Five years ago, I lost 30,000 men in the blink of an eye... and the world just f**kin' watched. Tomorrow, there will be no shortage of volunteers, no shortage of patriots. I know you understand.
~ Shepherd reveals his true motives to John "Soap" MacTavish.

Lieutenant General Shepherd is an officer of the United States Army who is also the hidden main antagonist in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

He is voiced by Lance Henriksen.


Second Russian Civil War

General Shepherd served as the supreme commander of the U.S. military forces, including the Marine Force Recon units, in the Middle East during the course of the Second Russian Civil War. They were killed when Vladimir Makarov gave Khaled Al-Asad an order to detonate a nuclear device in the capital city of the unnamed Middle Eastern country. The nuclear blast wiped out virtually the entire U.S. invasion force with 30,000 Marines in total, including Captain "Deadly" Pelayo, Lieutenant Vasquez and Sergeant Paul Jackson. There was also an unconfirmed amount of OpFor (Opposing Forces or Opposing Force) casualties.

Inter-War Period

Losing 30,000 troops under his command affected Shepherd greatly, causing him to develop a negative view of international politics and the world. In the time following his invasion of the Persian Gulf, Shepherd sought new ways of restoring the United States' reputation as a global power as well as its military might. Unbeknownst to others, he also secretly attempted to restore his own reputation as a military commander.

Sometime between 2011 and 2013, Shepherd created Task Force 141 with the help of John "Soap" MacTavish. They evaluated recruits from the special operations communities of Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Shepherd also traveled to Mexico to recruit a former member of the Special Air Service, Lieutenant Simon "Ghost" Riley.

Operation Kingfish

In 2013, Shepherd commanded the Task Force in a mission code-named "Operation Kingfish", in which he sent Captain John Price, Captain John "Soap" MacTavish, Lieutenant Simon "Ghost" Riley, Sergeant Gary "Roach" Sanderson, as well as Delta Force operatives "Sandman" and Derek "Frost" Westbrook to an Ultranationalist compound in Ukraine on a field mission to either capture or kill an individual codenamed "Kingfish", who is later revealed to be Vladimir Makarov. The mission ends in failure, as a large force of Ultranationalist troops attack the British/American Task Force. Most of them survive, with the apparent exception of Price, who stays behind to allow the others to escape.


In 2016, Shepherd served as the commander of the United States Army Rangers in Afghanistan and focused his efforts on the removal of OpFor's occupation in the country and, seemingly, the manhunt for international terrorist, Vladimir Makarov. Shepherd felt that no justice had been sought for the men and women he had lost five years prior and that the U.S. military's power had waned over the years. These feelings would eventually drive him to carry out his goal of escalating a full-scale war between the new Ultranationalist Russia and the United States. To increase the power and standing of the military, Shepherd needed an enemy, something to rally the entire nation behind him. After hearing of Makarov's increased terrorist attacks throughout Europe in the three years since Operation Kingfish, Shepherd believed that Makarov's presence as a mark could indirectly help bring about his desired changes.

Shepherd hand-picked Private First Class Joseph Allen, a United States Army Ranger, to go undercover within Makarov's terrorist group during their attack on Zakhaev International Airport. However, Makarov was aware of Allen's real identity. He murdered the American and left his body behind in order to place the blame solely on the United States.

World War III

Russian authorities discovered Allen's body on the scene and confirmed his real identity. This incident prompted an infuriated response from the Russian people, demanding their government to take drastic measures against the United States. Despite Makarov and his assault team being responsible for the massacre, it was still believed the United States sponsored and supported his assault, as Makarov and his men appeared to be Americans due to their use of standard issue NATO weaponry and U.S. military technology. After receiving tremendous pressure from Russian populace, Vorshevsky launched a full-scale invasion of the United States. The United States were caught off-guard due to the suddenness of the attack (as the Russians had used a duplicate of an ACS module to disable NORAD's early warning systems), and as a result, the U.S. government appointed Shepherd to lead the defense against the invading Russian forces. He was also provided with vast amount of resources to continue his hunt on Makarov. With 3.5 million soldiers at his fingertips, his plan to restore the United States as the mightiest force on the planet was now in motion, setting the stage for his revenge against the Ultranationalists.

While Task Force 141 was still out of the country hunting for Makarov, they learned from Alejandro Rojas (a Brazilian arms dealer who supplied Makarov and his men during the airport massacre) that Makarov's worst enemy was an individual known as Prisoner #627, currently incarcerated in a Russian Gulag. Shepherd sends Captain MacTavish, Ghost, Roach and other members of the 141, along with a team of U.S. Navy SEALs, on a mission to rescue the mysterious prisoner, who is revealed to be Captain Price. Upon his rescue, Shepherd reinstates Price as a field commander for Task Force 141.


When the fighting in America is halted - temporarily, at least - the Department of Defense gives Shepherd a "blank check" to use any resources available to the U.S. military to hunt down Makarov. Shepherd has pinpointed Makarov's possible location into two places: an aircraft boneyard in Eastern Afghanistan and a safe house on the Georgian-Russian border. He sends Price and Soap to the boneyard, while Roach and Ghost are sent to the safe house. Upon arriving at the safe house, Roach and Ghost locate Makarov's entire operations playbook and download it onto the DSM.

Having now obtained what he needed to cement his status as a war hero, the ruthless officer betrays Task Force 141 in an attempt to destroy any link to his treacherous actions, including his connection to Allen's death, so that he could bring down Makarov himself, with his endgame being to take all the glory and become a national hero. Shepherd arrives with Shadow Company at Makarov's safe house just as Roach and Ghost arrived. Once ascertaining that they had the DSM, Shepherd remarks about "one less loose end" and shoots Roach point-blank in the chest with his .44 Magnum before turning it on Ghost and shooting him through the neck, killing the latter instantly. He then recovers the DSM from Roach and lights both his and Ghost's petrol-soaked bodies on fire with a cigar.

Simultaneously, Shepherd sends Shadow Company to eliminate Makarov's Ultranationalists, including Price and MacTavish. Contrary to his expectations, the two learned of the traitorous general's agenda and resolve to infiltrate Shepherd's secret base in the Afghan cave system, Site Hotel Bravo. Learning the base's location from Makarov, the two kill most of Shadow Company troops in their path and escape in Nikolai's C-130 Hercules.


Shepherd eventually learns of Price and MacTavish's presence in the base and orders all Shadow Company personnel to evacuate. In an attempt to kill them, Shepherd self-destructs the base with Composition-4 explosives and orders a danger close artillery strike on it, but both fail to kill the two surviving Task Force members. Shepherd commandeers a Zodiac speedboat and attempts to escape via the river, with MacTavish and Price following in hot pursuit.

After a lengthy chase up the river, a Pave Low (Warhorse 5-1) arrives to pick up Shepherd, but Price disables it by shooting its rotors, causing it to crash land. After they do this, MacTavish and Price's Zodiac plunges into the river below. Shepherd flees the crash site with some injuries, followed by a dazed MacTavish who attempts to kill Shepherd with his only remaining weapon, a combat knife. Shepherd incapacitates him by slamming his head into a rusted car and proceeds to stab him in the chest.

Just as Shepherd is about to execute MacTavish with his .44 Magnum, Price tackles Shepherd, causing him to miss his shot. Price then proceeds to kick his revolver away. Soap tries to grab it but Shepherd kicks it away and stomps on Soap's face. When MacTavish awakes, the two are engaged in brutal close-quarters combat. Both men fight while enduring the impact of their fall and Shepherd eventually gains the upper hand by fully mounting Price to brutally beat (or choke) him to death.

Drifting in and out of consciousness, MacTavish manages to wake up and uses his last bit of strength to pull the knife out of his chest and expertly throw it at Shepherd just as the treacherous General looked up. The knife pierces Shepherd's left eye, killing him instantly. MacTavish and Price then proceed to flee the scene with Nikolai, leaving Shepherd's body behind in the desert.


Shepherd was later buried at the Arlington National Cemetery and he was called a "War Hero" by many people at that time and, unfortunately, MacTavish and Price were declared war criminals. However, their names were cleared when Price and Yuri (MacTavish wasn't there because he was killed) conducted a joint operation with their Delta Force counterparts to rescue President Boris Vorshevsky and his daughter Alena from a diamond mine in Siberia, restoring the President's goal of developing peace and friendship between the United States, Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Call of Duty: Online

General Shepherd appears as an non-playable character that must be rescued in the game mode called Cyborg Evacuation.

2019 Reboot

Shepherd was mentioned at the end of the 2019 reboot Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. After General Barkov's death and Victor Zakhaev's prompt to take his place, Shepherd had Kate Laswell fulfill Captain Price's request for a list of candidates for Task Force 141 to deal with him, which included "Soap" MacTavish, Kyle "Gaz" Garrick and Simon "Ghost" Riley.


We are the most powerful military force in the history of man. Every fight is our fight. Because what happens over here, matters over there. We don't get to sit one out. Learning to use the tools of modern warfare is the difference between the prospering of your people, and utter destruction. We can't give you freedom. But we can give you the know-how to acquire it. And that, my friends, is worth more than a whole army base of steel. Sure it matters who's got the biggest stick, but it matters a helluva lot more who's swinging it. This is a time for heroes. A time for legends. History is written by the victors. Let's get to work.
~ Shepherd describes the military might of his country.




  • Makarov is the Big Bad in the Modern Warfare series due to being the cause of the events of the series; however, General Shepherd takes the role of the main antagonist in Modern Warfare 2 because he had bigger plans than anyone else.

See also

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