Though not specifically stated, Curtis, Cleon and Skip belonged to a unit in the 1st Marine Recon Battalion. This is confirmed late in the movie when Cleon is seen wearing a patch with the 1st Marine Recon Battalion insignia on it.
The film features five actors from Menace II Society (1993), the first feature film by the Hughes brothers. They are: Larenz Tate, Clifton Powell, James Pickens Jr., Ryan Williams and Clifton Collins Jr. Like Menace II Society, Dead Presidents credits Collins Jr. as "Clifton Gonzalez Gonzalez."
Martin Sheen, who makes a cameo appearance as "The Judge" in Dead Presidents, would be in his son Emilio Estevez's feature film The Way (2010), also casted by Mary Vernieu, 15 years later as a protagonist.