- "Shadow Company is a different breed. No more vodka-drunk Ultranationalists. They're trained like we are."
- — John "Soap" MacTavish
Shadow Company is an elite secret unit of private military contractors under the direct command of General Shepherd that appears as the main enemy faction for the last missions in the campaign of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and in one Special Ops mission, "Snatch & Grab". All members of the unit are extremely loyal to General Shepherd to the point where they assisted him in his plans to betray Task Force 141. The Shadow Company return as a multiplayer faction in Call of Duty Online.
Shadow Company makes its first confirmed appearance in Loose Ends, in the Caucasus Mountains near the Georgian-Russian border, securing the landing zone that Roach and Ghost must get to, who have downloaded a DSM containing vital intelligence on Makarov. They are briefly shown as allies, until their leader, Shepherd, betrays Roach and Ghost and kills them. A few soldiers help Shepherd get rid of the bodies by pouring petrol on them and lighting it on fire with Shepherd's cigar.
Their next appearance is in The Enemy of My Enemy, at the U.S. Vehicle Disposal Yard 437 in Eastern Afghanistan, fighting Makarov's Inner Circle. They attempt to kill Soap and Price, but fail. The outcome of their battle with the Russians is not directly shown, but it is implied that they were victorious.
Their last appearances are in Just Like Old Times and Endgame, when Soap and Price infiltrate Site Hotel Bravo, their command base, coming for Shepherd's life. They are at first unaware of Soap and Price's presence until their patrols gradually go missing due to the infiltration.
They once again fail to stop Soap and Price, leading to Shepherd attempting to escape on a Zodiac. Price, while successfully preventing the rogue commander's escape by downing his helicopter, goes over a waterfall with Soap. A long and desperate fistfight ensues between a weary Captain Price and General Shepherd. It only ends when Soap, stabbed by Shepherd and heavily wounded, removes the knife from his injury and expertly throws it through Shepherd's left eye, killing him and leaving the future of Shadow Company in question. The group is not mentioned through the remainder of the Modern Warfare storyline.
However, despite their complete loyalty towards him, Shepherd holds little regard for their lives and considers them all to be ultimately expendable. During Just Like Old Times, Shepherd orders Excalibur to call in a danger-close artillery strike on Site Hotel Bravo, killing an unknown number of his own men in a failed attempt to also kill Soap and Price.
Command and Control Units
- Gold Eagle - General Shepherd, Commanding Officer.
- Oxide - Communications officer, possibly second in command.
- Excalibur - Artillery commander.
Disciple - Patrol for Site Hotel Bravo.
- Disciple 1 - Unit in Site Hotel Bravo
- Alpha Element - Part of Disciple 1 that is patrolling the riverbed
- Disciple 2 - Unit in Site Hotel Bravo
- Bravo Element - Part of Disciple 2 that stopped their patrol because of the sandstorm.
- Disciple 3
- Disciple 4
- Zulu Element - 6 man patrol east along the Canyon, North side access road with 2 German Shepherds. (First group to be eliminated by Price and Soap)
- Disciple 5 - 2 men guarding the cave entrance overlooking the river.
- Disciple 6 - Unit in Site Hotel Bravo
- Foxtrot Element - Section of Disciple 6 that breaches the steam room
- Disciple 9 - Unit on the catwalks outside the caves.
Butcher - Patrol for Site Hotel Bravo.
- Butcher 1 - Unit in the open area of Site Hotel Bravo (where Excalibur fires upon with target package Romeo)
- Butcher 1-5 - element of Butcher 1 that rendezvous with Shepherd and escorts him to the Zodiacs
- Butcher 2 - Fast ropes from Black Hawks into sector Papa Quebec.
- Butcher 3
- Butcher 5 - Unit within the command room, prepares the demolition charges.
- Butcher 5 Actual - Commander of Butcher 5, heard over radio talking to Oxide about a severed detonator cord
- Butcher 7 - Searches for Disciple 5.
Carnival - Patrol for Site Hotel Bravo.
- Carnival 1
- Carnival 3
- Avatar - MQ-1 Predator UAV operators
- Avatar 1 - UAV operator.
- Avatar 2 - UAV Predator Drone
- Warhorse 5-1 - MH-53 Pave Low helicopter.
- Thunder Two-One - AH-6 Little Bird helicopter that protected Ghost and Roach from Ultranationalists in "Loose Ends".
- Scaler 3 - Unknown type of helicopter on patrol.
Unknown Unit type/Possible Units
- Mongoose 2 - Possible helicopter or ground unit, cannot be determined.
- Mongoose 1, 3, 4 etc.
- Disciple 7 and 8.
- Butcher 4, 6 and 9
- Carnival 2, 4 to 9
- Warhorse 5-2 and 5-3, as two MH-53s can be seen at the end of "Loose Ends". Although it is likely one of these is 5-1.
- Scaler 1, 2, 4 etc., most likely helicopter units judging from radio chatter.
- Thunder 2-2 etc.
- Kestrel 3-2 - Most likely MH-6 Little Birds assigned to assist Butcher One-Five to escort Shepherd to the LZ, whilst Shepherd tells Kestrel 3-2 to hold position when Soap and Price arrive to try and stop him. Kestrel 3-2 are probably the Little Bird choppers seen throughout Endgame, as Shepherd demands Avatar One to order danger close air strikes, along with UAV support.
- Unidentified RPG Teams - Mentioned in radio chatter as trying to stop Price and MacTavish.
Shadow Company soldiers are heavily armed, highly trained and extremely dangerous. Their choice of weapons consists of modern weapons, with the ACR and SCAR as their primaries. Their weapons of choice are similar to those of Task Force 141 and the U.S. Army Rangers. Their arsenal includes:
Sub-machine Guns and Machine Pistols
Shadow Company has a variety of vehicles, most of them used by the U.S. military. These include:
- Technical / Pick up truck (x10), Up-armored SUV (x9)
- UAZ-469 (x3)
- M1026 HMMWV (x3, Unlimited on cliff road)
- M1A1 Abrams (Unlimited on cliff road)
- M2A2 Bradley (Unlimited on cliff road)
- UH-60 Black Hawk (x4)
- MH-53 Pave Low (x3)
- AH-6 Little Bird (x17)
- MH-6 Little Bird (x5)
- Zodiac (x15)
- MQ-1 Predator (x2)
- F-15 Eagle (x2)
- CH-46 Sea Knight (x2)
Soldiers of this unit are distinguished by their black combat uniforms, with both a U.S. flag and a spade symbol patch being worn on either arm, and tan SDS BAE releasable body armor vests, and by wearing Pro-Tec bump helmets with balaclavas and tactical goggles, with night vision goggles occasionally being worn as well; they also have various other equipment such as magazines pouches, grenades, etc. (See the Character Models section below)
- "Check your fire!"
- "Hey, check your fire!"
- "Watch your fire!"
- "Friendly fire! Friendly fire!"
Target acquisition/call out
- "Target acquired!"
- "Got eyes on target!"
- "Got a visual!"
- "I have a target!"
- "I got eyes on target!"
- "I have a visual!"
- "I got movement!"
- "I see movement!"
- "I got a runner!"
- "Got a footmobile, he's Oscar Mike!"
- "Enemy footmobile, Oscar Mike!"
- "They're Oscar Mike!"
- "Target is Oscar Mike!" [Alternatively; "Target is on the move!"]
Random battle chatter
- "These guys are armored up! Locate TWs[?] and aim for headshots!"
- "They're following the SAS handbook, keep them in check!"
- "Keep pushing around their flanks, these guys are predictable!"
- "Stay frosty, keep it professional. Headshots only."
- "I've killed harder targets than these guys, stay in formation!"
- "Disciple Three, flank through sector Charlie Zulu."
- "I've seen these tactics before, these guys are SAS!"
- "Pick your spots, these guys know how to shoot!"
- "Watch your sectors, maintain fire discipline."
- "Headshots pay double, keep your shots high and tight!"
- "Maintain aggressive posture, stay in visual contact with the target!"
- "Let's go, let's go! Stay on the offensive!" [Alternatively; "Let's go, let's go! Stay on the offensive, men!"]
- "Recon, go!"
- "Weapons free, Charlie team move to intercept!"
- "Alpha team, fall back to rally point Jester!"
- "Hostiles have penetrated deep into the complex. Terminate with extreme prejudice!" [While part of the random battlechatter, this particular line only makes in the context of "Just Like Old Times"]
- "I've got eyes on target, engaging full-auto."
- "Diazepam's kicking in, I'm steady downrange."
- "Frag out!" [Three variations are used]
- "Grenade!" [Six variations are used]
- "Grenade, move!" [Two variations are used]
- "Grenade, get outta there!" [Two variations are used]
- "Tango down!" [Two variations are used]
- "Got him!"
- "Target neutralized!" [Two variations are used]
- "I'm out!" [Two variations are used]
- "Changing mag!" [Two variations are used]
- "Loading!" [Two variations are used]
- "Cover me!" [Three variations are used]
- "Suppressing fire!"
- "Take 'em out!"
- "Light 'em up!"
- "Take 'em down!"
- "I'm moving."
- "I'm moving!"
- "Man down!" [Two variations are used]
- "We got a man down!" [Two variations are used]
- "Got a man down!" [Two variations are used]
Target acknowledgement (In response to another soldier calling out a target)
- "Roger that, I see him!"
- "Copy, target acquired!"
- "Roger, I see him!"
- "Roger, target acquired!"
Target out of sight
- "I can't get a shot!"
- "I don't have a shot!"
- "Can't get a shot, he's out of my line of sight!"
- "Copy!" [Two variations are used]
- "Copy that!" [Two variations are used]
- "Roger!" [Two variations are used]
- "Roger that!" [Two variations are used]
Detecting the player during a stealth section
- "Enemy sighted, requesting backup!"
- "Understood, we're on our way!"
- "We have an intruder, sound the alarm!"
- "Reinforcements are enroute!"
- "Security breach! Lock down all exits, send reinforcements!"
- "We're sending help right now!"
- "We have a security breach! I need backup!"
- We're sending reinforcements to your position!"
- "I have the enemy in sight!"
- We're coming to you, stand by!"
- "I see the intruder, he's armed!"
- "Help is on the way, keep 'em busy!"
- "Drop your weapon, drop it now!" [Addressed to the player]
- "Message received, we are sending reinforcements immediately!"
- "Get your hands up, do it now!" [Addressed to the player]
- "Look out! RPG!"
- "RPG!" [Four variations are used]
- "R-P-G!" [Two variations are used]
Explosion detected during a stealth section
- "What the hell was that?"
- "We have a situation here."
- Check it out, go, go!"
- There's been an explosion, move!"
- I heard it, I'm on my way!"
Body found during a stealth section
- "We have a man down! Search the perimeter!"
- "He's dead! Lock down all the exits, do it now!" [Alternatively; "He's dead! Lock down all exits, do it now!"]
- "Man down! Spread out and search the area!"
- "I found a body! Look for an intruder!"
False alarm during a stealth section
- "Never mind. I'm resuming my patrol."
- "Nothing found over here. Resuming patrol."
- "It was nothing, I'm returning to my post."
- "I didn't find anything, but stay alert."
- "Nothing to report, keep your eyes open for intruders."
- "It was nothing. Stay vigilant." [Alternatively; "It was nothing, but stay frosty." or "It was nothing, but stay vigilant."]
- "It's all clear. I'm resuming my patrol."
- "All clear. Watch your sectors for any suspicious activity."
Suspicion aroused during a stealth section
- "What was that, someone there?" [Alternatively; "Huh? What was that, is someone there?"]
- "Wait, we may have a problem here, stand by."
- "I think we may have an intruder, stand by."
- "Wait, think I see something." [Alternatively; "Wait, I think I see something."]
- "Huh, who's there?"
- "What was that noise?"
- "I heard something, stand by."
- "Think I saw something, stand by." [Alternatively; "I think I saw something, stand by."]
- "Hey, someone there?" [Alternatively; "Hey, is someone there?"]
(Note, any quotes in bold are from General Shepherd)
- "Go ahead Alpha?"
- "River bed all clear, over."
- "Sandstorm, not much to see right now, over..."
- "...uh, we're starting our patrol east along the canyon, north side access road, over."
- "Disciple Four, Oxide, what's your status, over? Disciple Four, Oxide, do you copy, over? Hey I’m not getting anything from Disciple Four at the north ridge road. Could be a bad transmitter."
- "Butcher Seven, Oxide, we've lost contact with Disciple Five. Probably just the sandstorm that's rollin' in or a bad transmitter. Send a team to check it out, over. Roger that Oxide. I'll send Vinson and Lambert. Butcher Seven out."
- "Disciple Six, we've lost all contact with Disciple Five. Check it out, over."
- "Roger that Oxide, we're on the catwalk heading to the steam room, standby."
- "Disciple Six, go dark! Breach and clear!"
- "Door charge planted, ready to breach!"
- "Hit it."
- "Breaching, breaching! Foxtrot Element, sweep left. Search pattern Echo Charlie. Go. Door area clear. Check your corners. They're here, open fire! Stay frosty' hunt 'em down."
- "Disciple Nine, your rearguard just flatlined! Not possible, we just cleared that area. Nobody's that good Oxi-."
- "It's Price. Backup priority items and burn the rest. Fire teams just delay 'em until we're ready to pull out."
- "Oxide, Avatar One, we have unauthorized personnel on the catwalk. I repeat, we have unauthorized personnel on the catwalk. You gettin' this?"
- "Oxide, Disciple Nine. We have hostile contact appropriately fifty meters from the nest, over."
- "All personnel, be advised: we have two enemy foot-mobiles on the catwalk heading to the crow's nest. Terminate with extreme prejudice."
- "Butcher One-Five, rendezvous at the nest and prepare to escort Gold Eagle to the LZ."
- "Butcher Two roping into sector Papa Quebec!"
- "Oxide, Butcher Five-Actual, I've got a severed det cord. We're gonna need ten mikes to get the trunk rigged and the EBC primed, over."
- "Negative. Gold Eagle wants those charges hot in less then three mikes. Get it done. Out."
- '"All units be advised, this is Gold Eagle. The site has been compromised. I am executing Directive One-One-Six Bravo. If your still inside, your service will be honored. Shepherd out."
- "Excalibur, this is Gold Eagle. Fire mission - Target Package Romeo - danger close!"
- "That's within a hundred meters of your position, sir!"
- "That's not a suggestion! Send it."
- "Roger. Fire mission danger close."
- "Sir, sandstorm activity is picking up here. It's too risky for flight ops."
- "Understood, head for the tunnel, we'll take the Zodiacs."
- "Yes sir!"
All Shadow Company soldiers are depicted as having a Caucasian skin tone and as wearing black balaclavas. Most soldiers will wear bump helmets which are either grey with black ballistic goggles pulled up or olive drab/khaki with similarly coloured ballistic goggles worn over the face and night vision goggles mounted to the helmet; there are also various detail differences (such as the olive/khaki helmet having a right-hand-side helmet light), but both models do have American flag patches on either side of the helmet, a left-hand-side light module, and a headset worn under the helmet for communications and/or hearing protection. Soldiers with riot shields will wear a standard military helmet in black with a protective visor.
Uniform and load bearing equipment models
All Shadow Company soldiers are depicted as wearing a black uniform with each arm bearing a US flag patch and a spade symbol patch, a coyote brown body armour vest with black MOLLE strips (load bearing equipment is also coloured this way), coyote brown combat gloves with black fingertips and hard knuckles, coyote brown kneepads, and black boots.
If the soldier is using an assault rifle, the character model has three rifle magazine pouches on the lower left of the chest, a MOLLE panel with three pistol magazine pouches on the upper left of the chest, four utility pouches (three on the right-hand-side, one on the left-hand-side), a radio pouch on the lower left of the back with a cable leading to a push-to-talk module on the upper left of the chest, a hydration bladder on the back with the drinking tube leading to a pouch on the upper right of the chest, two chemlight sticks on the upper right of the chest, and a coyote brown polymer drop holster on the right thigh.
If the soldier is using a submachine gun or a sniper rifle, the character model has a chest rig consisting of several open-top submachine gun magazine pouches (with two road flares or chemlight sticks and three pistol magazine pouches being attached directly to these), three horizontal magazine pouches on the upper chest, loose flashbangs and smoke grenades on the lower left-hand-side, a Special Air Service-type gas mask on the lower left-hand-side, a radio pouch on the lower left of the back with a cable leading to a push-to-talk module on the upper chest pouches, a roll of cable or rope and three small pouches on the lower right-hand-side, and a coyote brown fabric drop holster on the right thigh.
If the soldier is using a shotgun, the character model has a chest rig consisting of three pouches with shotgun shells being carried in external loops (as well as additional shotgun shells on the right shoulder and on a cross-diagonal strap), a carabiner with a tape roll, loose smoke grenades on the lower left-hand-side, various pouches on the lower left-hand-side and back (including a radio pouch with a cable leading to a push-to-talk module on the upper left of the chest), a large roll of cable or rope on the lower right-hand-side, and a tan polymer drop holster on the right thigh with an additional pistol magazine holder.
If the soldier is using a machine gun or a launcher, the character model has a chest rig with two large ammunition pouches on the lower left of the chest, one large ammunition pouch and two smaller ammunition pouches on the lower right of the chest, a coyote brown groin protector, a radio pouch on the upper left of the back with a cable leading to a push-to-talk module on the upper left of the chest, two smaller ammunition pouches on the lower left-hand-side, loose fragmentation grenades on the lower right-hand-side, and a black polymer drop holster on the right thigh.
If the soldier is using a riot shield, the character model has an additional body armour vest in urban camouflage, additional arm protection, a black groin protector, a battle belt in urban camouflage with loose smoke grenades on the left-hand-side, several utility pouches on the lower left- and right-hand-sides, a radio pouch on the upper right of the back with a cable leading to a pouch on the additional body armour vest, and a black polymer drop holster on the right thigh. Uniquely, the character model has a black body armour vest, black gloves with grey fingertips, and black kneepads compared to these being in coyote brown with some black detailing when worn by other Shadow Company soldiers.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Shadow Company does not appear in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, but their logo can be seen throughout the campaign on various crates and containers, implying involvement outside of what can be seen in Modern Warfare 2. Also, their logo can be seen on a crate in Spec Ops mission "Stay Sharp".
Call of Duty: Online
Instead of wearing all black, the soldiers have white tops and black trousers. They are commanded by Winston Harker instead of General Shepherd.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered
- While Shadow Company's status as private military contractors is not directly stated in the original Modern Warfare 2 (outside of voice lines where individual soldiers mention payment), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered's version of "Museum" features proper informational signs for each exhibit; the sign for the "Just Like Old Times"/"Endgame" exhibit explicitly describes Shadow Company as being an elite unit of private military contractors.
- The sign also describes Shadow Company as covertly manipulating global events "to an uncertain agenda, without charter or regard for legal, governmental or nationalistic boundaries" and as being involved in forceful suppression of legal political protests and affecting the outcome of third world elections through assassination.
- The phrase written on the emblem, "Umbra Catervae", is roughly "Shadow Group" in Latin.
- The Shadow Company "chess piece" emblem can be obtained in Multiplayer by completing the "Tango Down" challenge.
- On the license plates of Shadow Company's up-armored SUVs, it is written "G 2009IW4 V". 2009 is the game's year and IW4 is the engine for the game.
- In "Just Like Old Times", if a player waits and listens to the group of Shadow Company soldiers in the cave, a conversation can be heard where a Shadow Company member and his team killed three "left over" Russians, for being aggressive after breaching Site Hotel Bravo's perimeter.
- Most ACRs used by Shadow Company have Digital Camouflage on them. One can also acquire a unique ACR with Heartbeat Sensor, Red Dot Sight and Silencer with a "black" finish at the steam room in "Just Like Old Times".
- Shadow Company snipers [the frontmost one on the helicopter bench], armed with WA2000s and seen in "Loose Ends"/"Just Like Old Times ", use the SMG soldier model.
- If one were to view the helmets of Shadow Company there will be a name, but it is always "HOLT".
- The _names.gsc file for Modern Warfare 2 which deals with randomly generated soldier naming contains three names under a Shadow Company heading, these being "Lecter", "Lestat", and "Nosferatu", though these do not appear to be used in ingame battlechatter.
- A crate lying on the sea floor in the Call of Duty: Ghosts mission Into the Deep bears the Shadow Company logo