Army Drill Sergeant Rates 11 Boot Camps In Movies And TV | How Real Is It? | Insider

Published 2023-05-02
Retired US Army drill sergeant Lamont Christian rates US military boot-camp scenes in movies and TV shows for realism.

Christian breaks down the early stages of boot camp in "Full Metal Jacket" (1987), with R. Lee Ermey; and "Cherry" (2021), starring Tom Holland. He looks at weapons and physical training in "Forrest Gump" (1994), starring Tom Hanks; "Jarhead" (2005), with Jake Gyllenhaal; "Hacksaw Ridge" (2016), with Andrew Garfield; and "Band of Brothers" (2001). He explains the plausibility of boot-camp scenarios in "Captain America: The First Avenger" (2011), starring Chris Evans; "Private Valentine: Blonde & Dangerous" (2008), with Jessica Simpson; and "Tribes" (1970). Christian also looks at the drill sergeants and drill instructors in "An Officer and a Gentleman" (1982) and "Stripes" (1981), with Bill Murray.

Christian served in the US Army for 33 years as a combat infantryman, with 11 years in the basic training environment. He retired in 2018 as the command sergeant major of Fort Jackson, the Army's main training center for basic combat training. He is now the director of the Warrior PATHH program at the Big Red Barn Retreat, where he helps veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress.

You can follow Lamont here:

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Army Drill Sergeant Rates 11 Boot Camps In Movies And TV | How Real Is It? | Insider

All Comments (21)
  • @dperl5640
    What I really like about this guy is he obviously has the more modern approach to how things are done - No touching, swearing etc. But he also knows and states that in different eras these things, even though maybe technically "against the rules" still happened quite often. He walks a nice line between explaining how it is supposed to be and how it actually was pretty well. Good video
  • When you were talking about the shortest guy in the unit, that was my stepfather in the Air Force (right before Vietnam). He was actually about two inches below the minimum height requirement. My mother found his discharge papers when they were sorting through stuff years ago, and she read over them and laughed when she saw his height listed. "You were never 5'4" tall." He said he stood up real tall when they were measuring him. My mother asked him if his heels left the floor. He said he didn't think so, but the guy measuring him gave him a wink.
  • @N.California
    100%, hands down, no contest, R. Lee Ermey is, and probably will always be, the best DI, Drill Instructor, Drill Sergeant to ever grace a movie screen.
  • @tripdubb1
    My great-grandfather died in basic training because while he was crawling under the barbed wire, one of the drill sergeants fired rounds over the recruits and one of the bullets ricocheted off a rock and went in his torso. He died in several minutes afterwards. When he says “it does happen”, I know it does.
  • @zenonherrera4366
    I remember the USMC school of infantry back in 2003, one of our last graduation requirements was to complete a 20 mile ruck march (hump). We had to finish on our own power. One guy twisted his ankle around mile 10. Most of us, myself included, helped him to the "finish line". Never, not once were we told "do not help him". I think we were 10 feet from finishing when we gave the hurt guy his pack and weapon back. He staggered, limped, and even winced in pain, but he finished under his own power. We were all happy and proud when he graduated on time with the rest of us.
  • @Broney-tw3vy
    He was my Sr. Drill back in 1994. 3rd platoon B Co 1/19 Ft Benning, GA. There are only a few people you will meet in your life who you will never forget. Your Drill Sgts are in that category. As much as he pushed and rode us, he was always fair and was a true professional NCO in every way. I was always getting myself in trouble and I could go on and on with stories. This is the first time I've ever heard his first name (It used to be Drill Sargent).
  • @josealgarin9537
    CSM (Ret.) Lamont Christian! He was my First Sergeant when I got stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii with 1st BN, 27th IN Regt. One of the greatest leaders I had the pleasure of serving with. This is absolutely great to see! Keep doing GREAT things CSM! NO FEAR!
  • @Materialist39
    I know many, many people often complain about how boot camp / basic training has changed in recent years, but it’s been studied ad infinitum that people will fight and die ferociously for their friends and comrades. The prioritization of teamwork and bonding will in fact push people to achieve things they never thought possible with greater expediency.
  • @ChurchNietzsche
    "I'm not yelling at you soldier. Drill Sergeants do not yell. We simply speak in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear. That way, we all learn from each other's mistakes!" -- Drill Sergeant Lyle, In the Army Now
  • @johnbaker6125
    The story about how R Lee Ermey got that roll is legendary. And the fact that he could spew obscenities and tirades effortlessly was also part of his legend. I always liked him as an actor in any roll he played and imagine he was one heck of a Marine. RIP Gunny
  • @Kashed
    My father served in Vietnam in 67 and 68 in the Iron Triangle (Phu Loi) during the Tet Offensive and said the Full Metal Jacket boot camp scene was the most realistic of all the ones he has seen in movies. One of the many things that always stuck with me was him telling me that you always knew who was about to go home because they would sleep in the bunker at night for a few weeks instead of in their bunk. When I asked why, he said while you were there you never knew if it was your last day, so you become numb to the fear and the rocket attacks, etc. but, that goes away just before you leave and the last thing anyone wanted was be a short timer and get killed right at the end of their tour. The other thing that stuck with me is him describing arriving and getting off the bus and seeing teenagers that looked like they were 40 years old and the first guy he saw was wearing a belt made of ears.
  • @lukkareborn288
    FYI: In FULL METAL JACKET, the actor they got to be the D.I. was failing miserably at it so ERMEY decided to step in and help him with the scene, the director liked him so much, he offered the role to ERMEY
  • @milesvoss1406
    I really liked his demeanor and explanation of the movie scenes. He's cleared up and changed how I see not only drill instructors but the military too.
  • @aaronsawyer9509
    As someone who has never served in any branch of the military, i appreciate the professionalism and patient explanations in this video. I also appreciate the commentary. Very informative.
  • @TheRealestBubby
    I've heard that "hard work" song on TikTok a few hundred times. It's so interesting to put a face to it!
  • @Leatherhead1225
    My dad served in the Air Force for 25 years before I was even born, and my brother was an Army paratrooper for 9 years. I come from a military family, so I'm proud to have watched this.
  • I had the honor and privilege of serving with CSM Christian, as both my Brigade and Post CSM. He's a great man, a fantastic leader, and an all around great mentor. Don't let the small jokes on this video fool you, he's a hilarious conversationalist, who always manages to sneak little nuggets of wisdom into a conversation between the humor. Keep up the good work, Big Smaj! Forty Rounds!
  • @damonryan2861
    My dad dropped out of high school on his seventeenth birthday and enlist in the Marine Corp that same day and requested to go to Vietmam. He served two tours as a dog handler. He said out of all the Vietnam movies Full Metal Jacket best portrayed what life was like in the Corp and Vietnam.
  • @Hockey_G
    I love the way how he explains it and takes the history into account as well. Thank you for the insights gained.
  • @Ed-ts4bj
    Dad was stationed on Paris Island, the black man across the street from us was a Marine Corps DI. Regularly he would take me fishing, several times he’d get out of his car in full DI Uniform, broad brim hat, and bass belt buckle, he’d call out if I wanted to go fishing. I’d take off ask mom if I could go, grab my rod and tackle, then bolt for the door. Each time I burst out of the house thinking that was fast, but the DI would be standing by his car in gym shorts and t-shirt drumming his fingers like I was wasting daylight. I never had a doubt we had men come home because of his commitment to excellence. I don’t know if I ever knew his name, but he made an impact on my life!