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Zap's real name is Rafael J. Melendez, and his rank is that of corporal E-4. Zap was born in New York City.
Zap is the team specialist in armor-piercing and anti-tank weapons but also functions as demolitions man. He has received advanced infantry training, and specialized education in engineer school and ordinance school. Zap is a qualified expert with the M-14, M-16, M1911A1 Auto Pistol, M79 grenade launcher, M-72 LAW rocket, XM-17A TOW missile, and the XM-47 Dragon missile.
Zap is considered the fun loving type, but he's cool under fire. Zap is also a somewhat capable helicopter pilot. A running joke is that he is always being reminded it is like riding a bicycle. Zap then reminds people he used to fall off his bike all the time.
Zap appeared in the original G.I. Joe animated series. Zap was voiced by the late Buster Jones. He first appeared in the animated series in the "A Real American" Hero mini-series.