When Zachary Taylor Primrose, former corporal, United States Marine Corps, walks into the Marine/Navy recruiting office in Las Vegas, Nevada, on a hot August day in 1966, he has one goal in mind: to get to Vietnam as quickly as possible.
The Corps was the best thing that ever happened to me, and Id like to give something back and serve my country again," Primrose tells the recruiting officer.
But Primroses motivation is actually a little more personal: his wife Rhonda is one of a trio of musicians who have disappeared while on a USO tour near Laos, and Primrose is determined to find her and get her back. Primrose re-enlists and finds his way to , where he puts together a team of misfits that the brass have been trying to hide. With his motley crew of eccentric but skilled men, Primrose manages to step on the toes of every officer ranking from general on down to lieutenant in South Vietnam in his quest to rescue his wife. He manages to have the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps at each others throats trying to figure out how a lowly corporal could cause so much trouble.