- " I've watched so many good Gears die over stupid military operations that yielded nothing in return...I've watched men climb over piles of their own dead...dig trenches with their bare hands, leaving broken and bloody fingernails laying in the dirt. War is never what the bureaucrats say it is...they never tell you about the civilians who were gassed to death in their own homes, or the Gears left behind to find the very weapon they died to obtain during the Pendulum Wars used against them..."
- — Lieutenant James "Howell" Stratford
Lieutenant James "Howell" Stratford participated in several battles during the Pendulum Wars. He served with distinction in the Battle of Aspho Fields where he saved the lives of over a dozen men by rushing a machine gun bunker utilized by hostile forces of the Union of Independent Republics. Stratford was noted for working with Pesang volunteers who fought bravely beside him during the conflict, he was deeply angered by the fact none of the Pesang men received any form of acknowledgement for their contributions. By the end of the Pendulum Wars, he had been hardened into a tough soldier who rarely spoke and always followed the orders given to him by Command.
The worst day that Stratford could ever call to mind. He was one of the few Gears who managed to fight against the Locust forces as they emerged into the world of man. He is haunted by the civilians he was ordered to leave behind who ended up being killed by invading Locust troops...he still remembers the face of the little girl on the helipad, sobbing for the loss of her mother. He vowed never to let the same thing happen.
Gears of WarEdit
After E-day Stratford has gained a wealth of knowledge on the Locust, being able to read their troop movements and strategies with flawless accuracy. At this point of the game, he is one of the most battle hardened active Gears in the field.