Marine Sgt. Thomas Highway (Clint Eastwood) is a decorated veteran of two wars. On his last posting before retirement, he is surrounded by officers with no combat experience who view him as an odd, even dangerous, holdover. Highway is assigned to train a group of undisciplined recruits including Cpl. Stitch Jones (Mario Van Peebles), a slick hustler who has previously encountered Highway. As the old soldier prepares his men for a war they don't believe will come, the U.S. invades Grenada.