SJtr Cod4topright MW2icontr Findmakarovicon MW3tr Ideafornewfeaturedstar
John F. Kennedy Black Ops We are in grave danger from the spoilers. Our freedom – our very way of life – is at risk.

Warning! This article contains spoilers for an upcoming or recently released product.
Read at your own risk!

"Place is filled with living casualties of the last war...which I swear I thought we'd won. But I guess it's all a day at the races: you back the losing horse, and this is where you end up."
— Soap in the beginning of "The Gulag"

John[1] "Soap" MacTavish[2] was the Scottish[3] main protagonist of the Modern Warfare franchise. He appeared in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare as a Sergeant, serving as the 22nd S.A.S. Regiment's[2] sniper and demolitions expert[citation needed], and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 as a Captain and the Field Commander of Task Force 141[4], along with Captain John Price.

He played an important role during the Ultranationalist crisis, being a newcomer to the British Special Air Service and part of Captain Price's Bravo Team[2]. Players assume the role of Soap in Modern Warfare in addition to other characters. He is present as an NPC in Modern Warfare 2, except for the last three levels of the game, where the player once again plays as Soap. In Modern Warfare 3, MacTavish was killed in action after being caught in an explosion with Yuri and falling from a high distance while trying to assassinate Vladimir Makarov, dying from massive blood loss.[5]


Early life

Soap tags 2

Soap's dog tags.

Not much is known about Soap's early life except he was born Roman Catholic (as seen on his dog tags). He is from Scotland, which is evident by the Scottish flag seen on his dog tags, along with his Scottish accent.

Military career

Soap's "Red notice" shows that he served with the 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment prior to joining the SAS, with at least one tour in Northern Ireland.[6]

SAS career

"The F.N.G."


Soap with Captain Price at the SAS headquarters in Hereford.

"It's the FNG, sir."
— An SAS trooper referring to "Soap" MacTavish while talking to Price.

'Soap' begins his S.A.S. career hours before the Second Russian Civil War begins. Initially, Soap starts out as a Sergeant. Whilst in the S.A.S.'s training camp in Credenhill, U.K., Soap received a quick training session in weapons and techniques by a fellow S.A.S. member Gaz, before being introduced to Captain John Price and the rest of Bravo Team. He is referred to as "the F.N.G." (short for 'Fucking New Guy') by Gaz. After passing the C.Q.B. (close-quarter battle) test, Soap is briefed on the mission to infiltrate and assault a cargo ship in the Bering Strait.[2] On board the ship, they discover a nuclear bomb bound for Russia, though enemy MiGs interrupt their investigations. In the process of escaping the doomed vessel, Soap was forced to leap for the ramp of the team's helicopter, just as it was beginning to fly away. He lost his grip; however, mere seconds before he was bound to fall off the vehicle, Soap was rescued by Captain Price.[7]

Rescue of Code Name: Nikolai

Upon completing the mission, 'Soap', Price and Gaz travel to the Caucasus Mountains in Russia to extract the informant who supplied them with the intelligence for the cargo ship, a man codenamed "Nikolai". Working in close conjunction with Russian government, Loyalists led by Sergeant Kamarov. They successfully locate and extract Nikolai from the battle zone[8], though their helicopter is shot down by an Ultranationalist surface-to-air missile. Bravo Team, Nikolai and another S.A.S. operator is forced to fight their way through enemy lines[9], before being provided with support from an AC-130H Spectre Gunship, call-signed "Wildfire." They are extracted by helicopters under cover of heavy air support from Wildfire.[10]

The Search For Al-Asad

Soap's next mission with Bravo Team would take him to Azerbaijan, clearing through an abandoned village in search of Khaled Al-Asad. Upon locating him, Soap witnessed Al-Asad's interrogation and execution at the hands of Captain Price[11], learning that Imran Zakhaev had been Al-Asad's weapons supplier[12]. The next day, it appears Soap was designated the team's support man, being equipped with both an M249 and M21 sniper rifle. He was placed in charge of covering the team's retreat with the Minigun from a downed Black Hawk (destroying several Ultranationalist Helicopters in the process) and detonating the explosive charges placed at Phase Line Bravo. Afterwards, he was the point man when the squad had to backtrack to the lower part of the village due to heavy coverage of Anti Aircraft weapons in the vicinity. Following this, Soap and the rest of Bravo Team were extracted by US Marines led by Staff Sergeant Griggs.[13]

Chasing the Son of Zakhaev

"Soap, restrain him now!"
— Captain Price to Soap after cornering Victor Zakhaev.

MacTavish's final mission in the Russian civil war saw him infiltrating Russia as part of the joint task force of US Marines and SAS operators in order to eliminate Imran Zakhaev's nuclear capability. After grouping with US forces, Soap and his allies proceeded to enter an Ultranationalist outpost and secure it, as part of plan to capture Zakhaev's son, Victor Zakhaev. After a few hours, a convoy arrives in the outpost, led by Victor himself. Bravo Team, disguised as Russian guards, allow Victor to enter the facility, though quickly reveal their true intentions and attack his forces. During the battle that followed, Soap and Griggs provided sniper support for the rest of the team from a high tower. However, Victor Zakhaev rams his jeep into one of the legs of the tower, sending it tumbling to the ground, providing the perfect distraction to get away. Stunned, Soap was unable to take down Victor before he could get away. After chasing him through a small village, and a five story building, Soap and the rest of the team corner Victor. Unwilling to betray his father's secrets, Victor committed suicide before Soap could take away his weapon.[14]

15,000 Nukes At Stake

All In Campaign

The ICBM launch facility where Soap and the rest of Bravo Team were sent to abort the nukes.

Angered at his son's death, Zakhaev threatened to launch nuclear missiles at the East Coast of America if US and British forces did not withdraw from Russia. In order to handicap Zakhaev's nuclear threat, Soap, Price, Gaz, Griggs, and several other SAS members parachuted into the Altay Mountains in order to reach his launch facility. However, their mission was delayed by Griggs' separation and subsequent capture. After eventually locating and recovering him, Soap planted a set of C4 on a power tower, destroying the electricity supply to the facility. Following this, the team regrouped with US snipers before witnessing a double nuclear missile launch at Zakhaev's hands. Entering the facility, the team furiously fought against time to reach the launch control center, and eventually deactivated the missiles. However, the team was unable to prevent Zakhaev's escape, and he managed to depart the facility before anything could be done. The group then attempted to escape, with Soap provided all-around covering fire for their jeep as they made their way to the extraction site. However, Zakhaev's Mi-24 Hind damaged the bridge, forcing Soap and his companions to fight their way on their own.

Fighting fiercely at the bridge in a massive penultimate battle, Soap was thrown to the ground and severely injured by an exploding oil truck. He was pulled into cover by Sgt. Griggs, moments before Griggs himself was killed. He then watched helplessly as Imran Zakhaev and his bodyguards executed Gaz and two other SAS operatives. Just as all hope seemed lost, a Loyalist Mi-28 gunship destroyed the Ultranationalist Mi-24 Hind, forcing Zakhaev and his henchmen to turn away their attention from Soap and open fire on the helicopter. A heavily wounded Price slid Soap his M1911 pistol, which Soap used to kill Zakhaev and two of his bodyguards.

Moments later, Loyalist forces flooded the scene and Kamarov came to Soap's aid, placing him onto a stretcher, assuring him that he will be alright. Soap passed out during the middle of extraction, though survived his wounds alongside Price. After he recovered, he thought all of his squadmates had died, including Price.

Inter-War period and Operation Kingfish

Soaps training schedule

Soap's training schedule

Soap recuperated in Russia with Nikolai, then a military hospital in Birmingham, U.K. before returning to Credenhill. He began to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, believing it was his fault that Griggs, Gaz and the others had died while feeling guilty that he had survived. He does take some comfort in having killed Zakhaev, saying it makes it worthwhile. He was also under the impression that Price had perished alongside the others.

On October 8th, 2013, a joint Task Force 141/Delta Force operation codenamed Operation Kingfish was launched; the team consisting of just Price, John "Soap" MacTavish, Simon "Ghost" Riley, and Delta Operator Sandman.

Field Commander of Task Force 141

Main article: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

By 2016, MacTavish had become the task force's field commander, leading the 141's operations with Lieutenant Simon "Ghost" Riley and Sergeant Gary "Roach" Sanderson under his command. MacTavish evidently did not reveal his SAS nickname to any of the members, hinted in the mission "The Gulag" where Price is rescued by the Task Force 141 and exclaims "Soap?", followed by Worm asking, "Who's Soap?".

Recovering the ACS

"Roach, these muppets have no idea we're here. Let's take this nice and slow."
— Soap to Roach in "Cliffhanger".

When the Russians get their hands on a downed U.S satellite, MacTavish and Sanderson are sent to infiltrate a Russian airbase to recover an ACS module within the Tian Shan mountain range in Kazakhstan. After scaling the mountain and sneaking through base, the two recover the module inside a hangar. However, they are quickly compromised by Major Petrov and his forces. MacTavish tells Roach to go to Plan B. In a daring escape, Roach and MacTavish fight their way out of the base and commandeer snowmobiles, leading to a thrilling chase down the mountainside to the awaiting evacuation team.

Alejandro Rojas

"Frontrunner, this is Bravo Six. We've got the package. I repeat we have got the package."
— Soap to Command after capturing Alejandro Rojas.

Shortly after the mission in Kazakhstan, MacTavish led Task Force 141 into Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to capture Rojas, an arms dealer who had supplied the Russian terrorist Vladimir Makarov during his assault on Zakhaev International Airport. While Soap and Ghost interrogated Rojas' right-hand man, Roach and two other task force members (Royce & Meat) went into the favela in search of Rojas. The two are killed in the fighting, leaving Roach to tackle the favela by himself. Roach fights his way through, eventually linking up with MacTavish and Ghost, whom have just captured Rojas. However, all they managed to learn from Rojas is that Makarov has a strong hatred for Prisoner 627 in a Russian gulag.

Due to the surprise invasion of the United States, the airspace around Brazil is locked down, leaving the task force stranded in the middle of enemy territory. In order to escape, MacTavish calls in Nikolai, whom Soap had saved during the events of the Second Russian Civil War. Surrounded by militia, the task force fights its way to a market, where Nikolai was supposed to pick them up in a helicopter. However, due to the fire from the militia he is forced to the secondary extraction point. During the escape, Roach is nearly left behind when he falls off a rooftop. However, he makes his way back to the top, Militia in tow, and makes it aboard the helicopter.

Counterstrike in Russia

"Long history of this building. Not much of it pretty. Started out as a castle. With an actual dungeon. Built to withstand any siege. Building survived every brutal winter. The occupants... they weren't so lucky. The Monastery. Didn't survive the purges. Over the last century it's played host to anyone the government didn't want, but couldn't kill. Place is filled with living casualties of the last war... which I swear I thought we'd won. But I suppose it's all a day at the races: you back the losing horse, and this is where you end up. Six-Two-Seven is the piece of meat Makarov wants, so let's cut him loose."
— Soap's description of the gulag and their mission to retrieve Prisoner 627.
Mw2 soap runninggulag

MacTavish leading the assault to rescue Prisoner 627 in The Gulag.

Shortly after being extracted from South America, the Navy SEALs and Task Force 141 initiated a two-stage operation. The first stage being to secure a modified oil platform in order to disable SAM sites on the platform, and the second phase to infiltrate the prison itself. After infiltrating the prison, MacTavish led his troops through the Russian gulag, and eventually reach Prisoner 627, who turns out to be none other than Captain Price. Although Price is at first hostile towards Roach, he rejoins after recognizing Soap, and the squad manages to extract (via SPIE rig) from the gulag before it explodes. During this time, MacTavish returns Price's M1911 pistol he used to kill Imran Zakhaev five years ago.

The Contingency

Task Force 141 then headed into Petropavlovsk, Russia, seemingly on a mission to destroy a submarine. During the course of the mission, Roach facilitated Price's infiltration inside a submarine by providing Predator drone support. However, in a sudden twist of events, Price used the submarine to launch a nuclear missile, using it as an EMP to hinder the Russian's attack on America.

Shepherd's True Motives

After the events of the nuclear launch, Task Force 141 was split up to investigate two locations, with Price and MacTavish investigating an arms deal in Afghanistan, while Ghost and Roach and the bulk of the task force investigate one of Makarov's safehouses in Russia. Price and MacTavish are attacked by Shepherd's men and attempt to warn Ghost and Roach, only to be too late in the process. Soap and Price manage to escape the aircraft graveyard with the help of Nikolai while getting some intelligence from Makarov, focusing on killing Shepherd.


"We've got one good UMP. They've got a thousand."
— Soap to Price in opening cutscene of "Just Like Old Times".
Shepherd's death

Soap killing General Shepherd

The two then pursue Shepherd through Afghanistan, fighting through his Shadow Company and into Site Hotel Bravo. They then prevent Shepherd's escape by shooting down the general's Pave Low where they eventually corner him and attempt to kill him. However, as MacTavish attempts to stab Shepherd, the latter disarms Soap, slams his head into a broken down car (thus knocking him to the ground) and impales Soap with Shepherd's knife. Before Shepherd could execute Soap with a .44 Magnum, however, Price tackles Shepherd, causing him to drop the gun. As Soap crawls towards it, Shepherd manages to push Price away from him, kicking the .44 Magnum away and stomping Soap's head. Price and Shepherd then engage in a long, brutal hand-to-hand fight that Soap can see as he drifts in and out of consciousness, with Shepherd eventually gaining the upper hand. However Soap, now awake, manages to gather what little strength he had left to get the knife out of his chest, and throws it into Shepherd's left eye, killing the traitorous general in seconds. Price, who had been punched unconscious, awakens, pushing Shepherd´s body off of him. Seeing Soap's mangled state, Price then comes to his aid and the two are evacuated by Nikolai, who arrives in a MH-6 Little Bird, even though told by Price that it was "a one way trip". During the course of Shepherd's betrayal, Soap and Price were labeled as international fugitives, and were on the run following their victory over Shepherd.

W.I.A. and Disavowed

"He's a hard bastard. Trust me, he'll make it."
— Price referring to Soap in the movie before the start of "Persona Non Grata"
Main article: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Shortly after his victory over General Shepherd, Soap's recent wounds had him slowly dying on the trip to Nikolai's safehouse in India. To make matters worse, a large group of Makarov's men assaulted the safehouse in an attempt to kill the remnants of Task Force 141. Soap's survival would not have happened had it not been for the actions of Price, Nikolai, and new found ally Yuri. After escaping from the ruined safehouse and fighting through the streets of Himachal Pradesh, they are evacuated by Nikolai in the chopper.

Going After Makarov

MW3 soap menu

Soap in the MW3 campaign menu

"The sandstorm's movin' in fast. We'll only have one shot at this."
— Soap, to Yuri at the beginning of "Return to Sender".

Two months after his recovery, Soap accompanies Price and Yuri on missions in Sierra Leone and Somalia in pursuit of Makarov. When they land in Sierra Leone, the group follows up on Yuri's suspicions about Makarov's weapon shipments, and learn that the recent cargo Makarov's men retrieved were chemical weapons being shipped to Paris, Berlin, and London. Shortly after the wave of chemical attacks, intelligence from Price's former commanding officer, MacMillan, leads the team to a local warlord in Somalia named Waraabe, which leads to Soap assisting Price in interrogating him on intel about Makarov. The intelligence facilitates Team Metal's apprehension of Makarov's bomb-maker, Volk, during the Ultranationalist attack on Paris and Berlin.


"I'm sorry."
— Captain Price's final words to Soap after Soap's death.
Soap dead

Price mourning over Soap's body.

The acquired intelligence from Team Metal leads Price, Soap, and Yuri to Makarov's location in Prague, setting the stage for Eye of the Storm and Blood Brothers. With aid from Kamarov, Price, Soap, and Yuri use the distraction of the local Resistance to their advantage to reach their assigned spots at the Hotel Lustig. Price would infiltrate the Hotel Lustig while Soap and Yuri provide cover with their sniper rifles at a nearby church. However, Makarov, not wanting to fall in the same trap as Zakhaev, caught wind of the assassination attempt and detonates the bombs planted on Kamarov and at Soap and Yuri's overwatch position. Soap pushes Yuri out the hole in the wall to save him, but gets caught in the blast radius, accompanied by suffering a long fall. Soap survives the fall, but as a result of the fall and some debris collapsing on him, the stab wound he received from General Shepherd a couple of months earlier reopens, causing him to bleed profusely. Just before the detonation, Soap briefly learns of Yuri's then-unknown acquaintance with Makarov.

Price and Yuri desperately rush Soap to a nearby resistance safehouse, where Soap relays the recent revelation to Price before dying. After being in brief denial of Soap's death, Price stands still for a moment, then places the M1911 used to kill Imran Zakhaev in Call of Duty 4 that Soap had given him in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on his chest and takes his journal (which was included in the Hardened edition of Modern Warfare 3) from one of Soap's pouches. Soap's death fuels Price's vengeance against Makarov, even after the end of World War III. Soap's name, John MacTavish, was later inscribed on the Hereford clocktower honoring fallen S.A.S. veterans.


"Break's over, Roach. Let's go."
— Soap to Roach in Cliffhanger. Also his first words in the Modern Warfare series.
"Took the scenic route, eh?"
— Soap to Roach after they regroup on "Cliffhanger".
"Roach! Roach! Wake up!"
— Soap to Roach after the latter falls off the building in The Hornet's Nest,
"...Too right, mate. Now in the eyes of the world, they're the victims. Nobody's gonna say a word when the Russians club every American they can reach."
— Soap, "Takedown" pre-cutscene.
"...I know a guy. Let's find a pay phone — they still exist?"
— Soap, "The Hornet's Nest" pre-cutscene.
"Place is filled with living casualties of the last war...which I swear I thought we'd won. But I guess it's all a day at the races: you back the losing horse, and this is where you end up."
— Soap, in the "The Gulag" pre-cutscene.
"This belongs to you, sir."
— Soap, giving back the M1911 he received during "Game Over" to Captain Price in "The Gulag".
"It's good to have you back, old man."
— Soap to Captain Price in "Contingency".
"We've got one good UMP. They've got a thousand."
— Soap, in the cutscene before "Just Like Old Times"
"Oi, numpty! Watch your fire!"
— Soap, if the player shoots him by accident
"Dogs. I hate dogs."
— Soap, "Contingency", when Price mentions a German Shepherd.
"Brought some friends with you, eh?"
— Soap, after Roach meets him while being chased by enemies in Cliffhanger.
"Roach—go to plan B.'"
— Soap to Roach in "Cliffhanger", as a signal to detonate the C4.
"Ghost, you've opened the wrong door!"
— After Ghost opens the wrong side of a checkpoint in "The Gulag" cell block.
"Who the bloody hell's Yuri?"
— Soap's first words in Modern Warfare 3, spoken during "Persona Non Grata".
"...You worry about yourself, old man."
— Soap to Price in "Back on the Grid".
"The sandstorm's movin' in fast. We'll only have one shot at this."
— Soap, to Yuri at the beginning of "Return to Sender".
"...You seem to know a lot about Makarov."
— Soap, about Yuri's knowledge of Makarov, in the "Blood Brothers" pre-cutscene.
"Just leave me, Price."
— Soap, to Price in "Blood Brothers".
"Price... you need to know. Makarov... knows... Yuri..."
— Soap's last words before his death in "Blood Brothers".



  • Soap seems to be a designated marksman, as he often starts with a sniper rifle in the Modern Warfare series.
  • Soap also appears to be an explosives specialist, having used a variety of C4 and claymores in Call of Duty 4, and C4, nicknamed "Plan B", in Modern Warfare 2.
    • In Modern Warfare 2, whenever C4 needs to be set up or detonated, Soap always refers to it as "Plan B."
  • He seems to be a dexterous sketcher, known for Price's "Dick Tickler" (his mustache), a bust of Kamarov, and the scene in Game Over.
  • Soap, like Captain Price, is a smoker. This is shown in "Cliffhanger". According to his journal, Soap takes up smoking cigars (particularly the brand Villa Clara, which were Price's favorite), to help cope with his survivor's guilt following the Zakhaev operation that killed Gaz and Griggs.
  • In the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 E3 2009 Preview, Soap had an English accent.
  • In the trailer of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Soap is shown being shot and killed in the mission "Cliffhanger".
  • Soap's scar on his left eye changes in different missions. On the level "Cliffhanger" it is straight down, where as on other missions it goes straight down and then turns and cuts in towards his nose.
  • In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, he is referred to as "Captain MacTavish" in the subtitles until "Contingency", where he is referred to as "Soap."
  • Soap's line, "Dogs... I hate dogs" is a reference to Indiana Jones' line, "Snakes... I hate snakes." It is also a humorous reference to his multiple encounters with attack dogs in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Finally, Soap's dislike of dogs appears all throughout his field journal, with comical illustrations to boot. Furthermore, according to his journal Soap was also infected by rabies by a dog in Azerbaijan, hence also adding to his hate of dogs.
  • Soap has killed Imran Zakhaev and Lieutenant-General Shepherd, two of the three main antagonists in the Modern Warfare series.
  • Soap has been rescued twice while close to death both times by the Loyalist Russians and both times he was evacuated by helicopter.
  • He and Price appear to have formed a deep friendship since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
  • Soap has a tattoo of a revolver on the back of his neck.
  • After Soap's death in "Blood Brothers" Captain Price pulls out his M1911 pistol and lays it on Soap's chest. This was the same pistol that Price gave to Soap in "Game Over", later returned to him in "The Gulag".
  • As seen in the cutscene for "Stronghold", Soap had received the three highest decorations available to British Commonwealth military personnel during his career. These awards are (in order of rank), the Victoria Cross, the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross and the Distinguished Service Order.

The Victoria Cross, the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross and the Distinguished Service Order given to Soap

  • Soap is the only character to be playable in all three Modern Warfare games. He is the main protagonist of the first, is a playable character for the last three missions of the second, and is controllable during the prologue of the third.
  • Soap's blood type is O-positive (O POS), as indicated on his dog tags in the intro of Stronghold
  • Soap is Roman Catholic, as indicated by the letters "RC" on his dog tags.
  • Soap shows some climbing and free-running ability while escaping the favelas and the town in Sierra Leone, and by getting over obstacles with speed and ease, as shown by the somersault he executes in "Back on the Grid" to evade a grenade´s blast radius.
  • Soap supports "The Glasgow Football Club", a fictional Glaswegian football team.[15]
  • Soap has a Ranger strapped on his back in the mission "Back on the Grid", but he does not use it.
  • Soap has killed both Zakhaev and Shepherd while he is wounded.
  • In his journal, it says that, after the events of the first Modern Warfare, the M1911 pistol Price slid to him became his obsession. He started cleaning it everyday while he thought Price was dead.


  1. File:Soap tags 2.png
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 FNG
  3. File:Soap Legacy 1.png
  4. Cliffhanger
  5. Blood Brothers
  6. File:Soap_MW3_Dossier.png
  7. Crew Expendable
  8. Blackout
  9. Hunted
  10. Death From Above
  11. Safehouse
  12. All Ghillied Up and One Shot, One Kill
  13. Heat
  14. The Sins of the Father
  15. Soap's Journal Page 17
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.