[Gunnery Sergeant Highway, newly-arrived on base, has come to battalion headquarters and found Sergeant Major Choozoo's office. The door is open, and Highway enters and helps himself to the coffee in the Sergeant Major's mug.]
Sergeant Major Choozoo: [Entering the office] Hey, crotch rot, you gonna slurp my lifer's juice out of my own cup?
Gunnery Sergeant Highway: Yeah, I should've gotten shots beforehand.
Choozoo: If your brain was half as quick as your mouth, skunk stool, you'd be a friggin' twenty-star general by now.
Highway: And if I was half as ugly as you, Sergeant Major, I'd be a poster boy for a prophylactic.
Choozoo: Still a mean and nasty bastard. God-damn good to see you, Tom! [Hugs Highway] Back where you belong!
Highway: Hey, go easy on me, or else everybody's gonna think I'm spoken for.
Stitch Jones: You see, it's all a question of mind over matter. We no longer mind, 'cause, you don't matter. You've been voted out of office, baby.
Highway: Mister Jones, you fall out in that street or I'm gonna kick your ass right off this fuckin' planet.
[A tall and powerfully-built Marine comes into view, standing in front of Highway]
Stitch Jones: Uh, Gunny, I'd like you to meet my big friend, Swede Johanson. Swede, say something charming to the man.
Swede Johanson: I'm gonna rip your head off and shit down your neck.
[Swede throws the first punch; Highway dodges it and grabs Swede's arm in a joint lock, forcing him down]
Highway: Stick your chin up. [Swede does] Higher. [punches Swede, knocking him to the floor] Now get your ass out in that street, ladies. Right this second.
Stitch Jones: [hastily] Uh, I'll catch you later, Swede!
[the platoon rushes outside; Swede gets up and faces Highway]
Swede Johanson: Sir, I'll wait outside for the MPs to come.
Thomas Highway: Negative, Johanson. You're going to become a Marine, right now. [Swede gives him a questioning look as he realizes he won't go to the brig] Fall out.
Swede Johanson: Yes, sir.
[Frageti, Jones, and Collins are marching through the woods at the head of Recon Platoon. They forget to watch the ground as they go, and all three walk into the same rope strung low across the ground; in the Vietnam War the Vietcong were known to use this as a trigger for a booby-trap consisting of one or more grenades, whose pins are pulled out when someone walks into the rope.]
Frageti: What the hell was that?
Highway: You're dead, Marine! You just stepped on four booby traps and blew your legs off! We'll have to send out a search party for your testicles! Now where the hell's your backup?
[Behind them, Profile raises a hand nervously as Highway turns and stares at him.]
Highway: What the fuck good are you doing back there? Without any cover fire I get my ass blown off! [Turns back to the three Marines who tripped over the rope] While you guys are sitting there pumpin' the neighbor's dog we get every swingin' dick in this platoon killed!
Stitch Jones: Hey, chill out, man; that's what we're here for.
Highway: Say what?
Stitch Jones: We're here for that! We've ambushed Major Powers three times and always right here; we know what we're doing.
Highway: Well, Shit-For-Brains, who says we're gonna ambush Major Powers right here?
Stitch Jones: Hey, you didn't hear Lieutenant Ring? Major Powers wants us to die in a loud, grotesque, military manner.
Highway: I don't give a fuck about Major Powers. My job is to keep you men alive. Let's move on.
[Soon after, Major Powers and his platoon are on the march in the open.]
Major Powers: We should be coming to the ambush site over the next hill.
Sergeant Major Choozoo: Sure does help knowin' where and when you're gonna be hit, sir.
[Unknown to these Marines, Recon Platoon is watching with weapons trained on them.]
Highway: Easy. Give 'em a few more yards, then we'll nail the coffin shut. [they let First Platoon walk farther into the ambush] OK now.
Major Powers: Fill out the proper request forms and send it through the chain of command.
Highway: [In disbelief] Request forms?
[Colonel Meyers, commander of the 8th Marine Regiment, arrives.]
Major Powers: Ten-hut!
Colonel Meyers: At ease, men.
Major Powers: Major Malcom Powers, sir. Annapolis, Class of '71.
Colonel Meyers: How are your men doing, Major?
Major Powers: My men are ready to fight to the death to protect our country, sir.
Colonel Meyers: [a beat as Colonel Meyers, a combat veteran, looks at him] Let's hope that won't be necessary. [Notices Highway] Have we ever served together?
Highway: I don't know, sir. Sergeant Major Choozoo and I were in 2nd Battalion, 7th in '68.
Colonel Meyers: I had a rifle company in 1st Battalion, 7th.
Highway: [Smiles] Well, we sure as hell chewed some of the same dirt, sir.
Colonel Meyers: That's for sure. What's your assessment of this alert?
Highway: It's a clusterfuck.
Colonel Meyers: Say again?
Highway: Marines are fighting men. They shouldn't be sitting around on their sorry asses filling out request forms for equipment they should already have.
Colonel Meyers: Interesting observation, Gunny. Carry on, Major.
Stitch Jones: I ain't never heard of no Heartbreak Ridge.
Choozoo: It ain't in any of the history books. Just a little piece of war. Hell, the place didn't even have a name; just a number. Stony Jackson took one look up and said, "Ladies, if it don't kill us, it'll surely break our hearts."
Stitch Jones: Who's Stony Jackson?
Choozoo: He was our platoon sergeant. He was the one recommended Highway for his Congressional Medal of Honor.
Stitch Jones: Gunny Highway won the CMH?
Choozoo: He charged two machine gun nests by himself. Didn't sleep for three days. The final human wave, he held off almost singlehandedly. When it was over, there's me, Stony Jackson, Tom Highway. We're the only ones still alive.
Aggie: Goddamn it!
Thomas Highway: What's the matter?
Aggie: How could I be so stupid?
Thomas Highway: What the hell were you talking about?
Aggie: You bastard! You son of a bitch, you changed tactics on me, didn't you?
Thomas Highway: What the fuck were you talking about?
Aggie: Gave up the old frontal assault, you tried to out-goddamn-flank me. Well, I am onto you, Highway and I want you out of here, right now!
Thomas Highway: Oh, Jesus Christ, you're not acting very dignified for a mature woman.
Aggie: What, you old fucking Marine warhorse, I'll show you dignified! Go on! Get out of here! Now go on! Get the fuck out of here! You better get your tail out of here and I'm gonna get mad! Shit, get your tail out of here! Take that, you old fuck! I may never wanna see your craggy, old face again, do you hear me? Don't ever come back. Ever, ever, ever! How dare you...
[Highway leaves and stands outside; Aggie continues yelling and throwing things around inside]
Thomas Highway: She's as crazy as she's always been, for Christ's sake.
Aggie: You asshole!
Thomas Highway: Shit. Fuck. Damn it!
Aggie: I love you, Highway! Fuck you!
Colonel Meyers: Are you new to the Infantry, Major?
Major Powers: Yes, sir. Come over from Supply.
Colonel Meyers: Were you good at that?
Major Powers: Yes, sir!
Colonel Meyers: Well then stick to it, cause you're a walking clusterfuck as an infantry officer! This is a Marine amphibious unit, Major! My men are hard chargers! Lieutenant Ring and Gunnery Sergeant Highway took a bunch of young fire pissers, exercised some personal initiative, and KICKED ASS! [to Lieutenant Ring] Good work, Lieutenant!
1st Lieutenant Ring: Thank you, sir!
Colonel Meyers: Lieutenant, see that some of those students are escorted back to Cherry Point.
Colonel Meyers:[to Major Powers] Well, you're dismissed! [Powers and Webster leave in disgrace; Meyers notices Choozoo and Highway standing nearby] What the hell are you two staring at? Get outta my LZ.
Highway, Choozoo: [Grinning and heading out] Semper Fi, sir.