- “You just got Sarge'd!”
- — Sarge
A military man with a Southern United States accent, Sarge exhibits more discipline than the other Reds (and most of the Blues, for that matter), but is also somewhat sociopathic, bloodthirsty, eccentric, and the only Blood Gulch soldier on either team that is actually serious about the war (or training exercise). Sarge's real name is unknown; he is just called Sarge throughout the series.
Rooster Teeth has noted that they initially modeled Sarge after Full Metal Jacket's Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, but, by the middle of Season 2, the character had evolved into, in the words of voice actor Matt Hullum, "every 1950s in film stereotype character...melted down into one", exhibiting characteristics of a mad scientist, used car salesman, and "grumpy old dad".
Matt Hullum states that he initially modeled Sarge's voice on that of R. Lee Ermey, the actor who portrayed Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, but by Season Three, the character's voice became more gruff and less nasal. The change in voice is such that people will often ask who voiced Sarge in the initial episodes, believing that Hullum himself did not.
Introduced in the first two episodes, Sarge's disposition (and particularly his relationships with Grif and Simmons) is quickly established in a conversation (which the writers modeled on one that they themselves had) regarding the resemblance of the Warthog to a puma. After naming the jeep and informing Grif and Simmons about the arrival of a rookie, Sarge leaves for Command for orders. After some time, he radios his team from a Pelican to inform them of his return, only to find that they are being attacked by Sheila. He then launches an air strike, disabling Sheila for some time. In the aftermath, he sent Lopez to shoot Grif, whom he blames for the ruined jeep.
During Tex's first attack on Red Base, Sarge and Lopez corner her, knock her out, and take her prisoner. When the Blue Team launched a rescue attempt, Sarge was possessed by Church, the Blues' deceased leader. Under Church's control, he knocked Simmons out and escorted Tex out of the base, only to be shot in the head by the Blue rookie, Caboose. He then hallucinates a meeting with Church in the afterlife, where he laments his inability to torture Grif more. Grif revives Sarge using CPR. Sarge initially thanks Simmons; upon hearing that it was Grif who saved him, he berates Grif at length for attempting to treat a bullet wound to the head with CPR.
In Season 2, Sarge is forced to build two permanent robot bodies for the Blues; he implants a microphone in one and a bomb in the other, as well as a voice command which causes the robot to punch Grif. The bomb, however, leads to both teams being blasted into the distant future during Season 3. Once there, Sarge leads both teams in an assault on a fortress occupied by O'Malley, the common enemy of both teams. During a battle against O'Malley and a robot army, Sarge and the Red Team leave the Blues to battle alone, in order to go in search of the source of a distress signal; they end up returning to Blood Gulch.
As of Reconstruction's second episode, Sarge is the only Red left in Blood Gulch; he vowed not to leave until all the Blues were wiped out (even though the only Blue left is Sister, whom he can't attack because she is a girl), even though his refusal to leave with the rest of his team would be considered going AWOL. It should also be noted that he has repaired Lopez, who now has his entire body.
Later on, the Meta deceives him into thinking that the Blue Team has been reassembled under Washington's command. He appears again in Episode 8 with Grif and Simmons, attacking Washington and Church on sight in his fanatical attempts to wipe out the Blues once and for all. In episode 9, Sarge saves Grif and Simmons from death by firing squad. Sarge couldn't come to terms with the fact that Grif was now the same rank as him, preferring to assume that their real commander was invisible. After an incident where the Meta threw a Warthog at Grif, he agreed to work with Washington after the latter guessed his secure codeword that only Command knew (it turned out to be "codeword").
It is revealed in Chapter 3 of Relocated that Sarge now understands a bit of Spanish, since he apparently knew that Lopez was giving him an answering machine message and disabled Lopez's lying ability. In previous series, Sarge would just ramble on and assume Lopez was either agreeing with him or complimenting him. In Chapter 4 of Relocated, Sarge tests out his new EMP-firing warthog (portrayed as a Gauss Warthog) on some "Holo-Grifs" in the new simulation room built by Lopez. Grif notices errors in a hologram's appearance, commenting that it's "all lightish red". Sarge tells Grif and Donut to stop talking, since the "lightish red" guy was actually Donut, who then collapses from dehydration. Sarge asks Grif what Donut said.
In Recreation, Sarge announces an attack on the Blues. Sarge calls up the new command (the UNSC) for advice, but Command has no files on blue team since Sarge deleted them. Simmons reminds Sarge of what happened; Sarge remembers Simmons deleting the Blues, Sarge killing Grif, and Simmons turning into a Mongoose. Sarge later joins Caboose's mission to find Tucker, because if there were more Blues, then Command would re-instate them so that they could keep fighting. Sarge, Grif, and Caboose go on the mission only to land in a desert surrounded by landmines. Sarge and company later meet up with Tucker and congregate inside the Temple. The four have a brief discussion and Sarge and Grif pretend they suspected Church was an AI after Tucker says he knew that. After that, Sarge and the others find Caboose, who wandered off, with a floating robot who is later revealed to be Epsilon. Sarge and Grif later kill an Elite sent into the Temple by C.T. and meet up with Tucker, Caboose and Epsilon.
Sarge's battle plans tend to be delusively grandiose and seriously flawed, and he favors overly complicated plans that involve heavy casualties in his own forces, primarily Grif, sometimes making suicidal plans even when there is no actual problem to solve. Even if his plans rely on the strength of numbers, he may see fit to have Grif killed anyway. He displays frequent periods of nostalgia and compares his plans to notable figures from film, such as John Wayne and Indiana Jones. At other times, he devises plans that take ideas from popular culture, most of which are purely fiction anyway, including the Incredible Hulk, Star Wars and Spider-Man. Sometimes he makes incompetent blunders in his plans that are not immediately evident to him, but the rest of the team will criticize him for. He is also rather paranoid, and often concocts implausible theories to explain simple events. Many of these will revolve around the Blues as their primary antagonists, as a result of Sarge's intense hatred of them.
Recently, a complete dependence on command has been showcased; when a new arrival in the canyon, who the Reds think has joined their team, informs them that command sent her to replace a dead commanding officer, Sarge at first refuses to believe it, but when Grif makes a few clever comments about how command could be wrong about other things which Sarge staunchly believes in, he believes that he is dead and due to his complete trust in red command, allows the other Reds to bury him alive. Sarge also has some deluded memories when he deleted the Blues, he believes, Simmons deleted the Blues, Sarge killed Grif and Simmons turning into a Mongoose.
Sarge has skill as a soldier, having managed to capture Tex as well as fight off, with the assistance of Caboose, the attacking hordes of soldiers in Battle Creek. In episode 99 he kills several Wyoming clones with his shotgun despite the Freelancer's skill. His rank suggests that he is a veteran of combat. In addition, during one of the Episode 100 endings, he is explained to have commanded many Red forces over the years after his tour in Blood Gulch. He is also skilled to some degree in mechanics, having built three separate robots, two of which were assembled simultaneously in a short period of time from color-coded robot kits. He has also created a near functional weather control device into Lopez, though he never used it as he was unable to find a set of cheap batteries. Although he initially claims that he is unable to repair their jeep, he later manages to fix a derelict near-identical jeep with little equipment in the wasteland. However, his work is not flawless, as when he turned Simmons into a cyborg, the latter claimed that he would occasionally shoot himself in the foot for some unknown reason, which Sarge claims is "user-error".
Sarge also appears to act as the Red Team's medical officer, as he has performed surgery on both Simmons and Grif in a relatively short amount of time, and both seem to be healthy. However, Sarge clearly knows very little about bodily functions, as he uses a diagram of a cow as an aid during Grif's surgery, claims that the body can produce any oxygen it needs when under stress without breathing, claiming that "the chest is strictly reserved for digestion" and advises Caboose to lift a heavy weight with his back as opposed to his legs, although, given their being on different teams, Sarge may be deliberately attempting to injure Caboose.
Sarge seems to have a habit of making weak passwords, i.e. making his password, "password" or the access code, "access code", much to the annoyance of Simmons. On two separate occasions, both in Season 8, he uses "Shotgun" as the password, but Grif fails to realize it both times until Sarge yells "Shotgun, dammit!"
Sarge was promoted to Colonel on the last episode of Season 12. This was so he could maintain a higher rank than Grif, who was promoted to Captain.
- Sarge wields a shotgun at most times, however the official banner for Season 16 shows him with a Sentinel Beam.
- Since the series first premiered, Sarge's name has never been revealed. In the Season 14 episode "Fifty Shades of Red", Sarge states that his real name is just "Sarge," although the episode suggests he had actually changed his name for the sake of obtaining the rank of Sergeant. In a Season 15 episode, Sarge reveals his name off-screen to Dylan and Jax, and apparently it is 13 syllables long, requires a Mandarin keyboard to spell and that the fifth letter is an emoji. Before then, any attempt to reveal his real name was either vocally pre-empted or visually obscured. Series creator Burnie Burns stated that he and Matt Hullum know his real name but never plan to reveal it.
- In Camp Camp, Matt Hullum played Dolph's father, a manly lieutenant with a Southern accent that clearly owes much to Sarge (though given he's an American military officer, his clothes are blue, a color Sarge fiercely opposes).
- Rooster Teeth Productions (2005). Character profiles. In Red vs. Blue: Season Three [DVD]. Buda, Texas: Rooster Teeth Productions.
- Rooster Teeth Productions (2004). Audio commentary. In Red vs. Blue: Season Two [DVD]. Buda, Texas: Rooster Teeth Productions.
- Rooster Teeth Productions (2006). Audio commentary. In Red vs. Blue: Season Four [DVD]. Buda, Texas: Rooster Teeth Productions.
- Rooster Teeth Productions (2003). Audio commentary. In Red vs. Blue: Season One [DVD]. Buda, Texas: Rooster Teeth Productions.
- Episode 47
- In the season 2 DVD commentary, Gus Sorola claims this is owing to Sarge's work with the Metric system.