the later periods of the story, he's almost completely out of touch with reality and prone to bizarre hallucinations, and dangerous to anyone around him, even attacking his own teammates at times.
    • Lampshaded with the Sniper, who prides himself as a professional assassin, and takes offense to being called a crazed gunman by his parents. Despite his self-proclaimed professionalism however, he is more than happy to throw jars of his own urine at his enemies.
      Sniper: I'm not a "crazed gunman", Dad, I'm an assassin! Well, the difference being, one is a job and the other's mental sickness!
    • The Engineer likewise usually maintains an outward appearance of professionalism. However, he was apparently willing to saw off his own right hand just to replace it with a prosthetic for its combat utility.
    • The Medic is unashamedly gleeful to experiment on friend and foe alike. Despite his scientific advancements having revolutionary potential in medicine, he prefers to use them to help his team massacre the enemy and satisfy his own morbid curiosity.
    • The Pyro takes this furthest — even the other mercenaries, including their own teammates, regard them as being wildly sociopathic. Just about the only intelligible sound they can make is a maniacal laugh as they burn everyone around them to death. Their Meet The Pyro video revealed them to be far beyond mere sociopathy and actually completely divorced from reality altogether.
      Heavy: I fear no man... but that thing... it scares me.
      Scout: I ain't talking to you about that freak, alright? He... He's not here, is he? How do I get this fricking thing off ?! [knocks down camera]
      Spy: One shudders to imagine what inhuman thoughts lie behind that mask... what dreams of chronic and sustained cruelty?
      Pyro's Mind: [a colorful Sugar Bowl land while Loving Spoonful's "Do You Believe In Magic" plays in the background]
    • The mercs in general just really, really enjoy the work they do, and it just so happens that work involves a lot of killing in cruel and unusual ways. In the game itself, several voicelines show they're aware it's all just a game where Death Is Cheap, so taking killing so lightly is understandable. In the lore... Not so much.
  • The Beast from Advance Wars: Days of Ruin might not seem like one, but Caulder addresses him as "Sergeant" at one point before noting that he no longer considers himself military. The implication is that the Beast was always the hateful, kill-crazy man he became After the End, and the only difference is that he no longer has the chain of command to hold him back.
  • Pretty much all of the Sith Troopers in Knights of the Old Republic, but the students at the Sith Academy on Korriban particularly stand out in that they basically spend their time showcasing their sociopathy in the hopes of being noticed by their superiors. Mandalorians also count, including Canderous in your party.
  • Resident Evil:
    • U.B.C.S. Sergeant Nicholai Ginovaef of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, an ex-soldier turned mercenary is this trope to a "T", plotting to murder all of his colleagues so that he can receive their pay. He's also a Badass Normal who somehow manages to survive the game, making your life a living hell the entire time.
    • U.S.S. team leader HUNK, alias "Mr. Death", of Resident Evil 2 is a totally cold-blooded version, who willingly leaves his teammates to die in furtherance of his mission, and doesn't care at all about the civilians his team guns down. He earned said alias because of a reputation for being the Sole Survivor of a number of missions. Despite apparently being intended as an insult, HUNK sees it as a point of pride and seems to think that this makes him immortal or invincible.
    • Generally speaking, the Umbrella Security Service (U.S.S.) and Umbrella Bioweapon Countermeasures Service (U.B.C.S.) seem to attract a lot of these guys. Given the nature of the work and the fact that most of them are Former Regime Personnel or professional mercenaries, this is unsurprising. The entire business is headed up by Colonel Kilgore Sergei Vladimir.
    • Jack Krauser from Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. Originally career military with side gigs as a mercenary, Krauser was driven over the edge after suffering a Career-Ending Injury to his left arm. He faked his own death, joining Wesker's organization in pursuit of greater power through Umbrella's viruses. His former partner, Leon, is shocked at Krauser's transformation into a deranged, war-paint wearing Blood Knight.
  • Vile from the Mega Man X series fits this trope to a T. Because of an irreparable short-circuit in his brain, he absolutely LOVES destroying Mavericks, and even moreso causing as much collateral damage as he can while retiring Mavericks, which was partially the reason why he ended up being branded a Maverick himself later on (the other being his rebellious attitude towards his superiors).
  • In Mega Man X4, Frost Walrus of the Repliforce's Arctic unit qualifies as this. Frost Walrus was a short-tempered, rowdy Reploid whose destructive behavior got him marked for disposal as a Maverick. However, he was saved when General gave him a chance to join the Repliforce, a military organization of Reploids. Walrus would continue his violent ways, and felt that rampaging through enemies was a military man's duty. When the Great Repliforce War started, Walrus was impressed as it was a perfect excuse for him to riot as much as he liked. Walrus was stationed at Repliforce's base in a snowy region and put in charge of guarding their secret weapon under construction. The Hunters eventually found out about the secret project, and dispatched members of their elite team to stop Walrus. Walrus refused to surrender or stop his actions in the coup d'etat, and the Hunters were forced to destroy him in battle for his Maverick actions, his luck finally running out.
    • He is even worse in the manga. After butchering an entire squadron of Maverick Hunters who were out to stop his rampaging, he kept their corpses encased in ice chambers as port as a trophy collection of his victims. When the Colonel of the Repliforce repimanded him for such misconduct, in a temper tantrum he released several Maverick Hunter prisoners and told them to run for their lives, only to viciously hunt them down for sport and kill each of them with his ice powers, save one, who was saved by X and ex-Maverick Blizzard Buffalo, the latter being reformed in the manga as a hunter. After Walrus viciously injured X into unconsciousness, Buffalo went to fight Walrus alone, who brutually murdered him by impaling Buffalo with a Frost Tower attack. Repliforce leader General had enough of Walrus's evil deeds and brutally shot him down during his second encounter with X as a punishment for his previous misconduct and to save X's life.
  • An almost uniform trait of Caesar's Legion in Fallout: New Vegas. Rape, pillaging, enslaving, and burning are standard procedure. Legionares despise weakness and will kill anyone who doesn't serve the Legion - soldiers, civilians, women, children, old people. What we call war crimes, they call tactical maneuvers. Their top field commander slaughters his own troops to keep them in line. Even Caesar himself, who is regarded as a godly figure by his troops and is trying to build a better world, is sadly aware that his Legion has yet to become more than just a horde.
  • Blackwatch from [PROTOTYPE]. The regular Marines in Manhattan view them with disgust, rightfully so; several Web of Intrigue memories show them murdering civilians for the hell of it. And laughing.
  • Mass Effect: Depending on how you play the game, Commander Shepard can be one of these, especially with the Ruthless background in Mass Effect. Deconstructed by the third game, where continuing to play this character type means you have to deliberately stab several allied characters in the back, most particularly Mordin Solus.
  • Medal of Honor (2010 version): Voodoo is a very self-restrained version. He doesn't kill anyone he shouldn't, but he does give it serious consideration on more than one occasion. His teammates make sure to tease him for this.
  • Captain Martin Walker from Spec Ops: The Line is a Broken Soldier. After the White Phosphorus incident that happens early on in the game, Walker goes from being a sensible soldier to slowly cracking under the pressure and becoming a raving madman with a hero complex. How quickly he does so depends on the player in some instances.
  • In Homefront the Korean soldiers spend the first few minutes at the beginning of the game brutalizing American citizens. A group of them shot a couple in front of their own child, and the Resistance sees that the Koreans are killing the prisoners and burying them in mass graves.
  • In Alpha Protocol the Veteran Combat Initiative exclusively recruits from the dishonorably discharged and "borderline types" who have difficulty returning to civilian life.
  • Agent Jack Hunter, also known as Goldeneye. He's unique in that he's sadistic and careless—he wastes time hurting his enemies. MI-6 has no use for him, but SPECTRE, on the other hand...
  • Niko Bellic from Grand Theft Auto IV says he was surrounded by people like this in the Serbian wars but he himself is not one (although a lot of the blood he shed went beyond what was required in the line of duty, which disturbs him).
  • Subverted with Trevor Phillips of Grand Theft Auto V, who despite completing his training as a helicopter pilot for the Royal Canadian Air Force, failed the psychological evaluation which prevented him from actually joining.
  • Frank Horrigan from Fallout 2. He's easily one of the most psychotic and ruthless characters in the game, and possibly the entire series. He was bad enough in the Pre-War United States and became much worse after F.E.V. exposure turned him into a Super Mutant and the Enclave made him their top enforcer, outfitting him with the finest life support, Powered Armor, and firepower.
  • Evolve has Hyde, of the psychopath variety. He joined the military as an alternative to jail time and was promptly assigned to the Chemtroopers, soldiers equipped with flesh and armor melting chemical weapons. While there, he refused to wear the filter mask so he could look into the eyes of the people he killed.
  • Cliff Hudson from Dead Rising is Broken Soldier, being a psychopath in the game due to having a Vietnam flashback triggered by hearing his daughter getting ripped to shreds by zombies. He comes back to his senses after Frank West defeats him.
  • The Spartan-III Program in Halo is partly designed to produce this. The recruits were chosen exclusively from orphaned children of Covenant attacks on Outer Colonies, most of which were 4-6 years old, and were raised and trained on the sole promise that they'd one day be able to avenge their families by killing every Covenant warrior. The result was several companies of peerless fighters fully willing to participate in suicide attacks to take out entire Covenant worlds. Headhunters Roland and Jonah exemplify the attitude, taking absolute glee in mowing down and mutilating Covenant soldiers while fueled by the memory of their glassed homeworlds.
    • Emile-A239 is another Spartan-III example whose life is defined by the pleasure he takes killing Covenant. His superiors specifically mention that it's best for everyone that he be fielded solely against Covenant targets; his brutality is ill-suited against human Insurrectionists who could very well garner sympathy from the public if his methods were showcased.
  • Command & Conquer: Most of the in-game unit audio will either have them take a dispassionate attitude towards engaging the enemy or display Patriotic Fervor. However, there are a few that just come across as psychopaths who are in it for the killing, such as the Soviet Desolator units, Yuri's Cold Sniper Dark Action Girl Virus, and half the GLA army.
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3:
      • Cryo Legionnaires are recruited from the Peacekeepers on a physical basis but also need to fit a psychological profile Futuretech claims is necessary for the job. Going by the Soviet campaign, said mindset is that of someone who would deliberately jetpack onto utterly helpless victims to shatter them and then laugh about it. And then there's the ice puns...
      • Similarly, Harbinger pilots are said to be a tad too enthusiastic about their jobs, and are arrogant even for air force pilots.
      • Desolators are Maddened Into Misanthropy, being terminally-ill patients outfitted with crude cybernetics that allow them to breathe the fumes of their hideous flesh-melting chemical weapons (and only the fumes, they choke on fresh air) that violate more than 70 laws of warfare. With a life expectancy of about a year (when said cybernetics break down), there's no surprise that they're a little bitter.
        They look too happy!
  • The Scarlet Chorus in Tyranny is made up of these. Recruits to the Chorus either join willingly because they are Psychopaths who want to kill and rape things, or are Unwilling Conscripts dragged into the Chorus and mentally brutalized. Those who are conscripted and somehow end up surviving for long enough to thrive inevitably 'evolve' into Psychopaths, as continued life in the Chorus eats away your former identity and leaves you a sociopathic Social Darwinist.
    • By contrast their rival army, The Disfavoured, are almost entirely made up of Jingos. They are very much The Proud Elite and proud of their homeland in the Northern Empire, and look down on anyone who's not Disfavoured. While those who surrender early escape by 'merely' being enslaved, those who provide enough resistance for the Disfavoured to take them seriously (or prove unworthy foes by rebelling or breaking earlier terms of surrender) tend to end up being mass crucified by the roadside as a warning to the rest.
  • Borderlands 3: Played for Laughs. Maliwan's ground troops are ridiculously sociopathic, gleefully killing everyone in their path for the crime of not using Maliwan products. The commander of the assault on Athenas shamelessly admits he's got an inferiority complex and is burning down the planet to impress his big brother, said big brother proudly says he taught his little brother everything he knows about murdering, and a random private reads aloud a little girl's diary about her horrible life as if it's a hilarious story.
    Private Beans: Hey guys, stop burning down people's homes for a second and listen to this!
  • Throughout Star Wars: Republic Commando, your squad worries (with good reason) that Sev is starting to cross the line from Boisterous Bruiser into this trope:
    Sev: (in a wistful, euphoric tone) Nothing better than a jungle hunt. Hiding in a bush, putting a plasma bolt through a hostile's cranium... makes me feel alive...
  • In Disco Elysium, the Kremel mercenaries participated and rejoiced in the mutilation, mass burning and rapes of civilians in a war of colonial racism (they "kill almost exclusively black people", as the player character can put it). In the game, they launch a pointless assault on dockworkers after the political control they were dispatched to achieve was already given up for reasons far beyond their control or responsibility. The characters, while monsters, are at least somewhat sympathetic due to the fact that they were used in a war amongst huge powers that had nothing to do with them. All of them are traumatised by what they were forced through, and all have developed alcoholism as a result. Korty, in particular, ringleads the assault due to impotent rage over failing to handle the political situation, and grief over the murder of his brother.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: While the game taking place in a Forever War means that there are plenty of Child Soldiers from Keves and Agnus who are demented, none of them are as depraved as The Dreaded Agnian soldier Blackblaze Dirk, later known as Consul D. Back when he was Agnian, Dirk took sadistic pleasure in murdering his victims, equipping himself with a pair of self-made claws that allowed him to lop people's heads off. It also didn't matter that Keves was his enemy, as there were plenty of soldiers from Agnus working alongside him who he lopped off the heads of completely on purpose. The only reason why he stopped being a normal Agnian and became part of Moebius is because such power meant that not only would he live forever through the Flame Clocks, but he would be able to slaughter more people than he ever could as an Agnian. Before he's defeated, it's revealed that he has an entire collection of severed heads from the people he killed, both as Dirk and as D.
    Consul D: Well, huh? Doesn't it make you tingle? As long as I am Moebius, I can enjoy this superlative feeling forever and ever! I'll bury the world in my sweet collectables!

    Web Animation 

  • Most of the grunts in Schlock Mercenary fit this fairly well, minus the rape. When hiring new recruits, Captain Tagon even commends his senior officer Thurl for "hiring those [violent sociopaths] right up." To further the trope, most of the ones who get promoted beyond Sgt. happen to be a bit more rational in their thinking, with the notable exception of now-Lieutenant Shore Pibald.
    • The (Tausenigann) Ob'enn even more so. In fact, their entire culture is like this. And they're not the only ones, the robots in Book Three are this, and possibly the Tohdfraug (though Petey's press-ganging scheme redeemed them quite a bit). Also, Kowalski from the UNS, who claims his conscience is vestigial and is in charge of the vilest wetwork the UNS has to do.
  • The guy in this Karate Bears "distinguishes" himself on the battlefield by mangling and eating an enemy
  • In Our Little Adventure, most of the soldiers of the Souballo Empire are portrayed as the first flavor.
  • Most of the cast of Gone with the Blastwave cross this trope with Armed Farces and Comedic Sociopathy. They're by and large a bunch of apathetic, incompetent, manic-depressive bunglers, but they're still soldiers. They run the gamut of the scale — most are Unwilling Conscripts, Broken Soldiers, or a combination of the two, but a few are in the Psychopath category. There aren't many Jingos in the cast, mostly because almost no one seems to care who they're fighting for or against.
  • Florence from Freefall mentions that the first Uplifted Animal project was with chimpanzees. We later learn that it was an intentional attempt to make sociopathic super-soldiers, which went horribly right because the chimps could not be controlled and would turn on their allies when there were no enemies left to kill. Doctor John Bowman, Florence's creator, is the only surviving uplifted chimpanzee, who left the military with the help of a veterans' association to study neurology.
  • Unsounded: The Aldish soldier Riker is an eager rapist who is excited about the opportunity to kill and rape children and loot a shrine. The Aldish government's way of waging war encourages their soldiers to act immorally as they conscript children, order their soldiers to systematically rape civilians and have a culture that emphasizes and celebrates machismo.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Transformers mythos, it's harder to list a Decepticon or Predacon who doesn't fit this trope than one who does. Though, seeing as the faction was founded by a sadistic madmachine and his like-minded followers, it's not hard to see why. Even the occasional Autobot or Maximal fits, though they are usually only tolerated if they are especially effective. Even then, they're kept on a short leash.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender.
    • Deconstructed when Katara goes after the soldier who killed her mother, expecting a Psycho for Hire. What she gets is a cowardly old man, whom she angrily describes as "just empty. There's nothing inside you." The implication is that fear got him to act like a Conscript; outside of combat he's not much of a threat—just don't sneak up on him.
    • Another implication could have been that either that: the soldier was a Might Makes Right kind of guy, so he wimps out at the sight of more powerful figures (For example: his mother, and Katara). Or that he is a foil who shows that this (being a wimpy, cowardly, "Well Done, Son" Guy) is what Katara would have been like if her mother was still alive.
    • Yet another interpretation, is that he was a monster, but had some kind of crippling mother issues aside and that years of retirement living under his mother had ground him down to the point that he wasn't worth killing. Or that he became that way as a result of the things he had done on the battlefield, becoming a Shell-Shocked Veteran.
  • The Simpsons implies that Homer Simpson, had he actually been on a battlefield, would have been of this trope. When he has to be an army recruiter, one of the things he is asking people in a failed attempt at recruiting them is whether they want to kill people. Also, in "You Kent Always Say What You Want," Homer compares his elation to getting his 100th ice cream cone as being similar to gaining his first kill had he been in a war. Mitigated when he was once recruited by the Marines, he isn't smart enough to even hold a rifle, the one they gave him only shoots bubbles.


Video Example(s):


Blackblaze Dirk's Memories

We see D's previous lives as Blackblaze Dirk before he became Moebius, killing various Kevesi soldiers, as well as Agnians out of sadistic pleasure.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (21 votes)

Example of:

Main / SociopathicSoldier

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