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They Were Soldiers Once...And Young: 19 Now Familiar Faces In Early Military Roles

By Joanna Robinson | Lists | May 31, 2013 |

By Joanna Robinson | Lists | May 31, 2013 |

The “Hey It’s That Guy!” game is a favorite among those of us who obsessively rewatch. There’s a particular kind of joy you feel when you watch something you’ve seen a dozen times only to find that this time there are three more faces you recognize. This isn’t a new concept. It’s well-worn territory on this site, in fact. But as I was rewatching some of my favorite war movies this past holiday weekend I realized that of all the instances where this flash of recognition occurs, it’s the most jarring in a war setting. When you see a familiar baby face peaking out from under a helmet it means more than if they were playing a random fry cook or a substitute teacher. Here are the tender faces of our troops. Not all innocent, to be sure. But vulnerable. Every single one of them. That initial shocking frisson of recognition turns to fear and dread because these faces, faces we’ve come to love, are at risk. So, a week late, in honor of Memorial Day, they were soldiers once.

Jon Hamm - We Were Soldiers

John C. Reilly And John Leguizamo- Casualties Of War

Ryan Hurst - Saving Private Ryan
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Johnny Depp - Platoon

Clark Gregg - We Were Soldiers

Bryan Cranston - Saving Private Ryan

John Krasinski - Jarhead
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Ty Burrell - Black Hawk Down

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau - Black Hawk Down

Joseph Morgan - Master And Commander

Jim Gaffigan - Three Kings
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Dean Norris - Starship Troopers
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Tom Hardy - Black Hawk Down

Nathan Fillion - Saving Private Ryan

…and, of course, the motherlode…

Jamie Bamber - “Band Of Brothers”

Simon Pegg - “Band Of Brothers”

Michael Fassbender - “Band Of Brothers”

James McAvoy - “Band Of Brothers”
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