Master Sgt. Albert Callan (Rod Steiger) is a war hero and a no-nonsense leader who reforms his previously mismanaged military base. Although Callan seems collected, he struggles as a closeted homosexual. When the sergeant becomes obsessed with his handsome clerk, Tom Swanson (John Phillip Law), he even disrupts the young man's relationship with his French girlfriend, Solange (Ludmila Mikaël). Since Swanson isn't receptive to Callan's advances, it creates major tension between the two men.