Exclusive Q&A with the Gunny: Listen Up!

This article is part of a month-long blitz of knife content and contests leading up to The Day of the Knife

Former marine drill instructor, actor (Full Metal Jacket, Mississippi Burning, Prefontaine) and SOG Knives ambassador R. Lee Ermey aka “The Gunny” isn’t your average TV personality.

The knife expert is as old school as it gets. To make this Q&A happen, we Emailed a set of questions to Gunny’s manager, who proceeded to fax them to Gunny, who then hand-wrote all of his responses.

Now listen up! This is what the Gunny had to say.


What are four pieces of survival gear, other than a knife, that you would never venture into the wilderness without?
Water canteen, parachute cord, fire starter and a handgun.

What was the first knife you owned as a kid?
Grandpa’s Buck folder given to me before the age of ten. I still have it!

What is one memorable or formative experience you’ve had involving a knife coming through in the clutch?
I was out in the desert, with a horse as my companion–and transportation. The horse started to come up limp when a rock got lodged under its horseshoe. Without the Creed to dig out the stone, I would’ve been in for a long, hot walk.

Gunny Q&A.jpg

Hand-written QA&A with Gunny

Bottom-line, what are the characteristics of a great knife in your mind?
You need a thick blade so that you can pry effectively. Overall durability can’t be overlooked. And it better be sharp!

What are one or two of your favorite SOG knives and why?
The Fatcat and the Creed. I’m a “BIG” knife guy. Bigger is indeed better. I’m a hunter. After getting a deer, I can’t afford to have to stop every five minutes to sharpen my blade. Good steel is important to maintaining a sharp edge.


SOG Knives Fatcat

Which SOG knife (or knives) would you recommend for the average outdoors person and why?
Well, that’s going to depend on what you’re looking to do. I’ll say this. I can do it all: fillet fish, skin deer, cut firewood, fight off a mountain lion or pound in tent pegs with my Fatcat–Creed combo. They work for me.


SOG Knives Creed

Enter to win Gunny’s favorite knives and $5,000 of top-end outdoors gear here

—Patrick Murphy

Posted by DeWayne Cummings - 07/24/2013 12:18 PM

How do I purchase a “Fatcat”?

Posted by Nick Zukovich - 07/24/2013 12:37 PM

I don’t have just one or two favorites I have several favorites, for the wilderness I am for the full tang fixed blades all the way in which case the SOGs I would recommend are the seal pup, seal team, force, aura, tiger shark, or jungle primitive. For the urban environment I would recommend the ageis, trident, X-ray , or Vulcan.

Posted by ray snediker - 07/24/2013 01:57 PM

theres no question sog no.1

Posted by Tony Houston - 07/24/2013 02:28 PM

I have the sog Trident and love it.If I could win I’d take any of them….

Posted by mark gilbert - 07/24/2013 05:31 PM

i had dinner with the gunny hes a real hero in my eyes what he does for our troops and the wounded warriors

Posted by Jerry Hensley - 07/24/2013 06:53 PM

Love my SOGZILLA goes with me everywhere everyday! Along with 2 G19’s.

Posted by Gerald Wayne Hallman - 07/25/2013 01:42 AM

While SOG is a great knife, I still keep my Ka-Bar with me at all times. However you can never have too many knives and can never not need one to do a job right

Posted by God Bless the USA and Gunny Ermey! - 07/25/2013 02:14 AM


Posted by Ron Baessler - 07/25/2013 10:32 PM

My college roommate was a Marine just back from Vietnam and he carried a Randall model l. It was literally as sharp as a razor. We went out to find bamboo to use as a vc grenade handle and he used the Randall to cut and trim the bamboo we found. I thought he had ruined the edge and when I expressed concern, he said, “No problem, this is a Randall Made Knife” and proceeded to shave hair off his arm. It made a believer out of me. My first Randall (model 1) cost $60 and a better knife you will not find. I have several Randalls in my collection and use them all…outstanding quality.

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