Foolish local Sheriffs, police departments and even military comrades always underestimated our boy John Rambo but Trautman never lost faith in him. He knew who Rambo was right from the start: a trained killer who had to make peace with who he was.
Rambo always had trust issues and had good instincts about people. Murdock couldn’t be trusted, Teasle couldn’t be trusted and frankly the only person he could trust was Colonel Trautman. He even says so during First Blood: Part II “You’re the only one I trust.”
It was Trautman who saved Rambo’s life at the end of First Blood and whenever it was possible he would help out his friend and more importantly try to protect others if they pushed Rambo too far.
“I’m your friend Johnny! I was there with you knee-deep in all that blood and guts. I covered your ass more than once. Seems like baling you out of trouble’s got to be a life-time achievement for me.”
When Trautman gets captured behind enemy lines in Part III Rambo doesn’t hesitate to go after him on a rescue mission, demonstrating the unshakable bond between these two soldiers.
Trautman also had the best lines of the Rambo series where he mostly warns people about Rambo will do to them if they don’t leave him alone.
He also essentially just explains how badass Rambo is; check out some of his best quotes below.
Col. Trautman: I don’t think you understand. I didn’t come to rescue Rambo from you. I came here to rescue you from him.
Sheriff Teasle: Well, we all appreciate your concern Colonel, I will try to be extra careful!
Trautman: I’m just amazed he allowed any of your posse to live.
Teasle: Is that right?
Trautman: Strictly speaking, he slipped up. You’re lucky to be breathing.
Teasle: Colonel, you came out here to find out why one of your machines blew a gasket!
Trautman: You don’t seem to want to accept the fact that you’re dealing with an expert in guerrilla warfare, with a man who’s the best! With guns, with knives, with his bare hands! A man who’s been trained to ignore pain! To ignore weather! To live off the land! To eat things that would make a billy goat puke! In Vietnam his job was to dispose of enemy personnel…to kill, period! Win by attrition… well Rambo was THE BEST!
Teasle: Are you telling me that 200 of our men against your boy is a no-win situation for us?
Trautman: You send that many, don’t forget one thing.
Trautman: A good supply of body bags.
Zaysen: Are you insane? One man against trained commandos… Who do you think this man is? God?
Colonel Trautman: No. God would have mercy. He won’t.
Colonel Trautman: Let me tell you a story, John. There was a sculptor. He found this stone, a special stone. He dragged it home and he worked on it for months until he finally finished it. When he was ready he showed it to his friends. They said he had created a great masterpiece, but the sculptor said he hadn’t created anything. The statue was always there, he just chipped away the rough edges. You’re always going to be tearing away at yourself until you come to terms with who you are. Until you come full circle.
Murdock: And if I were you… I’d never make the mistake of bringing this subject up again.
Trautman: Oh you’re the one who’s making the mistake.
Murdock: Yeah? What mistake?
Murdock: Colonel are you sure Rambo’s still in balance with the war? We can’t afford having him involved in this mission and then crack in the pressure of that hell.
Trautman: Pressure? Let me just say that Rambo is the best combat vet I’ve ever seen. A pure fighting machine with only a desire – to win a war that someone else lost. And if winning means he has to die – he’ll die. No fear, no regrets. And one more thing, what you choose to call hell, he calls home.
I think we can all agree that if everyone had a friend/mentor like Trautman… we’d probably need a good supply of body bags.