Shaftoe serves as the leader of all Force Reconnaissance fireteams attached to the USMC's 27th Marine Expeditionary Unit (27th MEU). He goes by the radio callsign of Swordsman.
All missions assigned by Shaftoe to the MEU's FORECON teams are coordinated closely alongside Carl Dressler from the USMC's Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA) branch.
Operation Harvest Red (2009)
In response to the growing crisis and outbreak of civil war between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in South Zagoria, Chernarus, USEUCOM approve the deployment of the 27th MEU with orders to restore order and peace to the region.
Shaftoe represented all FORECON elements attached to the MEU. Their first priority was to neutralise the insurgents' communications, followed by clearing the coastlines in preparation for the main invasion.
Shaftoe assigned teams to various villages throughout South Zagoria with two teams - callsigned Razor Team and Sabre Team, dispatched first to lead the way.
|«|| Other Force Recon Marines will be operating in the area but the rest of the MEU won't land until you complete your mission. You're on your own for this one Razor.|
Shaftoe briefs Razor Team's members on their mission
In the early hours of October 8th, both fireteams are deployed to the southern coast near the village of Pusta. Razor Team were tasked with destroying a communications outpost located inside the village itself, while Sabre Team would sabotage coastal defences further west of the Pusta. Razor's members also discovered and relayed sightings of mass graves and hard evidence of war crimes committed by the insurgents back to Shaftoe.
However, several members of Sabre Team are compromised during a raid on an insurgent supply stash. Shaftoe diverted Razor Team to relieve them and to mark targets for artillery in their stead. All of the targets were successfully marked and destroyed by Razor Team, and Sabre Team were able to safely extract.
By morning, the entire southern and eastern coast of South Zagoria was under the MEU's control. Shaftoe joined the main amphibious force attacking the regional capital of Chernogorsk, while also ordering Razor Team's members to link up with him on the outskirts of the city. One of Sabre Team's members managed to locate a warehouse where the leaders of the insurgents were holed up in. At the same time, a squad of Marines were pinned down by snipers and needed urgent support.
Shaftoe pulled Razor's team leader to accompany him on a debrief, while dispatching the rest of Razor to relieve the squad and to capture the insurgent leaders. The members of Razor Team succeeded in their tasks, but suddenly "lost" contact on their way back with the captured leaders in tow. In actuality, the Marines had been betrayed by a CDF double agent and the insurgent leaders were quickly freed by the later. Shaftoe sent Sabre Team to rescue the detained Marines but were ultimately too late to stop Razor's team leader from being executed.
Hours later, the remaining members of Razor Team rejoined Shaftoe on the outskirts of the city. Knowing the close bond they shared with their deceased team leader, he offered the Marines a chance to stand down if they wished to do so.
|«|| Shaftoe: No one expects a deep Recon unit like Razor to function well one man down, let alone your team leader. So, what's gonna be?|
Cooper: I don't think leave's necessary sir, we're staying.
Razor Team decline Shaftoe's offer for them to stand down
They declined, insisting that they would not stop until the insurgent leaders were re-captured. Shaftoe agreed to place them in charge of finding the fugitives and promoted their second-in-command, Sergeant Matthew Cooper, to the position of team leader.
At the same time, he wanted a verbal reassurance from Razor Team that they were not chasing after the leaders for revenge but for the sake of the Chernarussian people.
|«|| Shaftoe: Now, I have a condition. I want your word, Marines, that you're here for the right reasons. This can't be about Miles. You're here for the Chernarussians, not for revenge, understood?|
Cooper: Yes Sir, don't need to ask that, sir.
Shaftoe: You're wrong there Coops, I do need to ask. Especially as I'm sending you after Lopotev, you're Recon after all, it's what you do.
Shaftoe cautions Razor Team against acting out of revenge
After hours of fruitless searching through the southern woodlands, Shaftoe received solid intel from a UAV confirming that Mikola Bardak - the insurgent group's second-in-command, had been spotted racing north in a red car. He relayed this information back to Razor Team, who subsequently cut off the fugitive and managed to bring him into the USMC's custody.
One week later, Shaftoe and the other FORECON teams were reassigned to FOB Manhattan, the MEU's forward outpost located in the northern, insurgent-held regions of South Zagoria. From there, Shaftoe continued to dispatch both Razor Team and Sabre Team on various missions to scour the remote countryside for insurgent camps and retrieving intel. Razor Team are eventually able to find the main insurgent base, and Shaftoe dispatches support units to assist them in razing the base.
However, bad news arrives not long after the base's destruction; a terrorist bombing carried out by anti-Russian Chernarussian extremists resulted in the deaths of two hundred Russian civilians in the heart of the Russian capital. The Russians immediately denounced the MEU's presence with being responsible for allowing the attack to occur. With the MEU's mandate now effectively expired, Shaftoe was given explicit orders by General Armstrong to cease all FORECON operations and pull out alongside the rest of the MEU.
Shaftoe wasn't pleased with the decision (neither was Capt. Dressler for that matter) but nevertheless accepted the General's orders. Prior to boarding a helicopter bound for the MEU's ship, Shaftoe dispatched both Razor and Sabre on one more mission to retrieve vital intelligence on the insurgents regarding the terrorist bombing.
Both teams attained their objectives but Sabre Team failed to check in after completing their mission. Razor Team returned to the FOB to discover all except one member of Sabre Team dead, hearing from the survivor that Russian special operations were behind the attack. Sgt. Cooper relayed this information back to Shaftoe (much to his dismay) and asked for support, but Shaftoe could do little to help them given the mandate's expiry.
|«|| Jesus Cooper the Russians think we're all clear. You and Sabre weren't supposed to be there, remember?|
He urges Razor Team to disregard any notion of Russian military forces being involved with Sabre's loss, and tells them rejoin the rest of the MEU through any means necessary.
Razor Team never managed to rejoin with the rest of the MEU, but Shaftoe was assured that they would make their way towards friendly lines sooner rather than later. As expected, they do manage to link up with government forces and establish contact via satellite communications. Shaftoe briefed them on their current situation; USEUCOM wanted to covertly back the CDF in their attempt to retake South Zagoria and Razor Team were obvious candidates as the only remaining FORECON team in the area.
|«|| Listen, we figured you might still be alive, USEUCOM have a plan. They still want to run black ops inside Chernarus. The CDF will begin resisting the Russian occupation in the morning. We want to help them covertly. With a plausibly deniable Recon team already in situ JSOC felt you might consider taking the job.|
With no other alternatives, the Marines agree to Shaftoe's "suggestion" and begin working undercover with the CDF. From this point onward, Shaftoe mostly maintained radio silence so that the Marines could keep a low-profile, though he kept a channel opened at all times.
A few days later, USEUCOM informed Shaftoe that all the evidence gathered by Razor Team began to mount up a case in favour of the MEU returning to Chernarus. Word of this new development spread, and members of the CDF subsequently passed on this news to Razor Team.
When a new mandate for the MEU was finally granted, both Razor Team and CDF troops seized Chernogorsk. Their capture of the city paved the way for the MEU's redeployment, and Shaftoe relayed the good news back to the Marines.
|«|| Honey I'm ho-ome! Get your ass to Chernogorsk marines, the MEU just made land!|
Thanks to the MEU's reinforcements, the CDF and Razor Team are able to eventually liberate the entire region. Better yet, the leader of the insurgents was discovered and apprehended by Razor Team.
Post-Operation Harvest Red
|«|| The tragedy is that officially you were never there, hell, if you listen to the Kremlin the war never even happened. But if I had my way they'd be naming ships after you. Congratulations marines, you made us all proud.|
Shaftoe debriefs Razor Team
The insurgent leader was handed over the Russians in a secret deal between the Chernarussian/American government. In return, the Russian "peacekeepers" were forced to leave Chernarus while Razor Team and the CDF were completely victorious.
A few days later, Shaftoe met with the members of Razor Team to debrief them on their flight back to the MEU's flotilla. They were to be personally congratulated by Gen. Armstrong and - although the truth behind their involvement would never be disclosed publicly, was proud of what the Marines had achieved and commended them for their efforts.
Personality and Appearance
Shaftoe is a Caucasian male with short black hair and a lightly shaved beard.
On field operations, he dons the standard attire of a Force Recon team leader consisting of a Rhodesian Recon Vest (RRV) plate carrier and MARPAT-camouflaged Flame Resistant Organizational Gear (FROG) uniform. When he's not commanding from the front, he wears a simple MCCUU instead. For headgear, he always wears an 8-Point cap at all times.
A seasoned warfighter, Shaftoe maintains a clear-headed and professional attitude no matter the situation. Always observant, he can immediately identify those with leadership potential like Matthew Cooper along with troublemakers like Chad Rodriguez. For individuals like the latter, Shaftoe did not hesitate to reprimand them for their carelessness.
In spite of this, Shaftoe isn't as unapproachable of an individual as he would seem. He does genuinely care for the well-being of his subordinates, personally looking out for them especially on issues related to mental health.