The storyline follows a platoon of U.S. Marines through their boot camp training in Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, primarily focusing in the first half of the film on privates J.T. Davis and Leonard Lawrence, nicknamed Joker and Pyle, who struggle under their abusive drill instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. The second half portrays the experiences of Joker and one other of the platoon's Marines in Vietnamese cities Da Nang and Huế during the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War. The film's title refers to the full metal jacket bullet used by military servicemen.
The title refers to the most common type of ammunition used in military rifles. A full metal jacket is a copper coating on the outside of a bullet that prevents the round from depositing lead in the barrel over time and reduces the possibility that a round will become deformed in automatic feeding mechanisms. This is referred to at the end of the first half of the story. 781b155fdc