"General Garza recruited them into the Special Forces black ops program, but now they're in a detention facility on Berrun—convicted of war crimes."
―Sergeant Rusk, on the Surgeons[1]

The Special Forces black ops program was a division of the Republic Army's Special Forces Division that performed covert military operations during the Great Galactic War and subsequent Cold War between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire. Overseen by General Elin Garza, the head of the Special Forces Division, black ops carried out missions that were deemed illegal or unsuitable for standard Special Forces units. One black ops unit, a squad named the Surgeons, was charged with assassinating enemy leaders, though its members were arrested and convicted of war crimes when they began pursuing the families of their assigned targets.


"They renamed my old squad 'the Surgeons.' Tasked them with destabilizing the Empire's command structure by removing its best leaders."
―Fideltin Rusk[1]

Founded sometime after the official establishment of the Republic Special Forces Division in 3667 BBY,[2] the Special Forces black ops program was overseen by General Elin Garza,[1] who also led the overall Special Forces Division.[2] Sometime after 3665 BBY, Garza personally recruited into black ops the members of a squad that had previously been under the command of Sergeant Fideltin Rusk. The members of the squad, among them the soldiers Karsim, Naja, and Eckerd, underwent black ops training, and the newly-named Surgeons were then assigned the mission of destabilizing the command structure of the Sith Empire—with which the Galactic Republic was currently fighting the Great Galactic War—by taking out the Empire's military leaders. However, the Surgeons began to assassinate the families of their targets, believing that their actions would demoralize the Empire and help the Republic. The Surgeons were soon arrested and tried for war crimes, and the members of the squad were all given life sentences when they openly confessed their actions. Officers of the Republic Army were aware of the existence of the black ops program by the year 3642 BBY, when Rusk inquired into the fate of his former squad and discovered that its members had been imprisoned in a detention center on the planet Berrun.[1]

Equipment and training[]

"Black ops doesn't make heroes. It trains killers. If the right targets die, no one complains."
―Fideltin Rusk[1]

Members of the black ops program underwent training in assassination and covert operations, and the program instilled a mentality in which the ends justified the means when it came to striking blows against the enemy. Sergeant Fideltin Rusk considered the members of his first squad to be some of the finest soldiers with which he had ever served, and he was dismayed to learn that their time in black ops had turned them into killers.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

The Jedi Knight companion character Fideltin Rusk first mentioned the Special Forces black ops program in Star Wars: The Old Republic, a 2011 video game released by BioWare and LucasArts, during the conversation "The Surgeons."[1]


Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 SWTOR mini.png Star Wars: The Old Republic—Conversation with Sergeant Rusk: "The Surgeons"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia indicates that the Republic Special Forces Division was formed after the Battle of Alderaan in 3667 BBY.