Charles Fuller was born in San Jose, California, and was adopted by Daniel and Amanda Garcia. He grew up listening to alternative rock and heavy metal. He also heard stories of combat from R. Lee Ermey and other famous Marines. He wanted to enlist in the United States Air Force to fight the Taliban but he was too young and could not get the parental consent from his mother and father.
A few years later, Fuller attended the Air Force Academy but he dropped out after the first year. He wanted to go to war instead of studying how to go to war. Following the departure from the Air Force Academy, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and attended boot camp at Camp Pendleton.
After completion of boot camp, he did not see combat. He went off to college for the next five years. After graduation, he decided that he should become an officer. He attended Officer Candidates School at Quantico, Virginia. When he graduated, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He was then stationed to a desk job at the Pentagon due to the reduction of troops fighting the wars in the Middle East.
During his post at the Pentagon, he showed dislike for the job he was assigned. His dislike showed in how he treated his subordinates. He would order his subordinates to do tasks in timeframes that were impossible to complete. He did this for many years until a group of his subordinates were fed up with his treatment and reported him to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. After the Commandant was told of Fuller’s behavior, Fuller was removed from his post and demoted to corporal.
After his demotion, he was deployed to Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, his job was to be the gunner on the armored vehicles during the patrols. His platoon was attacked numerous times with rocket-propelled grenades and improvised-explosive devices. During one patrol at night, his convoy was ambushed by insurgents. The attack damaged his Humvee so that it would not start. Everyone in the convoy died except three other marines in his Humvee. Through the night, all four of the marines fought off multiple attacks. An extraction team arrived in the following morning to save the survivors. He received three medals for his courageous fighting during the surprise attack. When he returned to the base his commanding officer offered him his own squad but he declined because the effectiveness of his current squad would not be as effective without him.
Following his tour in Iraq, he returned to his civilian life as assembly line worker for Toyota. His ability to command that flourished in the military helped him be promoted to a manager at the factory. He spent several years motivating the autoworkers to do their best. It all ended on day when an engine block passing overhead crushed him because the block was not secured correctly to the crane.