Rafael J. Melendez
New York City, New York
Ground Artillery Soldier; Combat engineering; Infantry
Anti-Armor; Ordnance School; Advanced Infantry; Demolitions
Staff Sergeant (E-6)
M-14; M-16; M1911A1; M-79 grenade launcher; M-72 LAW rocket; XM-71A TOW missile; XM-47 Dragon missile; XM-179 grenade launcher; XM-20 rocket launcher
|“||I open tanks like they were sardine cans.||”|
Sgt. Zap was chosen among the first to join the G.I. JOE team in its early days. His specialty was in armor-piercing and anti-tank weapon systems. As the team expanded, he moved more towards demolitions. It became his job to teach the new recruits their practical factors to qualify for ranks. It's amazing to watch him work with high-explosives devices and remain composed. His professional attitude gained him a great reputation as an instructor. When the call went out to reorganize the original G.I. JOE team members, he jumped at the chance. Being somewhat old-fashioned, he returned using his favorite hand-held bazooka, not as high-tech as some of the weapons he's used but definitely reliable.
FROM GENERAL HAWK'S FILES: "Here's a guy that not only likes blowing things up, we pay him to do it. Sgt. Zap maintains his cool at all times. Setting up explosive devices is nerve-racking, but he handles it and keeps coming back for more. A true professional, and well-liked for his abilities and his courage. My advice is to keep your helmet on when he's around, something will be exploding nearby."
Rafael "Zap" Melendez studied to become an engineer and trained in the Army' Ordnance School after enlisting. It was there that Zap became familiar with anti-tank and armor-piercing weapons. He also became a demolitions expert. He later was recruited by the G.I. Joe team. Zap is known for being laid-back and staying cool even when working with things that can blow up in his face at any time. He's infamous for his strange and sometimes dark sense of humor. Zap was one of the original 13 members of the G.I. Joe team. He was part of many of the Joes' major missions including the rescue of Dr. Adele Burkhart. Grunt quite possibly saved the country from annihilation when he helped Zap disarm a nuclear bomb set to detonate by Commander Wingfield, the leader of a local paramilitary group funded by Cobra.
Zap also defended the U.S. space shuttle when Cobra attacked Cape Canaveral, Florida. Zap was part of many other major operations as well. Zap, along with Scarlett and Snake-Eyes were the first Joes to learn that Cobra was headquartered in the United States in the town of Springfield. The group was kidnapped and left in a jail cell until they escaped with the help of a young boy, who they would later learn was Billy, the son of Cobra Commander. The Joes never learned the town's exact location, but they brought back valuable information about Cobra's operations.
After the re-dedication of G.I. Joe headquarters, aka "The Pit", Zap and many of the other original Joes were taken off active duty. He still occasionally participated on missions with the team. He was part of the G.I. Joe security team during the invasion of the Cobra-controlled town of Springfield. On that mission, Zap discovered an underground tunnel system that had been lined with explosives set to go off when Cobra forces evacuated the town. He was unable to disarm the hundreds of bombs lining the town but his warning saved many lives. Later, Zap helped to establish the new G.I. Joe headquarters in Utah. After that Zap became involved in recruiting and training potential members of the team. Many of his subsequent missions remain classified, but Zap stayed on the Joe team until it was disbanded in 1994.
Zap returned to the team when it was reinstated in 1997. He remained with the team until 2007, when he left the Joes to pursue an advanced degree in engineering and study the Joes' laser technology to keep ahead of the times. He continues to make himself available for explosives and anti-tank training when needed.
In 2015 he was assigned to Alpha Strike Team along with Rock-N-Roll, Roadblock, Gung-Ho, Torpedo, Lady Jaye, Dial-Tone, Shockblast, Mutt, Wild Bill, Payload and Shipwreck. They lead a team down to Sierra Gordo on a mission to rescue Grunt.
After the mission Zap was assigned to the El-Hassim Military Base, replacing Bazooka.
|This page uses content from JMM’s My Useless Knowledge Website. The original article was at JMM's G.I. Joe Comics Home Page. A member of this wiki, User:Kadjem, was granted temporary permission to use this content. However, JMM’s My Useless Knowledge Website is not part of the GNU Free Documentation License program, so the content is being rewritten to adapt and fit into this wiki and avoid plagiarism.|