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John Terence Clark, born John Terence Kelly, is a fictional character in the Tom Clancy media franchise. He was the former commander of Rainbow and a former CIA paramilitary operations officer. He is currently the Director of Operations for The Campus.
John Terence Kelly was born sometime in 1944 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Irish Catholic parents. He attended Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis. His mother died of cancer when he was nine. Kelly eventually joined the Navy during the Vietnam War and became a Navy SEAL. He participated in several special operations. One such operation involved the rescue of Admiral Dutch Maxwell's son who was shot down over North Vietnam. Kelly contracted a severe infection from river water which had seeped into scratches from thorns. While recovering aboard a Navy ship, he learned that his father, Timothy Kelly who was a fireman, had died of a heart attack while rescuing two children from a burning building. Following his recovery, he was promoted to Chief Boatswain's Mate. After his first tour, Kelly separated from the military in 1970.
Later, while assisting in demolition of an oil platform damaged by hurricane Camille, Kelly's wife, Patricia Kelly who was three months pregnant at the time, was killed when a tractor-trailer lost its brakes, hitting her car in an intersection. A year and a half later, Kelly picked up a hitchhiker named Pamela Madden who was a former prostitute and took her to his island. While unloading his boat, Kelly discovered that Pamela was abusing barbiturates, and helped her recover. After returning to Baltimore to meet with Officer Frank Allen of the Baltimore Police concerning the murder of Helen Waters, which Pam had witnessed, he encountered her former pimp, Henry Tucker. Succeeding in outwitting Tucker in a car chase, Kelly parked on a side street. Tucker had called friends who helped him track down Kelly and Pam, and Kelly was shot twice in the head and neck with a shotgun. Pamela was then brutally raped and killed, her body dumped in a fountain. While recovering from his injuries at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Kelly met his future second wife, Sandra O'Toole whom he would father two daughters with, Patricia Clark and Margaret Clark. After being discharged, Kelly learned of Madden's murder and began to plot his revenge. After killing sixteen men involved with the drug ring, Kelly was tracked down by Lieutenant Emmett Ryan of the Baltimore Police. With the help of Admiral James Greer, Kelly and was recruited by the CIA into the Special Activities Division and was able to fake his death to become John Clark.
Throughout his career with the CIA, Clark served many roles and participated in numerous operations. In addition to the Vietnam War, he has also been through the Iran hostage crisis and the Gulf War, plus a number of missions in the Soviet Union. He also severed as a CIA liaison with a French black ops unit, giving advice to trainees at The Farm, and extracting KGB Chairman Gerasimov's wife and daughter following the Chairman's defection. In the late 80's, he was involved with U.S. narcotics interdiction efforts in South America. In 1989, he commanded the U.S. Army black ops unit CAPER which was tasked to carry out a secret war against the Medellín Cartel in Colombia. Clark would also become the mentor of one member of the unit, Domingo Chavez. Clark would later meet Jack Ryan during an operation in Colombia to rescue CAPER after the government abandoned them for political reasons.
In 1991, Clark worked as Jack Ryan's personal driver and bodyguard. He later returned to the field to bug the Japanese Prime Minister's aircraft in Mexico City. During the operation, however, a terrorist bombing occurred in Denver. This subsequently changed Clark's mission to intercept the Palestinian terrorists attempting to escape to Mexico. In 1995, Clark was later reassigned as a field officer for the CIA's Directorate of Operations where he was paired with Domingo Chavez. Both men were able to capture an African warlord, Mohammed Abdul Corp, and brought him to justice. They were then sent to Japan to assess the national mood of the country, with Clark undercover as a Russian reporter. When the situation turned into a war between Japan and the United States, they established contacts with the opposition in the Japanese government and eliminated a pair of Japanese AWACS planes.
A few years later, he served as an instructor for CIA field officers in training. The new President, Jack Ryan, issued a presidential pardon to John Terence Kelly for his several murders. This clears Clark's name and personal honor, but he ultimately decides to continue his career as John Clark. He and Chavez then returned to the U.S. in order to discover who is responsible for the Ebola attack on the United States. This is later found to be perpetrated by new United Islamic Republic. With the cooperation of the Russian SVR Chairman Sergey Golovko, they infiltrated Tehran and laser-designated the home of UIR dictator Mahmoud Haji Daryaei for an airstrike.
A year later, Clark wrote a memo to the CIA expressing concerns over the rise of international terrorism since the Cold War ended and recommended the creation of a NATO response team to rapidly deploy to terrorist situations. His request is granted in 1999 with the formation of Rainbow. Based in Hereford, Britain, Clark was given command of the unit with the simulated rank of Major General and the codename, "Six".
Rainbow is first put into operation by responding successfully to three attacks by "Red" terrorists in Bern, Vienna, and Spain. It also succeeds in defending itself from an attack by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) against its home base. This is eventually determined to have been ordered by a radical eco-terrorist group led by John Brightling which Rainbow tracks down and destroys.
In 2000, Rainbow is assigned to train Russian Spetsnaz operatives and is temporarily deployed to the Russian-Chinese war being fought in Siberia. In a joint Rainbow-Spetsnaz operation, Clark is involved in the destruction of China's only ICBM base. The operation is mostly successful: all but one of the missiles is destroyed, and the last one, while it is fired, is destroyed by the Navy before it can reach its intended target.
In 2010, Clark is part of a Rainbow team that successfully rescues all hostages taken by terrorists at the Swedish embassy in Libya. This proves to be his last act with the CIA, as he and Chavez are pushed into retirement by political appointees of U.S. President Ed Kealty. He then joins The Campus, an off-the-books intelligence agency that Ryan had founded before the end of his presidency. Clark is immediately involved with the organization's effort to find and neutralize "The Emir", while also serving as mentor and trainer to Jack's son Jack Ryan Jr., a Campus analyst who wants to do fieldwork.
In 2011, Clark becomes a pawn in Czech billionaire and Kealty supporter Paul Laska's vendetta to discredit Ryan during the presidential campaign. The Emir had identified him as one of his captors to his Laska-affiliated lawyer. When it was revealed that he killed an East German Stasi operative in Berlin in 1981 (which was not a CIA matter but a personal job by his friend and Berlin station chief who had been blackmailed), he becomes the subject of a manhunt by the FBI and later French investigators hired by Laska. Clark goes on the run and travels to eastern Europe to clear his name, later finding out that rogue SVR operative Valentin Kovalenko had given the information to Laska, who in turn covertly presented it to Kealty. However, he is captured shortly after and later tortured for information about The Campus by Kovalenko's men. He is later rescued by the Russian government, who then assigns him to temporarily lead Rainbow in order to retake a Russian space station which had been hijacked by Muslim Dagestani terrorists intent on launching nuclear weapons into Moscow.
Clark was later exonerated by the outgoing Kealty administration. After an assassination job on a cell of former Libyan intelligence officers in Istanbul, he briefly retires from The Campus due to old age. However, he later comes out of retirement when Chinese special operations forces attack the headquarters of The Campus. He travels to China with fellow Campus operatives and works with the local rebels and FSB to assassinate People's Liberation Army Chairman Su Ke Qiang, who has been waging war against the United States by trying to annex Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and territories in the South China Sea by military force as well as sanctioning cyberattacks on the U.S.
Clark later became the director of operations for The Campus. He travels to Ukraine along with his fellow operatives to gather intelligence on Russian criminal organization Seven Strong Men and its leader Gleb the Scar. They take part in defending a CIA special mission compound in Sevastopol, which came under attack from pro-Russian protesters aided by FSB proxy agents and the Seven Strong Men. Clark later cooperates with Delta Force operatives in capturing Gleb the Scar, revealed to be directly involved in the polonium poisoning of former SVR head Sergey Golovko, in his heavily-guarded base of operations in Kiev. In Full Force and Effect, Clark and his fellow Campus colleagues investigate a connection between an American corporate espionage firm and the North Korean government, who are intent on producing nuclear weapons.
Clark is later tasked with tracking down the accountant of Russian president Valeri Volodin, who has been moving his personal net worth to a safe place in anticipation of his failure to placate the siloviki should his plan of a covert armed offensive across Europe fail to repair the ongoing economic recession in his country. Clark later helps investigate a series of terrorist attacks on American military and intelligence personnel, which is due to a massive intelligence breach. He later assassinates a Saudi technocrat who has been setting up ISIS with the attacks in order to save his country from economic ruin in a quagmire likely to result from American troops being redeployed to the Middle East.
Clark investigates Chinese agent provocateur Vincent Chen's connection to a sex trafficking ring in Texas. He wages a one-man war on the ring in order to save a prostitute as well, who had been instrumental in revealing China's involvement in several false flag attacks designed to blame the current president, whose moderate stance on several issues compelled a secret cabal to act to have him removed from power. Clark was later arrested for murder, but was released from police custody soon after. Clark later assassinates a Romanian crime boss named Vladimir Vasilev who had a vendetta against Jack Ryan Jr. in revenge for killing one of Tervel Zvezdev. A few months later, Clark leads a surveillance operation in Portugal on French arms dealer Hugo Gaspard, who has ties to ISIS. He witnesses Gaspard's murder by French assassin Lucile Fournier, who works under rival arms dealer Urbano da Rocha. Clark and his team then proceed to shadow Da Rocha and Fournier, who later strike a deal intended for Gaspard with a pair of Russian GRU officers. However, the Russians later double cross da Rocha, attempting to kill him in his villa. Clark rescues the arms dealer, who later reveals a plot to provide stolen nuclear weapons to dissident Reza Kazem on behalf of the GRU and the Iranian government.
Clark later lead the Campus's efforts to retrieve Calliope, a next-generation AI software, before the Chinese military uses it for sinister purposes. He later tracks down Kang, an assassin working for the People's Liberation Army who had tried to assassinate a former Navy admiral who now works for a communications company.
- Sandra O'Toole - Wife
- Margaret Clark - Daughter
- Patricia Clark - Daughter
- John Conor Chavez - Grandson, via Patricia
- Domingo Chavez - Son-in-Law
- The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988)
- Clear and Present Danger (1989)
- The Sum of All Fears (1991)
- Without Remorse (1993)
- Debt of Honor (1994)
- Executive Orders (1996)
- Rainbow Six (1998)
- The Bear and the Dragon (2000)
- Red Rabbit (2002) (Mentioned)
- Dead or Alive (2010)
- Locked On (2011)
- Threat Vector (2012)
- Command Authority (2013)
- Full Force and Effect (2014)
- Under Fire (2015)
- Commander in Chief (2015)
- True Faith and Allegiance (2016)
- Power and Empire (2017)
- Oath of Office (2018)
- Enemy Contact (2019)
- Code of Honor (2019)
- Firing Point (2020)
- Shadow of the Dragon (2020)