Fictional Characters Wiki
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman
Background information
Feature films Full Metal Jacket
Television programs
Video games
Park attractions
Portrayed by R. Lee Ermey
Portrayed by
Performance model
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name L. Hartman
Other names
Personality Strict, authoritative, foul-mouthed, abrasive, loud, and antagonistic.
Occupation Drill instructor
Affiliations The Marine Corps
Goal To turn his privates into Marines, resulting in them becoming indestructible men.
Allies Other drill instructors
Minions His privates.
Likes Private Joker, Order and the Virgin Mary.
Dislikes Private Pyle, disobedience, Texas, the name Lawrence, and unlocked footlockers.
Powers and abilities Manipulation
Fate Gets shot by Private Pyle.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, Sergeant Hartman, or simply just Hartman, is a character from the war-drama movie Full Metal Jacket. He is a foul-mouthed drill sergeant who bullies his recruits, most frequently Private Pyle because he is a "disgusting fatbody". Because of all this, Private Pyle has been driven insane and decided to shoot Hartman, and then commited suicide. He is played by former drill sergeant R. Lee Ermey, who ad-libbed most of Hartman's quotes during the making of the film.

Full Metal Jacket[]


Sergeant Hartman introduced himself to his recruits starting with Private Brown. He told him that he will be Private Snowball from now on and asked him if he liked that name. Brown told him yes, but Hartman reminded him that they don't serve fried chicken and watermelon on a regular basis in the Marine Corps. Private Joker said "Is that you John Wayne? Is this me?", which made Hartman come over to the other row of privates wondering who "signed his own death warrant". Hartman looked surprised, thinking that the Fairy Godmother said it, and threatened his recruits. He grabbed Private Cowboy slightly and told him he looks like a worm. Joker then tells him that he said it. Hartman came over to him and called him "a f***ing comedian", and punched him in the stomach by giving him an uppercut punch. He heard Joker came to the Marine Corps to kill, so Hartman told him to give out his war cry. After Joker's second attempt at a war cry, Hartman was still unconvinced by his war cry and he doesn't scare him. Hartman told Joker to work on his war cry and went over to Cowboy and insulted him about being from Texas. After talking to Private Cowboy, he came up to the overweight private, Leonard Lawrence. He was insulting him even more than he did to his other privates for being fat and that he hates the name Lawrence. He called him "Gomer Pyle" from now on, and Private Pyle gave him an obnoxious grin. Hartman gave him three seconds to stop grinning like that or he will threaten him. Gomer Pyle said that he couldn't help grinning like he was, however Hartman told him to get on his knees. Hartman then choked him, but Pyle got up again, the dull-looking grin vanishing from his face.

Hartman and his privates went outside. He was ordering his recruits to put their rifles on their right and left shoulders. Hartman caught Pyle attempting to do what the others did, but Hartman flipped out when Pyle didn't realize anything about left and right. Hartman slapped him in the face twice as punishment for this stupidity. After that, Hartman pulled Pyle's uniform pants down and made him put his thumb in his mouth, while Hartman and the other privates went and did what Hartman wanted.

Naming Rifles[]

Later that night, Hartman told his privates that they will sleep with their rifles and give them various female names. He also told them they are married to their pieces, which are weapons of iron and wood, and that they will be faithful. The privates went to their beds while carrying their rifles. The privates said altogether: "This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy, who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it...until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen". Hartman told his privates goodnight, and ordered a fire watch guard to "hit it" and he turned the light off for the night.

Four Inches[]

The next morning, Hartman told everyone to put their rifles on their right shoulder. He went over to Cowboy and reminded him how the rifle is not his father's shotgun. Hartman afterwards told them to place their rifles on the left shoulder. He told Joker to move the rifle around his head, not his head around the rifle. Hartman then went over to Pyle and told him four inches from his chest.

Obstacle Course[]

Hartman and his privates went over to the obstacle course. Hartman commanded his privates to climb the obstacle in no less than ten seconds. Later on, Joker was the next private to jump on the obstacle. Hartman asked if he was a killer, Joker told him yes, so Hartman told him to give out his war cry. Private Pyle was next, but he failed at jumping through the obstacle. Hartman started complaining about Pyle's ability to fail Hartman's orders, and made fun of him by telling him he looks like one-hundred-fifty pounds of chewed bubblegum. The next obstacle course were pull-ups. Joker did great on the pull-ups, but Pyle was incapable of doing at least one single pull-up. Hartman again angrily insulted him, while Private Snowball was the next private to do pull-ups. Pyle was going up the obstacle slowly and Hartman made fun of him for the way he climbs obstacles. Hartman yelled at him to get up the obstacles, but Pyle refused and climbed back down at Hartman's orders to quit.

New Squad Leader[]

Hartman called privates Cowboy and Joker over to clean the head so that the Virgin Mary would be "proud to go in there and take a dump" as soon as the two finish their bunks. Hartman asked Joker if he believes in the Virgin Mary, but Joker said he doesn't believe in her. Hartman stormed and slapped him in the face. Joker told Hartman something he already knew: The private believes any answer he gives will be wrong, and the senior drill instructor will beat him harder if he reverses himself. Private Snowball went over after Hartman called him. Hartman told him he was fired since Private Joker became the new squad leader. Private Pyle came to Hartman shirtless after he called him. Hartman told him Joker is his new squad leader from now on and that he will teach Pyle everything, including how to pee. Hartman reminded Pyle that Joker is "silly and ignorant, but has guts and that guts are enough". Joker then fulfilled his duties as squad leader, teaching Pyle how to field strip his M-14 rifle and put it back together again, folding his blankets properly, getting his legs over the obstacle course, and executing drill commands with a rifle.

Rifle Combat Introduction[]

Later on, Hartman was reminding his recruits, that the deadliest weapon in the world is a marine and his rifle, it is a killer instinct that must be harnessed if they expect, or hope, to survive in combat, and that their rifles are only tools. Hartman continued talking and reminded them if their killer instincts do not kick in, they will hesitate at the moment of truth, not kill, become dead Marines, and then end up in a world of s***, because Marines are not allowed to die without divine permission.

A Jelly Donut!?[]

After checking out other recruits and their footlockers for inspection, Hartman snaps once again at Pyle because his footlocker is unlocked, and he doesn't like unlocked footlockers. Hartman told Pyle to get off of his footlocker, and threw everything out. Unfortunately, he found a jelly donut on his footlocker. Infuriated by Pyle's dishonor of the platoon and himself, Hartman told his other recruits that from now on, whenever Pyle does the job wrong, he will punish them instead of him, and that they owe him for one jelly donut. The recruits altogether got on the floor, while Hartman stuck Pyle's jelly donut in his mouth after he opened his mouth. The same time Pyle began eating the donut, was the same time the recruits began doing push-ups while saying "1! 2! 3! 4! I love the Marine Corps!", just like in one of Hartman's marching songs.

Pyle's Reinvention[]

The squad of privates, enraged for being punished for Pyle's mistakes, tie bars of soap in towels, and beat him with them to punish him, Cowboy prompting a reluctant Joker to join in. After this incident, Hartman tells them how Charles Whitman killed at least 12 people from his sniper's nest at the top of the Texas University's tower from 400 yard distances, and how Lee Harvey Oswald shot John F. Kennedy from 250 feet with an old Italian bolt-action rifle. Pointing out that both these murderers learned to shoot in the Marine Corps, he told them that all the recruits would be able to do the same thing. On Christmas Day, he and the recruits sing the happy birthday song for Jesus Christ and he tells them about a magic show at 9:30 a.m. and a speech from Chaplain Charlie about communism will be conquered by the free world. His afterword is that while the Marines can give their hearts to Jesus, they themselves still belong to the Corps. Pyle then reinvents himself as a model Marine, impressing Hartman but worrying Joker, who recognizes signs of mental breakdown in Pyle, such as him talking to his M-14 rifle as he strips it. One tune-up of their rifles in their barracks, followed by a session on the target range, is enough to demonstrate this. Pyle may have had a mental breakdown influenced by Hartman's discipline, but he manages to hide it from him as he inspects all the recruits' rifles (Pyle calling his rifle Charlene).

Graduation and Final Stand[]

The day before their last night on the island, the recruits finally graduate, and become Marines, just as Hartman had intended them to. To Hartman's surprise, however, while almost all the recruits, including Pyle and Cowboy, are assigned to Infantry, Joker is assigned to Basic Military Journalism. Joker informs Hartman that he used to write for his high school newspaper, but Hartman objects, saying that Joker is a killer, with the latter agreeing. However, during the platoon's final night on Parris Island, Joker discovers Pyle, who is suffering from severe mental breakdown, in the bathroom, loading his rifle with live ammunition. Joker attempts to calm the deranged Pyle down, but he refuses to listen, and executes drill commands, loudly reciting the Rifleman's Creed all the while. The noise awakens the platoon as well as Hartman, who angrily confronts Pyle and orders him to surrender the rifle. The deranged Pyle refuses, shoots Hartman dead, and then kills himself, with Joker looking at both bodies in horror and sorrow before he goes to Vietnam as a Stars and Stripes war correspondent.

Full Metal Jacket characters

Private Snowball | Corporal "Eightball" | Private Cowboy | Da Nang Hooker | The Door Gunner | Gunnery Sergeant Hartman | Doo Jay | Private Joker | Lieutenant Lockhart | Private Pyle | Private "Rafter Man" | Lieutenant Touchdown | Sergeant "Animal Mother" | Sergeant "Crazy Earl" | Sniper