I was asked to come up with a list of my favorite five sci fi soldiers. It’s a very hard thing to do.
So many of my favorites are similar in so many ways. They’re confident and broken. They’re fearless and terrified. They can McGyver anything they come across, but sometimes trip over their own feet. They can be heels yet inspire. These favorite fictional soldiers very often mirror the traits I see in real soldiers I admire.
Chesty Puller went from a Marine private to a three star general and he had all of these traits.
Outspoken and soldier-loving David Hackworth has all of these traits.
My good friend Command Sergeant Major Scott Marshall has all of these traits.
But what fictional soldiers (and when I refer to soldiers I’m inclusive of all military men and women)? Since it wasn’t stipulated that I can take from movies, I’m going to us both movies and books.
For a fictional soldier leader, I’d enlist Paul Maud-Dib Atreides from Frank Herbert’s Dune. Not only can he ride the worm and channel the spice, but he also knows what not to do. He’s hesitant when given the ability to rule and conquer everything. And above all, he can lead.
For the tank, I’d enlist Felix, from Steakley’s Armor. The armor is the result of 10,000 years of engineering and is awesome to behold. Very little can stand in his way, even if the character is a little broken inside.
For the heart and soul of the unit, I’d take E.C. Gordon from Heinlein’s Glory Road. Every cohesive unit needs a consciences center. Easy is that man.
My two hunter killers are from Aliens, the second in the franchise. They are Private Vasquez and Private Hudson. Hudson is as much a killer as Vasquez, but he needs her to keep him in line. Alternately, she needs someone to boss around even though she’s merely a private. Together they form a two person team that is exponentially greater than the sum of their individual parts. Just point them in a direction and order them to kill everything they see.
Now I’d love to send them out on a mission…