The subject of this article appeared in Soap's Journal The subject of this article appeared in Modern Warfare 2: Ghost. The subject of this article appeared in Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish. The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty Online The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Ghosts The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered This article was previously featured
For the Private in Call of Duty: Roads to Victory, see Jonathan Shepherd.
For the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) character, see Shepherd (2019).


"Five years ago, I lost 30,000 men in the blink of an eye. And the world just fuckin' watched. Tomorrow, there would be no shortage of volunteers and no shortage of patriots. I know you understand."
— General Shepherd's last words.


Lieutenant General Shepherd was an officer in the United States Army in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 who commanded the United States Marine Corps, U.S. Army Rangers, Task Force 141 and his own elite army that was known as Shadow Company. He started out as a supporting character for the player in Modern Warfare 2 only to reveal himself as the main antagonist of the game and the grand architect of World War 3. He wielded a .44 Magnum as his signature weapon, though the player could only acquire it in the level, "Museum".

Biography[edit | edit source]

The Second Russian Civil War[edit | edit source]

General Shepherd served as the supreme commander of the U.S. military forces during the course of the Second Russian Civil War including the Marine Corps' Force Reconnaissance units. When Al-Asad executed Al-Fulani, it triggered an invasion of the Middle East by the U.S. in search of Al-Asad. As the Marines fought in the capital city of an unnamed Middle Eastern country, a nuclear device went off which practically wiped out the entire U.S. invasion force. 30,000 Marines were killed in action by the explosion, this includes Captain "Deadly" Pelayo, Lt. Vasquez and Sergeant Paul Jackson, as well as an unconfirmed amount of OpFor soldiers.

The Inter-War Period[edit | edit source]

Losing 30,000 troops under his command affected the General greatly, causing Shepherd to develop a negative view of the world and international politics. In the time following his invasion of the Persian Gulf, he sought new ways of restoring the United States' reputation as a global power as well as its military might. Unknown to the others, he also secretly attempted to restore his own reputation as a military commander.

Sometime between 2011 and 2013, Shepherd with the help of John "Soap" MacTavish created Task Force 141. They evaluated the recruits from the special forces units of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Shepherd also traveled to Mexico to recruit a former S.A.S. member named Simon "Ghost" Riley.

Operation Kingfish[edit | edit source]

Shepherd during "Operation Kingfish".

In 2013, Shepherd commanded the 141 in a mission code-named "Operation Kingfish" which he sent the TF-141 operatives, Captain John Price, Captain John "Soap" MacTavish, Lieutenant Simon "Ghost" Riley, Sergeant Gary "Roach" Sanderson and the Delta Force operatives, Sandman and Derek "Frost" Westbrook to an Ultranationalist compound in Ukraine on a mission to apprehend or kill an individual code-named, "Kingfish" who was revealed to be Vladimir Makarov. The mission ended in a failure as a large force of Ultranationalist troops attacked the Task Force. Most of them survived with the apparent exception of Price who stayed behind to allow the others to escape.

Also during this time, Shepherd created Shadow Company which was an elite military force that was fiercely loyal to Shepherd which he used to his own ends.

Pre-War[edit | edit source]

"Makarov is no prize. He’s a whore. A mad-dog killer for the highest bidder."
— Shepherd to PFC Joseph Allen about Makarov.

In 2016, General Shepherd served as the commander of the Army Rangers in Afghanistan and focused his efforts on the OpFor's occupation of the country and seemingly the manhunt for international terrorist Vladimir Makarov. Shepherd felt that no justice was sought for the men and women that he lost five years prior and the U.S. military's power waned over the years. These feelings would eventually drive him to carry his goal of igniting a war between Ultranationalist Russia and the United States of America. To increase the power and standing of the military, Shepherd needed an enemy and something to rally the entire nation behind him. After hearing about Makarov's increased terrorist attacks throughout Europe in three years since Operation Kingfish, Shepherd believed that Makarov's presence as a mark could indirectly help bring his desired changes about.

Shepherd firing towards the school with his M4A1.

After seeing a number of people running the Pit, Shepherd hand-picked Private First Class Joseph Allen who was a fellow Ranger to go undercover within Makarov's terrorist group during their attack on Zakhaev International Airport. However, Makarov was aware about Allen's real identity (Which Shepherd probably deliberately leaked to Makarov in order to start the war). Makarov murdered the American and left his body behind in order to place the blame solely on the United States.

World War III[edit | edit source]

The Russian Invasion[edit | edit source]

The Russian authorities discovered Allen's body on the scene and confirmed his real identity just as Shepherd planned. This incident prompted an infuriated response from the Russian people by demanding their government to take drastic measures against the United States. Despite Makarov and his assault team being responsible for the massacre, it was still believed that the United States sponsored and supported his assault as Makarov and his men appeared to be Americans due to their use of standard issue NATO weaponry and U.S. military technology, and the fact the attackers spoke with an American accent and no Russian. After receiving tremendous pressure from the Russian populace, Russian President Boris Vorshevsky ordered a full-scale invasion of the United States. The U.S. was caught off-guard due to the suddenness of the attack (as the Russians used a duplicate of an ACS module to disable NORAD's early warning systems) and as a result, the United States government appointed Shepherd to lead the defense against the invading Russian forces. He was also provided with vast amount of resources to continue his hunt for Makarov. With 3.5 million soldiers at his fingertips, his plan to restore the United States as the mightiest force on the planet was in motion by setting the stage for his revenge against the Ultranationalists.

He sent Task Force 141 to Brazil to look for Alejandro Rojas after he learned that he supplied Makarov during the airport massacre. While this was happening, Shepherd was commanding his forces in the U.S. during the Russian invasion. During the Russian attack on Arcadia, he commandeered Hunter Two-One and with the help of a Stryker named Honey Badger sent them to take the Russian anti-air weapons out. After they are taken out, Shepherd sent them to retrieve a High Value Individual (Code named “Icepick”) from a house on 4677 Brookmere Road. When Hunter Two-One arrived, they found him dead alongside a high ranking soldier with another soldier alive downstairs. They contacted Shepherd by saying, “He isn’t going to like this.”

The Gulag[edit | edit source]

While Task Force 141 was still out of the country hunting for Makarov, they learned from Alejandro Rojas that Makarov's worst enemy was an individual that was known as Prisoner #627 who was currently incarcerated in a Russian gulag. However, the Russians are using the nearby oil rigs as SAM sites and the workers as hostages so they could not just blow them up. Shepherd sent Captain MacTavish, Ghost, Roach and the other members of the 141 along with a team of Navy SEALs on a mission to rescue the hostages. They succeeded in rescuing the hostages and the SAM sites are disabled so they moved to attack the gulag.

As they are entering the gulag, the United States Navy started bombing dangerously close to them. Captain MacTavish told Shepherd to stop them from firing which Shepherd responded, "One man in a gulag doesn't mean much to the Navy at this point." Shepherd halted them temporarily from firing. The team moved to get the prisoner. The mysterious prisoner was revealed to be Captain Price. Upon his rescue, Shepherd reinstated Price as a field commander for Task Force 141.

Upon Price’s reinstatement, Price revealed his plan to halt the war which Shepherd disagreed with, telling him to focus on Makarov instead. Against Shepherd's orders, Price infiltrated a submarine and sent an EMP over Washington, D.C. which caused most of the East Coast to lose power.

Betrayal[edit | edit source]

Shepherd: "Do you have the DSM?"
Ghost: "We got it, sir!"
Shepherd: "Good. That's one less loose end."
— Shepherd just prior to betraying Ghost and Roach.

Shepherd killing Ghost.

When the fighting in America was halted temporarily at least, the Department of Defense gave Shepherd a "blank check" to use any resources that are available to the U.S. military to hunt Makarov down. Shepherd pinpointed Makarov's possible location to the two places: An aircraft boneyard in Afghanistan and a safe house on the Georgian-Russian border. He sent Price and Soap to the boneyard while Roach and Ghost are sent to the safehouse. Upon arriving at the safehouse, Roach and Ghost located Makarov's entire operations playbook and downloaded it onto the DSM.

Having now obtained what he needed to cement his status as a war hero, the ruthless officer betrayed Task Force 141 in an attempt to destroy any links to his treacherous actions including his connection to Allen's death so he could bring Makarov down himself. His endgame was to take all of the glory and become a national hero. Shepherd arrived with Shadow Company at Makarov's safehouse just as Roach and Ghost arrived. Once ascertaining that they had the DSM, Shepherd remarked about "one less loose end" and shot Roach point-blank in the chest with his .44 Magnum before turning it on Ghost and shooting him in the chest, killing him instantly. He recovered the DSM from Roach, who weakly grabbed his arm, much to the General's annoyance before ripping his arm out of Roach's grasp. After having two Shadow Company soldiers bring Roach and Ghost's bodies to a ditch to douse them with gasoline, Shepherd took one last smoke of his cigar before tossing it on the two gas-soaked bodies, lighting them ablaze before turning to rally his troops to leave.

Simultaneously, Shepherd sent Shadow Company to eliminate Price and Soap as well as Makarov's Ultranationalists. Contrary to his expectations, the two learned about the traitorous General's agenda and resolved to infiltrate Shepherd's secret base in the Afghan cave system called Site Hotel Bravo. Learning about the base's location from Makarov, the two killed all of the Shadow Company troops in their path and escaped in Nikolai's C-130 Hercules.

Death[edit | edit source]

"Five years ago, I lost 30,000 men in the blink of an eye. And the world just fucking watched. Tomorrow, there will be no shortage of volunteers. No shortage of patriots. I know you understand."
— Shepherd's motivations after betraying Task Force 141, as well as his last words to Soap prior to his death.

Shepherd being killed by a knife by John "Soap" MacTavish in "Endgame".

Shepherd eventually learned about Price and Soap's presence in the base and ordered all of the Shadow Company personnel to evacuate. In an attempt to kill them, Shepherd self-destructed the base with C-4 explosives and ordered a danger close artillery strike on it, but both failed to kill the two surviving Task Force members. The blast killed or wounded many of Shepherd's men. Shepherd commandeered a Zodiac speedboat and attempted to escape via the river with Soap and Price in hot pursuit.

After a lengthy chase up the river, a Pave Low (Warhorse 5-1) arrived to pick Shepherd up, but Price disabled it by shooting it's rotors, causing it to crash land killing almost everyone aboard. After they did this, Soap and Price's Zodiac plunged into the waterfall below. Soap was separated from Price and killed the fatally injured pilot and co-pilot and saw Shepherd flee the scene of the crash with some injuries, followed by a dazed Soap who attempted to kill Shepherd with his only remaining weapon which was a combat knife. Shepherd incapacitated him by slamming his head into a rusted car and proceeded to stab him in the chest. Just as Shepherd was about to execute Soap with his .44 Magnum, Price tackled Shepherd, causing him to miss his shot. Price proceeded to kick his revolver away. Soap tried to grab it, but Shepherd kicked it away and stomped on Soap's face. When Soap woke up, the two are engaged in brutal close-quarters combat. Both men fought while enduring the impact of their fall and Shepherd eventually gained the upper hand by fully mounting Price to brutally beat (or choke) him to death. Drifting in and out of consciousness, Soap managed to wake up and use his last bit of strength to pull the knife out of his chest and throw it at Shepherd just as the treacherous General looked up. The knife went right into Shepherd's left eye, killing him instantly. Soap and Price proceeded to flee the scene with Nikolai, leaving Shepherd's body behind in the desert.

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Shepherd was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery and was declared a war hero. John "Soap" MacTavish and John Price were declared war criminals after his death and Task Force 141 was disavowed. However, they would clear their names by rescuing the Russian President Boris Vorshevsky and his daughter, Alena and helped to bring peace between the United States, Russia and NATO, ending World War III.

Call of Duty Online[edit | edit source]

General Shepherd appeared as an NPC that must be rescued in the Cyborg Evacuation game mode.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Main article: Shepherd/Quotes

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Shepherd was voiced by Lance Henriksen
  • Robert Bowling gave his full name on Twitter as Hershel von Sheperd III,[4] though it is not clear if this was intended as a serious statement. In addition, the Tweet misspelled "Shepherd" as "Sheperd."
  • In Team Player, Shepherd's name will appear as "General Shepherd," but in S.S.D.D. and Loose Ends, his name will appear as "Gen. Shepherd."
  • In Hunter Killer, there is a magazine on one of the beds in the submarine mentioning Shepherd.
  • In Vortex, the scarecrows dotted around the map wore Shepherd's uniform.
  • In Soap's Journal, Soap refers to Shepherd's mustache as a "Caterpillar".
  • The game files spell his name as "Shepard."
  • In Call of Duty: Ghosts, at the beginning of the mission, All or Nothing, a magazine titled "Gossip & Lies" can be found on a seating. It shows Shepherd on the front of it with the title "Shepherd In Trouble" visible.
    • Additionally, on the map, Fog, there is a scarecrow between the Ghosts' spawn and the camper that has Shepherd's uniform on that was similar to Vortex. [5]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Dialogue in Just Like Old Times.
  2. As seen in the picture Shepherd has three stars on his beret.
  3. He can be seen using the M4A1 while he's pinned down with Hunter 2-3 in "Team Player".
  4. http://twitter.com/#!/fourzerotwo/status/85880883139194881
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khvMAQwrUJs
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.