Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler is one of the most decorated Marines of all time and is a legend among the Corps. Coming from a background of privilege, Butler became a Marine to prove his worth. Through conflicts like the Philippine-American War, the Boxer Rebellion, the Banana Wars, and the War to End All Wars, he helped define what the Marine Corps is today.
Smedley begins in the summer of 1932. Butler is retired from the Marines and has lost his bid to be a Pennsylvania senator. When he is invited to speak at the Bonus Army encampment in Washington D.C., he arrives early to mingle with the other veterans, who press him for stories about his legendary exploits. How did he win his Medals of Honor? What was it like in China? Smedley is a man in his element as he recalls his toughest scrapes to an eager audience of World War I veterans, who we discover have a few war stories of their own.