File Name: Conrad S. Hauser
Birthplace: St. Louis,
|Rank: former First Sergeant
G.I. JOE #22
Conrad Hauser was born in
Louis, Missouri. His father Max was an artist, and encouraged Duke to be the same. At a young age, Duke's mother died from a long illness, leaving his father to raise Duke on his own. Max was active in the protest movements of the 1960s and often took young Duke with him to demonstrations. By age 17, Duke was lined up to attend art school, but upset his father by asking permission to enlist in the Army. Grudgingly, Max gave Duke permission, but their relationship was strained for decades..
|"They tell me that an officer's job is to
impel others to take the risks--so that the officer survives to take
the blame in the event of total catastrophe. With all do respect,
sir... if that's what an officer does, I don't want any part of it."
— Duke, turning down
an officer's commission
Duke was already fluent in English, French and
German when he enlisted in the army. Once there, he enrolled in various
schools including the U.S. Army Special Language School and airborne
at Fort Benning. With his extensive background in Chinese and Southeast
Asian dialects, Duke
Special Forces and worked with native South
Vietnamese tribesmen. Afterwards, Duke returned stateside where he
an instructor in four different Special Forces schools.
When Duke was running a training exercise while an
instructor at the Army's Ranger School along with Marvin "Roadblock"
Hinton, a soldier named Eric Freistadt was expected to be a wash out
due to losing his temper after psychological tests. Officers suggested
Duke be extra tough on Freistadt in the "evade and escape" test, which
showed soldiers the bad treatment they could receive if captured. Tied
up in a darkened room, he refused to give in, though he all ready knew
he had washed-out of the program. After seven days of the soldier
simply giving his name and serial number, Duke filed a report and Lt.
Colonel Clayton "Hawk" Abernathy was called in.
He was so impressed with Freistadt, he signed him on to the
newly-forming G.I. Joe team under the codename "Short-Fuse". Duke and
Roadblock would join him on the team years later.
the G.I. Joe team, Duke had several other
assignments. It was at this
that Duke became acquainted with Flint, whom
he would later recommend
the G.I. Joe team. Duke joined the Joes in
1984, making his first appearance at the funeral of the Joes'
General Flagg. Cobra Commander sent a Cobra
Rattler jet to buzz the
to test out its capabilities. As the jet approached, Duke and Roadblock
appeared and shot the Rattler out of their sky with their firearms.
he first joined the team, Duke told the team, "Things are going to be
from now on... I'm gonna make the sorry lot of you into soldiers!" He
a reputation for being tough on the Joes, but they soon respected him
the team was better for his joining. When Hawk took over General
old post as commander of the Joe team, Duke became the Joes' field
Duke's first official
on the team was surveillance of the Bern Institute of Reconsrtuctive
in Switzerland. Major Bludd was tracked to
Bern when he brought the Baroness
there for plastic surgery following a major battle. Eventually, several
members of Cobra arrived and a wild car chase
followed, resulting in
capture of Cobra Commander. The Joes knew how important it was to hold
to their prisoner and took the commander to a plateau in the Rocky
where a pre-fab fortress was set up to defend the location if Cobra
to retrieve the commander. Unfortunately, Storm
Shadow made a surprise
rescue in a Cobra CLAW glider. Unable to carry both men adequately,
Shadow let Cobra Commander leave him behind. Duke pursued in a small
aircraft, but a firefight with two Cobra FANG helicopters occupied him
long enough to let the prisoner get away. Back on the ground, Roadblock
and Gung-Ho got the jump on Storm Shadow.
Now the Joes had a new
to replace the commander. Knowing their site had been compromised,
Roadblock and Steeler took Storm Shadow to a cell in Alcatraz. They
Storm Shadow and Duke was shocked to find Storm Shadow had somehow
escaped. Even as the ninja escaped,
another group of Joes found Zartan's swamp
shack hideout in the Florida
Everglades. Duke traveled down to Florida where he and Roadblock met up
with Cutter and Deep Six, taking the Whale hovercraft and attacking the
hideout. During the attack Destro arrived in
a Cobra Rattler. Duke and
the others were injured during the attack, but they all survived.
had escaped only to return with Firefly and steal the Whale. Returning
to the G.I. Joe freighter, the Jane, Duke and Wild Bill took
Dragonfly 'copter to go after Destro. Duke wasn't about to let Cobra
their hands on a Joe vehicle. The Dragonfly was disabled by Destro's
but they succeeded in recovering the Whale.
Months later, the Joes
a residential house in New Jersey was actually home to an undercover Crimson
Guardsman. The Joes, lead by Duke, stormed the house but the Cobras
taken by surprise. Tomax and Xamot were there to rescue the Guardsman.
Shooting Duke and Lady Jaye as the
approached the front door, the
destroyed the Joes' vehicle and escaped. If Duke and Lady Jaye had not
worn bulletproof vests, they may have both died from their injuries.
Cobras had escaped, but they left behind clues to a secret Cobra
in the Gulf of Mexico. Though the particulars were vague, Hawk sent
and a large team of Joes to the Gulf with a new G.I. Joe Battle
to investigate the area and defend it should Cobra attack. After a
battle with Cobra hydrofoils, the Joes discovered an underwater Cobra
that was using soundwaves to kill off the sea life in the Gulf. Due to
the importance of the fishing industry, the Pentagon ordered the bunker
destroyed. What the Joes didn't know was that the bunker was sitting on
an undersea faultline. Cobra had tricked the Joes into aggravating the
faultline, which thrust a massive portion of the ocean floor, creating
Cobra Island. Though many of the Joes were injured and weary from the
battle, Duke had no choice but to force Cobra's army off the island
Cobra could claim the island as their own. Duke personally led the
but as the tide of battle turned in favor of the Joes, the word came
from the Pentagon: Cobra's lawyers and diplomats in Washington, D.C.
gained official recognition for Cobra Island as a sovereign state. The
Joes were forced to turn around and go home. Other major operations
and Duke continued to lead the team into battle.
When Hawk was
to General, he exercised his option to return to the field. Duke
the team's first sergeant, still commanding his own missions from time
to time. When the Joes invaded the Cobra-controlled town of
Duke commanded the security team, assisting in keeping the operation
the town secure. When the Joes entered the Cobra Island civil war on
side of Serpentor, Duke was Hawk's
second-in-command, even taking
when Hawk was temporarily captured and stayed in command until he
his commander. After that mission, Duke spent some time training new
of the Joe team and running tests on new vehicles and equipment.
started as a routine raid on Cobra Terrordromes in the desert nation of
Trucial Abysmia. The mission soon turned disastrous when the team, led
by Lt. Falcon and Duke, discovered that Cobra was involved more in the
Middle East then was first believed. Trying to retreat into friendly
the group was overrun by Cobra soldiers led by Tomax and Xamot.
on all sides, Duke knew it was suicidal to fight on and surrendered to
save his troops. Duke reacted angrily to the treatment the team was
by the Cobras and was badly beaten by the twin brothers. When Tomax and
Xamot reported to Cobra Commander, they misunderstood his orders and
a SAW-Viper to kill the prisoners.
Four Joes were shot in cold blood
the rest of the group could escape in a captured Cobra tank. The
Joes were followed and the tank exploded, killing the all of the Joes
for Duke, Falcon and Cross-Country. When
a Joe rescue team arrived,
went after the SAW-Viper, but he couldn't bring himself to shoot the
man. The discoveries made by Duke's team
led to the Joes biggest
fighting against Cobra and the nearby nation of Benzheen. It was some
before Duke recovered from that tragic mission.
Duke returned to duty to
the original G.I. Joe defend the
government's top secret laser
against Cobra's attempt to steal the technology hidden there. Shortly
Duke was at the Pit (Joe HQ) in Utah when
Cobra Commander tried to
his enemies' base. Duke successfully defended the Pit and subsequently
led a mission into Cobra Island, which was discovered to have been
by Cobra. Later on, Duke led the newly-formed Star Brigade in a joint
with the former Soviet unit, the October Guard.
Soon after that
the Joe team was disbanded and Duke helped "retire the colors" at the
that closed down the Pit and the team.
Artwork: G.I. JOE
Yearbook #2; G.I. JOE #41
by Rod Whigham and Keith Williams