Gung-Ho (G.I. Joe)

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G.I. Joe character
First appearance 1983
Voiced by Chris Latta (Sunbow/Marvel)
Charlie Adler (Resolute)
Affiliation G.I. Joe
Specialty Marine, SgtMaj
File name LaFitte, Ettienne R.
Birth place Fer-de-Lance, LA
SN MC56488390
Rank E-7 (Gunnery Sergeant, USMC)
Primary MOS Recondo
Secondary MOS Jungle Warfare Training Instructor
Subgroups Mega Marines
Desert Patrol Squad

Gung-Ho is a fictional character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, comic books, and cartoon series. He is the G.I. Joe Team's original Marine and debuted in 1983.


Gung-Ho's real name is Ettienne R. LaFitte, and his rank was originally that of a Gunnery Sergeant E-7. He was later promoted to Sergeant Major E-9 (USMC). Gung-Ho was born into a large Cajun clan, in the fictional Fer-de-Lance, Louisiana. His primary military specialty is recondo instructor and his secondary military specialty is jungle warfare training instructor.

He eventually moved to New Orleans, earning a reputation as a bare-knuckle brawler and knife fighter. He joined the Marines at age 18, and was the distinguished honor graduate from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Gung-Ho has attended Airborne School, Recondo School, Marine Ordnance School, Administration School at Camp Johnson, and is a qualified expert in all NATO infantry small arms, most Warsaw Pact infantry weapons and the XM-76 grenade launcher .[1]

Gung-Ho is known for his lack of fear on the battlefield, as well as his legendary feats of near-superhuman strength. His teammates have come to rely on his selfless bravery, strength and perseverance. After the team was temporarily disbanded and reinstated, Gung-Ho was offered a position as a field commander. His expertise in the swamps of Louisiana helped him lead a mission to invade and shut down the Dreadnok compound in the Florida Everglades.[2]


Gung-Ho was first released as an action figure in 1983.[3][4] He was also released as an action figure in his dress blues uniform in 1987.[5][6]

A new version of Gung-Ho was released in 1992.[7][8] That figure was repainted and released as part of the "Battle Corps" line in 1993.[9]

A new version of Gung-Ho was released as an action figure in 1993, as commander of the "Mega Marines" subset. The Mega-Marines are several Joes teaming up to battle Cobra-allied monsters. His figure came with "moldable bio-armor".[10]

A version of Gung-Ho with no accessories came with the Built to Rule Rock Crusher, which followed the G.I. Joe: Spy Troops story line. The forearms and the calves of the figure sported places where blocks could be attached.[11]

In 2004, he was released as part of the Toys R Us exclusive "Desert Patrol Squad" set, which also included the figures Ambush, Dusty, Snake Eyes, Stalker and Tunnel Rat.[12]

25th Anniversary[edit]


Marvel Comics[edit]

In the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series, he first appeared in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #11 (May 1983) where it was revealed that he has a kid sister who is a successful child model. In the same issue, he helps defeat Cobra forces who were spreading a plague and stealing valuable radioactive materials.[13]

He is one of many Joes sent to Sierra Gordo in an attempt to clear up multiple hotspots. The Baroness almost kills his entire group with a bombing run from a Rattler but they escape unharmed. The Baroness also bombs a nearby island, making the Joes think they just witnessed the death of Snake Eyes.[14]

He was one of the Joes picked to guard Cobra Commander. The ninja Storm Shadow eventually frees the Commander who escapes to safety. Storm Shadow and Gung-Ho injure each other during the incident. Storm Shadow is defeated and captured by Roadblock.[15]

An attempt at relaxation leads Gung-Ho and Blowtorch to confront Crimson Guardsmen at a local fair.[16]

During Cobra's first civil war (both take place on Cobra Island) Gung-Ho is part of an advanced recon team. They go through multiple incidents of trouble such as almost being caught by Iron Grenadiers and taking over Cobra's air traffic control tower. The latter allows a Joe landing force to arrive.[17]

Action Force[edit]

In the Action Force comic line, Gung-Ho is badly wounded by Storm Shadow during a confrontation in a Cobra base. He lives, but must receive long-term medical attention.[18]

Devil's Due[edit]

He is featured in the first four issues of the Devil's Due series G.I. Joe: Frontlines, which chronicles the last mission of the original run of the G.I. Joe team. Along with others, he battles various Cobra forces in order to keep valuable technology out of their hands. This takes the Joes all the way to Destro's 'Silent Castle' in Trans-Carpathia.[19]

He is one of the few initially brought back when the G.I. Joe team is reinstated in 2001. The old Joes meet the new group of trainees, the 'Greenshirts' who they will be commanding.[20] Gung-Ho then joins in on the attack on the multi-Cobra force stationed in the Dreadnoks complex in the Florida Everglades.[21] Gung-Ho and the other Joes become contaminated by multi-function nanites set off by Major Bludd. Thanks to the efforts of Lifeline, Mainframe, and recruited civilians, they are soon cured.[22]



Gung-Ho appeared in the original G.I. Joe animated series.[23] He first appeared in the animated series in the "A Real American Hero" mini-series. He was voiced by Chris Latta in a southern accent, despite the fact that he is of French Cajun ancestry.[24]

During the episode "Captives Of Cobra", The Baroness attempted to kidnap and brainwash Gung-Ho's family as Cobra had done with that of other Joes. However, her troops were quickly defeated by Gung-Ho's relatives, and Baroness fled after they attempted to show her hospitality. When the Joes arrived, they were shocked to find that the Cobra troops were captured, and Gung-Ho is scolded by his mother, referring to him by his real name Etienne, about not visiting home often enough.

One episode had the Joes working together along with their Soviet counterparts, the Oktober Guard. Gung-Ho has sort of a love-hate relationship with Oktober Guard member Horrorshow, constantly referring to him as a "dumb Russian bear" throughout the episode. Horrorshow responds by calling him "ugly". They are able to put aside their differences and work together against Cobra. Both were also ordered to get along by their respective superiors, Duke and Colonel Brehkov.

G.I. Joe: The Movie[edit]

Gung-Ho plays a minor but critical role in G.I. Joe: The Movie. Bazooka, Alpine, and Gung-Ho are charged with guarding the captured Serpentor. Lt. Falcon is supposed to be guarding the front, but leaves his post. As a result, all three Joes are attacked by the Dreadnoks and Nemesis Enforcer. Gung-Ho sounds the alarm before Serpentor escapes.[25]

Valor vs. Venom[edit]

Gung-Ho appeared in the direct-to-video CGI animated movie G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom, voiced by Scott McNeil.

Video games[edit]

Gung-Ho is one of the featured characters in the 1985 G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero computer game.[26] He is a non-playable supporting character in the 1992 game G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor.[27]

Gung-Ho appears as a playable character in the video game G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.


Gung-Ho is a featured character in the 'Find Your Fate' novel 'G.I. Joe and the Everglades Swamp Terror' produced by Ballantine Books.[28]

Other media[edit]

  • Gung-Ho appeared in the Robot Chicken episode "Day at the Circus" voiced by Seth Green. He left with Flint and Roadblock on a mission only to partake in a prank upon Snow Job. In "PS: Yes In That Way," Gung-Ho was among the G.I. Joe members who made fun of the new recruit Calvin (who had been nicknamed "Fumbles" for his clumsiness). He is later sniped by Calvin. In the episode "Big Trouble in Little Clerks 2," Gung-Ho gets a pet elephant named Dumbolaya whose trumpeting gives the Joes away during a sneak attack.
  • The character's toy is talked about in the non-fiction book about cartoons, Saturday Morning Fever.[29]
  • Mr. LaFitte appears as a homosexual caricature in the parodical Fenslerfilm PSA 22.[30]


  1. ^ Hama, Larry (1987). Howard Mackie, ed. G.I. Joe Order Of Battle. Marvel Entertainment Group. p. 57. ISBN 0-87135-288-5. 
  2. ^ Wherle, Scott (2002). G.I. Joe: Battle Files #1. Devil's Due Publishing. p. 10. 
  3. ^ Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  4. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 98. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 
  5. ^ Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  6. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 111. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 
  7. ^ Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 194. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  8. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 139. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 
  9. ^ Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 214. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  10. ^ Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  11. ^ Rock Crusher w/ Gung-Ho at Retrieved 2012-04-23
  12. ^ Desert Patrol Squad at
  13. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #11-14 (May 1983)
  14. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #16-17
  15. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #24 (June 1984)
  16. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #37 (July 1985)
  17. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #72-76
  18. ^ "Action Force" #7 (April 18th 1987)
  19. ^ G.I. Joe: Frontlines" #1-4
  20. ^ "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" #2 Vol2 (2001)
  21. ^ "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" #3 (2001)
  22. ^ "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" #4 Vol2 (2001)
  23. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television cartoon shows: an illustrated encyclopedia, 1949 through 2003, Volume 1. McFarland & Co. p. 376. ISBN 978-0-7864-2099-5. 
  24. ^ "Roll Call". G.I. Joe Roll Call. Joe Headquarters. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  25. ^ G.I. Joe: The Movie (Motion picture). De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. April 20, 1987. 
  26. ^ Roberts, Matt. "G.I. Joe for Personal Computers". Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  27. ^ Roberts, Matt. "G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor for the NES". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  28. ^ GI Joe and the Everglades Swamp Terror: (#5). "'G.I. Joe and the Everglades Swamp Terror'". Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  29. ^ Burke, Timothy (1998). Saturday Morning Fever. Macmillan. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-312-16996-1. 
  30. ^

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