Bios have David Rossi from Criminal Minds born in 1956; but in Vietnam in 1969. Impossible, since he would only be 13 at that time.

What explains this contradiction and what would the character's real birthdate be? Where do those biographies derive his age or Vietnam service from? Has this been mentioned in the show itself?

  • Is the DOB sourced? If not then clearly it's wrong...either it's a mistake by the writers (it happens) or the Wikia information is unconconfirmed and wrong.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 6:57
  • What explains this contradiction Not every contradiction can be explained. Mistakes happen. Where do those biographies derive his age or Vietnam service from? If the biographies mention it explicitly, you have your answer. If they don't, you can only ask the author.
    – Flater
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 8:34
  • "Bios have …". It would help to know specifically which bios. I.e. give explicit quotations and provide links to them. Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 12:59

2 Answers 2


Well, it was illegal, but theoretically possible, for someone born in 1956 to be in the US military in Vietnam in 1969.

Dan Bullock is believed to have been the youngest US serviceman killed in action in Vietnam. He was born December 21, 1953, and lied about his age to enlist September 18, 1968 age 14 years, 8 months, and 28 days. He arrived in Vietnam May 18, 1969 (15 years, 4 months, & 27 days) and killed June 7, 1969 (age 15 years, 5 months, & 17 days).

Since only a minority of Marines in Vietnam were killed in action, there should have been several as young as Dan Bullock who survived their tours of duty, and possibly someone as young as David Rossi might have been.

If David Rossi of Criminal Minds lied about his age to enlist, then he might have been born sometime between January 1, 1956 and December 31, 1956, and arrived in Vietnam sometime between January 1, 1969 and December 31, 1969. Thus his age when he arrived in Vietnam might have ranged from twelve years and one day to thirteen years, eleven months, and thirty days (one day before his fourteenth birthday).

Thus it is unlikely, but theoretically possible, that a boy David Rossi's age could have looked old enough to claim to be 18 and enlist and serve in Vietnam in 1969.

Or maybe the sources you used for David Rossi's biography are in error.

Or maybe the writers of Criminal minds didn't notice that it doesn't add up. There is a TV Tropes trope called "Writers Cannot Do Math". It does discuss Criminal Minds, but not Rossi's timeline.


Well, I will chalk it up to the writers not doing the math. In season 3, episode 7, Rossi told the team that he was 52. That episode was in in 2007 and since the show was keeping with the current time, that would make him born in '55.

  • While it's okay to answer your own question, what you write really shouldn't be a response to another question. That's what comments are for (which you'll be able to do when your rep hits 50). I would suggest deleting your answer and simply accepting M.A. Golding's answer to say thank (and earn yourself some more rep), ...and maybe editing your question to include your decision. :)
    – inkista
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 18:46

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