My name is Stryker, Sergeant John M. Stryker. You're gonna be my squad - a rifle squad. Three of us have seen action: Corporal Dunn, Charlie Bass, and myself. You're gonna learn from us. In boot camp, you learned out of a book. Out here, you gotta remember the book and learn a thousand things that have never been printed, probably never will be. You gotta learn right and you gotta learn fast. And any man that doesn't want to cooperate, I'll make him wish he hadn't been born. Before I'm through with you, you're gonna move like one man and think like one man. If you don't, you'll be dead. Now, you guys have had a nice, easy day. I hope you enjoyed it because it's the last one you're gonna get for a long time. You joined the Marines because you wanted to fight. Well, you're gonna get your chance, and I'm here to see that you know how. If I can't teach you one way, I'll teach ya another. But I'm gonna get the job done. Any questions? That's all.
Sgt. Stryker: (running a grenade drill to raw recruits) Pull pin! Prepare to throw! Throw!
(one recruit bangs his hand off the foxhole and the grenade slips out and rolls toward unsuspecting Marines waiting their turn)
Sgt. Stryker: (suddenly spotting the errant grenade) Grenade! Hit the deck!
[the platoon runs, except for Conway, who is reading a love letter and has to be tackled to safety by Stryker when the grenade goes off]
Sgt. Stryker: You idiot. When are you gonna wake up? You wanna see that dame again, keep your mind on your work!
(A corpsman spots a wound on Stryker and treats it)
PFC Al Thomas: (to Conway, now seeing why Stryker so dislikes Conway) You may not know this, boy, but you just got your life saved.
PFC Charlie Bass: Don't do it. Just this once, don't do it.
Sgt. Stryker: Don't do what?
PFC Charlie Bass: Don't get blind, staggerin' stinkin' falling down drunk.
Sgt. Stryker: Charlie, nobody sets out to get blind, staggerin' stinkin' falling down drunk.
PFC Charlie Bass: Yeah, some people do.
PFC Al Thomas: That's war.
PFC Charlie Bass: What's war?
PFC Al Thomas: Trading real estate for men.
'[During the night the squad is guarding a trenchline amid a threat of Japanese counterattack, and hears a faint voice calling "Corpsman"]
PFC Benny Regazzi: [whispering] Stryker!
Sgt. Stryker: [whispering] Get down! Stay down! You have your orders, don't move!
PFC Peter Conway: [whispering] There's somebody wounded out there.
Sgt. Stryker: Quiet.
PFC Peter Conway: Let's go get him!
Sgt. Stryker: (as Conway starts out of the trench Stryker shoves him back down) Stay down, it might be a Jap trick, they pulled it off plenty of times at Guadalcanal.
PFC Peter Conway: That doesn't sound like a Jap to me!
Sgt. Stryker: I don't care what it sounds like to you! You stick your head up, you'll tip our position.
[the voice resumes, and now they recognize it as Bass]
PFC Charlie Bass: Stryker!
PFC Peter Conway: That's Bass. How many Japs know your name, Stryker? That's Bass, you know his voice!
Sgt. Stryker: Shut up.
PFC Peter Conway: Aren't you human at all? Don't you know a friend of yours might be dying?
Sgt. Stryker: (still anxious to avoid a confrontation) Knock it off!
PFC Peter Conway: (uncontrollably seething) Just like my father taught you, be a good Marine, be tough! Well you can sit here and be tough if you want to, but I'm going on to get that guy and the only way you can stop me is to kill me!
(but as Conway starts out of the trench Stryker jams his rifle into his face and chambers a round)
Sgt Stryker: That's JUST what I'll do!
(After a few tense moments Conway returns to the trench as Bass continues to plead for Stryker, and Stryker can be seen sweating ever more, fearing he indeed is letting a friend die)
PFC Al Thomas: What's this all about?
Sgt. Stryker: Just that I hate your guts!
(Stryker punches Thomas once, then again, and a full-scale fight erupts before Stryker overpowers him)
Sgt. Stryker: You doped off and got one of my men killed and one of them bayonetted! You haven't had enough, get on your feet!
PCF Al Thomas: (now realizing why Stryker is so angry, he tries to explain) Stryker....