Fred L. Rexer, Jr. is a U.S. Army Vietnam combat veteran and Hollywood actor and screenwriter. He is best known as the military advisor for Apocalypse Now and as Spiritual Advisor for Conan the Barbarian. (Rexor, the Ben Davidson character in Conan, was named after Fred.) In the opening scenes of Red Dawn, he played the paratroop commander, and later the knife-wielding Russian tank commander gunned down at the service station.
Fred Rexer has contributed numerous passages to the screenplay of that film and other films written or directed by John Milius and Walter Hill. Milius has named Rexer as the real-life prototype of Captain Willard, the protagonist of Apocalypse Now. (See Peter Cowie, The Apocalypse Now Book, Da Capo Press, 2001.)