- "He was right, until that treaty collapsed and chaos set in. Now, we got friends on the ground who need professionals to get the job done right. Shadow Company has actionable intel and the best warfighters money can buy. So I ask you, who do you want to be? Who do you want on your team? Join us."
- — Marcus "Lerch" Ortega
Senior Officer Marcus Ortega, also known as Lerch, is a Shadow Company operator of the Allegiance faction featured in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, who was released at the start of Season Five as part of the Battle Pass.
Born in Plano, Texas, Marcus Ortega was somewhat of a loner growing up and as a teen possessed natural size and strength. Those attributes led him to the gridiron where he was dominant on the field and prone to causing injuries to others.
Disinterested in college or a 9 to 5 job, Lerch jumped at the opportunity to join the United States Marine Corps and boot camp was everything he hoped for. After joining the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Lerch thrived on the battlefield and his enjoyment of the fight wasn’t lost on his squadmates. Everyone noted it was better to have Lerch fighting beside them than against them.
After an unfortunate mishap with use of excessive force and insurgents, Lerch was honorably discharged, though some of his more questionable choices made this a borderline case. Civilian life didn't particularly appeal to him, and it wasn't long until he was approached by an international private security firm, the Shadow Company, after its CEO came across Lerch’s dossier where they saw him as the perfect combination of skill and moral flexibility. Lerch quickly became Senior Officer of the firm.
After the fall of Armistice, the Shadow Company joined the fighting taking place in Verdansk. When the Allegiance intercepted comms traffic attributed to Victor Zakhaev coming from the city stadium, Lerch and a small crew of Shadow Company operatives arrived in Verdansk as Rozlin "Roze" Helms was rigging the stadium roof. Once the roof was blown off, the team landed inside the stadium to hunt down Zakhaev.