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I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman! Your Senior Drill instructor! From now on, you will speak only when spoken to. And the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be sir! Do you maggots understand that?!
~ Gunnery Sergeant Hartman
Who said that?!? Who the f**k said that!? Who is the slimy little communist s**t twinkle-toed c**ksucker down here who who just signed his own death warrant! Nobody huh? The fairy f**kin' godmother said it. Out f--kin' standing! I will PT you all until you f**king die! I will PT until your a--holes are sucking buttermilk!
~ Gunnery Sergeant Hartman
Bulls***. It looks to me like the best part of you ran down the crack of your mama's ass and ended up as a brown stain on the mattress.
~ Gunnery Sergeant Hartman to Private Cowboy
WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR MALFUNCTION NUMBNUTS!? DIDN'T MOMMY AND DADDY SHOW YOU ENOUGH ATTENTION, WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD!?
~ Gunnery Sergeant Hartman's last words to Gomer Pyle before getting shot.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is one of the two main antagonists (along with Private Gomer Pyle) of the 1987 anti-war film Full Metal Jacket, although his role is that of an anti-hero he does become a significant antagonist who undertakes in illegal and abusive techniques even for the brutal time period and training of Marines; most notably his singling out and bullying of Pyle, who Hartman failed to recognize as mentally unstable and thus pushed to a breaking point that endangered the entire platoon and ultimately cost Hartman and Pyle their lives.

He was portrayed by the late R. Lee Ermey, who also played Sheriff Hoyt in the rebooted Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, Sheriff Warren Pike in Life, Stone in On Deadly Ground, John House in House M.D., and Mr. Frank Martin in Willard. He was also a real drill instructor for the U.S. Marines.

Biography

Hartman was a drill instructor who engaged in brutal training methods that included both physical and verbal abuse, even though drill instructors (even in that era) were not legally allowed to use physical force against recruits - Hartman would frequently break such codes, such as when he punched Joker in the gut and slapped Pyle repeatedly on the face : though every act Hartman did had a meaning, he was not a mindless bully and his methods were ultimately designed to make or break those he was tasked with turning into Marines.

However, as time went by Hartman grew to develop an extremely hostile relationship with a mentally unstable recruit known as Pyle, who Hartman decided to single out and tried to toughen up via extreme physical and emotional abuse, ultimately he would promote Joker to squad leader and gave him the task of helping Pyle, under Joker's much kinder guidance Pyle improved considerably.

Yet Joker's efforts would come crashing to a halt when Hartman discovered Pyle trying to sneak in a jelly doughnut (sweet foods are contrabands to trainees), prompting Hartman to punish the entire platoon instead of Pyle - this was a deliberate incitement by Hartman for the platoon to "toughen" Pyle up, which they proceeded to do via beating him with bars of soap.

At first Hartman's brutality seemed to pay off and the Marines graduated, even Pyle, however Hartman failed to see that Pyle had become psychologically unhinged by his experiences and thus ignored several warning signs, which would cost him and the platoon dearly that night.

For Pyle had managed to secure live ammo and his rifle at some point and was caught by Joker loading his rifle in a bathroom, Pyle proceeded to loudly recite his training - prompting an enraged Hartman to storm the bathroom and demand to know what was happening.

When Joker informed Hartman that Pyle had live ammo the drill instructor showed a brief moment of hesitation as he finally realized Pyle was insane - yet he quickly went back to his old self and tried to intimidate Pyle into surrender, this backfired horribly and Pyle shot Hartman dead in vengeance.

Pyle then aimed his rifle at Joker and seemed ready to shoot him too yet Joker's previous kindness to Pyle was rewarded as Pyle spared his life - tragically Pyle opted to kill himself as Joker watched on.

Hartman would presumably be buried with full honors and his abuse was likely overlooked, as it was fairly common in the time period (despite it always being illegal).

Personality

Hartman was a vicious, abusive drill instructor though most of his personality was necessary as his role - he did, however, partake in actions that were illegal even by the standards of Marine training, such as punching recruits and slapping them (drill instructors are not permitted to use physical violence against recruits): he also had no qualms about singling out specific recruits, such as Pyle - who he treated especially cruel, though Hartman was trying to help Pyle in his own manner, the critical failure of Hartman was that he could not see when his methods went too far and ignored the danger signs of Pyle losing sanity.

Hartman was unable to change his belief that intimidation and fear commanded respect, even when faced with a psychotic Pyle and thus instead of trying to reason with Pyle or seek alternative ways to defuse the situation he deliberately provoked Pyle and thus endangered not only himself but the entire platoon, showing that he was stubborn to the end.

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Trivia

  • While extremely antagonistic, technically speaking Hartman's only true crimes are his physical abuse of his soldiers - his job was to "toughen" recruits and his main weakness was his inability to see just how dangerous Pyle's mental state truly was (also in reality there would be more than one Drill Sergeant, likely to assist in avoiding the very complications seen in this film).
  • Several villains including Sergeant Sam Roderick and Smile Away Reformatory School Sergeant pay homage to Hartman.
  • The reason for his brutal behavior is stemmed from the fact that it is necessary for him to groom the recruits to endure the hellish environment of warfare, especially during the time-period (when many recruits would not have been military-orientated and standards of fitness were discarded due to a need for more combatants).
  • In The Short-Timers by Jerry Gustav Hasford, the 1979 book which served as the source material for Full Metal Jacket, there is a character named Gunnery Sergeant Gerheim who plays the exact same role and meets the same end in the book as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman did in the film.
  • It's very questionable whether Hartman is just a villain who got what he deserved or if he was taking the "Tough Love" nature of a Drill Sargent a bit too far, and didn't realize his behavior had a negative reaction on Pyle's mental state. 
  • In the Japanese light novel Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest, Hartman was mentioned by Ryutarou Sakagami of considering Hajime Nagumo to be Hartman's pupil. 

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