Sgt. Slaughter (G.I. Joe)

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Sgt. Slaughter
G.I. Joe character
Sgt. Slaughter as seen in G.I. Joe: The Movie.
First appearance 1985
Voiced by Sgt. Slaughter
Affiliation United States Marine Corps
G.I. Joe
Specialty Drill Instructor
Birth place Parris Island, South Carolina
SN 817-76-981
Rank E-7 (Gunnery Sergeant)
Primary MOS Infantry/Drill Instructor
Secondary MOS Survival Instructor
Subgroups Slaughter's Marauders

Sgt. Slaughter is a fictional character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline series. G.I. Joe used the persona of the professional wrestler of the same name as a model for their character. Though the original G.I. Joe was based on the real life Sgt. Alvin York, Sgt. Slaughter was the first G.I. Joe figure accurately based on a real person (Chicago Bears defensive tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry was the second). Sgt. Slaughter was also the most successful toy character, with several versions of his toy action figure being released. Unlike other real-person action figures, Sgt. Slaughter's toy version makes no reference to its real-life inspiration, although the figure does have wrestling moves. The real-life Sgt. Slaughter also did the voice for the cartoon character,[1] and appeared in person for introductions to the episodes that were originally G.I. Joe: The Movie. He was also the spokesman for the G.I. Joe toys from 1989 to early 1990, introducing the new vehicles and figures.


Sgt. Slaughter was born in Parris Island, South Carolina, and during his service in the United States Marine Corps, spent time dressing down trainees in Camp Lejeune. His real name is top secret. According to the G.I. Joe storyline, since just about every member of the G.I. Joe team is qualified to be a drill instructor, it takes a special brand of heavy duty honcho to keep them squared away. He serves as the team's special drill instructor, as mentioned in the animated movie, and also engages in special missions.[2]

Action figures[edit]

From 1985-1989, there were new Sgt. Slaughter action figures almost every year. Hasbro, the maker of G.I. Joe toys, discontinued production in mid-1990, partly because the World Wrestling Federation's new storyline featuring Slaughter as a "bad guy" and, in storyline, an Iraqi sympathizer.

Sgt. Slaughter led two G.I. Joe special teams. One was the Renegades, a mercenary-type group that partakes in highly sensitive, bottom drawer-classified missions for the United States. They included former football thug David "Red Dog" Taputapu, circus performer/Interpol agent Varujan "Taurus" Ayvazyan, and ex-Cobra Viper Felix "Mercer" Stratton. Falcon was with them unofficially after being court martialed as punishment in the animated movie.

Later, he led the "Marauders", a G.I. Joe assault squad released in 1989, and composed of Spirit, the tracker; Low-Light, the night operations sniper; Barbecue, the firefighter; Mutt, the K-9 handler; and Footloose, the ground pounder.[3]

In 1988, Sgt. Slaughter was released as a figure for the driver of the vehicle toy called 'Warthog A.I.F.V.'[4][5]

For the 2006 G.I. Joe Convention, which the real Sgt. Slaughter attended as guest of honor, a new figure was made reusing older figure parts, including the original toy's head.[6]

For the 2010 San Diego Comic Con, Hasbro revealed two new figures of Sgt. Slaughter would be sold exclusively at the con, one based on his 1985 mail-away toy while the other on his 1986 Triple T driver toy. The former figure includes a whistle, baton, microphone and title belt while the latter has a whistle, baton, machine gun, bipod and revolver.[7]


Marvel Comics[edit]

In the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series, his first appearance is in issue #48. The drill sergeant is confronted by suspicious Joe members who are part of the top-level security team. He defeats them in hand-to-hand combat, then gets the explanation that the master of disguise known as Zartan is loose. Sgt. Slaughter leads the Joes that he just defeated in securing the top-level exits. He finds Zartan fighting another Joe, Gung-Ho, having taken his image. Both claim the other is the enemy. Sgt. Slaughter knocks out Zartan with one punch, and attributes his correct choice to luck.[8]

In issue #51, he places Thunder in charge of the Joe HQ, and accompanies Cross-Country on the H.A.V.O.C. to pursue Zartan and the Dreadnoks after another escape attempt. After losing track of Zartan and his accompanying Dreadnoks, Sgt. Slaughter takes the H.A.V.O.C.'s hovercraft for recon. He finds them, but is fooled by the disguises the Dreadnoks have worked up.[9]

Devil's Due[edit]

Sgt. Slaughter is not listed on the official listing of personnel in the Battle Files mini-series, which lists all active and reservist members. However, Sgt. Slaughter is listed as an active member of the G.I. Joe team in G.I. Joe: America's Elite #28.[10] He is later seen working with Joe veteran 'Jane' to evacuate endangered Joe support personnel.[11] In volume 2 of G.I. Joe A Real American Hero, Sgt. Slaughter appears in a flashback as a drill sergeant for incoming Joe trainees, AKA Greenshirts. He works closely with Beach-Head.[12]



Sgt. Slaughter was featured in the Sunbow/Marvel G.I. Joe cartoon. Sgt. Slaughter is often described as the toughest of all the Joes.[specify] As an instructor and trainer, he spurs his trainees through the most physically challenging exercises, which he can perform quite easily. He is almost unnaturally strong and can fend entirely for himself in the roughest missions. In fact, he easily fends off several dozen B.A.T.s by himself in 2 episodes of the 2nd season miniseries. He even uses the fingernail on his thumb as a convenient screwdriver to gain access to the circuitry of an electronically locked door and short it open.

He first appeared in the second season opener, "Arise, Serpentor, Arise!". In this episode, he is called upon by General Hawk to help retrain the Joe team because they've lost focus. When General Hawk compliments him for the good work he has done, Sergeant Slaughter remarks that he's glad that General Hawk is satisfied; because with all due respect to his superior's higher rank, General Hawk is going to be joining them in their training regimen. General Hawk, in turn, responds with a laugh and says "yes sir" and jogs off to catch up with the group. He was Doctor Mindbender's alternate DNA candidate in the latter's attempt to create Serpentor, because Cobra failed to capture a much different DNA sample. His DNA sample was destroyed by himself during the fight while Serpentor was created, so Serpentor supposedly never got Sgt. Slaughter's DNA sample. However, his severe impatience may be an indicator that he received at least a minor amount of his genetic material[original research?].

In the Sunbow cartoon series, Sgt. Slaughter is listed fourth in command of the G.I. Joe team as a Special Drill Instructor (behind General Hawk, Duke, and Flint, Beachhead respectively). He is a legend among his fellow Joes and sometimes shares command with Beachhead as fourth in command..

He appeared in the mini-series "Arise, Serpentor, Arise!," and the second-season episodes "My Brother's Keeper," "Ninja Holiday," "G.I. Joe & The Golden Fleece," "Most Dangerous Thing In The World," "Into Your Tent I Will Silently Creep."

G.I. Joe: The Movie[edit]

Sgt. Slaughter plays a vital role in G.I. Joe: The Movie. He is shown as the leader and special drill instructor for The Renegades (consisting of Mercer, Red Dog and Taurus) and Lt. Falcon after he was court martialed. He, The Renegades and Lt. Falcon are some of the last Joes available for the final battle. Slaughter's use of wrestling moves is vital in saving the day when he manages to defeat Nemesis Enforcer in combat.[13]


In DiC's G.I. Joe cartoon, Sgt. Slaughter was made third in command of G.I. Joe. He appeared in the episodes: "Operation Dragonfire" mini-series, "Revenge of the Pharaohs," "The No Zone Conspiracy," "Pigskin Commandos," "Cold Shoulder," That's Entertainment", "I Found You Evy," "An Officer and a Viper Man." In the 'Pigskin' episode, Slaughter spends time visiting his adult sister.

Other works[edit]

Sgt. Slaughter's figure is briefly featured in the fiction novel 6 Sick Hipsters. In the story, the character Paul Achting spent four years collecting G.I. Joe figures to set up a battle scene between the Joes and Cobra. As he imagined the characters in his head, he described as Sgt. Slaughter, behind the Joes on front lines of the battle, "wearing his distinctive mirrored shades, sat uncomplainingly in the cab of the idling Triple T Tank. He was speaking on a transistor radio to Dial Tone, the communications specialist, back at G.I. Joe headquarters. He could smell, almost taste, evil in the air."[14]


  1. ^ "Roll Call". G.I. Joe Roll Call. Joe Headquarters. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  2. ^ Larry Hama (w), Herb Trimpe (a). G.I. Joe: Order Of Battle 2: 13 (January 1987), Marvel Comics Group
  3. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 125. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 
  4. ^ "Filecard image". Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  5. ^ Mother Jones Magazine September 1986, page 42
  6. ^ "Convention exclusive Sgt. Slaughter action figure at". Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  7. ^ "GeekWeek Exclusive: Hasbro's Sgt. Slaughter Comic-Con Figure Revealed!!!". Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  8. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #48
  9. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #51 He was also featured in the 1980,s G.I. Joe and Transformers issues.
  10. ^ G.I. Joe: America's Elite #28 (October 2007)
  11. ^ G.I. Joe: America's Elite #30 (December 2007)
  12. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol. 2 #17 (2003)
  13. ^ G.I. Joe: The Movie (Motion picture). De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. April 20, 1987. 
  14. ^ Casablanca, Rayo (2008). 6 Sick Hipsters. Kensington Publishing Corp. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7582-2283-1. 

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