That's not the worst of it, though. They don't tell you this in the action films, but it takes a good ten minutes of flight - or should I say fall? - to reach the ground from orbit. But you're not actually in free-fall, no. See, people on the ground usually know you're coming. They're generally trying their damnedest to kill you before you land. So the drop pod is built with that in mind. It's got thrusters built into the hull all over it, not just the braking jets at the wide end. It homes in on the preset landing location, but it maneuvers randomly within a certain range of flight paths. The effect of this, as you're coming down...
Well, I get ahead of myself. The thing is, as you come in through the upper atmosphere, your pod is wreathed in a halo of plasma fire. On the plus side, this makes it hard for anyone to get a solid radar lock on you. On the downside, the walls of the capsule are not that thick, and if the smallest tendril of flame manages to force itself in, the pod will instantly be filled with the fury of a star. You'll be burnt to a crisp. Plus, anyone with a good thermal tracker knows exactly where you are. But never mind that.
Down in the lower atmosphere, as the braking jets fire and the plasma flame dissipates, the gunners on the ground can get a solid radar lock. So the pod starts doing its crazy dance, dumping out chaff and thermal decoys, probably dodging tons of incoming ordnance. The shaking of reentry is nothing compared to this - you're rattled around so hard, you can't even think. And no Marine I know has ever been afraid to admit he wept, sobbed or screamed the first few times his squad came in loud and hard. It doesn't get any less frightening over time. You just learn to bite your tongue.