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Quotes for
Capt. Jack Ross (Character)
from A Few Good Men (1992)

The content of this page was created by users. It has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
A Few Good Men (1992)
Capt. Ross: [in a bar, after Danny just walked up to Jack's table] Hey, Danny! Great job today. The redirect on Barnes.
Kaffee: I have Markinson.
Capt. Ross: Where is he?
Kaffee: Motel room in North East with six federal marshalls outside his door. Take a sip of your drink.
Kaffee: The transfer order that Markinson signed is a phony. Jessup's statement that the 6am flight was the first available is a lie. We're checking the tower chief's log.
[to waitress]
Kaffee: I'd like a beer, please.
[to Ross]
Kaffee: In the mean time I thought we'd put the Apostle John Kendrick on the stand and see if we can't have a little fun.
Capt. Ross: Alright. I have an obligation to tell you that if you accuse Kendrick or Jessup of any crime without proper evidence then you're going to be subject to a court martial for professional misconduct and that is something that's going to be stapled to every job application that you ever fill out. Markinson's not going to hold up, Danny, he's a crazy man! Now, I'm not telling you this to intimidate you I'm being your lawyer here.
Kaffee: Oh, thanks, Jack. And I want to tell you that I think the whole fucking bunch of you are certifiably insane! This code of honor of yours makes me want to beat the shit out of something!
Capt. Ross: Don't you dare lump me in with Jessup and Kendrick just because we wear the same uniform. I'm your friend and I'm telling you, I don't think your clients belong in jail but I don't get to make that decision! I represent the government of the United States without passion or prejudice and my client has a case! There you go. Now I want you to acknowledge that the Judge Advocate has made you aware of the possible consequences of accusing a Marine officer of a felony without proper evidence.
Kaffee: I've been so advised.
Capt. Ross: You got bullied into that courtroom, Danny, by everyone. By Dawson. By Galloway. Shit, I practically dared you. You got bullied into that courtroom by the memory of a dead lawyer.
Kaffee: [shouting as Jack leaves] You're a lousy fucking softball player, Jack!
Capt. Ross: Your boys are going down, Danny. I can't stop it anymore.

Kaffee: [during the court proceeding] Lieutenant Kendrick, in your opinion was Private Santiago a good Marine?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] I would say he was about average.
Kaffee: Lieutenant, you signed three Proficiency and Conduct reports on Santiago and in all three reports you indicate a rating of below average.
Lt. Kendrick: [looking through the reports he signed] Yes, Private Santiago was below average. I did not see the need to trample on a man's grave.
Kaffee: Well, we appreciate that but you are under oath now and I think as unpleasant as it may be we'd all just as soon hear the truth.
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] I am aware of my oath.
Kaffee: Lieutenant, these are the last three Pro-Con reports you signed for Lance Corporal Dawson. Dawson received two marks of exceptional, but on this most recent report dated June 9th of this year he received a rating of below average. It's this last report I'd like to discuss for a moment.
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] That would be fine.
Kaffee: Lance Corporal Dawson's ranking after the school of infantry was perfect. Records indicate that more than half that class has since been promoted to full Corporal while Dawson has remained a Lance Corporal. Was Dawson's promotion held up because of this last report?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] I'm sure it was.
Kaffee: Do you recall why Dawson was given such a poor grade on this last report?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] I'm sure I don't. I have many men in my charge, Lieutenant. I write many reports.
Kaffee: Lieutenant, do you recall an incident involving a PFC Curtis Bell who had been found stealing liquor from the Officer's Club?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] Yes, I do.
Kaffee: Did you report Private Bell to the proper authorities?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] I have two books at my bedside, Lieutenant, the Marine Corps Code of Conduct and the King James Bible. The only proper authorities I am aware of are my commanding officer Colonel Nathan R. Jessup and the Lord our God.
Kaffee: At your request, Lieutenant, I can have the record reflect your lack of acknowledgment of this court as a proper authority.
Capt. Ross: [from the prosecution table] Objection. Argumentative.
Judge Randolph: [from the judge's bench] Sustained. Watch yourself, Counselor.
Kaffee: Did you report Private Bell to your superiors?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] I remember thinking very highly of Private Bell, of not wanted to see his record tarnished by a formal charge.
Kaffee: You preferred that it be handled within the unit.
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] Yes, I most certainly did.
Kaffee: Lieutenant, do you know what a Code Red is?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] Yes, I do.

Col. Jessep: [Judge dismisses the jury after Jessep's revelation on the stand about the Code Red] What is this? What's going on? I did my job, I'd do it again!
[stands up defiantly]
Col. Jessep: I'm gonna get on a plane and go on back to my base.
Judge Randolph: You're not going anywhere, Colonel. MP's... guard the Colonel!
[MPs take post]
Judge Randolph: Captain Ross?
Col. Jessep: What the hell is this?
Capt. Ross: Colonel Jessep, you have the right to remain silent. Any statement you make...
Col. Jessep: I'm being charged with a crime? Is that what this is? I'm being charged with a crime? This is funny. That's what this is. This is...
[turning to Kaffee and lunging at him]
Col. Jessep: ... I'm gonna rip the eyes out of your head and piss into your dead skull! You fucked with the wrong Marine!
Capt. Ross: Colonel Jessep! Do you understand these rights as I have just read them to you?
Col. Jessep: [contemptuously] You fuckin' people... you have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today, Kaffee. That's all you did. You put people's lives in danger. Sweet dreams, son.
Kaffee: Don't call me son. I'm a lawyer, and an officer in the United States Navy, and you're under arrest you son of a bitch.
[glares at Jessep]
Kaffee: The witness is excused.

Kaffee: Lt. Kendrick, was Lance Corporal Dawson given a below average rating on this last report because you learned he had been sneaking food to Private Bell?
Capt. Ross: [from the prosecution table] Object!
Judge Randolph: [from the judge's bench] Not so fast. Lieutenant?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] Lance Corporal Dawson was given a below average rating because he had committed a crime.
Kaffee: A crime? What crime did he commit? Lieutenant Kendrick, Dawson brought a hungry guy some food. What crime did he commit?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] He disobeyed an order.
Kaffee: And because he did. Because he exercised his own set of values, because he made a decision about the welfare of a Marine that was in conflict with an order of yours, he was punished. Is that right?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] Lance Corporal Dawson disobeyed an order!
Kaffee: Yeah, but it wasn't a real order, was it? After all, it's peace time. He wasn't being asked to secure a hill or advance on a beachhead. I mean, surely a Marine of Dawson's intelligence can be trusted to determine on his own which are the really important orders and which orders might, say, be morally questionable? Lieutenant Kendrick, can he? Can Dawson determine on his own which orders he's going to follow?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] No, he cannot.
Kaffee: A lesson he learned after the Curtis Bell incident, am I right?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] I would think so.
Kaffee: You know so, don't you, Lieutenant?
Capt. Ross: [from the prosecution table] Object.
Judge Randolph: [from the judge's bench] Sustained.
Kaffee: Lieutenant Kendrick, one final question. If you had ordered Dawson to give Santiago a code red...
Lt. Kendrick: [Interrupting, exasperated, from the witness stand] I specifically ordered those men not to touch Santiago!
Kaffee: Is it reasonable to think he would've disobeyed you again?
Capt. Ross: [from the prosecution table] Lieutenant, don't answer that!
Kaffee: You don't have to, I'm through.
Capt. Ross: Lieutenant Kendrick, did you order Lance Corporal Dawson and Private Downey to give Willie Santiago a code red?
[Kendrick initially refuses to answer, sensing he's been caught lying]
Capt. Ross: Lieutenant Kendrick, did you...
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] No, I did not.
Capt. Ross: Thank you.

Capt. Ross: Corporal Barnes, I hold here the Marine Outline for Recruit Training. You're familiar with this book?
Cpl. Barnes: [from the witness stand] Yes, sir.
Capt. Ross: [walking to Barnes with the book in his hand] Have you read it?
Cpl. Barnes: [from the witness stand] Yes, sir.
Capt. Ross: [hands him thr book] Good. Would you turn to the chapter that deals with code reds, please?
Cpl. Barnes: [confused] Sir?
Capt. Ross: Just flip to the page of the book that discusses code reds.
Cpl. Barnes: [from the witness stand] Well, well, you see, sir code red is a term that we use, I mean, just down at Gitmo, I don't know if it's actually...
Capt. Ross: Ah, we're in luck then. Standard Operating Procedures, Rifle Security Company, Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Now I assume we'll find the term code red and its definition in that book. Am I correct?
Cpl. Barnes: [from the witness stand] No sir.
Capt. Ross: No? Corporal Barnes, I'm a Marine. Is there no book. No manual or pamphlet, no set of orders or regulations that lets me know that, as a Marine, one of my duties is to perform code reds?
Cpl. Barnes: [from the witness stand] No sir. No book, sir.
Capt. Ross: No further questions.
[as Ross walks back to his table Kaffee takes the book out of his hand]
Kaffee: Corporal, would you turn to the page in this book that says where the mess hall is, please.
Cpl. Barnes: [from the witness stand] Well, Lt. Kaffee, that's not in the book, sir.
Kaffee: You mean to say in all your time at Gitmo you've never had a meal?
Cpl. Barnes: [from the witness stand] No, sir. Three squares a day, sir.
Kaffee: I don't understand. How did you know where the mess hall was if it's not in this book?
Cpl. Barnes: [from the witness stand] Well, I guess I just followed the crowd at chow time, sir.
Kaffee: No more questions.

Kaffee: [getting Jack's attention while his playing basketball] Jack? Jack! They were given an order.
Capt. Ross: [to his friends] I'll be right back. I'll be right back.
Galloway: How long have you known about the order?
Capt. Ross: [walking away from the basketball court] I didn't. Who's this?
Kaffee: She's Joe Galloway. She's Downey's attorney. She's very pleased to meet you.
Capt. Ross: [talking privately] What exactly are you accusing me of, Commander?
Galloway: How long have you known about the order?
Kaffee: Jack didn't know about the order because if Jack did and he didn't tell us Jack knows he'd be violating about 14 articles of the Code of Ethics. As it is, Jack's got enough to worry about because, God forbid, our clients should decide to plead not guilty and testify for the record that they were given an order.
Capt. Ross: Kendrick specifically told those men not to touch Santiago.
Kaffee: That's right and then he went into Dawson and Downey's room and specifically ordered them to give Santiago a code red.
Capt. Ross: That's not what Kendrick says.
Kaffee: Kendrick's lying.
Capt. Ross: You have proof?
Kaffee: I have the defendants.
Capt. Ross: And I have 23 Marines who aren't accused of murder and a Lieutenant with 4 letters of commendation.
Kaffee: Why did Markinson go UA?
Capt. Ross: You'll never know.
Kaffee: You think I can't subpoena Markinson?
Capt. Ross: You can try but you won't find him. You know what Markinson did for the first 17 of his 26 years in the Corps? Counter intelligence. Markinson's gone, there is no Markinson. Look, Danny, Jessup's star is on the rise. Division will give me a lot of room on this one to spare Jessup and the Corps any embarrassment.
Kaffee: How much room?
Capt. Ross: I'll knock it all down to involuntary manslaughter, two years they'll be home in six months.
Galloway: No deal, we're going to court.
Capt. Ross: No, you're not.
Galloway: Why not?
Capt. Ross: Because you'll lose and Danny knows it. And Danny also knows that if it does go to court then that means I'm going to have to go all the way. His clients are going to get charged with the whole truckload. Murder. Conspiracy. Conduct Unbecoming. And even though he's got me by the balls out here Danny knows that in a court room he loses this case. You see, Danny's an awfully talented lawyer and he's not about to let his clients go to jail for life when he knows that they could be home in six months. That's the end of this negotiation. I'll see you tomorrow morning at the arraignment.

Kaffee: [asking the question slowly as Jo reminded him to do] Private, I want you to tell us one last time. Why did you go to Private Santiago's room on the night of September 6th?
Downey: [from the witness stand] A Code Red was ordered by my platoon commander... Lieutenant Jonathan James Kendrick.
Kaffee: Thank you. Your witness.
Capt. Ross: Private, the week of 2 September... the switch log has you down at Post 39 until 1600. Is that correct?
Downey: [from the witness stand] I'm sure it is, sir. They keep that log pretty good.
Capt. Ross: How far is it from Post 39 to the Windward Barracks?
Downey: [from the witness stand] Well, it's a ways, sir. It's a hike.
Capt. Ross: About how far by jeep?
Downey: [from the witness stand] About 10, 15 minutes, sir.
Capt. Ross: You ever have to walk it?
Downey: [from the witness stand] Yes, sir. That day, sir. Friday. The pick up private - That's like what we call the guy who drops us off at our post and picks us up... also 'cause he can get girls in New York City. The pickup private got a flat, sir, right at 39. He pulled up and, bam, blowout with no spare. So we had to double-time it back to the barracks.
Capt. Ross: And if it's about 10 or 15 minutes by Jeep, I'm guessing... it must be a good hour by foot, am I right?
Downey: [from the witness stand] Pickup and me did it in 45 flat, sir.
Capt. Ross: Not bad. Now, you've said that your assault on Private Santiago... was the result of an order that Lieutenant Kendrick gave you... in your barracks room at 1620, am I right?
Downey: [from the witness stand] Yes, sir.
Capt. Ross: But you just said that you didn't make it back to the Windward barracks until 1645.
Downey: [confused] Sir?
Capt. Ross: Well, if you didn't make it back to the barracks room until 1645, how could you be in your room at 1620?
Downey: [nervously] Well, you see, sir, there was a blow out.
Capt. Ross: Private, did you ever actually hear Lieutenant Kendrick order a Code Red?
Downey: [nervously] Well, Hal said that...
Capt. Ross: Private, did you ever actually hear... Lieutenant Kendrick order a Code Red?
Downey: [from the witness stand] No, sir.
Galloway: [stands up from the defense table] Please the court, I'd like to request a recess in order to confer with my client.

Capt. Ross: Why did you go into Santiago's room?
Galloway: [from the defense table] The witness has rights!
Capt. Ross: The witness has been read his rights, Commander.
Judge Randolph: The question will be repeated.
Galloway: [from the defense table] Your Honor!
Capt. Ross: [raising his voice] Why did you go into Santiago's room?
Downey: [from the witness stand] Hal?
Capt. Ross: Did Lance Corporal Dawson tell you to give Santiago a Code Red?
Downey: [from the witness stand] Hal?
Capt. Ross: [continuing to raise his voice] Don't look at him!
Dawson: [from the witness stand] Hal?
Dawson: Private, answer the captain's question!
Downey: [from the witness stand] Yes, Captain, I was given an order by my squad leader... Lance Corporal Harold W. Dawson, United States Marine Corps... and I followed it.

Capt. Ross: [upon entering Danny's office] Dan Kaffee.
Kaffee: Smilin' Jack Ross.
Capt. Ross: Welcome to the big time.
Kaffee: You think so?
Capt. Ross: Let's hope for Dawson and Downey's sake that you practice law better than you play softball.
Kaffee: Unfortunately for Dawson and Downey I don't do anything better than I play softball. I'm out of here Janelle!
Janelle: Bye!
Kaffee: See you when I get back from Cuba.
Janelle: [playfully, sarcastically] Say hi to Castro for me.
Kaffee: [walking down the hallway] Will do. What are we looking at?
Capt. Ross: [walking down the hallway] They plead guilty, we drop the conspiracy and the conduct unbecoming. Twenty years they're home in half that time.
Kaffee: [walking down the hallway] I want twelve.
Capt. Ross: [walking down the hallway] Can't do it.
Kaffee: [stops to pick up a donut] They called the ambulance, Jack.
Capt. Ross: [walking down the hallway] Look, I don't care if they called the Avon lady. They killed a Marine.
Kaffee: [walking down the hallway] Rag was tested for poison. The autopsy, the lab reports, all say the same thing, maybe, maybe not.
Capt. Ross: [walking down the hallway] The Chief of Internal Medicine for the Guantanamo Bay Naval Hospital says he's sure.
Kaffee: [stops in the middle of the hallway] What do you know about code reds?
Capt. Ross: [stops in the middle of the hallway] Oh, man. We off the record?
Kaffee: You tell me.
Capt. Ross: Look, I'm going to give you the 12 years. Before you get yourself into any trouble tomorrow I think you should know that the platoon commander, Lieutenant Jonathan Kendrick held a meeting with the men and specifically told them not to touch Santiago.
Kaffee: We still playing hoops tomorrow night?
Capt. Ross: We got a deal?
Kaffee: [dismissely to Ross as he leaves the building] I'll talk to you when I get back.

Kaffee: [just seconds before the trial starts] Last chance. I'll flip you for it.
Bailiff: All rise.
Capt. Ross: Too late.

Capt. Ross: Your honor, it's become obvious that Lt. Kaffee's intention this afternoon are to smear a high ranking Marine officer in the desperate hope that the mere appearance of impropriety will win him points with the court members. Now, it is my recommendation, sir, that Lt. Kaffee be reprimanded for his conduct and that this witness be excused with the court's deepest apologies.
Judge Randolph: Overruled.
Capt. Ross: Your honor...
Judge Randolph: Your objection is noted.

[last lines]
Capt. Ross: I'll see you around campus. I gotta go arrest Kendrick.
Kaffee: Tell him I say hi.
Capt. Ross: Will do.

Kaffee: Colonel, Lt. Kendrick ordered the Code Red because *that's* what you told Lt. Kendrick to do!
Capt. Ross: *Object!*
Judge Randolph: Sustained!
Kaffee: And when it went bad, you cut these guys *loose!*
Capt. Ross: Your honor!
Kaffee: You doctored the log book!...
Capt. Ross: *Damn it, Kaffee!*

Kaffee: Lieutenant, do you know what a code red is?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] Yes, I do.
Kaffee: Have you ever ordered a code red?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] No, I have not.
Kaffee: Lieutenant, did you order Dawson and two other men to make sure that Private Bell receive no food or drink except water for a period of seven days?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] That is a distortion of the truth, Lieutenant, Private Bell was placed on barracks restriction, he was given water and vitamin supplements and I can assure you that at no time was his health in danger.
Kaffee: [sarcastically] I'm sure it was lovely for Private Bell. But you did order the barracks restriction, didn't you? You did order the denial of food.
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] Yes, I did.
Kaffee: Wouldn't this form of discipline be considered a code red?
Lt. Kendrick: [from the witness stand] No.
Kaffee: [sarcastically] If I called the other 478 Marines from Guantanamo Bay to testify would they consider it a code red?
Capt. Ross: [from the prosecution table] If it please the court, the witness can't possibly testify as to what 478 other men would say. Now we object to this entire line of questioning as argumentative and irrelevant badgering of the witness.
Judge Randolph: [from the judge's bench] The government's objection is sustained, Lieutenant Kaffee, and I would remind you that you are now questioning a Marine officer with an impeccable service record.
Capt. Ross: Thank you, Your Honor.

Capt. Ross: [confirming Danny's bluff to Jessup] Airmen Cecil O'Malley and Anthony Rodriguez, what exactly were these guys going to testify to?
Kaffee: Unless I'm mistaken, they were both going to testify under oath that they had absolutely no recollection of anything.
Capt. Ross: [sarcastically] Strong witnesses.
Kaffee: [jokingly] And handsome too, didn't you think?

[In the film edited for TV on NBC dubbed in the Modified Version. Judge Randolph dismisses the jury after Jessep's revelation on the stand about the Code Red]
Col. Jessep: What the hell is this? Colonel, what's going on? I did my job. I'd do it again. I'm gonna get on a plane and go on back to my base.
Judge Randolph: You're not going anywhere, Colonel. MP's, guard the Colonel.
M.P.: Yes, sir.
[MP's take to the post. And Col. Jessep find out what's going on]
Judge Randolph: Captain Ross.
Col. Jessep: What the hell is these?
Capt. Ross: Colonel Jessep, you have the right to remain silent; Any statement you make may be used against you in a trial by court-martial or in other judicial or administrative proceedings. You have the right to consult with a lawyer prior any further questions. This lawyer may be a civilian lawyer retained by you at your own expense...
Col. Jessep: I'm being charged with a crime? Is that what this is? I'm being charged with a crime? This is funny. That's what this is...
[Turning to Kaffee and lunging at him. But the MP's restrain Colonel Jessep]
Col. Jessep: ... I'm gonna rip the eyes out of your head and puke into your dead skull, you messed with the wrong marine!
Capt. Ross: Colonel Jessep, do you understand these rights as I have just read them to you?
[Contemptuously]
Capt. Ross: You friggin' people. You have no idea how to defend the nation. All you did was weaken a country today, Kaffee. That's all you did. You put people's lives in danger. Sweet dreams, son,
Kaffee: Don't call me son. I'm a lawyer, and an officer in the United States Navy, and you're under arrest, you son of a bitch.
[Glares at Jessep]
Kaffee: The witness is excused.
[Colonel Jessep calms down, taking a deep breath to cool off, bend down and grab his hat on the floor, and MP's taken Colonel Jessep away into custody]

Capt. Ross: [the prosecution's opening statement] the facts of the case are these: on midnight of September sixth the accused entered the barracks room of their platoon mate PFC. William Santiago, they woke him up tied his arms and legs with tape and forced a rag into his throat, a few minutes later a chemical reaction called Lactic Acidosis caused his lungs to begin bleeding, he drowned in his own blood and was pronounced dead at thirty seven minutes pass midnight. These are the facts of the case and they are undisputed. The story I've just told you is the exact same story you're going to hear from lance corporal Dawson and it's going to be the exact same story you're going to hear from private Downey, furthermore the government will demonstrate the accused soaked the rag in poison and entered Santiago's room with the intent to kill, their attorney lieutenant Kaffee is going to pull off a little "magic act" he's going to try a little misdirection he's going to astonish you with stories and rituals and dazzle you with official sounding terms like "code red", he might even cut in a few officers for you. He'll have no evidence mind you none but its going to be entertaining. And when we get the end, all the "magic" in the world will not have divert your attention to the fact that Willie Santiago is dead and Dawson and Downey killed him. These are the facts of the case and they are undisputed.