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In Batman: Year One, the animated adaptation, there is a point where Jim Gordon is beating up Flass, and as that about to go down, he gives him a baseball bat.

The voice-over says something along the lines of "It's been a while since I had to take down a former Green Beret, still he deserves a handicap", after which Gordon gives Flass the bat, and proceeds to kick the living crap out of him.

What did Jim Gordon do before coming to Gotham, that he had to take down Green Berets, that it comes to him so easily?

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    In the comic he transferred from Chicago PD. A few seconds of googling would suggest that there's a substantial Green Beret detachment nearby in Arlington Heights, Illinois, less than an hour drive from downtown Chicago. – Valorum May 29 '16 at 21:16
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    Sure, but does that mean that he's going there to take them down singlehandedly on a regular basis? Was this his leisure time activity? No wonder he cheated on his wife with Det. Essen later on. – Maybe Batman May 30 '16 at 4:38
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    I don't think it's ever outlined specifically but he was in special forces before becoming a cop. That's mentioned in a few DC comics websites. The exact line (I think), is "It's been a while since I had to take out a Green Beret". The way it's written, "Take out", to me suggests crooked green berets, otherwise, why would he take them "out". But I don't think the specifics are every said. It was probably just a line that Frank Miller thought worked in that moment, like letting Barbara Gorden see Bruce Wayne's face, that's never been a thing that Barbara knows who Batman is. – userLTK May 30 '16 at 9:21
  • @userLTK: Thanks. If you'll post this as an answer I'll accept it. For what it's worth, it's a great line. Maybe Gordon was an undercover MP, or something. – Maybe Batman May 30 '16 at 12:25
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Gordon's military service varies depending upon the source you use, and the story arc that you are following. Some sources cite service in the US Marines, while others list Army Special Forces. Even what years that he served is left to interpretation, as the time frame of the comics, TV, and movies usually change to reflect the times they are released in.

This topic has actually been discussed on the exchange before; albeit with a slightly different question. What War Did Jim Gordon Fight In?

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