April 16th, 2018

‘The Gunny’ Has Left the Range — Rest in Peace R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket

Decorated U.S.M.C. veteran, competitive shooter, and actor R. Lee Ermey has passed away at age 74, due to complications from pneumonia. Known to friends and movie fans as “The Gunny”, Ermey will be missed. He was the real deal who exemplified the Marines’ motto: “Semper Fi” (Always Faithful). Earning fame as the Drill Instructor in the Hollywood movie “Full Metal Jacket”, Ermey appeared in over 70 films along with popular television series*. Even after becoming a famous actor, Ermey remained a serious marksman, shooting at Camp Perry and other venues with friends such as fellow Devil Dog Dennis Demille and Hornady’s Dave Emary.

Ermey won a Golden Globe nomination for his signature performance in “Full Metal Jacket”. That launched a new career as a Hollywood actor. Ermey eventually appeared in dozens of popular movies, including “Se7en,” “Prefontaine,” and “Toy Soldiers.” He also hosted successful cable television shows — the “Mail Call” and “Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey” series on the History Channel, followed by “Gunny Time” on the Outdoor Channel.

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket
R. Lee Ermey was a competitive shooter. This photo shows Dave Emary (left) and Ermey (right) shooting the Vintage Sniper Team Match at Camp Perry. (Photo: NRA Blog)

Philip Schreier, NRA Senior Museum Curator, said Ermey’s “support for the U.S. military was legendary, in particular, the Young Marines program, as well as his advocacy for veterans and their treatment at VA Hospitals.” (Read More). Ermey’s friend Bill Rogin said that “He will be greatly missed by all of us. Please support your men and women in uniform. That’s what he wanted most of all.” Rogin noted that while Gunny’s characters were often hard and principled, the real Ermey was a family man and a kind and gentle soul who supported the men and women who serve. (Source: Fox News Report).

A member of the NRA Board of Directors and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, Ermey spoke to Fox News in 2016 about being “blackballed” from Hollywood over his political views. “I’ve had a very fruitful career. I’ve done over 70 feature films,” he said. “I’ve done over 200 episodes of [History and Outdoor Channel Television Series shows]”.

Born in Kansas, Ermey joined the USMC right out of high school, enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1961 at age 17. He served for 11 years, including 14 months in Vietnam, before being discharged in 1972. Ermey began his Hollywood career in 1979 as a technical adviser to Francis Ford Coppola, working on the Vietnam War film, “Apocalypse Now”.

Here are some comments from our Forum members, many of whom knew Ermey personally or met him at shooting matches:

“It is a sad day to lose someone who did so much for children behind the scenes. He was a great guy and a patriot. Semper Fi Gunny — may you rest with our lord Jesus Christ.” — J. Bearman

“I shot a mid-range match at Camp Pendleton where he and Donald Jr. were shooting on a team with Dennis Demille. They were pretty sharp! Nice guys every one. Sorry to see R. Lee go so young.” – Watercam

“29 Palms CA, I had the the pleasure to meet and shoot with Gunny Ermey. First class, all the way… Semper Fi and Godspeed Gunny.” — BPD 459

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket

U.S. Marine Corps Service History
In 1961, at age 17, Ermey enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and went through recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. For his first few years, he served in the aviation support field before becoming a drill instructor in India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, where he was assigned from 1965 to 1967.

Ermey then served in Marine Wing Support Group 17 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan. In 1968, he was ordered to Vietnam with MWSG-17, and spent 14 months in country. The remainder of his service was on Okinawa where he was advanced to staff sergeant (E-6). He was medically discharged in 1972 because of several injuries incurred during his service. On May 17, 2002, he received an honorary promotion to gunnery sergeant (E-7) by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones.

Commendations: Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Meritorious Unit Commendation

* Many biography statements say Ermey has “over 60″ film credits. Ermey himself told Fox News he appeared in “over 70 feature films”, so we use that number.

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July 2nd, 2014

’03 Springfield vs. Enfield vs. Garand Shoot-out with the “Gunny”

Here’s a fun and entertaining video feature from our Daily Bulletin archives. In this USA vs. UK smackdown, “Gunny” Ermey pits his m1903 Springfield and M1 Garand against a British Lee-Enfield. Watch the video to see who comes out on top.

In this entertaining video, retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant and popular TV host R. Lee Ermey, challenges Gary Archer, a British ex-pat, to a shoot-off with classic military rifles. In Round One, Ermey employs a Springfield m1903 while his opponent shoots the British 1907 Lee-Enfield No. 1, MK III. The quick-cycling bolt of the .303-caliber Enfield, and its larger internal magazine, give the Brit an advantage and Archer beats Ermey decisively.

But the Gunny doesn’t give up. For Round Two, Ermey replaces his 1903 with an M1 Garand. The Gunny then proceeds to show why the .30-06 Garand was a superior combat weapon. Gary Archer protests that it’s “hardly sporting” to pit a bolt-gun against a semi-auto like the Garand, but Ermey quashes that complaint saying: “Hey, Churchill, it’s my show. Besides… this is war, I love my M1 Garand… and all’s fair in love and war.”

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August 4th, 2012

Video Reminds Gun Owners to Register and Vote

R. Lee Ermey Voter RegistrationHere’s a video featuring ‘Gunny’ R. Lee Ermey. This clip is entertaining to be sure, but it carries an important message — gun owners need to register to vote, and they must go to the polls on election day. Ermey explains: “This is a critical time for our nation, and too many people are sitting back to let others do the hard work. So it’s time for all of us to put some gas in it and persuade all eligible gun owners to register. That’s why I volunteered my time to film the ad shown here.” So if you haven’t registered to vote yet, do so as soon as you can. As Gunny Ermey says: “Now it’s your turn and I want to see results! NO EXCUSES. I expect 110% [effort] right now from everyone who values our freedoms!”

Video find by EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.
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December 16th, 2010

Jessie and the Gunny Go Full-Auto Glocking

‘Gunny’ R. Lee Ermey, action shooter Jessie Abbate, and a Glock 18 full-auto pistol — hey, what’s not to like? Jessie Abbate is one of the world’s top female pistol and multi-gun competitors, and Gunny Ermey is a hugely popular TV personality (and an active competitive shooter to boot). You’ll enjoy this short video clip from Gunny’s Lock N’ Load show on the History Channel.

Former USMC Drill Instructor Ermey is in rare form, and Jessie — well she is fast and disciplined as usual. Here you have a chance to see her showing off her Glock handgun skills from a couple years ago. In 2010 Jessie switched over to Team Smith & Wesson… so no more g18s for Jessie.

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