Captain Dale Dye is an American actor, businessman, and former U.S. Marine who served in combat during the Vietnam War.
Dye was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He graduated from the Missouri Military Academy as an Officer Cadet.
Lacking money for college, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps in January 1964 and was sent to Vietnam. He served in Vietnam as a Marine Correspondent from 1964-1965, and from 1967-1970, surviving 31 major combat operations.
For his actions, he received numerous awards, including a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in combat.
He spent 13 years as an enlisted Marine, rising to the rank of Master Sergeant. He was chosen to attend Officer Candidates School and was appointed a Warrant Officer in 1976. He later converted his commission and was made a Captain.
Dye was well-known in the tight-knit community of the Marine Combat Correspondents in Vietnam. It was fellow Marine correspondent Gustav Hasford who dubbed him "Daddy D.A" (he was among the oldest of the correspondents) and included him as a character in his first semi-autobiographical Vietnam novel The Short-Timers, and (even more extensively) in his second, The Phantom Blooper.
The movie based on Hasford's first novel, Full Metal Jacket, included the "Daddy D.A" character, (played by Keith Hodiak) though neither the character nor Dye's name is explicitly mentioned in the dialogue.
In his book, Dispatches, journalist Michael Herr provides a vivid picture of Dye during the chaos of the Tet Offensive and the Battle of Hue:
"And there was a Marine correspondent, Sergeant Dale Dye, who sat with a tall yellow flower sticking out of his helmet cover, a really outstanding target. He was rolling his eyes around and saying, 'Oh yes, oh yes, Charlie's got his shit together here, this will be bad,' and smiling happily. It was the same smile I saw a week later when a sniper's bullet tore up a wall two inches above his head, odd cause for amusement in anyone but a grunt."
After serving as a Captain in the Beirut Peacekeeping Force in 1982-83, he served in a variety of positions and got his B.A. in English from the University of Maryland University College.
From 1983-84, Dye worked for the magazine Soldier of Fortune in Central America as he trained troops in guerrilla warfare in the countries of El Salvador and Nicaragua.
After his retirement in 1984 from the United States Marines, Dye founded Warriors, Inc., a California company that specialises in training actors for realistic soldier portrayals, for movies of the war genre.
Dye has also appeared in some of the films of which his company has served, including Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, and Born on the Fourth of July.
Dye played a role in the movie Casualties of War and also played Colonel Robert F. Sink in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, on which his company also worked, and is now beginning a directing career.
Additionally, Dye hosts a Sunday evening radio show on KFI AM 640, Los Angeles.
Dye has also been involved in the Medal of Honor series of video games as a consultant. He was a character in Medal of Honor: European Assault and was featured in two tracks on Hoobastank's CD Every Man for Himself.
He has also hosted The History Channel's documentary series Conquerers.
Dye's military decorations include:
- Bronze Star with 'V' for Valor (Vietnam 1968)
- Purple Heart (3)
- Meritorious Service Medal (Okinawa)
- Joint Service Commendation Medal
- Navy Commendation Medals (2) with combat 'V' (Vietnam and Beirut)
- Navy Achievement Medal with Combat 'V' Device
- Combat Action Ribbon (Vietnam and Beirut)
- Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with gold stars
- Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation
- Navy Unit Commendation
- Meritorious Unit Commendation
- National Defense Service Medal
- Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
- Vietnam Service Medal
- Humanitarian Service Medal
- Sea Service Ribbon
- Multinational Force and Observers Medal
- Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry
- Vietnam Civil Actions Medal
- RVN Vietnam Service medal
- Legionnaire, Order of Saint Maurice (Ancient and Honorable Order of Infantrymen)