The protagonist of Going After Cacciato, Paul Berlin is a young, inexperienced soldier who spends the majority of the novel struggling with his own conflicted feelings about war, violence, his family, and his peers… read analysis of Paul Berlin
The middle-aged, experienced, and sometimes seemingly senile commander of Paul Berlin’s battalion following the death of Lieutenant Sidney Martin, Lieutenant Corson is ironically one of the least authoritative people in the unit. In… read analysis of Lieutenant Corson
Sarkin Aung Wan
A young woman raised in Saigon—her age is never specified—Sarkin Aung Wan is an intelligent, often wily character, who quickly becomes another member of the soldiers’ squad during their mission to Paris. The soldiers… read analysis of Sarkin Aung Wan
An American soldier in the Vietnam War, and assigned to the same battalion as Paul Berlin, Stink Harris is an idiosyncratic Southerner who becomes violent and almost sociopathic as a soldier. He seems to… read analysis of Stink Harris
An American soldier in the Vietnam War, and assigned to the same battalion as Paul Berlin. Harold Murphy is the first soldier in squad three to refuse to pursue Cacciato. He leaves the… read analysis of Harold Murphy
A sergeant in Paul Berlin’s battalion, Oscar Johnson is a tough, experienced soldier who’s enormously respected by his peers for having survived nine previous tours in Vietnam. During the course of the novel, Johnson… read analysis of Oscar Johnson
Billy Boy Watkins
An American soldier in the Vietnam War, whose foot is blown off by a land mine, and later dies of a heart attack brought on by his own fear. Although Billy Boy Watkins has a… read analysis of Billy Boy Watkins
Lieutenant Sidney Martin
Lieutenant Sidney Martin is the proud, arrogant commander who leads Paul Berlin’s squad at the beginning of the novel. Martin quickly alienates his troops by demanding that they “clear” all Vietcong tunnels before throwing grenades… read analysis of Lieutenant Sidney Martin
An American soldier in the Vietnam War, assigned to the same battalion as Paul Berlin. Bernie Lynn dies after going to retrieve the injured Frenchie Tucker from a tunnel, following Lieutenant Sidney Martin… read analysis of Bernie Lynn
The medic and unofficial scientist of Paul Berlin’s battalion, Doc Peret is an intelligent, quick-thinking soldier who uses his intelligence and ingenuity to care for his patients. Peret is never shown to save anyone… read analysis of Doc Peret
An American soldier in the Vietnam War, assigned to the same battalion as Paul Berlin. Frenchie Tucker dies while clearing a tunnel, following Lieutenant Sidney Martin’s orders. When a Vietcong soldier shoots… read analysis of Frenchie Tucker
A religious, highly moral soldier who serves in the same battalion as Paul Berlin, Jim Pederson is regarded as the voice of right and wrong among his fellow soldiers: he’s shown to be more… read analysis of Jim Pederson
An American soldier in the Vietnam War, assigned to the same battalion as Paul Berlin, Eddie Lazzutti is an occasional friend to Paul Berlin, as well as a talented singer. When a particularly tragic… read analysis of Eddie Lazzutti
Hamijolli Chand (Jolly)
A charismatic Indian woman, Hamijolli Chand serves as a host and entertainer for the soldiers during their time in the city of Delhi. She’s immediately interested in meeting Americans, since she studied for two years… read analysis of Hamijolli Chand (Jolly)
Captain Fahyi Rhallon
The Iranian police officer who interrogates the soldiers on the suspicion that they’re deserters. Captain Fahyi Rhallon is a polite and civil man who nonetheless believes that deserters should be beheaded for their crimes. After… read analysis of Captain Fahyi Rhallon
A fellow soldier of Paul Berlin, who’s killed in the midst of a long, bloody battle in the jungles almost as soon as he enters combat.
An American soldier in the Vietnam War, assigned to the same battalion as Paul Berlin, Rudy Chassler dies after stepping on a land mine.
An Iranian officer who arrests the soldiers on suspicion of desertion.
Water Buffalo / Buff
An American soldier in the Vietnam War, assigned to the same battalion as Paul Berlin. Water Buffalo dies shortly after Berlin becomes a soldier.
Li Van Hgoc / Van
A Vietcong soldier who tried to desert the Vietcong, and as punishment is sent to live in the Vietcong’s enormous underground tunnels for the rest of his life.
An American soldier in the Vietnam War, assigned to the same battalion as Paul Berlin.