He came to Hollywood not in search of fame and fortune, but to change the public’s perception of the common grunt—the ordinary foot soldier who does all the dirty, dangerous work. Having served with infantrymen during the best years of his life, actor and businessman Dale Dye had seen up close and personal the courage of U.S. servicemen and the risks that they went through to serve their country.
Dale Adam Dye was born on 8 October 1944 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. When he graduated as a cadet officer from the Missouri Military Academy, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January 1964 because he cannot afford to go to college. He was deployed as a Marine Correspondent in Vietnam where he saw action in 31 major combat operations from 1965 to 1970. His war exploits earned him a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for wounds received in action.
Dale Dye served for 13 years as a Marine enlisted man and rose to master sergeant. After going through Officer Candidate School he was appointed as Warrant Officer in 1976. Known among Marine Combat Correspondents as “Daddy D.A.” for being among the oldest correspondent, Dale’s character was included in Gustav Hasford’s Vietnam War novels “Short Timers” and “The Phantom Blooper,” and in the movie “Full Metal Jacket” where his character was played by Keith Hodiak. Like any serviceman, his military assignments took him to different places in the world, and along the way, he was able to earn a degree in English from the University of Maryland.
In 1982, Dale Dye was commissioned as Captain and sent to join the multinational peacekeeping force in Beirut where he served until 1983. After retiring in 1984, Dale join the Soldier of Fortune Magazine and spent time in Central America reporting about the conflicts in Nicaragua and El Salvador while training troops on guerilla warfare. He left the magazine the following year and went to Hollywood and founded Warriors, Inc., which provides technical advisory services to actors and production personnel in the production of movies of the war genre.
The work of Dale Dye in Hollywood ranged from technical adviser to acting roles in war movies, many of which earned acclaim such as “Platoon,” “Casualties of War,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Band of Brothers” and has hosted History Channel’s documentary series, “The Conquerors.”
Because of his military background, the people he admires most are military leaders like George Patton, Omar Bradley and Alexander Vandegrift. But he admits that the people who had the most influence in his life are the officers and men he served with in Vietnam.