MBTI Type: ESTP
Nicknamed “Big Duke”, Colonel Kilgore is loud, excessive and bombastic in his ways, and in many ways he and Kurtz are polar opposites of each other (one an Se-dom and the other one an Se-inferior). Kilgore not only tolerates a chaotic, war-torn environment but thrives from being in it and haphazardly orchestrating deadly air strikes and napalm attacks against enemy soldiers and civilians alike. His excellent – almost uncanny – environmental awareness allows him not only to be in the middle of a battle and navigate it without being blown up, but to enjoy himself at the same time. He encourages his terrified men to do the same thing, going as far as to order Private Lance, a former competitive surfer, to go surfing during the airstrike. Kilgore is appreciated amongst his men for providing entertainment that is supposed to make the scared, traumatized soldiers feel “more at home”, (such as Southern barbecues, song and dance, surfing) that everyone can participate in (Fe), but as Willard notes, the contrast only serves to make the soldiers miss home more long-term. Kilgore is theatrical and enjoys being the center of attention, but unlike the broody, over-analytical Kurtz, Kilgore shows a complete disinterest in moral or philosophical musings. He’s there to do a job, and to get it over with as quickly as possible so he can go enjoy himself instead. Kilgore is quick to process problems and come up with solutions that are both practical and inventive (Se/Ti), such as having a river patrol boat airlifted and dropped off at the right spot instead of risking it get stuck in the muddy river delta. He demonstrates no long-term strategic goals, relying instead of being an aggressive and adaptable on-site tactician (also unlike Kurtz, who is more of an armchair commander).
Enneagram: 3w2 so/sp
Kilgore’s natural physical aggression and domineering presence make It is easy to write him off as an nothing but an amoral warmongerer who uses others for his own gain. Much of his charm and “larger than life” persona are indeed an affectation, but he also has a warm, caring side to his personality, which makes those who serve under him feel safe and appreciated. Kilgore is protective of his men and demonstrates a deep desire to protect those under his command, regardless of rank and ability. “I want my men out of there and in the hospital in 15 minutes!” When off the battlefield, Kilgore plays the role of the entertainer (3) and fraternizes freely with those under him. There are even times when his 2 wing manifests during battle, such as offering a dying Viet Cong soldier whose guts are spilling out of his abdomen a drink from his canteen and ordering the medics to make him comfortable until he passes.
Guest typing by Henrika.