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I have two books at my bedside, Lieutenant, the Marine Corps Code of Conduct and the King James Bible. The only proper authorities I am aware of are my commanding officer Colonel Nathan R. Jessup and the Lord our God.
~ Lt. Kendrick

(First) Lieutenant Jonathan James Kendrick was a secondary antagonist of the legal drama film A Few Good Men and the movie based upon the play.


Kendrick was a firm believer in the vision of the Marine Corps espoused by his commanding officer Colonel Nathan R. Jessup. Jessup for his part did not care too much for Kendrick, but appreciated how much the two men saw eye to eye on a number of subjects, including the training of Marines and keeping things within the unit.

Like Jessup, Kendrick had little respect for other branches of the service or the code of military justice. When one PFC Curtis Bell was apprehended stealing liquor from the officer's club instead of turning him over to the authorities Lt. Kendrick instead put him on barracks restriction for seven days with water being his only nourishment. Lance Corporal Dawson, feeling this was excessive, smuggled food to Bell, and in retaliation Kendrick put an unsatisfactory rating on his record.

When Private First Class William T. Santiago wrote military officials begging for a transfer, Kendrick was not happy that Santiago went outside the chain of command. Col. Jessup was rather incensed and ordered a code red be performed on Santiago.

As a cover he had Kendrick call the troops together and told them not to touch Santiago, but then gave orders to Lance Corporals Dawson and Downey to perform the code red on Santiago. They performed the code red but it resulted in the death of Santiago. Realizing how much trouble they would be in, Kendrick and Jessup began covering their tracks, and threw Downey and Dawson under the bus.

It was expected that they would plea deal their way out of the situation, but their lawyer Lt. Kaffee actually worked on the case. When Kaffee visited Guantanamo Bay Kendrick made his dislike of the Naval officer and the Navy quite evident. Kaffee continued his investigation and demanded a full court martial when the arraignment took place.

At the trial Kendrick was argumentative and even went so far as to deny the authority of the court and the JAG to administer military justice. Kendrick continued to insist that he had ordered his men not to perform a code red on Santiago.

When Jessup finally broke down on the stand and admitted that he had ordered a code red, the prosecutor Captain Ross left to go arrest Kendrick. Kaffee asked Kendrick to say hello to the good Lieutenant when he arrested the man, Ross said he would do so.


  • Kendrick was played by Kiefer Sutherland, who also played Bob Wolverton in Freeway, Senator Quintas Corvus in Pompeii, David in The Lost Boys, Freddie Lee Cobb in A Time To Kill, John "Ace" Merrill in Stand By Me, and The Caller in Phone Booth.
  • In real life, when Kendrick admitted under oath that he had ordered a Marine confined to barracks with only water and vitamin supplements, he would have been immediately arrested and charged, as such acts are against the UCMJ.
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