"And what the hell would you do, Trautman? Pay blackmail money to ransom our own men and finance the war effort against our allies? What if some burn-out POW shows up on the six o-clock news? What do you want to do... start the war all over again? You wanna bomb Hanoi? You want everybody screaming for armed invasion? Do you honestly think somebody's gonna get up on the floor of the United States Senate, and ask for billions of dollars for a couple of forgotten ghosts? "
―Murdock to Sam Trautman.
Marshall Murdock


Full Name
Roger T. Murdock
Weapon of Choice
No weapon, but he would use his power to lie and cause the deaths of those who threatened his profits.
Appeared in
Corrupt CIA field officer beaurocrat in charge of retrieving American POWs in Vietnam.
Fool congress into thinking that the war is finally over, make profits off this.
Money, greed, heartlessness
Hair color
Portrayed by
Charles Napier
Unknown. Possibly in jail for fooling Congress and withholding the whereabouts of American POWs. Or, Murdock could have taken Rambo's advice and continued going after POWs like he should have been doing all along. Murdock may have even redeemed himself for corrupted power by doing the right thing.

Major Marshall Roger T. Murdock is the secondary antagonist of Rambo: First Blood Part II. He is a CIA bureaucrat that is in charge of a rescue mission of American soldiers still held captive in Vietnam. Although he appears to be a pleasant and sincere man, he is really a smarmy, greedy liar that is more concerned with profit than the lives of American prisoners of war.

The original choice to play him was Lee Marvin, but he declined. He was portrayed by the late Charles Napier.


Early LifeEdit

According to the Survival Mode briefing, Murdock was born on March 31, 1937 in Norman, Oklahoma as Roger T. Murdock. It is unclear if Marshall, his apparent first name in the film, is simply a nickname, title or the name he adopted instead of Roger. He graduated from Overton High School in 1955 and played football for the University of Oklahoma's team from 1956 to 1959 until he graduated in 1960 with a B.A. in Physical Education. Murdock later became the operations director for ADC Security and then became a  special operations civilian contractor for the Department of Defense. Murdock did serve in the Marines, graduating from the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia in 1960 as a Second Lieutenant, Light Infantry, 11/60. In June of 1964, he made Captain. He was assigned to Fifth Brigade Camp Pendleton to the Vietnam theater in November of 1964. Murdock was then re-assigned to Marine Corps Force Recon, second battalion in March of 1965. Murdock was wounded in action near Khe Sanh in September of 1966. Murdock was then re-assigned to the Pentagon in March of 1969. Murdock received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star before retiring in August of 1980. Since this information came from Murdock's computer file, it is likely that it was fabricated, as Rambo did not believe that Murdock was in the military. 

Rambo: First Blood Part IIEdit

"Wasn't my war, colonel. I'm just here to clean up the mess."
―Marshall Murdock to Samuel Trautman. Murdock is first seen when John Rambo arrives at the hangar of the air force base that he works at. He tells Rambo that the American public is demanding knowledge about the POWs and they want a trained commando to go into the jungles of Vietnam and search for them. Rambo is briefed that he is only to photograph the POWs and not to rescue them, nor is he to engage any enemy soldiers. Rambo reluctantly agrees, and he is then told that an agent of the American government will be there to receive him in the jungles of Vietnam. Murdock claims that he served in the United States Marine Corps at Kon Tum in 1966, however Rambo realizes this as a lie because the battalion he allegedly served in didn't serve in 1966, and it was at Kud Sank, not Kon Tum. Trautman claims he could have mixed it up, but Rambo claims that you couldn't forget something like that. Rambo then tells Trautman that he is the only one he trusts.

Later in the film, he betrays Rambo by aborting the mission when Rambo needs to be rescued. This results in Rambo being kidnapped, imprisoned, and tortured. Podovsky tells Rambo to call Murdock on radio and order him to stop sending rescue missions. Instead, Rambo threatens Murdock, making him very nervous, and quickly fights his way out of the camp. This sets up a chain of events in which his love interest, Co Bao, is murdered and Rambo comes back to the base in a damaged helicopter with all of the POWs from the prison camp he was once captive in. Colonel Sam Trautman shows Rambo where a tense Murdock is, as Murdock had attempted to defend his sleazy actions to him earlier.

Rambo uses his M60E3 to shoot up the command center, terrifying Murdock. Rambo discards the machine gun and storms into Murdock's office, filled with pure rage. Realizing that Rambo is now mad at him, the nervous Murdock attempts to tell Rambo that he didn't give the orders to leave Rambo to be captured, but Rambo doesn't buy it and pulls his survival knife. Rambo throws Murdock down on his desk and tells him that the mission

Mission... accomplished!

 is now accomplished. Just as it seems that Rambo is about to bury his knife in Murdock, he instead imbeds it in the desk, inches away from Murdock's head. Knowing that Murdock knows where the other POWs are, Rambo demands that he find them, rescue them, and go forth with the truth to the public, or else Rambo will find him. 


It is unknown what happened to Murdock after this, as he is never seen again; although it can be presumed that he is convinced and agreed to continue rescuing the remaining POWs, knowing that Rambo wasn't bluffing, redeeming himself in the process. Or he could have been arrested and sent back to the United States where he could have been charged with fraud, embezzelment, corruption and abuse of power. Or, he could have found the rest of the POWs and gotten arrested for his crimes anyway but given a more lenient sentence due to completing his mission. 

Impact Edit

Marshall Murdock, though he did not pull the trigger, was indirectly responsible for Co Bao's death. Had Murdock let Ericson pick up Rambo, Co and Banks from the rendezvous site, Co would never have been shot and Rambo would never have been tortured by the Soviets. Had it not been for Murdock's betrayal, the events of Rambo III and Rambo would likely not have happened. In fact, the only reason Rambo didn't kill Murdock for this is likely because Murdock actually knew the locations of the remaining POWs in Vietnam, and getting them rescued was more important to Rambo than revenge on Murdock. Rambo probably figured that if he could spare Murdock and let him rescue the other POWs, then that would be enough to avenge Co's death to avoid similar situations having to happen. Rambo also likely figured that Murdock would be brought to justice in the courts eventually and may have believed that a public humiliation of a corrupt official would do more good than a likely covered up death under suspicious circumstances would. It can also be argued that all of the 75 deaths in Rambo: First Blood Part II (and also the 115 in Rambo III and the 254 in Rambo) are all due to Murdock's corruption. Murdock can actually be argued to be the primary antagonist of Rambo: First Blood Part II, even though Podovsky was arguably The Heavy as he and his men, such as Yushin and Lieutenant Tay, were the prominent threat to Rambo's survival. Because of this, Murdock has the most indirect kills of any Rambo character, at least 448 if you count all the deaths in 2, 3 and 4 which wouldn't have happened at all if he hadn't double-crossed Rambo. (And those are just the ones we saw in the films!) If you take all of this into account, Murdock can actually also be viewed as the true primary antagonist of all three Rambo sequels since he indirectly set them into motion, which would make him the Greater Scope Villain of the entire series until the end of the fourth film. 

Trivia Edit

  • Only Rambo antagonist to not die or be directly injured by John Rambo. 
  • Only Rambo antagonist to be concerned solely with profits, which makes his actions all the more heartless.
  • Murdock is the only Rambo antagonist who likely changed his ways and done the right thing, thus redeeming himself. This is never confirmed, however. 
  • In the novelization, after Rambo arrives in Murdock's office, it is revealed that he soiled himself. 
  • He is somewhat similar to Will Teasle. Both initially present themselves as pleasant and benevolent friends of working people, before their true nature is revealed. Both are also "non-action" villains, meaning that they usaully have other people do their dirty work for them. Murdock's actor Charles Napier even shared similar facial features with Teasle's actor Brian Dennehy.


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