The world lost a truly iconic actor this weekend as R. Lee Ermey passed away at the age of 74 due to complications with pneumonia.
Ermey is a Vietnam vet that first came to the public’s attention in the iconic Full Metal Jacket. Ermey won a Golden Globe for his role in Kubrick’s film and went on to roles in such films as Dead Man Walking, Leaving Las Vegas, Murder in the First, The Frighteners and more.
Ermey spent eleven years in the Marine Corps, Two of which were spent as being a Drill Instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, India Company 3rd Recruit Training Battalion 1965-67, Arrived in Vietnam in 1968 spending 14 months attached to Marine Wing Support Group 17 and two tours in Okinawa. He rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant and was medically retired for injuries received.
On May 17, 2002 he received an honorary promotion to Gunnery Sergeant (E-7) by Commandant James L. Jones, becoming the first retiree in the history of the Marines to be promoted.