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Monday, 25 February 2008

OUTBACK. The code name used by U.S. Army Sergeant Stuart R. Selkirk. Outback grew up in Big Piney, Wyoming, where he developed his love for the wilderness and his survival skills. After joining the Army, he served as an intructor at both Survival School and the Jungle Warfare Training Center. He also participated in various classified missions in Central America, and may of may not have participated in clandestine operations in the Middle East. Outback was later assigned to the G.I. Joe team. Outback met up with the Joes in the Rocky Mountains, after he was dropped off six hundred miles away with a ruck sack full of new survival equipment and food to test out for the Army. When he reached the Joe convoy led by Hawk, he was asked about the food and equipment he was supposed to test. He wasn't impressed: "Sir, with all due respect, all of that crummy stuff fell apart after the first week and that freeze-dried stuff was just plain inedible...I've been living off the land, and living good!" As the convoy rolled on, the Joes were forced to fend off an attack from the new Cobra Pogo vehicle, piloted by Cobra Commander himself.

A disastrous mission into Eastern Europe led to Outback's most difficult time on the team. Along with Stalker, Quick Kick and Snow Job, he travelled to the Soviet bloc country of Borovia. The mission was top secret and they were told that the state department would disavow all knowledge of their mission if they were captured. A series of events led the Joes to be captured, with only Outback escaping into the sewers of Borovia. He was ordered to get out of the country and ask for help. Stalker stayed behind since Snow Job and Quick Kick were injured, and they were his responsibility. Outback made his way through the Borovian sewers and through the small nation, staying one step ahead of the Borovian Special Police. He barely made his escape to a friendly country bordering Borovia. The government did in fact disavow all knowledge and the three captured Joes were thrown into a Borovian gulag. When Outback made his way back to the Pit in Utah, he was met with suspicion from some of the other Joes, who wondered how he got out while his buddies were left behind to rot in a prison camp. Unable to reveal anything about the mission, Outback couldn't even explain the situation and defend himself. When he was confronted by Leatherneck, In no mood to have the angry Marine yell at and threaten him, Outback pulled a hunting knife on him, warning, "Don't you even begin to threaten me..." The situation was quickly defused by the other Joes, but many remained suspicious.

Months later, when Stalker and the others returned after being rescued, Outback felt guilty over leaving them behind. The freed Joes told him he had done the right thing and had nothing to be ashamed of. On his next mission, Outback and Dusty were leading what was supposed to be a simple operation to blow up a hidden weapons cache in the desert. The mission was to serve as a training mission for two newly-recruited Joes, Lightfoot and Mangler. To their surprise, the Joes found themselves under attack by members of  the Trucial Abysmian army. The four Joes were captured, and the unit's overzealous Aman tortured Lightfoot until he revealed the Joes' plans. Most of the army unit left to find the weapons, with the unit's commander, Captain Yusif staying behind to execute the Joes. He had tried to stop political officer's brutality and now let the Joes free, telling them to head for a friendly port. They decided to head for the cache anyway, and traveled across the desert with no vehicle and little food. Dusty and Outback's knowledge of desert survival made certain they reached their goal. They completed their mission, though Mangler was killed insuring his teammates' escape. Outback later participated in the Cobra Island civil war, which the Joes entered on the side of Serpentor. Shortly afterward, he and Ripcord led a group of new recruits to keep Cobra from claiming a newly-formed island not far from the original Cobra Island. They were barely victorious before the entire landmass sunk back beneath the ocean. Later, Outback was one of the small team of Joes observing Castle Destro when Cobra attacked the Scottish castle. Outback continued to work with the team for years until it was shut down in 1994.

(GI 59, 61, 62, 64, 67, 76, 80, 86, 87, 130, 131; OB 2; SM 6, 13, 27; GIv2 25; Figures: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

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