Hawk comes from a rich family who could afford to get their son into West Point. He didn't disappoint them. He graduated with top honors, became an officer, and went on to receive Advanced Infantry Training (AIT) and attend Air Defense Artillery School and Covert Ops School. Military education is not all that he got; he served as a cadre on the North Atlantic Range Command and then the USA ENG COM EVR.
However, he received the brunt of his field experience in Iran and Central America when serving in a special forces unit as Forward Observer (FO) mainly engaged in LIC/COIN ops. And that's why those under his command respect him: they know he's gone and done it just as they have. There's not a thing they wouldn't do for him. As they say, he would never give his soldiers a command that he wouldn't do by himself.
A Real American Hero continuity
Marvel Comics continuity
When Hawk was brought on board the Joe Team, General Flagg gave the young colonel the assignment of field commander. Together with Stalker he set about recruiting members of the team, including tracking down and persuading Snake-Eyes.
One of Hawk's early missions was to spearhead the rescue of Dr. Adele Burkhart. He commandeered the heavy armor support of the rescue mission. On a mission to retrieve a "Hot Potato", Hawk was waiting for his retrieval team. Rock 'n Roll came and threw the object through the window and immediately left, which forced Hawk to get his team moving and rescue the retrieval team. Hawk's next mission after raiding a Cobra stronghold was less than ideal as he and Scarlett are to help host a Chaplain's Assistant's social tea. The Pentagon gets wind of an extreme survival camp run by Vance Wingfield and Hawk elects himself and Grunt as the undercover team for the mission. He discovers Wingfield plans to initiate a war between Russia and America. To stop the B-29 from delivering the nuclear payload, Hawk boards a jet fighter and shoots down the bomber. Hawk, at one time, sent his men on a mission to Afghanistan to retrieve a Russian spy plane. What he didn't tell them was that he deliberately led Cobra to them nor did he inform them they were merely the decoy, trailing nothing more than scrap. He has seen enough deception in his life that he felt he owed it to his team to tell them the truth.
After the death of Flagg, Hawk succeeds him as the commander. Operations at the Pit (the Joes' headquarters) kept him busy and he had to relegate field command to a new character, Duke. Eventually, Hawk is promoted to general and took full command. He was commanding officer of the G.I. Joe team beginning with the invasion of the Cobra-controlled town of Springfield.
Soon after the Springfield incident, the Joe team was in danger of being shut down. Hawk met with three high-ranking military officers deep in the otherwise empty Pit. Robotic Cobra forces, known as Battle Android Troopers attack. The four put up devastating fight, destroying many androids. A general and the Admiral die in the battle, sacrificing themselves to save the others. The surviving general puts all his influence behind Hawk.
Hawk was subsequently in command of the defense of the new mobile Power Station Alpha. Alpha attracted the attention of not only Cobra but also two Transformers factions, the Autobots and Decepticons. Hawk made hasty decisions such as ordering the destruction of the Autobot Bumblebee, that he soon came to regret and led G.I. Joe into a temporary alliance with both the Autobots and Cobra. He also found himself falling in love with Alpha's sponsor, Senator Barbara Larkin. It was a huge blow when he learnt she had had dealings with Cobra, but when Larkin was arrested she was assassinated. Hawk cried at her grave.
During his time as commander, Hawk leads the team through such difficult times as the Cobra Civil War and the catastrophic Battle of Benzheen. Many members of G.I.Joe died during that operation.
His final act as G.I. Joe commander was to oversee the ceremony of the closing of the Pit when the Joes were decommissioned at the cancellation of the series.
Devil's Due Comics continuity
When Cobra returned a few years later, he lobbied for the re-reinstatement of the G.I. Joe Team. He was successful in getting the team re-instated, however, he did not re-assume full command. The leadership responsibility was passed onto Duke while Hawk took on a more advisory role as well as keeping an eye on the Jugglers, a cabal of generals with an agenda of their own.
When the Joe team managed to capture one of Cobra's high-ranking officers, Destro, Destro offered to help them capture Cobra Commander in exchange for his freedom. A plan was put into effect, and Cobra attacked to rescue Destro. During the action, Hawk was shot in the waist by Cobra Commander, who was in turn shot by the Baroness and captured. Hawk lapsed into a coma in which he had a dream where he was finally retiring and settling down with his wife, who in reality was long dead. He then visited Cobra Commander in prison and the two argued before Cobra Commander moved from the shadows to reveal Hawk's face. When Hawk woke up he learned that he the bullet that hit him was lodged within his spine and it has left him paralyzed below the waist. This experience has made him a bit crazed, intensifying his hatred for Cobra Commander. Unknown to Hawk, it was not Cobra Commander that shot him, for Zartan had switched places with the Commander shortly before the incident.
In America's Elite, Hawk is scarcely seen; he is undergoing physiotherapy. General Joseph Colton (the original G. I. Joe) is assuming command, at the president's request. He is still obsessed with the capture of Cobra Commander, who has not been seen since Cobra's defeat a year earlier. He sent the tracker Spirit to search the world for Cobra Commander. Spirit managed to locate Cobra Commander, but was captured at this time. Eventually Hawk comes back to the team after Snake-Eyes is brought back from the dead to help the team in an advisory role. He is listed as a Reservist that has been activated. He is also still forced to use a wheelchair and is still determined that Cobra Commander is still alive. Eventually Spirit is found and reveals his findings to Hawk and the team. Hawk was a member of the Team when they were attacked by Phoenix Guard. He also is a member of the team during World War III.
At the end of the series it is Hawk, using Velocity's jet pack, who finally takes down a fleeing Cobra Commander after the Commander shot General Colton in the back. Hawk and Colton are later asked by the President to continue leading the G.I. Joe team, as it is fully activated, with no restrictions like before. Hawk later visits Cobra Commander in his top secret underwater prison where the two exchange words. Cobra Commander tells Hawk that when war breaks out again Hawk will have him to thank for it, to which Hawk responds, "Maybe Commander. But understand this: no matter what happens...you won't be taking part in any of it".
G.I. Joe Reloaded
G.I. Joe vs. Transformers
Hawk is the commander of a group of US army soldiers (including Stalker and Snake-Eyes) assigned to protect a peace conference in Washington DC, when they find themselves under attack by unknown forces using high-tech military-grade equipment. Some of this equipment transforms into high-tech robots.
After the attack, Hawk is made the leader of G.I. Joe, a special unit assembled for the purpose of taking down this organization, identifying itself as Cobra. G.I. Joe would learn the truth about Cobra both from Mercer, a defector, and Wheeljack and Bumblebee, two alien robots who avoided being found when their ship was discovered by COBRA, and decided to throw their lot in with the Joes. With the help of an encrypted signal sent by one of the enslaved robots, the Joes discovered the location of Cobra's hidden island base. As the Joes were preparing for an assault on the island, Hawk received orders to subdue the two alien robots that had allied with them, and take them to Area 51 for study while the Cobra base was nuked. But when Wheeljack warned Hawk about the catastrophic reaction of the Energon Cobra was trying to stockpile with a nuclear explosion, he defied his orders and went with their original invasion plan.
During the third mini-series, Hawk is commander of the Team stationed to protect a secret military base in Area 51. He is working with the Autobots to remove the remainder of Cybertronian technology from Earth, but later finds that the US Military was secretly bioengineering a Super Soldier, Serpent O.R., from the remains of Megatron, the fallen Decepticon leader and the Genetic Make-Up of Histories greatest Military leaders. Hawk is part of the team that goes to Cyberton and is captured by the Decepticons. In the final Battle, Hawk uses the Matrix and becomes connected to it.
As for the fourth and final mini-series, Hawk has left the G.I. Joe team after allegations of the events that occurred in Area 51, which has branded him a traitor. He is still connected to the Matrix and is troubled each night by a specific nightmare. This nightmare shows something that could possibly be part of a future yet to come in which all humanity is destroyed. During an interview, Hawk is summoned by the Autobots, whom he is actually working for and was the real reason he left the Joe team because they have discovered an ancient race in the Himalayan Mountains. Hawk calls in the aid of Flint and goes with Prime to investigate. There they encounter Bludgeon and Cobra-La. As they are making a run for it, Prime is attacked by Bludgeon. Hawk uses his connection to the Matrix and uploads 11 Million songs to Bludgeon that temporarily knocks him out. As they continue to escape, they find they are trapped, until they meet Joseph Colton, who knows of Hawk.
Colton leads them further inside and after a few battles with the Honor Guard of Cobra La, the Joes put together a plan to save the day. Flint goes off into space with spores designed to destroy technology, while Colton, Hawk and Optimus Prime go to rescue Firewall and stop Cobra-La. Hawk faces off against Golobulus much like Falcon in the original movie, but is aided instead by Optimus Prime. As the series ends, Hawk is seen again with the woman he once left, trying to put back together his life.
Action Force (British) Comics continuity
Hawk was the commander of the American branch of Action Force. He was temporarily deployed to the European branch after Trent was killed, but when Flint turned down the role of Action Force European Operations Commander, preferring to remain in the field, the European operations came under Hawk's permanent watch. He led various missions that brought Action Force into conflict with Cobra, including mine clearing in the Persian Gulf, a mission to recover a Northrod B2 bomber crew who crashed on an island with top secret information, the guarding of the new Broadcast Energy Transmitter, an attack on a Cobra base in the Australian Outback to prevent the launching of a Cobra orbital weapons platform, dealing with a siege in a British village when the bank manager was revealed as a Crimson Guard, dealing with a Cobra bomb planted on Tower Bridge in London, attacking a Cobra undersea base and a journey to Vietnam in pursuit of Gung-Ho who went rogue in tracking down his old comrades. He also sent Flint on a mission to recover the plans for an advanced stealth-equipped cruise missile that were aboard a plane which crashed in the Arctic, as well as assigning Flint to oversee the final stages of the Super Trooper training and assessment programme.
When Cobra attacked the Action Force base in London Hawk was ordered to activate a self-destruct sequence, though events caused him to cancel it. Hawk took on the task of judging which pilots had shot down a Cobra Night Raven stealth plane. He later headed a Joe mission to the Latin American country of Sao Cristobel, where he arrested the corrupt government and prevented Cobra from capturing a nuclear warhead.
Blackthorne Comics continuity
Dreamwave Comics continuity
Hasbro Comics continuity
Sunbow animated series
Voice Actor: Ed Gilbert
Hawk was brought in to lead the G.I. Joe Team. His first appearance is in the second season premiere episode "Arise, Serpentor, Arise! (Part One)". His first task is to have Sgt. Slaughter retrain the Joe team after a humiliating battle against Cobra forces. There was no explanation as to how Hawk became the leader.
DiC animated series
Voice Actor: Ed Gilbert, David Kaye
In the DiC Entertainment version, he continues his leadership of G.I.Joe in the fight against Cobra, where in the first season he was seen wearing his Flight suit and uses his Jet Pack to coincide with the release of his new figure.
In the second season he is back to his old uniform he was wearing in the Sunbow series, but without the helmet and he is usually seen wearing shades (based on the Talking Battle Commander figure). In the second season he appeared more often.
In the events of G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom, the direct-to-video movie, Hawk was abducted by Cobra and was mutated and brainwashed into Venomous Maximus, who collaborated with Overkill to take over Cobra. But the antidote returned Hawk to his old self.
|A Real American Hero (1982)
The original Hawk action figure was part of the 1982 series of A Real American Hero toys. He was packaged together with the Mobile Missile System. There were two editions of this action figure in the first series, one with straight arm and then the following year, one with swivel-arm design.
Appearance: yellow hair; dark green shirt with silver pockets and straps; dark green pants with black boots.
Accessories: dark green "Breaker" helmet; clear visor. (Prototype visor was black.)
|A Real American Hero (1986)
Aside from getting a new action figure and design, Hawk is promoted to Brigadier General (O-7) and clearly identified as the G.I. Joe commander.
Appearance: brown hair; brown jacket with black holster; light and dark green camouflage pants with black belts, holster
Accessories: light olive-green goggled helmet; light olive-green backpack with canteen on back; black "Keel-Haul" pistol.
|A Real American Hero (1991)
In 1991, Hawk becomes a commander in a flight suit and jet pack. From this point forward, he is renamed as General Hawk.
Appearance: brown hair; light brown face straps; light green flight suit with light brown helmet support, straps, gloves, and boots; yellow stripes on arms, side, and legs
Accessories: gold flight helmet with detachable clear visor; grey jet backpack with hinged wings and tabs for missiles; small, grey machine gun; four gold finned missiles.
|Battle Commanders (1992)
Appearance: tanned skin; yellow military cap with two stars; black sunglasses; dark red jacket with open collar; black straps; pale peach pants with dark red camouflage; dark red belt and boots
Accessories: gold talking backpack (attached with screws); large, gold revolver with scope; gold rifle with triangular stock, forward grip, and large scope; black figure stand.
|"Menace in the Wilderness" (1993)
A recolored version of General Hawk based on the third design was available as mail-order. It was also made available as a convention exclusive.
Appearance: brown hair; black face straps; neon green flight suit with black helmet support, straps, gloves, and boots; yellow stripes on arms, side, and legs
Accessories: yellow "'91 Hawk" helmet with gold visor; black "'92 Major Bludd" Sonic backpack; neon green "'91 Hawk" machine gun; black figure stand.
|Armor Tech (1993)
Appearance: black hair; green face straps; black armor on left torso, arm, and leg; green armor on right; gold armor in middle and on lower arms and lower legs
Variations: Some Hawks came with a black laser rifle instead of a pink one.
|The Real American Hero Collection (1997)|
|The Real American Hero Collection (2000)
|G.I. Joe vs. Cobra (2002)
|Comic Pack (2004)|
|Valor vs. Venom (2004)|
|Comic Pack (2005)|
|A Real American Hero Generation 3 (2008)
|RAH G3 - Senior Ranking Officers (2008)|
- Not used as the leader of G.I. Joe during the first season of the cartoon since he was no longer available in stores; Duke was brought in as leader for ARAH in order to popularize the new figure.
- In the comics, Hawk and Duke both had blonde hair. To help set them apart once Hawk was introduced to the cartoon, he was given brown hair.