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Hero Overview

You can't kill me!
~ Woods to the V.C. Bookie, his most famous catchphrase.
When the things they built to keep us safe are turned against us, that's when they figured it out: They'll always need men like us, those who are willing to do... what others cannot.
~ Woods in the Black Ops 2 reveal trailer.

Master Sergeant Frank Woods is the deuteragonist of the Call of Duty franchise's Black Ops series. He serves as a major character in Call of Duty: Black Ops, a playable character in Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified, one of the two tritagonists (alongside Alex Mason) of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, a major character in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, a supporting character in Black Ops 4. Woods also appears in 2019s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone, where he is a playable operator on the side of the Coalition.

Woods was a Marine during the Korean War and Vietnam War, and a CIA special agent during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War with the Soviet Union. He would later help the CIA fight against Perseus, a Soviet spy who wanted to destroy America's control over the world, and Raul Menendez, whom became embittered by the United States and swore vengeance against Woods. In 2025, Woods helps Alex Mason's son and his honorary nephew, David, connect the dots on how Menendez is tied to their past and to stop the terrorist. In the 2040s, Woods was revived and became a member of the Archetypes, and instructs specialists with their equipment and weapons.

He was voiced and motion captured by James C. Burns in Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII. He was also voiced by Damon Victor Allen in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)/Call of Duty: Warzone.

Biography

Early Life

Frank Woods was born on March 20, 1930 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to unnamed parents, but ran away from home at an unknown age and lived on the streets, and later joined the United States Marine Corps around the 1950s. Woods would participate in the Korean War, gaining him combat experience and a reputation that led him to being recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency. Woods also met fellow marine Alex Mason, who became his close friend, and was also recruited into the CIA's Special Activities Division. The two would later meet naval officer Joseph Bowman, who became one of their close friends as well.

Black Ops (1961 - 1968)

Bay of Pigs Invasion

Movement inside. Get in position. This is it... Ready to make history?
~ Woods to Mason in "Operation 40".

Woods and Alex Mason's first mission in Call of Duty: Black Ops first took place in Havana, Cuba were a CIA backed team known as Operation 40 was tasked to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The team fought through police and Cuban forces as they escape from Havana and continuing to Castro's compound. Once in the compound, Bowman splits the team in order to find Castro.

Woods and Mason locates Castro and his mistress, Mason kills Castro and either Mason or Woods kills his mistress. The two regroups with Bowman and as the team escapes Cuba, Mason jumps off the vehicle that they were in to ensure that the team escapes, which lead to Mason's capture at the hands of the real Castro (revealing that the one that the team killed was a double) and Soviet Armed Forces lead by Russian General Nikita Dragovich and his second, Lev Kravchenko. Mason was then sent to Vorkuta, where he was experimented on by Friedrich Steiner for sleeper agents.

Operation Flashpoint

No, no, no, somethin's wrong. There's way too much activity.
~ Woods noticing that their team's cover may have been blown.

Soon after Mason escapes Vorkuta, Woods leads his team to disrupt the Soviet Space Program in Baikonur, U.S.S.R. As soon as the mission begins, the team notices that Weaver was captured by Kravchenko and was being tortured by the Soviets, prompting Woods to order the team to move in and rescue Weaver from his captors. After fighting through Soviet Forces, Woods and Mason zip-line through a window, executes a few Soviet Soldiers, and manages to save Weaver.

The team then goes to shut down a missile launch, but the first attempt failed as the missile's computers were fried. Woods then ordered Mason to destroy the missile with Vaikyrie Rockets and succeeds. They then fight through the underground tunnels and as the mission ends, Kravchenko escapes with no sign of Dragovich, with the team assuming that he was killed in an explosion from his Limosine. It's later revealed that Dragovich wasn't inside the limo, and escaped presumably before the team made it to Baikonur.

Vietnam and Supposed Death

F********K!
~ Woods forced to play Russian Roulette.

Woods returns as team leader of the MAC-V SOG in Khe Sanh, Vietnam where he, Mason, and Agent Jason Hudson fights through NVA to locate Dragovich which fighting through into Hue City eventually led them to Laos. Once in Laos, the team was captured. Once they were at the presence of the Viet Cong, they were forced play Russian Roulette. Woods and Mason used this as a chance to escape from the Viet Cong after Bowman was executed. Once escaped, Woods and Mason fought through the NVA. After such, they were encountered by Kravchenko.

After brutally beating Mason, Kravchencko was stabbed in the back by Woods, but Kravchenko cooked his entire grenade belt strapped to his body at his last breath. At great reflexes and timing, Woods tackled Kravchenko out a window and everyone, even Mason and Hudson, presumed he was killed by the grenade explosions. At the end of Black Ops, after Dragovich was killed by Mason, Mason received a note from X stating that Woods is still alive. This was unknown at that point.

Imprisonment and Escape

Kravchenko. When I sliced that bastard open, it saved everyone's ass. But he comes to first, BOOM! Welcome to the Hanoi Hilton. Six months later, they shipped me over to Da Nang. And this fucking place made the Hilton look good. We lost 17 in my group. By '72, it was just me. I was not gonna die in a F**KING SWAMP!!
~ Woods telling how he survived to David in 2025.

Both Woods and Kravchenko survived their confrontation, with the former managing to get Lev's grenade belt loose and used the loading bay next to the window to get it over (using it as "Sump" so it could absorb the grenade and cause little damage). Though Kravchenko was injured by Woods's knife wound, he managed to recover quickly and captured Frank. He was sent to the Hanoi Hilton, and was then moved to a POW camp in Da Nag months later. By 1972, Woods was the last of the seventeen prisoners, and engineered an escape and got back home safely. Woods would continue to serve the CIA during the 1970s, such as rescuing a group of CIA analyst and fighting the NVA.

Black Ops Cold War (1981)

A self-reliant loner resulting from a youth spent on the streets, Woods trained as a Marine before entering the CIA's Special Activities Division. Years spent as a POW in Vietnam prove his sheer resilience.
~ Woods' bio in Black Ops Cold War.

In 1981, Woods is tasked with eliminating Iranian terrorist leaders Arash Kadivar and Qasim Javadi by President Ronald Reagan, and works with Mason and Russell Adler. Kadivar revealed to the group of the resurgence of "Perseus", a Soviet spy who Adler was tasked with stopping for decades, and believed was dead. After the operation, Woods was briefed by Hudson about "Perseus", and President Reagan gave Adler the order to form a team to stop the Soviet spy and his network. Woods and Mason become members of Adler's team alongside CIA agents Lawrence Sims and Eleazar "Lazar" Azoulay, MI6 agent Helen Park, and new operative who is code named "Bell". Woods and Mason were sent to Kiev to deal with a situation while Adler and his team went to Germany to capture/eliminate Russian mafia boss Anton Volkov.

After their mission in Kiev, Woods was tasked with infiltrating a Spetsnaz training facility in Ukraine with "Bell", and learn of the CIA nuclear program called Operation: Greenlight. The program was a CIA operation where they placed nukes across Europe, and that it was headed by Hudson. Woods and the team confronted Hudson about "Greenlight", and the latter revealed that it was scorched earth policy if the Soviet Union invaded the United States. The team realized that "Perseus" had access to one of the nukes from Berlin, but also gained intel that "Perseus" was looking for sleeper agents that Dragovich programed back in the 1960s. Woods and Mason were then sent to Yamantau to collect the intel from the mainframe, and were aided by KGB double agent Dimitri Belikov. Despite the success of the mission, Hudson's superior Emerson Black reveals that "Perseus" had erased the list, forcing Adler and his team to infiltrate the KGB headquarters to collect the list. The player has the option to collect evidence and have Woods and Mason eliminate Robert Aldrich and Vadim Rudnik, which can cripple "Perseus'" network and prevent their spies from infiltrating the American and European government.

Woods would later participate in finding Theodore Hastings in Havana to what they believed was the nuke's location, and the team learned that "Perseus" had reprogrammed Hastings to give him access to launch all of the American nukes in Europe. Woods and the team managed to escape from Havana, but Park/Lazar are left behind and killed by Tropas. Depending on the player's choices, "Bell" will either reveal the truth of "Perseus's" location in Solvovetsky, or lie to Adler that "Perseus" is in Duga.

If "Bell" decides to aid the CIA in stopping "Perseus" and tells them his location, Woods participates in the operation in destroying the AA-guns to prevent the signal of the nukes. During the operation, Woods and Mason separated from Adler and "Bell" who were destroying the last AA-gun so Hudson could send in a bombing run to destroy the facility. Woods, Mason, Adler and "Bell" succeed in destroying the AA-guns, and Woods and Mason hear Adler's speech on how wars are won before leaving the island.

If "Bell" decides to betray the CIA, they will take Adler, Woods, Mason and Park/Lazar (if present) to Duga-2. If "Bell" didn't contact their Soviet allies, Adler will kill them and leave their body to be find by the Soviets. If "Bell" managed to contact their Soviet allies, Woods and the team are ambushed and killed in the process, leaving Adler to be killed by "Bell". "Perseus" will reveal himself after Adler's death, and allows "Bell" to signal the detonation of the nukes.

The Hunt for Adler

Three years after stopping Perseus's plans, one of his agents, Vikhor "Stitch" Kuzmin decided to enact his revenge on Adler for taking his eye and causing him to be imprisoned in the Gulag. Stitch and his men infiltrated the CIA safehouse in Berlin, and tricked Adler and his squad to infiltrate the Pines Mall in New Jersey. The Perseus agent then ambushed Alder and captured him, and Woods was tasked by the CIA to led a rescue team to find him. Three months after his capture, the CIA received information that Adler was last sighted in Laos. Woods was given a team that consisted of Terrell Wolf and Karla Rivas , and were tasked to rescue Adler before he was killed or gave information away.

Woods and his team arrived to help Rivas fight against Perseus troop that were led by former warlord turned Perseus agent, Kapona "Naga" Vang. After dealing with the troops, Woods and the team found empty Nova 6 caches in a nearby village, realizing that Naga tricked them into thinking "Perseus" cared about the gas. Finding torture devices, the team comes to the conclusion that Adler was tortured and taken away by Naga while they battled his troops. The group then interrogated the remaining Perseus soldiers, and learned from them that Adler was taken to Verdansk. Returning to Hudson, he orders Woods and his team to travel to Verdansk and rescue Adler from Stitch. On June 10th, Woods and his team managed to rescue Adler, but unbeknownst to them, Stitch had succeeded in completing his programming on the agent.

Black Ops II (1986, 1989, and 2025)

Aside from the fact that i'm still alive... none of this surprises me.
~ Woods at the beginning of the reveal trailer of Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

Woods at the age 95, in the Vault.

The campaign of Call of Duty: Black Ops II starts in a CIA run retirement home known as the Vault with the Joint Special Operations Command locking the building down after being breached by political activist and Latin terrorist Raul Menendez. Woods did confirm Menendez' presence (while demeaning Harper) and shows David Mason a heart shaped pendant that Menendez left at the Vault. Woods told David and Harper that all Menendez said to him was Mi hermana (translating into My sister in Spanish). Woods then start to tell the story of how Menendez' rise to power began.

1985

Thanks to your old man. He put it all on the line for me... for honor... and friendship.
~ Woods to David.

Starting eighteen years after the death of Soviet General Nikita Dragovich, Woods was found by Mason and Hudson in a cargo box on a barge in Angola after Mason discovers that Woods was in fact alive after his encounter with Kravchenko. While Mason was trying to call Angola Military Leader, Jonas Savimbi, for extraction. The attempt failed after Menendez destroys the radio he was using to contact Kravchenko (who must've worked for Menendez after the death of his previous superior) and the village that Mason, Hudson, and Woods was in was put on full alert. After an intense battle against a huge group of MPLA and Tropas, Savimbi arrived in a hijacked Hind (at first, Hudson thought it was the Soviets coming to kill them) and started to extract the three. Just as soon it was mission accomplished, Hudson was shot in the shoulder by a Cuban Soldier, but the shooter was immediately killed by Woods.

Mason, Woods, and Hudson was then deployed to Afghanistan alongside Chinese SDC Chairman Tian Zhao to help the Mujahideen and their leader Mullah Rahmaan to defend their home from Soviet Russia. After serious fight, Woods first spots a heavy armed attack beginning, Mason leads a counter charge and eventually jumps onto the the enemy leader's tank. After Mason fights him, Woods finds out that it was Kravchenko that was invading Afghanistan.

After an interrogation of what affiliates Kravchenko has on Menendez (which can end as soon as it begins with Mason killing Kravchenko due to Reznov's influence on him or Woods kill hims after the interrogation, both are based on player choice) the Mujahideen betrays the CIA and SDC revealing that they were actually working for Menendez and dumps them in the middle of nowhere, tied up and restrained. After a few hours, a group of strangers came by to free the team and Zhao and provided them with water. Mason thought it was Reznov, but Woods denied saying that if it was, he would stick around do some explanations.

After Afghanistan, the team did a joint operation in Nicaragua with the Panamanian Defense Forces and Manuel Noriega in order to capture Menendez. The mission unfortunately went completely array when, on sight of Menendez, Woods throws a grenade into Menendez's sister's (Josefina Menendez, who was severely crippled in a Warehouse fire) room, ultimately killing her accidentally, putting Menendez's remaining life on a much more sinister path that would uncover in years 1989, 2014, and 2025.

1989

I was pretty sure we got him in Nicaragua. About a year later, he shows up in Panama with that piece of shit Noriega. That's the last straw for the CIA. The orders come down from George H. W. for a snatch and grab. So your dad and I, we go in... What a s**t show.
~ Woods telling David of the operation in Panama.

Woods, along with Mason and fellow CIA asset Mark McKnight, take part in "Operation Just Cause" to capture Noriega by orders from (then) President George H. W. Bush. Suddenly, Hudson gets on the comlink (which had been bugging off constantly) to tell Woods and Mason that Noriega was actually a prisoner exchange/hand off with actionable intelligence on a high priority "Nexus Target"(if Kravchenko is thoroughly interrogated, Woods will start to remember his final words: "...he even has people in the CIA", and will start to become suspicious).

As Noriega is escorted throughout the slums, Woods becomes more and more puzzled at the situation. As soon as "Nexus Target" is revealed as Raul Menendez, Woods awaits his arrival for an attempt at his life (if Woods kills Kravchenko, his final words will be heard. This is to make the player suspicious). Once Woods took the shot, Woods will then discover that he actually killed Mason (or just merely wounded him, ensuring his survival into the very end of the game. this depends on the player's choice). Once Woods goes to shoot Noriega, his right kneecap was then shot and destroyed by Menendez himself, who then shoots and destroys his left knee, leaving Woods crippled for the remainder of his life. After witnessing Hudson's death, Woods attempts to comfort David (Mason's Son), but loses consciousness from his wounds.

Retirement

I gotcha kid. You're okay.
~ Woods to David, becoming his legal guardian.

Following the operation in Panama, Woods was honorably discharged from the military, and decided to raise David as his legal guardian since he felt guilty for Alex's death. During the early years of the 20th century, Woods told JSOC about Menendez and the threat he posed, but they were too busy with the drone race. Woods was later taken to the Vault by the CIA, since he knew too much and participated in their classified operations during the Cold War.

2025

The dead don't suffer. That's why you and I are still here.
~ A 95 year old Woods to "Section" Mason.

Now 95 and retired, Woods spent the remainder of his life before the Vault taking care of David as his legal guardian. On April 19, he was visited by Menendez and given the heart-shaped pendant, telling him "Now it begins". During the future missions in the campaign, Woods tells David and Mike Harper his past operations that tied him and Mason with Menendez from Nicaragua, Afghanistan and Panama. After telling David of the operation that left him crippled and the death of Alex (up to player's choice), he encourages David to kill Menendez. At the end of the campaign, Woods' fate depends on player decisions:

Ending 1

After the events of Judgement Day, Woods will then receive an unwanted visitor, which is actually revealed to be a 92 year old Alex Mason, alive and well. Thinking it was a hallucination, Woods tapped Mason in the torso, and to his surprise, it was really Mason and not a mind trick. Later, David was then reunited with his long lost father.

Ending 2

After the events of Judgement Day, on either scene, whether Mason is alive or not, Woods will be killed by Menendez, claiming his revenge for his sister. His body was placed on his bed with Menendez's pendant.

Ending 3

After the events of Judgement Day, Woods and David visit Mason's grave site, with David telling Woods that he is stepping down as Lieutenant Commander of the US Navy for retirement. Woods replies with "He's glad to hear that".

Black Ops III

Before the events of Black Ops III, Coalescence Corporation CEO Sebastian Krueger requested information involved in Project Nova back during the Cold War. Krueger intended to revive the CIA's MK project, and looked up information on Woods, Mason and Hudson. Krueger would later have Nova 6 re-created, which would cause the Singapore disaster in 2060 and the deaths of 300,000 people.

Black Ops 4

Don't blackout, man, I'm on it.
~ Woods to Mason.

Between 2043 and 2045, Woods was revived alongside Mason, Menendez and Viktor Reznov by Project Blackout. Referred to as the Archetypes, Woods was assigned by Alex's granddaughter, Savannah Mason-Meyer, to assist specialists for combat. During his time, Woods and Savannah began a relationship, but he discovers that Alex has been brainwashed by an unknown attacker. Woods takes Mason to the Asylum in an attempt to revers the effects, and reveals Reznov to Alex in hopes in getting his memory back.

Modern Warfare (2019)

Formerly a member of the US Marine Corps, Woods' extensive combat experience led to him being recruited by the CIA for their Special Activities Division. His fearless leadership inspires all those who serve alongside him.
~ Woods' biography in Modern Warfare.

Woods appears in the 2019 reboot Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and 2020 battle royale Call of Duty: Warzone as a playable operative, and became available on August 26, 2020 for players who pre-ordered Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. In the game, he is an operative for Demon Dogs, a branch unit for the Coalition, a multi-alliance group who battles the Al-Qatala and the Ultranationalists.

Quotes

We got company.
~ Woods to Mason on the Militia coming into the Cuban bar.
Crazy b***h... he uses a human shield and she still protects him?!!
~ Woods to Mason on the woman trying to kill them.
F**kin - A!
~ Woods after Mason destroys the missile in "Executive Order".
Looks don't count for s**t in the jungle. This is 'Nam baby!
~ Woods to Mason in Vietnam.
Back in '64, the CIA gave up control of covert operations in South-East Asia... handed it over to the US military. From that, MAC-V-SOG was born. Now aside from being a base for the Marine Corps, Khe Sanh is our launching point for all cross-border activities. Mostly Laos and Cambodia. Missions are S&D, sabotage, black propaganda, strategic reconnaissance, POW rescue; You know, the usual s**t.
~ Woods explaining the SOG to Mason.
Motherf---ers. We're gonna make 'em pay.
~ Woods to Mason on Bowman's death.
For Bowman!
~ Woods upon avegning Bowman's death.
Got you now, you son of a b***h!
~ Woods stabbing Kravchenko.
You should have freed the hostages when you had the chance!
~ Woods to Arash Kadivar.
Who the f**k is Perseus?
~ Woods to Mason.
Every mission we go on is illegal.
~ Woods to Alexander Haig in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
I'm a goddamn onion, Mason. You should know that.
~ Woods to Mason at Mount Yamantau.
Aside from the fact that I'm still alive, none of this surprises me. Technology got stronger, but we got weaker. We built computers, robots, whole unmanned armies, but no one ever asks: "What happens when the enemy steals the keys?" When the things they built to keep us safe are turned against us, that's when they figured it out: They'll always need men like us. those who are willing to do..... what others cannot
~ Woods in the Black Ops II Reveal Trailer.
This is the Mujahideen, baby. They'll bury you up to your neck, peel back your eyelids, and leave you to fry in the desert!
~ Woods to Kravchenko during his interrogation.
Let's not f**k around here, boys. Let's smoke this bastard.
~ Woods in the opening of "Time and Fate".
You've got no idea what happened in Angola. None!
~ Woods to Hudson.
MASON!!!
~ Woods upon seeing Mason's corpse or unconscious body (player-choice).
Safety's on, dipshit!
~ Woods demeaning Harper for barging into his room.
I was MIA in 'Nam... but your old man thought I was dead.
~ Woods to David on his status after "Payback".
Menendez was in Nicaragua, got that from Kravchenko. He was being offered up on a silver platter by old pineapple face himself, Manuel Noriega. One of the perks of being the president of Panama is that you get to use the army as your private police force. So CIA, in their infinite wisdom, they sign off on the deal, and the White House cuts Noriega a check for a million bucks and everybody takes their victory lap. And off we go to the jungle. What we did in Nicaragua... that was an accident. We don't target civilians.
~ Woods to David and Harper.
Menendez, he... he wanted to know what the CIA had on him. So he tortured my men in front of me... thought I'd break. One by one. I watched my team die. Then he... dumped us in a tin can and locked the door... left me there for weeks. So yeah, the next time I saw Menendez, I LOST MY SHIT! WHAT THE F**K WOULD YOU DO?!!
~ Woods to David in 2025 on the events of "Time and Fate".
Remember that pendant? Pfft.. disappeared. What do you think, it just sprouted legs and walked away? This guy, he knows every angle, every move you're gonna make. He's gonna take 20 to 30 million people. As if that's gonna bring her back. It's about his sister.
~ Woods to David in "Suffer with Me".
The mission was good, planning good. The only piece that didn't fit was Hudson, on the comm link running the show. It just felt off, even on the way in... I felt it... You know it was gnawing at me, I just didn't look at it...
~ Woods to David.
I should have smoke'd him in 'Nam.
~ Woods to David on Hudson.
It didn't go down like that, kid. Noriega was a puppet. We're all just puppets.
~ Woods to David.
I may have questioned orders, but I never questioned motives. You take care of your unit, you get your guys home safe {...} That's not how it is. Chain of command's fucked. I'm a soldier. I take orders and I get s**t done.
~ Woods to David.
Your old man and I, we were the best, and we still couldn't stop him.
~ Woods to David.
What did you learn from that?
~ Woods last words before his death by Menendez (determinate).
This is the price we pay for what we do.
~ Woods to David at Alex's grave (determinate).
He's the first. The first... Archetype.
~ Woods to Mason on Reznov in Black Ops 4.

Trivia

  • Woods was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 20, 1930.
  • In the multiplayer map Nuketown and Nuketown 2025, Wood's name is one of the mailboxes.
  • Woods is the third character chronologically in Call of Duty to be seen in a reflection. The others are Captain Price in Modern Warfare 3, Raul Menendez in "Time and Fate", and David "Section" Mason in "Cordis Die".
  • His most preferred weapon seems to be the Commando, a type of carbine rifle.
  • Woods was voiced by actor James C. Burns until Black Ops Cold War.
  • Voted "The Best Video Game Character of the Year" at the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards.
  • According to an early casting call and file names, Woods' surname was "Barnes".
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