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MACGILLIS, Major John D. & Polly
(Major Dad)
c/o Building 52419
Camp Singleton
Oceanside, CA

John ("Mac") is a single, conservative, by-the-book Major in the United States Marine Corps. Born in Snake River Mississippi, John grew up on his parents farm, attended Vanderbilt College as a history major,  joined the Marines and served three tours in Vietnam. Then, he met Polly.

Major MacGillis & His New Family
The Major & Family

Polly is a widowed liberal (pacifist) journalist who works as a reporter for the Oceanside Chronicle. She was married to Sandy Cooper and in her youth wrote for a radical magazine called What’s Left. Polly met John when she interviewed him for a newspaper article on September 11th. They began dating and married on October 11th. As a romantic gesture, John gives Polly flowers on the 11th of every month.

John, a lifelong bachelor, soon moved into Polly’s house and began to share the lives of Polly’s three daughters: Elizabeth, Robin and Casey as well as the family pets, Lemon, a bird (who dies) and Claudette, a turtle.

Elizabeth is thirteen and attends Keefer High School [later Hollister Base High School]. Her little toes are double jointed. Robin, eleven and Casey, six, both attended Martin Elementary School [later Hollister Base School]. Robin is a tomboy, likes to play baseball and basketball and ran for president of her student council. Casey is still into dolls including Henrietta, Ruby, Whoobie (a plush toy) and Mr. Smithers (a teddy bear).

The Cast of MAJOR DAD
The Major Trying to Control the Troops

In the fall of 1990, the MacGillis family transferred to Camp Hollister in Farlow, VA [House 485] John now worked as the staff secretary to General Marcus Craig and Polly gets hired at the camp newspaper The Bulldog, writing the human interest column "At Ease." Eventually, John adopted Polly’s children on 5/31/91 at which time they dropped their Cooper surname in favor of MacGillis.

Some MacGillis Trivia:

  • In Oceanside, the MacGillis family drives a station wagon - license plate 638 574 (2RW 308 in Virginia).
  • The Major enjoys chess and martial arts.
  • As a boy, he stole a watch and in later life made amends for his transgression.
  • In an effort to better himself, the Major takes piano lessons and enrolls in night school. To earn extra money, he moonlights as a service station attendant.
  • The Major left on a secret mission and later contemplated quitting the Corps when denied a promotion.
  • The Major met Vice President Quayle on the 215th anniversary of the Marine Corps.
  • The Major posed as a "hunk" for a Camp Hollister "Ideal Serviceman" calendar.
  • The Major realizes a lifelong dream and performs in the US Marine Corps Silent Drill Team.
  • Constant threats of Defense cutbacks and camp closures upset the Major's daily routine. When a real estate developer threatens to shut down the camp, the discovery of an endangered nesting turtle on the camp grounds thwarts the closure.
  • On the family front, the Persian Gulf War interrupts the family's routine when John prepared to leave for overseas. Casey loses one of the Major's prized medals.
  • Elizabeth hits the General's antique MG while learning to drive.
  • Polly gets sent to jail to protect her story source.
  • When she arrives in Farlow, Virginia, Polly decides to runs for Mayor.
  • The Major takes the family on a camping trip and on a last-minute trip to Hawaii.
  • Polly's morning sickness fools the Major into thinking he was to be a father.
  • When Polly is bedridden, the Major writes an article on raising children, much to Polly's chagrin.
  • In an attempt to fit in with the other camp spouses, Polly endures a survival-training day of Marine wives.
  • And, Polly's former boyfriend, Evan Charters appears and asks her to co-write a book, which, of course, makes John jealous. Polly was jealous of John's ex-girlfriend Lt. Colonel Maggie Connell who had romantic designs on the now married Major.


Gerald McRaney as Major John D. MacGillis
Shanna Reed as Polly Esther Cooper-MacGillis
Nicole Dubuc as Robin Cooper-MacGillis
Chelsea Hertford as Casey Cooper-MacGillis
Marisa Ryan as Elizabeth Cooper MacGillis
Jon Cypher as Maj. Gen. Marcus Craig
Beverly Archer as Gunnery Sergeant Alva "Gunny" Bricker
Matt Mulhern as 2nd Lt. Gene Holowachuk
Marlon Archey as Sgt. Byron James
Whitney Kershaw as Merilee Gunderson
Rod Brogan as Chip Russell

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