#VeteranOfTheDay Marine Veteran R. Lee Ermey


Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is R. Lee Ermey.

Lee served from 1961 to 1972. He deployed to Vietnam for 14 months, did two tours in Okinawa, and spent time as a drill instructor. He left the Corps as a staff sergeant, but later received an honorary promotion to gunnery sergeant from Commandant General James Jones in 2002.

He is best known as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the iconic military film Full Metal Jacket. His performance as Gunny Hartman earned him a Golden Globe nomination and the adoration of many aspiring to become a Marine.

He went on to perform many more roles including voices for The Angry Beavers, Toy Story 3, Family Guy and The Simpsons. He also hosted Outdoor Channel’s “GunnyTime with R. Lee Ermey.”

Lee died on Sunday from complications with pneumonia. He was 74.

Semper Fi, Gunny.

We honor his service.

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.


Timothy Lawson

Timothy Lawson has been a member of VA’s Digital Media Engagement team since April 2016 and is the host of VA’s official podcast, Borne the Battle. He graduated from American University’s School of Communications in 2016 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Tim is a Marine Corps Veteran having served as a Marine Security Guard posted at embassies in Algeria, Russia, and Peru.


  1. Kilo Delta Mike    

    Gunny, you was the MAIN reason I wanted to become a Gunnery Sergeant in our beloved Marine Corps. Becoming a Marine Corps Drill Instructor, was also because YOU!!!!!! May you Rest In Peace, as you entered the PEARLY WHITE GATES! Semper Fidelis, Ooh Rah, and may the “BEST PART OF EVERY RECRUIT, RUN DOWN …. (redacted)”!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Jim Kirk    

    God Bless and RIP Marine. You will be missed.
    Semper Fi

  3. Paul McInnish    

    Gunny, God Bless and know you brought a lot of enjoyment to a lot of people… even those that were not Jarheads (called Jarhead out of reverence). I thoroughly enjoyed anything you were involved with in entertainment… even though I was not a Marine BUT was Navy and a Drill Instructor in the Army. God Speed, Gunny, God Speed!


    You will be missed! Thank you Gunny!

  5. Michael L Hayes    

    We Marines honor you Sir, as now others can, Simper Fi Gunny.

  6. john duncan    

    Welcome Home Gunny. See you later.
    Semper Fi

  7. Evans Formica    

    And then he kissed Jack Black on the mouth.

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