R. Lee “The Gunny” Ermey
I had a choice to represent any firearms company in the world, and you know I've shot 'em all. But this one's easy: if I had to own one pistol, it would be a GLOCK.
When R. Lee Ermey joined the Marine Corps in 1961, he never could have imagined that this might be his first meaningful step toward becoming an American icon. Yet, it was; and he has.
Of course Ermey did it the hard way by first serving in the Marines for 11 years, including 14 months in Vietnam and 2 tours in Okinawa, Japan. After injuries forced him to retire from the Corps, he moved to the Philippines, enrolling in the University of Manila, where he studied Criminology and Drama. This marked the beginning of his next career in film where audiences started to sit up straight in their seats the moment this force of nature began to speak.
After appearing in several Filipino films he captured enough attention to be cast as a helicopter pilot in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, and due to his Vietnam experiences, Coppola utilized him as a technical adviser. This exposure then won him a featured role in Sidney J. Furie's The Boys in Company C playing a drill instructor. However, his most famous role came as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket for which he received a Golden Globe nomination and won the best supporting actor award from The Boston Society of Film Critics. It also branded him “The Gunny” forever more. Since then he has appeared in numerous dramatic and comedic roles and continues to be one of the best character actors in the business, spanning 40+ years in the Industry.
So when it came to determining exactly who would be best to represent GLOCK in the USA, everyone at GLOCK unanimously felt “The Gunny” would be a perfect fit. Yet the truth is: you don’t choose him, he chooses you. Fortunately, we had a head start with the man who has, “… seen it all and shot ‘em all.” Still, we put a stock G37 in his hands and he took it out to the back forty for a Gunny torture test. After 5,000 rounds and zero cleaning, it shot just as good as when he pulled it out of the box. Case closed. We were “The Gunny Approved!”
Over the years, the union between GLOCK and R. Lee Ermey has grown from the boardroom to a brilliant relationship and a shared vision. His endless enthusiasm and genuine, gracious behavior belies the hard, gruff, and profane character he once portrayed. Ask the proud individuals who have served and protected this country and its citizens who he is, and they’ll tell you he’s a Marine and an iconic reminder of the comrades they once stood beside, and fought with, for the freedoms we all share today. Ask the countless people he has passionately and tirelessly reached out to through his charitable efforts, and they’ll likely talk about the selfless humanitarian. And still, that only begins to describe the substance of this dedicated, charismatic man.
All of us at GLOCK are eminently proud to have such an extraordinary man serve as an ambassador for our products and our company. We salute his contributions—past, present, and future. Sir, yes SIR!