Grew Up… in the South, where he learned the art of discipline. Barnes is, and always has been, a tough guy.
Living… in the middle of a bloody war. Vietnam is the worst place on earth in 1967, and Barnes is right in the middle of it. Barnes will do anything to defeat the enemy, even it means sacrificing innocent lives.
Profession… co-commander of Bravo Company, 25th Infantry Division. Barnes and his fellow leader, Sgt. Elias, don’t see eye-to-eye on how the platoon should be run. The strict Barnes believes in following orders, regardless of any moral objections. As he puts it, “Now, I got no fight with any man who does what he’s told. But when he don’t, the machine breaks down. And when the machine breaks down, we break down!”
Interests… combat. Barnes looks and acts like a born solider. He’s come to terms with the hellish world of Vietnam. In his words, “There’s the way it ought to be, and there’s the way it is.” The way Barnes sees it, he deals with reality, period, not some imaginary utopia.
Challenge… taking control of the platoon before the troops’ divided loyalties break down the chain of command. Barnes sees a serious problem in the high-minded Sgt. Elias and those soldiers, like Chris Taylor, who seem to agree with him. In Barnes’ mind, there’s little room for independent thinking and integrity in the middle of a war. Just get the job done.
Personality… tough, sarcastic, and seemingly incapable of empathy. Sgt. Barnes is a natural born killer. Defeating the enemy is his job, and he’s willing to kill anyone who gets in his way. As he says in his fatalistic tone, “Everybody’s gotta die sometime.” If you get in Barnes’ way, your “sometime” might be coming up pretty quick.
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