This article's content is marked as Mature
The page Mature contains mature content that may include coarse language, sexual references, and/or graphic violent images which may be disturbing to some. Mature pages are recommended for those who are 18 years of age and older.

If you are 18 years or older or are comfortable with graphic material, you are free to view this page. Otherwise, you should close this page and view another page.

~ Jessup's most famous line.
We use words like "honor", "code", "loyalty". We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said "thank you", and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think you are entitled to!
~ Jessup's monologue to Daniel Kaffee about the Marines.

Colonel Nathan Roy Jessup is the main villain of Aaron Sorkin's stage play A Few Good Men as well as its 1992 film adaptation.

He was portrayed by Jack Nicholson, who also played Jack Torrance in the 1980 film The Shining, Daryl Van Horne in The Witches of Eastwick, The Joker in the 1989 Batman film, Jimmy Hoffa in the 1992 film Hoffa, and Frank Costello in the 2006 film The Departed.


Jessup was the commanding officer of the ground forces stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. His Marines worked as a machine with lots of help from his two right-hand men named Lt. Col. Matthew Markinson and Lt. Kendrick. When one of the men made a mistake, it was the job of the other men to never let that one Marine forget it. Using a hazing technique known as a "Code Red", a couple of Marines were ordered to let one of their own know he made a mistake one night. The mistake, it turns out, was theirs, as the young Marine wound up dead.

Faced with incredible embarrassment, Jessup did everything he could to cover up the details of the order given to the two young Marines now on trial for murder. They were left out to dry, facts were covered up, and official documents were falsified. The simple fact was that if word got out an order was given to rough up the deceased kid, Jessup's ass and the rest of officers would be on the block. Leave it to one young upstart attorney Lt. Daniel Kaffee, a man hired to plea bargain for the two Marines and unwittingly sweep the case under a rug, to actually investigate and uncover a conspiracy.

Dramatically called to the stand, Col. Jessup would voice his lack of respect for the people like Kaffee who did things to tear people down instead of understanding what he was trying to do. Jessup made his moves to protect his Marines and his country, and it's just too damn bad that one subpar Marine fell got dragged under the wheels of his rise to political power. His devotion to the Marine way of life is admirable, but Jessup takes offense to being questioned about the manner in which he protects his country. In the end, he shows his true colors and admits to giving the order that cost at least two Marines their lives and two innocent Marines their careers. He is later arrested in court.


  • In the stage version, Jessup was ranked a Lieutenant Colonel.
  • Hoffa was released on the same year aa this, in which Ni holson also started in.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.