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.

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