John Rambo Biography

John Rambo, was born on July 6, 1947 in Bowie, Arizona, to a Native American (Navajo) father (R. Rambo according to the last film) and an Italian American mother (Marie Drago). However, in Rambo: First Blood Part II, Marshall Murdock states that Rambo is of Native American Italian/German descent. Rambo enlisted in the United States Army  at the age of 17 on August 6, 1964. After graduating from Rangeford High School in 1965, his military service began in January 1966. Rambo was deployed to South Vietnam in September 1966. He returned to the U.S. in 1967 and began training in the Special Forces (Green Berets) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In late 1969, Rambo was re-deployed to Vietnam. In November 1971, he was captured by North Vietnamese forces near the Chinese-Vietnamese border and held at a POW camp, where he and other American POWs were repeatedly tortured. Rambo escaped captivity in May 1972, but was then re-deployed. At some point in his military career he also apparently received training in flying helicopters. Rambo received his military discharge on September 17, 1974.

Upon his return to the U.S., Rambo discovered that many American civilians hated the returning soldiers from Vietnam, and he himself along with other returning soldiers were subject to humiliation and embarrassment by anti-war "hippies" who throw garbage at them, call them "baby killers", and exclude them from society. His experiences in Vietnam and back home resulted in an extreme case of post-traumatic stress disorder of a sort that does not seem to have ever manifested in reality. At the same time, inner questions of self identity and reflectiveness cause Rambo to lash out at society rather than handling difficult situations in a "civilized" manner. This is where First Blood picks up from.


    * First Blood (1982), directed by Ted Kotcheff
    * Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), directed by George Pan Cosmatos
    * Rambo III (1988), directed by Peter MacDonald
    * Rambo (2008), directed by Sylvester Stallone


In First Blood is mentioned:

    * 1 - Medal of Honor

Per dialogue in Rambo: First Blood Part II, during his Vietnam era service, Rambo was awarded:

    * 2 - Silver Star
    * 4 - Bronze Stars for Valor
    * 4 - Purple Heart
    * 1 - Distinguished Service Cross
    * 1 - Medal of Honor

In "Rambo Prepares Knife" deleted scene from Rambo III, Rambo's "Class A" uniform can clearly be seen (although his rank can not be seen) in his footlocker with the following 13 ribbons:

    * Medal of Honor - Awarded one and refused another
    * Army Distinguished Service Medal
    * Distinguished Flying Cross
    * Soldier's Medal
    * Bronze Star
    * Purple Heart
    * Air Medal
    * Combat Action Ribbon - This award is actually for US Navy, Coast Guard and Marine personnel, so this could be either an error on part of the film makers or Rambo could have possibly been awarded one for a joint-service operation.
    * Vietnam Service Medal
    * Prisoner of War Medal
    * Army Service Ribbon
    * Vietnam Wound Medal - This award is actually a South Vietnamese (ARVN) forces medal and was seldom awarded to US forces, even if it was awarded to a US serviceman, he would not be permitted to wear it on his dress uniform because it is basically a foreign nations variation of the Purple Heart.
    * Vietnam Campaign Medal

In a measure of discontinuity within the storyline, Rambo's Silver Stars and Distinguished Service Cross were missing from his ribbon rack as well as the National Defense Medal and the Good Conduct Medal, both of which he would have been awarded.

Various special duty badges can also be seen on Rambo's "Class A" uniform, including:

    * Combat Infantryman Badge
    * Aircraft Crewman Badge
    * Senior Combat Parachutist Badge
    * Expert Weapons Qualification Badge

Additionally, in this same scene, Rambo's Social Security Number is revealed: 936-01-1758. However, the Social Security Administration does not issue a SSN with the prefix 936. Citizens in Arizona, Rambo's home state, are issued SSNs with the prefixes 526-527, 600-601, and 764-765. This was probably done to avoid the chances that Rambo's fictional SSN would match that of a real living person.