Who Leads G.I. Joe? The Officers of G.I. Joe

Chris Piers   April 5, 2013   Comments Off on Who Leads G.I. Joe? The Officers of G.I. Joe

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Ever wonder what the chain of command at GI Joe is like? The fact is almost the entire team is comprised of enlisted service members. Out of the hundreds of action figures, only 37 are listed as officers, and I’m including the Warrant Officers in that category. GI Joe undoubtedly has always had hundreds of support staff that you pretty much never see. The flight crews, administrative personnel and so on.

Note: Chris Piers did the captions and picked the guys out. Commentary below any images is provided by Vincent.

The original version of Hawk was a Colonel and only came with the Mobile Missile System toy.

The original version of Hawk was a Colonel and only came with the Mobile Missile System toy.

An important note. I’m basing this off of the file cards that the Joes had from the 80s and 90s. If we revisited GI Joe today, I bet half of their team would be IT people and drone pilots. The Joes might have been able to get by with just Mainframe back in the mid-80s but today he’d probably be a Lt. General! I also moved Hawk up from Colonel, his initial rank, to Major General, his last rank in the initial toys (he had several versions released over the years).

Read on to see the images of some of the lamer GI Joes that people like Snake Eyes and Roadblock would be obligated to salute.

1. Vice Admiral Keel-Haul, USN

Freddie Mercury, ready to take command!

Freddie Mercury, ready to take command!

Keel-Haul was a rather rare figure considering he only came with the huge U.S.S. Flagg playset. I bet the above figure came from Hasbro employees saying, “Let’s make a cheap figure. What molds we got that haven’t been used in awhile? Oh hey, we got this Navy guy with a mustache. Perfect.”

2. Major General Hawk, USA

Comes with Will-Not-Shut-Up action!

Comes with Will-Not-Shut-Up action!

Fans that grew up with the comic recognized Hawk as the leader of the G.I. Joe team. Cartoon kids grew up with Duke as team leader. I grew up with the cartoon, so it was kind of confusing when this guy shows up and starts bossing Duke around.

3. Brigadier General Flagg, USA

His code name could've been Generic.

His code name could’ve been Generic.

Well… not to pick on Chris’s joke, but the U.S.S. Flagg is named after him, not the other way around. Yeah, I know I’m a ruiner of jokes.

4. Colonel Payload, USAF

We don't NEED an astronaut but we DO have a mustache-shortage. You're in.

We don’t NEED an astronaut but we DO have a mustache-shortage. You’re in.

Payload is a rather rare figure, at least the white suit version of him is. I want one for my Defiant but he’s so expensive! Nerd problems!!

5. Colonel Courage, USA

His primary military specialty is Administrative Strategist. He's a paper pusher.

His primary military specialty is Administrative Strategist. He’s a paper pusher.

Not much to say about this guy, except it’s a little obvious that the top brass is all white dudes and they only let a token black guy in. Boo.

6. Lt. Colonel Skystriker, ASAF

He repainted a Cobra Rattler so they promoted him to Colonel and named him after one of their old jets.

He repainted a Cobra Rattler so they promoted him to Colonel and named him after one of their old jets.

I think Hasbro ran out of names by the time this figure came out. Or they just didn’t care anymore.

7. Major Ghostrider, USAF

Not many men can pull of a scarf. And you're no exception, Ghost Rider.

Not many men can pull of a scarf. And you’re no exception, Ghost Rider.

In the comics the big gag was that nobody could remember him. One of the rare instances of the G.I. Joe comics being incredibly stupid.

8. Major Storm, USA

So tough he blocks one of his eyes to give the enemy a fighting chance.

So tough he blocks one of his eyes to give the enemy a fighting chance.

I have to give it to Major Storm. He drives the impossibly large General mobile assault fort. Cool toy, but completely ridiculous in real life.

9. Major Bullet-Proof, USA

Something tells me that price hasn't hit its lowest mark yet.

Something tells me that price hasn’t hit its lowest mark yet.

That’s a pretty damned boastful name for a soldier. Talk about bringing bad luck upon yourself.

10. Captain Ace, USAF

It's hard to hate on a guy that looks this sad.

It’s hard to hate on a guy that looks this sad.

Ace has got a cool name, but it could also be used sarcastically against him. “Hey, nice shooting ace.”

11. Captain Maverick, USAF

Nope. Nope. Next.

Nope. Nope. Next.

The ironic thing is that Battleforce 2000 didn’t make it to the year 2000.

12. Captain Countdown, USAF

What's wrong with your umbrella?

What’s wrong with your umbrella?

I think that the G.I. Joe team ends up in space when they are getting really desperate. It happened when the original G.I. Joe toy got axed in the 60s. Space adventures for G.I. Joe = Death of teh Line!

13. Captain Doc, USA

Hey Lifeline, real battle medics carry a gun.

Hey Lifeline, real battle medics carry a gun.

Who doesn’t love Doc? Dude brought Duke back from the dead in the original G.I. Joe cartoon movie like Jesus.

14. Captain Claymore, USA

Fabulous camouflage. For a gay pride parade.

Fabulous camouflage. For a gay pride parade.

Captain Claymore comes from the Mission to Brazil set. Have fun in Brazil, bun boys!

15. Captain Windmill, USA

Kill me.

Kill me.

Windmill. Kind of a normal dude, but then India makes his life a living hell.

16. Captain Grid-Iron, USA

I wanted to use a toy photo but this was just too good.

I wanted to use a toy photo but this was just too good.

Football! Why did G.I. Joe need this guy? They had the Fridge!

17. Captain Rapid Fire, USA

Way to blend in, buddy. Thanks for helping.

Way to blend in, buddy. Thanks for helping.

Fun fact, this dude was modeled after an executive at DiC animation. You know, the Animation studio that made the truly abysmal G.I. Joe cartoon series after Sunbow lost the rights.

18. Captain Updraft, USA

Updraft, what did you get stuck on your head this time?

Updraft, what did you get stuck on your head this time?

I really like this figure actually… anyone want to sell me one?!

19. Captain Gears, USA

The role Dustin Hoffman was born to play.

The role Dustin Hoffman was born to play.

The only notable thing about this guy is that he drove a space mech. I guess that’s pretty cool.

20. 1st Lieutenant Slipstream, USAF

Alright, seriously. Did GI Joe have mustache competitions? Most servicemembers can't have facial hair.

Alright, seriously. Did GI Joe have mustache competitions? …

Another fighter pilot. This guy flew the Conquest. I didn’t get how toy selling worked when I was a kid. I wondered where all the Skystrikers went and all of a sudden there’s this new jet that everyone is flying. The answer was: It was the one available in stores.

21. 1st Lieutenant Dogfight, USAF

...because most service members aren't allowed to have facial hair.

…because most service members aren’t allowed to have facial hair.

Dogfight piloted the Mudfighter. Which makes me think of poop. I can’t be the only one here.

22. 1st Lieutenant Falcon, USA

Last name's Falcone? OK, you can be Falcon. Go fight the Nemesis Immortal™.

Last name’s Falcone? OK, you can be Falcon. Go fight the Nemesis Immortal™.

Falcon was the coolest character that wasn’t Flint. If you want Flint light, you pick Falcon. Falcon: Almost The Same Great Taste, Less Filling.

23. 1st Lieutenant Psyche-Out, USA

Oh my god. OH MY GOD. You can be in charge of, uh... Scoop.

Oh my god. OH MY GOD. You can be in charge of, uh… Scoop.

Psyche-Out is certainly a strange character. I admire him in a certain aesthetic sense, but he’s not really for me.

24. 1st Lieutenant Super Trooper, USA

Have you been haging out with Rapid Fire? Oh yeah? Lucky guess.

Have you been hanging out with Rapid Fire? Oh yeah? Lucky guess.

25. 1st Lieutenant Sub-Zero, USA

Snowjob. Iceberg. Frostbite. You guys can suck it.

Snowjob. Iceberg. Frostbite. You guys can suck it.

26. Lieutenant JG Cutter, USCG

His real name is Skip A. Stone and he's a Red Sox fan. This guy is awesome.

His real name is Skip A. Stone and he’s a Red Sox fan. This guy is awesome.

27. 2nd Lieutenant Steeler, USA

... I'd party with this guy.


I’d party with this guy.

28. 2nd Lieutenant Thunderwing, USA

He's doing a little action figure dance.

He’s doing a little action figure dance.

29. Chief Warrant Officer 5 Wet Down, USN

Secondary military specialty: wet t-shirt judge.

Secondary military specialty: wet t-shirt judge.

This figure seems very similar to another one… just can’t place it.

30. Chief Warrant Officer 4 Wild Bill, USA

For my next outfit, may I duct tape some chicken fried steak to myself? I'm runnin' out of Texas ideas, pardner.

For my next outfit, may I duct tape some chicken fried steak to myself? I’m runnin’ out of Texas ideas, pardner.

Remember when Wild Bill went on a kill crazy rampage?

31. Chief Warrant Officer Torpedo 4, USN

Anyone seen Wet Down? I got some words for that ****er.

Anyone seen Wet Down? I got some words for that ****er.

Wet Down… Torpedo… no they’re nothing alike…

32. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Flint, USA

No joke, dude had the best card art and possibly the best outfit.

No joke, dude had the best card art and possibly the best outfit.

You can’t any cooler than Flint. Not only is does he have great card art, a great “outfit”, but dude is a Rhodes Scholar!

33. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Lift-Ticket, USA

He IS smirking, right?

He IS smirking, right?

I loved Lift Ticket when I was a kid. I was lucky enough to have the Tomahawk. I know some of you guys and gals are Wild Bill fans, but Lift Ticket is where it was for me.

34. Chief Warrant Officer 2 Major Altitude, USA

Not a Major, puts it in his codename. Big brass balls.

Not a Major, puts it in his codename. Big brass balls.

As Chris points out, he has brass balls for putting “Major” in his name, but he also has them for flying that crazy contraption that looks like it’s more likely to hut your head off than anything else.