Supporter Of Law Enforcement, The Gunny, Dead at 74
R. Lee Ermey, a former drill insructor who became a Marine Corps icon for his portrayal of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman aka “The Gunny” in the 1972 film “Full Metal Jacket, is dead, his manager said. He was 74.
“It is with deep sadness that I regret to inform you all that R. Lee Ermey (“The Gunny”) passed away this morning from complications of pneumonia,” his manager, Bill Rogin, posted on Facebook. “He will be greatly missed by all of us. It is a terrible loss that nobody was prepared for. He has meant so much to so many people. And, it is extremely difficult to truly quantify all of the great things this man has selflessly done for, and on behalf of, our many men and women in uniform.”
Rogin quoted one of the famous lines from “Full Metal Jacket”: “This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine” to describe Ermey. “There are many Gunny’s, but this one was OURS,” Rogin said. “And, we will honor his memory with hope and kindness. Please support your men and women in uniform. That’s what he wanted most of all.”
Ermey served as in the Marine Corps from 1961-1972, according to the Marine Times. According to the Marine Times, he left the Marine Corps as a staff sergeant, and later received an honorary promotion to gunnery sergeant from then-Commandant Gen. James Jones in 2002. He was stationed in Okinawa, Japan for one year until 1968, when he spent 14 months in Vietnam, according to Variety
Ermey had over 60 film and television credits, and was a frequent guest at law enforcement conferences across the country.