Ronald Lee Ermey was also a staff sergeant in the US Marine Corps and an honorary gunnery sergeant. He was a Marine drill instructor and an actor in the United States. He rose to prominence as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in the 1987 film Full Metal Jacket, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. Ermey was also a staff sergeant in the US Marine Corps and an honorary gunnery sergeant.
Mayor Tilman in Mississippi Burning, Bill Bowerman in Prefontaine, Sheriff Hoyt in the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Jimmy Lee Farnsworth in Fletch Lives, a police captain in Se7en, plastic army men leader Sarge in the first three Toy Story films (1995–2010), Lt. ‘Tice’ Ryan in Rocket Power, a prison warden in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, and John House in House were all roles.
Ermey presented two History Channel shows: Mail Call, in which he addressed viewers’ concerns regarding modern and historic military topics, and Lock n’ Load with R. Lee Ermey, which focused on the evolution of various types of weaponry. On the Outdoor Channel, he also presented GunnyTime.
Ronald Lee Ermey was cast in his debut movie while using his G.I. bill benefits to attend the University of Manila in the Philippines. In Apocalypse Now, he played a First Air Cavalry helicopter pilot while also serving as a technical advisor to filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. The Boys in Company C, directed by Sidney J. Furie, cast Ermey as a Marine drill instructor.
Ermey enrolled in the United States Marine Corps at the age of 17 in 1961 and completed recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in San Diego, California. He spent a few years in the aviation support area before joining India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, where he served from 1965 to 1967 as a drill instructor.