Our primary character. An Army Reservist from Boise, Idaho, mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004. Joe had been on Active Duty for 3 years before coming to the Reserves and joining the 213th Combat Engineers in Boise, Idaho.
Jorge "Junior Ric" Ricardo
Joe Rock's best buddy from Basic Training. He served in another Reserve unit in Oklahoma, although he calls New Mexico home.
A "fill" from a Reserve unit in Wisconsin, Brad Patterson is originally from Madison, Wisconsin. He struggles with alcohol even before deployment.
Albright is from the same Reserve unit as Joe Rock, and also hails from Boise, Idaho. He claims he's into Libertarianism but the truth is he just thinks he's being cool.
Juni Okuda was born and raised in Hawai'i. Her mother is Korean and her father Japanese, and when he got a job at Micron Technologies in Boise, Idaho, their family moved there two years earlier. She is still in a bit of culture shock.
A young woman from Boise, Idaho who joined the Reserves to help pay for college. She likes tech work and role-playing games.
Jane Ransom is a veteran of the 1991 Gulf War and a former Drill Sergeant. She once trained Joe Rock and Junior Ric, but is now a Reservist from Pennsylvania sent to "fill" the 213th Battalion. When the Battalion is deployed, she is the only one with combat experience but no one listens to her.
Lieutenant-Colonel Wes Fassbender is the commander of the 213th Battalion, and he lives in Boise, Idaho. Despite converting to be a Mormon for his wife, he still keeps all his old coffee mugs for hot chocolate. He is not related to the actor Michael Fassbender, and only knows of the actor because people keep asking him.
Rufus Q. Hoddson
Sergeant-Major Rufus Hoddson is a "fill" from a Reserve unit in Johnstown, Pennslyvania. His day job is as a manager at a Lady Footlocker. He is primarily interested in his own comfort while on deployment.
Staff-Sergeant Purdue is an avid bodybuilder and workout devotee who loves his workout shakes and other supplements. He's a "fill" from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Sergeant Kajama is another "fill" from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His family name was originally "Williams" before his father changed it in the 1970's.
Mirav Mizrachi is a smorgasbord of ethnic backgrounds, with African-American, Middle Eastern, European and Asian parentage. Jewish and raised in both Israel and America, she has a knack for languages. She's Active Duty from 1st Cavalry Division, assigned to the 213th.
Chief Warrant Officer (Mechanic) Ben McCoby is a mechanic assigned the Herculean task of maintaining the 213th's vehicles. From Boise, Idaho, he may use secret powers to keep things running...
Chaplain David Crossman is from a California Flower Child communal family. By joining the Army he is the "black sheep". He's from a very liberal strain of Episcopalian ministry, and sent as a "fill" to the 213th Battalion.
Lieutenant William MacGregor is the platoon leader for Joe Rock, Junior Ric, and many of the others. He tries to be both an inspiring leader and also sort of a friend to the troops, and doesn't entirely make it to either destination. He is from Boise, Idaho, and got his officer's commission from ROTC at Boise State.
Sergeant First Class Douglas Dawg is the Platoon Sergeant and also hails from Boise. He sternly tries to keep things on track but frequently finds he has to hold his tongue and let things roll as they are. He joined in the last days of the Cold War and has an interesting perspective about how the "new Army" works.
A local Iraqi from a nearby village, he was a computer engineer but now makes a living selling pirated porn DVDs to US troops. Sometimes coerced into working for Al-Quaeda in Iraq, he generally dislikes the fundamentalists but is also not sure if he trusts the Americans either.
Kelly G. Brannon
Kelly G. Brannon is a CIA agent that throws himself into his work with such vigor he frequently ends up tripping over himself. He always wears his trench coat, aviator shade glasses, a Fedora hat, and a cigarette, convinced these Cold War-era tricks are still the best disguise.
Alvarez is a young Private that joins the Battalion some time after their return from Iraq; he's "the first of the post-deployment recruits".
A friend of Cecelia Glass who decides to join the Reserves as a Cook for the college money. Originally from San Diego, we get to see her go through the process of joining, going to Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training, and then settle in with the 213th.
A woman in Boise that becomes Philip Albright's boss, then girlfriend, and then wife just prior to their second deployment. She is the sister of one of Joe Rock's friends.
A military Working Dog that later gets adopted by Joe & Juni. Far too clever for her own good, she masterminds a number of mischevious events and tells "spooky dog stories" at night with a stolen flashlight under her face.
Another Military Working Dog that gets wounded in Fallujah and airlifted out of the battle zone after a terrorist's bomb vest goes off near him. Later adopted by Wendy Two-Feathers.
A frequent tormenter of the Battalion. The Devil, from Hell, is always ready to punish soldiers for their transgressions, great or small.
The Good Idea Fairy
Another tormenter of the Battalion, representing the Army's propensity for "good ideas" that are frequently worthless, redundant, and counter-productive.. She refers to herself as "the Tinkerbell of Despair" and is especially fond of 2nd Lieutenants and Sergeants-Major, finding them especially susceptible to her wiles.