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Characters / Black Hawk Down

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75th Rangers


Staff Sgt. Matthew Eversmann

Played By: Josh Hartnett

A Ranger sergeant who receives his first command.

  • Big "NO!": Twice, when Blackburn falls out of the helicopter and when Jamie breaks cover to help Twombly, leading to Jamie receiving fatal injuries.
  • Composite Character: The real Eversmann was part of the Lost Convoy, while this version leads the effort to reach Super Six One.
  • The Idealist: Labeled as such by the other Rangers, with Kurth saying he likes the “Skinnies” and he believes in the mission “right down to his very bones”.
  • In-Series Nickname: Wilkie calls him "Matty" when the latter radios in on the state of the crew of Super Six One.
  • It's All My Fault: Has a heart to heart with Hoot where he blames himself for Jamie's death and Blackburn's fall from the chopper. Hoot reassures him that he can't control things like that; "It's just war."
  • Meaningful Name: As the closest that this film has to a lead protagonist amongst a big ensemble cast, he is the everyman viewpoint character for the audience.
  • Weapon of Choice: A M16A2 assault rifle.
  • You Are in Command Now: Winds up in command of Ranger Chalk Four when one of his superior officers has an epileptic seizure the night before the battle.


Specialist John “Grimsey” Grimes

Played By: Ewan McGregor

A desk clerk who winds up going on his first mission.

  • Adaptational Name Change: The character that Grimes is based off of is named John Stebbins, but was changed when Stebbins was convicted of rape.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Grimes desperately wanted to be put into the field instead of working as a Desk Jockey. It’s safe to say he regrets this when he actually does get his wish.
    Grimes: [as he is blown into the air by an RPG explosion] FUUUUUUUCK THIIIIIIIIIS!
  • Desk Jockey: Worked behind a desk before being put on the front lines. The reason why is that he can type, which meant a big deal in the 1990s.
  • Made of Iron: Considering he survives the blasts from three RPGs throughout the film with little more than an injured foot...
  • Running Gag: Gets shot at with RPGs (rocket-propelled grenade) no less than three times.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Averted, Joyce counsels him to take the part of his Kevlar that covers his back out, but Grimes is smart enough to keep his in. Joyce dies and Grimes lives.
  • Weapon of Choice: A M16A2 assault rifle with an underbarrel M203 grenade launcher.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: Taken a step further in that he's the guy who made the coffee, remarking that he spent Operation Desert Storm making coffee for the Rangers.


Captain Mike Steele

Played By: Jason Isaacs

The Captain of a Ranger rifle company.

  • Real Men Love Jesus: Appears to be the case, since this is one of the things Pilla makes fun off during his impression.
    "Hey, I didn’t see you at church on Sunday. You had something more important to do? Not on Sunday you don’t."
  • Weapon of Choice: A Colt Model 733 assault rifle.


Lieutenant Colonel Danny McKnight

Played By: Tom Sizemore

  • Adaptation Personality Change: The real McKnight noted that he doesn’t swear, smoke, or shout as much as the film version does.
  • Colonel Badass: Walks around a war zone like bullets aren’t flying around him and heads back into battle even after being shot twice.
  • Deadpan Snarker: 99 percent of his dialogue is pure snark.
Pilla: They’re shooting at us!
McKnight: Well, shoot back!


Specialist Shawn Nelson

Played By: Ewen Bremner

  • No Indoor Voice: For the second half of the film thanks to Twombly deafening him.
  • The Reliable One: Why Eversmann has him remain behind at a post outside the target building.
    Nelson: I hate being dependable, man.
  • Steel Eardrums: Averted when Twombly fires his machine gun too close to Nelson’s head, deafening him.
  • Those Two Guys: With Twombly.
  • Tongue Trauma: Defied. Nelson mentions he almost bit his tongue off on his last combat drop, so he puts in a mouth guard before he ropes out of his helicopter.
  • Weapon of Choice: A M60 machine gun.

    Doc Schmid 

Sergeant First Class Kurt “Doc” Schmid

Played By: Hugh Dancy



Specialist Lance Twombly

Played By: Tom Hardy

  • Tempting Fate: As the Rangers load up before deploying, Twombly tells Grimes that he won’t need night vision. Unfortunately the mission lasts through the night and so nobody minus the Deltas brought night vision.
  • Those Two Guys: With Nelson.
  • Weapon of Choice: A FN Minimi/M249 machine gun.


Specialist Mike Kurth

Played By: Gabriel Casseus

  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Does his best not to shoot a woman trying to pick up a rifle. Struecker does it for him instead.


Corporal Jamie Smith

Played By: Charlie Hofheimer

  • Grenade Launcher: His M16A2 rifle is fitted with an under barrel M203 grenade launcher.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Breaks cover when Twombly is caught out in the open with a burning ammo pouch, and receives fatal gunshot wounds.


Staff Sergeant Ed Yurek

Played By: Tom Guiry

A member of Eversmann's chalk.

  • Deadly Dodging: Winds up narrowly avoiding death when he slips and falls while stepping through a doorway, causing a young boy attacking him to shoot his father.
  • Weapon of Choice: A M16A2 assault rifle.


Private First Class Todd Blackburn

Played By: Orlando Bloom

  • New Meat: 18 years old and on his first deployment.
  • Tempting Fate: When he’s introduced, Blackburn expresses enthusiasm about kicking ass to Grimes. Unfortunately for Blackburn, he gets severely wounded very early in the mission and has to be evacuated.


Sergeant Lorenzo Ruiz

Played By: Enrique Murciano

  • Gut Feeling: He seems to be convinced he'll die on the mission, and is holding his "Death Letter" before they leave. When he's shot, he even screams "I fucking knew it!"
  • I Can Still Fight!: Captain Steele effectively forces this view on during the mission, leading to Ruiz affirming "Still in the fight, Sir."
    • At the end, Steele visits him in the hospital and Ruiz states "Don't go back out there without me. I can still do my job."


Sergeant Casey Joyce

Played By: Chris Beetem

  • Too Dumb to Live: Joyce gleefully boasts to Grimes he doesn’t need a kevlar plate on his back as he doesn’t intend to “be shot in the back running away”. Joyce is later killed when a Somalian sniper shoots him in the back while defending the convoy.


Private John Maddox

Played By: Michael Roof

  • The Driver: Of the Humvee containing McKnight.
  • Eye Scream: Maddox is blinded when an RPG shatters the windshield of the humvee he's driving, sending broken glass flying into his face. He can’t see well enough to get to the crash site, so McKnight has him drive the convoy back to base.
  • Weapon of Choice: A Beretta 92FS pistol.


Sergeant Scott Galentine

Played By: Gregory Sporleder


Staff Sergeant Jeff Struecker

Played By: Brian Van Holt

  • Badass Driver: He winds up at the wheel of the lead Humvee when Blackburn has to be driven back to base and acquits himself well.
  • Would Hit a Girl: During the Mogadishu Mile at the end of the film, Struecker shoots a woman who tries to pick up a dropped rifle.


Sergeant Dominick Pilla

Played By: Danny Hoch

A Ranger manning a 50-caliber turret on one of the Humvees. A bit of a jokester.

  • Dies Wide Open: His eyes are still open well after being shot dead when the Humvees return to base.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: Shot in the throat by a Somalian militiaman.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: He’s one of the funnier members of the Rangers and his death marks him as the first American soldier to die.


Lieutenant John Beales

Played By: Ioan Gruffudd

  • Ill Boy: Suffers from epilepsy, and has a seizure the night before the battle.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: His seizure winds up bumping Eversmann to command of Chalk Four.


Private Richard “Alphabet” Kowalewski

Played By: Brendan Sexton III

  • The Driver: Of one of the Humvees on the Lost Convoy.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He gets shot with an RPG that goes through him and halfway out the other side without detonating.
    Othic: [To McKnight]There’s a fucking rocket in him, sir!


Private John Waddell

Played By: Ian Virgo


Specialist Dale Sizemore

Played By: Matthew Marsden

  • I Can Still Fight!: When Struecker tells the remaining Rangers to load up to head back out to rescue Durant, he says no to Sizemore because of the cast on his arm. Sizemore starts cutting the cast off with a knife, so Struecker relents and allows him to load up.


Private First Class Clay Othic

Played By: Kent Linville


Sergeant Mike Goodale

Played By: Carmine Giovinazzo



Played By: Tac Fitzgerald

  • Heroic BSoD: After Pilla is killed in front of him and he has to be persuaded to return to the field to rescue Durant.
  • Nerdy Inhaler: Subverted. He doesn't look and act nerdy, but he has to take a puff on an inhaler before returning to the field.

Delta Operators


Sergeant First Class Norm "Hoot" Gibson

Played by: Eric Bana

  • Band of Brothers: Discussed, he says the reason he does this work because of his fellow soldiers.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: When he steps into the gunner position after Pilla is killed. This is exactly what soldiers are supposed to do when replacing a dead or wounded gunner to ensure the weapon is still functional and in a ready-to-fire state, making it one of those rare and wonderful moments that are both cool/dramatic and accurate.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Hoot seems a bit more callous than the rest, but comforts Eversmann as he's grieving over Jamie's death.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: He's a calm professional badass, but he's also undeniably a cynic.
  • Late to the Tragedy: When Struecker’s humvees can’t get to the Super Six Four crash site, Hoot and his team volunteers to reach it on foot. They find the remnants of Shughart and Gordon’s Last Stand and that Durant was captured before destroying the downed helicopter.
  • Nerves of Steel: He steps into Pilla's spot (right after the latter was just killed) with little more than a declaration of affirmation that he's taking the gunner's spot.
  • Plot-Powered Stamina: He successfully supports the convoy's return to base, goes out again into the city to join the rescue efforts, fighting all night and then returns (sprinting) once more to base, then goes out again with nothing more than a few mouthfuls of rice to keep him going. Despite the trope name, this is another justified example of Shown Their Work; Delta operators, as a more experienced and elite special forces group than the Rangers, are often expected to go even several days without any sleep at all, and there was more work to be done e.g. to find Durant. He says as much to Ranger Eversmann; don't even think about joining me, you're physically and emotionally exhausted and you'll just slow me down. Early in the film he's mentioned as going two days without eating on a scouting mission.
  • Weapon of Choice: A Colt M727 carbine rifle with a camouflage paint scheme.


Sergeant First Class Randall "Randy" Shughart

Played By: Johnny Strong

A Delta sniper paired with Gary Gordon who volunteers to rescue Michael Durant, the pilot of Super Six Four.

  • Bash Brothers: With Gordon.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: His death, which consists of getting shot in the back and arms, then has almost a dozen shots emptied into his chest at point-blank range.
  • Famous Last Words: "Gordy’s gone, man. I’ll be outside. Good luck."
  • Fatal Family Photo: Randy has a wife and a daughter back home, and even calls his wife before going on the mission. He dies defending Super Six Four crash site.
  • Last Stand: With Gordon defending the Super Six Four crash site.
  • Weapon of Choice: A M14 battle rifle with a camouflage paint scheme and an Aimpoint CompM2/M68 reflex sight. He also carries a Colt M1911A1 pistol.


Master Sergeant Gary "Gordy" Gordon

Played By: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

A Delta sniper paired with Randy Shughart who volunteers to rescue Michael Durant, the pilot of Super Six Four.

  • Bash Brothers: With Shughart.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Gets shot in the head by a Somalian militiaman while covering the crash site.
  • Famous Last Words: "Randy, last mag!"
  • Last Stand: With Shughart defending the Super Six Four crash site.
  • Reality Ensues: Unlike the Rangers, who wear Kevlar helmets, the Delta operators wear hockey helmets since they’re more comfortable and lighter. Unfortunately, they’re not bulletproof, as Gordon finds out the hard way.
  • Weapon of Choice: A Colt M733 assault rifle with a camouflage paint scheme, M68 Aimpoint red dot scope, weaponlight, and a sound suppressor. He also carries a Colt M1911A1 pistol.


Major General William F. Garrison

Played By: Sam Shepard


Sergeant First Class Jeff Sanderson

Played By: William Fichtner

  • Shotguns Are Just Better: He's shown carrying a Remington 870 shotgun on his pack, though it's never used.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Steele. The two spend just as much time arguing as trying to get to Super Six One.
  • Weapon of Choice: A Colt M727 carbine rifle with an Aimpoint sight, Surefire flashlight, and camouflage paint scheme. He also carries a Colt M1911A1 pistol.


Master Sergeant Tim “Griz” Martin

Played By: Kim Coates


Lieutenant Colonel Gary L. Harrell

Played By: Željko Ivanek


Lieutenant Colonel Joe Cribbs

Played By: Steven Ford


Staff Sergeant Daniel Busch

Played By: Richard Tyson

A Delta operator stationed aboard Super Six One.

  • All for Nothing: While the helicopters are able to find and pick him up, Busch sustained a fatal gunshot wound defending Super Six One’s crash site and dies sometime later of his wounds. His name is mentioned in the credits as one of the casualties.
  • Last Stand: Ends up conducting one as the only uninjured person onboard Super Six One and has to defend the crash site. Relief comes in the form of a Little Bird gunship, but by then Busch has sustained fatal injuries.
  • Situational Hand Switch: While defending Super Six One's crash site, the normally left-handed Busch is forced to switch to shooting right-handed to shoot at attackers on his left.
  • Weapon of Choice: A Colt M727 carbine rifle, which he uses to defend the Super Six One crash site.

160th SOAR


Warrant Officer Michael Durant

Played By: Ron Eldard

The pilot of Super Six Four.

  • Fatal Family Photo: A subversion when he looks at a photo of his family and is subsequently captured instead of killed.
  • Sole Survivor: The only one of his crew to survive the initial crash (Shughart is seen examining one of the bodies as he arrives with Gordon) and the ensuing shootout where Shughart and Gordon are killed.
  • Weapon of Choice: A Heckler & Koch MP5A3 submachine gun fitted with a slimline foregrip. He also uses Gordon's M733 assault rifle when he gets killed.


Lieutenant Colonel Tom Matthews

Played By: Glenn Morshower


Chief Warrant Officer Cliff "Elvis" Wolcott

Played By: Jeremy Piven

Pilot of Super Six One.

  • Composite Character: With Super Six Seven pilot Jeff Niklaus as the pilot whose chalk is placed farther away from the target building and where Blackburn falls from the chopper.
  • Disposable Pilot: Killed when Super Six One crashes.
  • Sacrificial Lion: After being a prominent character in the first half of the film, he becomes one of the first casualties when his helicopter crashes.


Chief Warrant Officer 3 Mike Goffena

Played By: Boyd Kestner

Pilot of Super Six Two, the Black Hawk containing Shughart and Gordon.


Chief Warrant Officer Bull Briley

Played By: Pavel Vokoun



United States Air Force Pararescue Timothy A. Wilkinson

Played By: Ty Burrell

  • Bearer of Bad News: Once he reaches the Super Six One crash site, he has to inform Eversmann that they can't move the wounded crew chiefs and Eversmann's chalk has to Hold the Line.
  • In-Series Nickname: Eversmann refers to him as "Wilkie".
  • The Medic: A pararescue man stationed on Super Six Eight.


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