- "So, Sergeant, when can I shave? This thing's starting to itch."
- ―Jop, to Sergeant Hork
Jop was a male soldier serving in the Alliance to Restore the Republic. He was part of a platoon, under the command of Sergeant Hork, that was assigned to take an Imperial strongpoint during the Galactic Civil War. As part of the unit's tradition, Jop—as a new member—was required to grow a beard and was only allowed to shave it off when he was told to. The beard irritated him until an incident when a SpecForce Infiltrator—who was going behind enemy lines to create confusion—used it to determine whether or not Jop was an Alliance soldier or an Imperial forward guard. Following the battle to take the Imperial strongpoint, Jop realized his beard no longer bothered him.
- "You're all right, troopy. Go back to sleep."
- ―An Infiltrator, to Jop, after waking him
Jop was a male soldier in the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War. He enlisted for a chance to fight against the Galactic Empire and successfully completed the training drop-camp. He had participated in a minor lightfight before being assigned to a platoon under the command of Sergeant Hork only a few weeks after completing his training. The unit was deployed in an operation to take a strongpoint where the battlelines between the Alliance and Imperial forces were only several hundred meters apart. Upon joining the unit, Jop found out that it was tradition for all new members to either grow beards or braids if they were unable to grow facial hair. Complying with tradition, Jop grew a beard that came in strong and thick, and which began to irritate the young soldier.
When Jop asked Hork when he would be able to shave again, the sergeant assured him that he would let him know when the time came. Hork then advised him to get some sleep, as the unit was scheduled for a big push against the Imperial force the next day. Jop complied, settling down to sleep. During the night, Jop was awoken by a cold hand on his face. The soldier froze, until a calm voice told him to go back to sleep. Jop waited, then grabbed his rifle and waved it around but could not find the source of the cold hand or the voice. Eventually, he went back to sleep.
At breakfast the next morning—which comprised ration packs and cafstim—Jop told his squad about the incident and asked Hork about it directly. Hork told him that the individual had been an Infiltrator, an elite SpecForce commando. Infiltrators had been assigned to go behind enemy lines to soften up the Imperial strongpoint before the main assault and had stopped to check if Jop was an Imperial forward guard. They had checked his beard growth to ascertain his allegiance, since Imperial regulations required their troops to have short hair and be clean-shaven in the field. Hork told Jop he was a lucky individual, then told him that he could shave if he wanted to.
Jop and his squad participated in the capture of the Imperial strongpoint, which they managed to take with light casualties—although they could not hold it since Alliance combat doctrine stated that operations were to be hit-and-fade only. The platoon secured prisoners and equipment before retreating. As Jop went to sleep the night after the battle, he came to the realization that his beard hadn't itched at all during the day.
Personality and traits
- "Get some sleep. There's a big push coming on tomorrow."
- ―Sergeant Hork, to Jop
Jop was a young soldier who wanted a chance to fight the Galactic Empire. Although inexperienced in actual combat, his training had drilled into him the importance of not giving away his position on the battlefield. After experiencing his first battle, he wasn't eager to go through it again; however, he continued to serve in frontline combat to strike at the Empire despite being afraid. Under Sergeant Hork's command, he was required to grow a beard as part of the unit tradition. The growth of his facial hair irritated him until after the incident with an Infiltrator, who used the beard to identify Jop as an Alliance soldier rather than an Imperial forward scout.
Behind the scenes
Jop appeared in Whiskers, a short story written by Timothy S. O'Brien and originally featured in Rules of Engagement: The Rebel SpecForce Handbook, which was published by West End Games. Whiskers was later archived on Hyperspace.