Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee is known as an exceedingly excellent defensive lawyer due to his known ability to comprise dealings to lessen the punishments of his clients. This way he avoids even taking the case to trial. However, Kaffee's clients, Lance Corporal Harold W. Dawson and PFC Louden Downey, stat that the crime they are accused of is nothing more then carrying out the orders of their commanding officers. Therefore accepting the deal would degrade their honor as a Marine. This forces Lieutenant Kaffee to compose an actual defense for his clients, something he hasn't done in years, let alone seen the inside of a court room. As the movie progresses, Kaffee matures his morality from a lawyer who attempts to take the easy way out to one that is more responsible.
Lance Corporal Harold W. Dawson, who is a role model to his friend and fellow Marine Louden Downey, constantly attempts to explain to Kaffee that the act the carried out was only done because it was demanded as an order.
Dawson also heavily believes in his troops "code", which includes loyalty and honor like virtues. The viewer's respect for the Marines increases as they learn more about the hardships and importance of the Marine Corps placement in Cuba to protect the U.S.A. Dawson exhibits a great example of a person with great loyalty towards what he believes in.
Colonel Jessup, who is one of the most respected commanders in the marines, runs the military outpost in Cuba. He has a great belief in the Marine code because it gives American's their freedom that they deserved. However one code Jessup greatly believes in is that of "code red", which is frowned upon in the Marine regulations. Jessup insists that this unofficial rule keeps the marines in line, and if...