- Served in the USMC from 1961 to 1972, and was given an honorary promotion to Gunnery Sergeant in 2002. Also received multiple service awards, including the Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.
- Moved to Manila after retiring from the service and appeared in several Filipino TV ads and motion pictures.
- Was initially hired to be a consultant on Full Metal Jacket but after Stanley Kubrick watched his instructional tapes, he decided Ermey was right for the role of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman.
- Refers to his wife as "Mrs. Gunny" on his show Lock N Load with R. Lee Ermey.
- Has served as a board member of the National Rifle Association.
- 1988, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- Nila Ermey — Wife
- Attended University of the Philippines Manila, Ermita, Manila, The Philippines