Capt. Dale Dye. USMC

A little over 20 years ago, the world was gifted a remarkable piece of television. This 10 part series started life with the incredible book of the same name, by renowned historian Stephen E. Ambrose. Add into that countless veteran interviews and you have a spectacular piece of television. 

Except this was not a ‘story’ to be told. This was history. This was history to be honoured and respected. This is “Band of Brothers”

I have interviewed many people for my website. From fans to veterans families to the actors involved. It is my absolute honour to introduce my latest interview. Please meet Captain Dale Dye.

For the readers who may not know you, just who is Dale Dye?

I am a Captain in the USMC, serving 20 years in the Corps on combat missions such as Beirut and Vietnam.  I am a former enlisted marine and rose to the rank of Master Sergeant before I was commissioned. 

After my retirement I founded Warriors Inc. We are a premier military consultancy to film & TV.

I am also an accomplished writer, director and actor. One of my most noted acting roles is that of Colonel Robert Sink, in the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers.”

My resume shows almost fifty productions, many of which have won top awards.  

What drew you to a military career?

I grew up in middle America in the years following World War 2. This was also during the Korean war. I found myself listening to war stories from returning veterans. Like most American boys, I was fascinated with the adventure that I perceived in these stories. 

I didn’t give much thought to the negative aspects. I was looking for a challenge, a way to test and prove myself. Of course, I did give thought to the cool dress uniform and how much that might impress the girls!

Once I got into combat, every illusion I had faded quite rapidly. I never lost that sense or feeling that serving my country and possibly sacrificing for my country was an honourable thing to do. 

“Dyes heart is with the grunts” 

I`m not sure who said that, but I will submit, he knows me fairly well. I will always champion the man in the front ranks that trades fire with the enemy. He is the one that gets little attention or respect but is the one laying it on the line, every single day in combat. He lives the dirty , hard and dangerous life. The life where death is always close to hand, waiting for you. It was the desire to reveal the nature of that service and sacrifice that drew me to writing books as well as making films or TV about the military. 

Following retirement in 1984, you started warriors inc with the aim of training actors to ensure that the reality is shown on screen. How did the ‘Platoon’ boot camp go?
Well, “Platoon” set a precedent in the way I approached training actors for military roles. 
There was some early resistance to and criticism of my full immersion, full isolation methods but that disappeared rapidly when the movie won four Academy Awards including best picture. Nothing succeeds in Hollywood like success.
There was subsequently a lot of press about how I trained the actors and what I made them do in preparation. I guess that had a significant and lasting effect on how military movies are made these days. I’ll humbly lay claim to establishing that new technique.
Warriors inc. led you into movie roles too. Do you have a particular favourite of your movie roles?
Acting is an entertaining pursuit for me…and hopefully for audiences who see my performances.  I love doing interpretations of real people.  I loved doing Col. Sink in Band of Brothers and playing Col. Leonard Wood in Rough Riders.  I guess I’m probably the most typecast guy in the business for obvious reasons and I sometimes think I’d really like to stretch and expand as an actor by playing a role or two out of uniform.
Band of Brothers: you played Colonel Sink and in 2017, you were made  an honorary member of the 506th. What did that mean to you?
That significant honor was something special to me…especially for a Marine to be honored by such a storied and famous U.S. Army unit. I think it was prompted by more than simply my portrayal of one of the regiments most celebrated commanders.  I think it was soldiers recognizing one of their own who was working to shed some light on their service and promote their legacy.
What can you tell about preparing to play such a pivotal role in Band of Brothers?
There was a lot of study involved, about the 506th PIR during World War II generally and about Colonel Robert Sink specifically.  I wanted to understand the colonel’s approach to training as well as learn what that training involved for paratrooper volunteers.  I spoke for hours with a number of surviving veterans before I got down to writing a training schedule and regimen for the actors. 
I felt an intense pressure to get this one right, and the devil for me, was in the intimate details of life as an Army paratrooper fighting in the ETO during the war. I mapped out and studied in detail every battle and campaign the 506th PIR fought and then worked every day with the writers and directors to get it right.
What’s next for Warriors Inc?
I’m not at all sure honestly.  It’s been a long, hard slog over a lot of years and a bunch of projects that take a lot out of me.  No telling how much gas remains in the tank at my age. I’m certainly going to write a couple more books as I enjoy that process.  When another movie or TV project comes along and trips my creative trigger, I’ll let you know.

Thank you Captain Dye for your time. This has been an absolute pleasure. 

Thank you Captain Dye for your body of work. 

Thank you Captain Dye for your service.