Willard J. Phule

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Willard J. Phule is the name of the fictional main character in a series of books by Robert Asprin, beginning with Phule's Company, the most recent being Phule's Errand.

Willard J. Phule is the super-rich heir apparent of Phule Proof Munitions, currently serving in the Space Legion. His Legion name is Jester, and holds the rank of Captain, being addressed thus as Captain Jester, and occasionally and inappropriately as Captain Phule or Captain Clown. Originally his legion name was Lieutenant Scaramouche (promoted after incident in the first book and then referred to as Captain incorrectly in following books), but after being court-martialed for ordering the strafing of a peace conference, Captain Jester is shipped off to command the Omega Company, a dumping ground for the Legion's foul ups and misfits. Applying his business sense and wealth to the running of the unit, he soon turns it around, winning the almost fanatical loyalty of his troops and turning the "Omega Mob", as it is affectionately nicknamed, into a crack unit.

Phule is a strong-willed individual, with a strong dislike for stereotyping, and not infrequently finds himself in conflict with other authority figures such as his father. Although of a wealthy background, he takes pride that his own fortune is largely self-made: although he started his business empire with a loan from his father, that loan was swiftly repaid. He is also very loyal to his people, going far above what officers would normally do for their soldiers and reacting aggressively to insults towards them. However, Phule can be over-industrious: he has been known to work himself to the point of exhaustion.

Phule is the lead character in six novels, to date. These are (in chronological order):