Lt. Carl Anderson is an officer charged with the responsibility of leading his unit on a scouting mission to capture prisoners from an experimental rocket-launching facilty and bring them back for interrogation. Among his platoon are veterosn Pidgeon Lane, Doc, and Sgt. Zelenko, as well as raw recruits Coffman and Cpl.Stuart Conroy. Anderson is skilled at subtly motivating the varied group of characters, while suffering himself from crushing headaches. The platoon attacks the island, taking losses on the heavily defended beach. When they try to take a strategic ridge, they're pinned down by rocket fire whose source is impossible to locate. In desperation, Anderson is ordered to take a hand-picked patrol behind enemy lines to bring back prisoners.