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Names and Ethnic Origins

Although the vast majority of G.I. Joe characters were born in the United States, there has always been significant ethnic diversity on the Joe team. This diversity goes beyond that of other lines that simply have a set number of "black" characters. The surnames of the classic characters seem deliberately chosen to reflect roots in most of the major people groups of Europe. Since surnames are passed along from one generation to the next, they are a better indicator of family origin than given names. (For example, my given name is Greek despite my paternal heritage being Norman, which matches my surname.) Several names that at first glance seem unnatural or made-up are actually common in the character's family homeland (a key example being Tormod Skoog, aka Tripwire). That being said, a few names such as Bludd, Indiana, and Releehw are unattested and appear to be true originals. It also bears mention that most newer characters are named after actual Hasbro staff and therefore reflect the diversity of the company as much as anything else.

Please note that the following groupings are linguistic. "Spanish" names such as Melendez indicate family origin not just in Spain, but in countries where native groups have adopted Spanish names. Likewise, African-American characters typically have European surnames but not necessarily any actual history of their families in Europe. Multiple Internet resources, including genealogy and etymology sites, were used for this study; corrections are welcome as long as you cite sources I can double-check.


Portuguese

  • Hector "Shipwreck" Delgado [could also be Spanish]
  • Jason "Shockwave" Faria
  • Stephen "Bullhorn" Ferreira
  • Blaine "Knockdown" Gonsalves

Spanish

  • Alejandro "Long Range" Garcia
  • Jerome "Switch Gears" Jivoin [could also be French]
  • Rafael "Zap" Melendez
  • Dillon "Wreckage" Moreno
  • Roberto "Crusher" Rivera
  • Vega

Gaelic (Scottish or Irish)

  • Joseph "G.I. Joe" Colton
  • Clayton "Clay Moore" Moore
  • Harlan "Snow Job" Moore [could also be English]
  • Shana "Scarlett" O'Hara
  • Edwin "Lifeline" Steen

Irish

  • Sean "Kamakura" Collins [could also be Saxon English]
  • Max "Hollow Point" Corey
  • Ian "Avalanche" Costello
  • Charles "Cold Front" Donahue
  • Wilmer "Hardball" Duggleby
  • Timothy "Blowtorch" Hanrahan
  • Jesse "Hacker" Jordan
  • Gabriel "Barbecue" Kelly
  • Thomas "Maverick" Kiley
  • Jesse "Ghost Bear" Kwinn
  • Tracker Jesse Kwinn
  • David "Sure Fire" Lane [could also be Saxon English]
  • Terrence "Grid-Iron" Lydon [could also be Saxon English]
  • Cooper "Low-Light" MacBride
  • Craig "Rock 'n Roll" McConnel
  • David "Blocker" McCarthy
  • Walter "Rampage" McDaniel
  • Sean "Side Track" McLaughlin
  • Aaron "Ambush" McMahon
  • Brian "Big Brawler" Mulholland
  • Tom-Henry "Ice Cream Soldier" Ragan
  • Thomas "Downtown" Riley
  • Carl "Charbroil" Shannon
  • Daniel "Skymate" Toner

Scottish

  • Clayton "Hawk" Abernathy
  • John "Sidetrack" Boyce
  • Matthew "Thunder" Breckinridge
  • Eliot "Fast Draw" Brown [could also be Saxon English]
  • Dashiell "Flint" Faireborn
  • Stuart "Metal-Head" Finley
  • Brian "Wet-Suit" Forrest [could also be English]
  • Carl "Doc" Greer
  • Carla "Doc" Greer
  • William "Wild Bill" Hardy
  • Michael "Red Spot" Ritchie
  • Brent "Hit & Run" Scott
  • Eric "Wildcard" Scott
  • Greg "Lifeline" Scott
  • Stuart "Outback" Selkirk
  • Wayne "Beach Head" Sneeden [could also be German]
  • Felix "Mercer" Stratton [could also be Saxon English]
  • John "Cannonball" Warden [could also be Saxon English]
  • Wallace "Rip Cord" Weems

Welsh

  • Charles "Double Blast" Griffith
  • Jonas "Ghostrider" Jeffries
  • John-Edward "Altitude" Jones
  • Walter "Burn Out" Jones
  • Paul "Super Trooper" Latimer
  • Mark "Payload" Morgan, Jr.
  • Clifton "Iceberg" Nash [could also be English]
  • Cory "Lightfoot" Owens
  • Robert "Major Altitude" Owens
  • William "The Fridge" Perry
  • Daniel "Clean-Sweep" Price
  • George "Space Shot" Roberts [could also be Saxon English]
  • David "Crazylegs" Thomas
  • Ross "Muskrat" Williams

English (Uncertain)

  • Robert "Grunt" Graves [could also be German]
  • Philo "Armadillo" Makepeace
  • Andrew "Footloose" Meyers [could also be German]
  • Leonard "Scoop" Michaels
  • Harry "Ripper" Nod [could also be Irish]
  • Farley "Frostbite" Seward
  • Jim "Windchill" Steel
  • Bill "Crossfire" White [could also be Gaelic]
  • Lonzo "Stalker" Wilkinson
  • Tom "Torch" Winken [could also be German]

English (Saxon)

  • Kirk "Med Alert" Bacus
  • Richard "Buzzer" Blinken-Smythe
  • Fredd "Rip It" Booth
  • Thomas "Mace" Bowman
  • Everett "Keel-Haul" Colby
  • Brian "Blaster" Davis
  • Spencer "Night-Viper" Davis
  • Luke "Red Zone" Ellison
  • Don "Cross Hair" Fardie
  • Joseph "Recoil" Felton
  • General James Longstreet Flagg
  • Guile
  • Mark "Sub-Zero" Habershaw
  • Charles "Wraith" Halifax
  • Alison "Lady Jaye" Hart-Burnett
  • Marvin "Roadblock" Hinton
  • Keith "Range-Viper" Holland
  • Alvin "Breaker" Kibbey
  • James "Dogfight" King
  • Owen "Sneak Peek" King
  • Nick "Depth Charge" Langdon
  • Robbie "Rapid-Fire" London
  • Ken Masters
  • Peter "Spearhead" Millman
  • Richard "Dodger" Renwick
  • Cornelius "Vance" Smith
  • Theodore "Otis" Smith
  • Winston "Joe-Bob" Smith
  • Matthew "Updraft" Smithers
  • Ronald "Cutter" Stone
  • Earl-Bob "Rumbler" Swilley
  • Morgan "Zanzibar" Teach
  • Jared "Checkpoint" Wade
  • Andrew "Scalpel" Walker
  • Averill "Steam-Roller" Whitcomb

English (Norman)

  • James "Grand Slam" Barney
  • David "Big Ben" Bennett
  • Rebecca "Night Stalker Commander" Bristow
  • Richard "Mercer" Cecil
  • Seymour "Sci-Fi" Fine [could also be German or Polish]
  • Chad "Tiger Claw" Johnson
  • Leonard "Whiteout" Lee
  • Blaine "Mainframe" Parker
  • Albert "Alpine" Pine [could also be French]
  • Kenneth "Psyche-Out" Rich
  • Danimal "Gristle" Rogers
  • Lincoln "Link" Talbot [could also be French]
  • Horatio "Billy-Bob" Wesson
  • Maximillian "Roscoe" Wesson
  • Terrance "Cletus" Wesson
  • Malcolm "Deep Six" Willoughby

French

  • Robert "Cross-Country" Blais
  • John "Topside" Blanchet
  • Samuel "Drop Zone" Delisi
  • Robert "Rollbar" Dubé
  • Bruno "Thrasher" La Crosse
  • Etienne "Gung-Ho" LaFitte
  • Thomas "Stretcher" Larivee
  • Daniel "Recondo" LeClaire
  • "G.I." Jane Martelle
  • Gregory "Blizzard" Natale
  • Michael "Hot Seat" Provost
  • Philip "Chuckles" Provost
  • Robert "Airborne" Six
  • Jeffrey "Repeater" Therien

Italian or Latin

  • Ralph "Nunchuk" Badducci
  • Wallace "Static Line" Badducci
  • Cyril "Skidmark" Colombani
  • Vincent "Cesspool" D'Alleva
  • Donald "Road Pig" DeLuca
  • James McCullen Destro [yes, real-life Destros are Italian]
  • Vincent "Falcon" Falcone
  • Dwayne "Rampart" Felix
  • Lynton "Skydive" Felix
  • Anthony "Flash" Gambello
  • William "Pathfinder" Iannotti
  • Kyle "Budo" Jesso
  • Sam "T'Jbang" La Quale
  • Christopher "Law" Lavigne
  • Andy "Rook" Lombardi
  • Thomas "Long Arm" Mangiaratti
  • Jack "Dial-Tone" Morelli
  • Joseph "Gears" Morrone
  • Michelino "Faces" Paolino
  • Thomas "Dee-Jay" Rossi
  • Alexander "Skystriker" Russo
  • Michael "Dojo" Russo
  • Alessandro "Sparks" Verdi
  • John "Claymore" Zullo

Scandinavian

  • David "Salvo" Hasle
  • Tormod "Tripwire" Skoog
  • Robert "Storm" Swanson [could also be Saxon English]

Dutch or Flemish

  • Christopher "Tracker" Groen
  • Edward "Backblast" Menninger [could also be German]
  • Cliff "Airwave" Mewett
  • Chuck "Cloudburst" Ram [could also be Norman English]
  • Edward "Starduster" Skylar
  • David "Barrage" Vennemeyer [could also be German]

German

  • Brad "Ace" Armbruster
  • Philip "Freefall" Arndt
  • Aron "Effects" Beck [could also be English]
  • Spencer "Thunderwing" Crecelius
  • Andrew "Sideswipe" Frankel
  • Eric "Short-Fuze" Freistadt
  • Karl "Long Range" Fritz
  • Sherman "Heavy Metal" Guderian
  • Conrad "Duke" Hauser
  • Philip "Barricade" Hoslinger
  • Nicholas "Hardtop" Klas
  • Larry "Wide Scope" Kranseler
  • Courtney "Cover Girl" Krieger
  • David "Ozone" Kunitz
  • Wendell "Leatherneck" Metzger
  • Grigori "Big Bear" Rostoff
  • Kurt "Airtight" Schnurr
  • Shrage
  • Alyssa "Bombstrike" Stall
  • Dwight "Barrel Roll" Stall
  • Bill "Monkeywrench" Winkie

Ashkenazic or Hebrew

  • Chuck "Tollbooth" Goren
  • Robert "Back-Stop" Levin
  • Stanley "Mutt" Perlmutter
  • Edward "Windmill" Roth [could also be German or Saxon English]
  • Lance "Clutch" Steinberg [could also be German]

Greek

  • Daniel "Wet Down" Alexander

Polish

  • David "Hi-Tech" Lewinski
  • Ralph "Steeler" Pulaski
  • Victor "Lift-Ticket" Sikorski [could also be Lithuanian]

Slavic or Hungarian

  • Stephan "Horror Show" Drukersky
  • David "Countdown" Dubosky
  • Daina "Volga" Janack
  • Vladimir "Mayhem" Mayhemovski
  • Martin "Hard Drive" Pidel

Russian

  • Colonel Ivan Brekhov
  • Andrei "Dragonsky" Freisov
  • Lieutenant Mikhail Gorky
  • David "Bazooka" Katzenbogen
  • Anatoly "Red Star" Krimov
  • Sergeant Misha Zubenkov [technically Russianized Ukrainian]

Armenian

  • Varujan "Taurus" Ayvazyan
  • Gregory "Slip-Stream" Boyajian

Chinese or Korean

  • Nicky "Tunnel Rat" Lee
  • Chun Li

Japanese

  • Thomas "Storm Shadow" Arashikage
  • Edmond Honda
  • MacArthur "Quick Kick" Ito
  • Ryu

Hawaiian or Samoan

  • Edward "Torpedo" Leialoha
  • David "Red Dog" Taputapu

New World

  • Moctezuma Xocoyotzin ("Montezuma")
  • Charlie "Spirit" Iron-Knife
  • Jimmy "Dart" Tall Elk
  • Franklin "Airborne" Talltree
  • Sukko "Demolishor" Torngark

Other

  • Hannibal Barca [Carthaginian]
  • Major Sebastian Bludd
  • Ann "Vypra" Conda [prob. alias]
  • Anastasia "Baroness" DeCobray [alias]
  • Munroe "Snow Serpent Commander" Egavas [backward spelling]
  • Elwood "Crankcase" Indiana
  • Earl "Bullet-Proof" Morris [could be Gaelic, Welsh, English, or German]
  • Lamont "Heavy Duty" Morris [could be Gaelic, Welsh, English, or German]
  • Shane "Flak-Viper" Nostaw [backward spelling]
  • David "Frag-Viper" Releehw [backward spelling]
  • Ronald "Dusty" Tadur [backward spelling]
  • Matt Trakker