American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"The Sands of Iwo Jima" (1949)


Sgt. John M. Stryker Addresses His New Rifle Squad

Audio mp3 delivered by John Wayne


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?

[no questions]

That's all.

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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.