5. Kara Thrace.
Turning Dirk Benedict's roguish Han Solo rip-off Starbuck into a woman was by far the most controversial choice the rebooted Battlestar Galactica made at the outside, but nowadays, people are more likely to ask "Dirk who?" Booed by the audience at Comic-Con in 2004, Katee Sackhoff would have a hard time finding haters there now, as her smoking, sexing, boozing pilot proved that men don't have a monopoly on lovable asshole roles, and that fanboys, perhaps like some military brass, don't always really know what's good for them at first.
4. Ellen Ripley.
When Aliens came out, critics called her "Rambolina," but unlike Stallone's haunted Vietnam vet, she seemed utterly unburdened by PTSD as she blasted away at acid-spitting xenomorphs and used an oversized power tool to get the biggest, baddest mother in the known universe to die. She's so tough that even she can't defeat herself - after successfully committing suicide, she bounced right back as a clone in the next movie.
3. She-Spawn II.
Like so many McFarlane figures, this character has no real backstory, existing mainly because a demented artist was bored one day. But we can deduce a couple of things about her. One, she's a Hellspawn, and therefore has a symbiotic costume and abilities like teleportation and green flame-blasting. Two, she's carrying a gun that weighs more than she does. If the symbiote can handle the recoil on that sucker, having her in the platoon will be a real blast.
2. Samus Aran.
Yes, she's from the future, but if she can handle a powered exoskeleton, modern military hardware shouldn't give the girl a problem. An intergalactic orphan infused with alien DNA, she's practically the poster-child for gender-blind recruitment, as fans didn't even know she had women-parts until they finished the first game, and by then it was too late to dismiss her skills.
1. Sarah Connor.
She's self-trained to take on an army of remorseless killer robots from the future, can play dead with ease, knows every bone in the human body (though she's been known to miscount them) and is fully prepared to survive a nuclear attack. While doomsday prepping, she found time to have a son and teach him how to be an effective criminal. Think North Korea's going to scare her? Not so much.
She even survived terminal cancer in unique fashion, via a retcon that saw her move to TV and get played by a new actress. Now that's a survival skill.