Who is Soap MacTavish in Call of Duty? Background & more
Captain John ‘Soap’ MacTavish will soon arrive as an Operator in Call of Duty: Warzone, but who is the mohawked Scotsman? Here’s the full story of Modern Warfare hero Soap MacTavish.
We first met the Operator in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare all the way back in 2007. He quickly became a fan-favorite character for his unwavering loyalty to Task Force 141, thick Scottish accent, and several badass moments.
He began as one of the silent protagonists of the original Modern Warfare game and quickly gained respect from his SAS comrades. Then in Modern Warfare 2, while playing as Gary “Roach” Sanderson, we got to watch Soap in action.
With Modern Warfare (2019) rebooting the franchise, Soap will arrive in Warzone as a playable Operator.
Here’s the full story behind the new Operator Soap MacTavish.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)
“What the hell kind of name is Soap, eh? How’d a muppet like you pass selection?”
We first meet Sergeant Soap MacTavish as he joins Captain Price’s Bravo Squad after passing SAS selection. Price is initially unimpressed with our protagonist, making fun of his name. One of the other members calls him the F.N.G (F***ing New Guy).
After running the CQB course and a quick training session from Lt. Gaz, Soap joins Bravo Squad for his first mission with the SAS. After receiving information from their informant Nikolai (who became a playable operator in Warzone Season 6), the squad board a cargo ship and discover a nuclear missile headed for Russia. The ship is bombed, and after Soap fails to make the jump onto the escape helicopter, he is saved by Captain Price.
Over the course of the campaign, Soap repeatedly proves himself a valuable asset to the SAS. The team discovers that Imran Zakhaev, an enemy from Price’s past, supplied the nuclear bomb that was used by Al-Assad to kill American forces.
Bravo Squad then tracks down Zakhaev’s son, who commits suicide before Soap can take his gun from him. In response, Zakhaev then threatens to nuke America, so Soap and the team head to the mountains to prevent the launch.
After deactivating the missiles and chasing Zakhaev, Soap is heavily injured by an exploding fuel tank and Sgt. Griggs dies defending him. Soap then helplessly watches Lt. Gaz and some other SAS members executed by Zakhaev.
All of Bravo Squad are near-death, but Price slides Soap his 1911 pistol, which he uses to kill Zakhaev and the other soldiers. Russian allies arrive and escort Soap and Price, the only survivors, away from the aftermath.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)
“Price… this belongs to you, Sir.”
After Price’s capture in the five year period between the events of MW1 and MW2, Soap is promoted to Captain and leads Task Force 141.
While playing as new protagonist Gary “Roach” Sanderson, we meet Captain Soap MacTavish smoking a cigar before fearlessly scaling an icy mountain. The Russians have got hold of a downed US Satellite, so TF141 is there to recover the ACS module. After being discovered, the pair make a daring escape on stolen snowmobiles, ramping over a massive gorge.
We next meet Soap in Rio de Janeiro, tracking down arms dealer Alejandro Rojas who supplied the central antagonist, Makarov, his weapons for the attack on a Russian airport. After Roach’s squadmates are killed, Roach, Soap, and Ghost must chase the dealer through the Favela. In an incredibly memorable moment, we see Soap dive through a window, tackling Rojas onto a car in the street below.
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They discover that who Makarov hates most is an unknown Prisoner 627. Task Force 141 assault a gulag to capture and use the prisoner as bait. Soap discovers that the prisoner is his former mentor and Captain, John Price. Soap then returns Price’s 1911 pistol to him, saying “this belongs to you, Sir.”
While searching for Makarov, Task Force 141 is betrayed by American Commander Shepherd. His troops, the Shadow Company, attack Soap and Price but it’s too late for them to warn the rest of TF141. In a shocking twist, Shepherd then murders Roach and fan-favorite character Ghost.
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Soap and Price chase Shepherd across Afghanistan and finally catch him. While the pair fight Shepherd, Soap is stabbed. The American officer is killing Price, so Soap pulls the knife from his own chest, and throws it at Shephard, hitting him in the eye and killing him.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)
“Price… you need to know. Makarov… knows… Yuri…“
Soap narrowly survives his wound from Shepherd, and Task Force 141 has been declared international fugitives. While Soap is still recovering, Makarov’s men attack Nikolai’s safehouse in India. New playable protagonist Yuri, Price, and Nikolai help him escape.
After Soap recovers, the team search all over for Makarov. Information from Price’s old friend, MacMillan, allows them to discover his whereabouts.
Soap, Price, and Yuri attempt to assassinate Makarov in Berlin. Unfortunately, he catches wind of the assassination attempt and blows up the building Soap and Yuri are in. Soap pushes Yuri out of the building and is caught in the blast. Much to fans’ heartbreak, he later dies from these wounds.
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Just before the explosives went off, Makarov revealed that he and Yuri are old friends. As Soap is dying, he tells Price that “Makarov knows Yuri.” It’s later revealed that they were friends, but Makarov had betrayed him.
After the war ends, Price uses Soap’s death to fuel his desire to kill Makarov. Before killing him, Price declares “this is for Soap.”
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) & Warzone (2020)
The Modern Warfare series was rebooted in 2019 with Modern Warfare. At the end of the campaign, Price is putting together his team. He reveals that he’s taking on “John MacTavish, SAS.” It’s likely we’ll see him in Modern Warfare 2, which will be coming in the next couple of years.
Then in the final cutscene for Warzone, which was discovered in December 2020, Captain Price contacts Soap. It has now been leaked that Soap will be coming to Warzone as a playable Operator.
Why is John MacTavish called Soap? “That’s classified.”