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"James Raynor was the most decent man I ever encountered during the fall of the Confederacy. Everyone else, I can safely say, was either a victim or a villain or quite often both. At first glance, Raynor seems like a backwoods cowboy, one of those good old boys swapping lies about the days gone by. There's a cocksureness, an overconfidence about him that makes you bridle initially. Yet over time you come to see him as a valuable ally and -- dare I say it? -- a friend. It all comes from belief. Jim Raynor believed in himself and believed in those around him. And from that strength came the strength that allowed him and those who followed him to survive everything else the universe threw at him. Jim Raynor was a most decent and honorable man. I suppose that's why his is the greatest tragedy in this godforsaken war."- Michael Liberty(src)
Colonial Ranger lance corporal, later demoted to private (2488—2489)
James Eugene "Jim" Raynor is a former terran marshal turned rebel, who has became one of the major figures in the Koprulu Sector through his work to bring down the Confederacy and, later, in the struggle against the Confederacy's successor, the Dominion. Raynor is one of the few terrans to engage in a long-term alliance with the protoss.
Jim Raynor was born a farm boy on the Fringe World of Shiloh. In his youth, he was taught outdoor skills such as hunting and shooting by his grandfather, skills which would later prove useful as a marshal. The first eighteen years of his life were spent entirely on his homeworld, working on the farm.
Raynor was good at both schoolwork and working farm equipment, and learned how to drive multiple vehicles such as the vulture and became an expert demolition player for the Centerville team. His father taught him how to brawl, and to stand up to bullies. Raynor would later say that his father taught him where to draw the line, rather than to take a stand.
"If you want to enlist, Son, that's your choice. Because in this life, you are who you choose to be. And it doesn't surprise us one bit that our son wants to be a hero."- Trace Raynor(src) Raynor during the Guild WarsAdded by PsiSeveredHeadBy 2488, the Terran Confederacy had been embroiled in the Guild Wars for three years. Resources were rationed, taxes were rising, and the military began to more aggressively recruit young folk, including Tom Omer, one of Raynor's friends.
While waiting in his truck for fuel, Raynor encountered Hank Harnack, a rival demolition player. Harnack cut him off, prompting Raynor to beat him up. Later that day, Gunnery Sergeant Farley helped convince Raynor to join the Confederate Marine Corps. His parents objected, but eventually relented and accompanied him to his enlistment and affirmation in Centerville. Raynor had expected to be elated at the prospect of leaving his planet, but only felt a sense of dread. To make matters worse, he immediately ran into the bully Harnack again, who hassled him and made his position clear, leading to the other recruits ostracizing Raynor (including Omer) so as to not get caught up in their feud. Corporal Thaddeus Timson tried to keep them apart. The two exchanged beatings. Still, Raynor's standing up to Harnack did earn him the respect of his fellow recruits, who began talking to him.
Eventually they (and Omer) ended up on the troopship Hydrus, where they would be shipped to the warzone planet of Turaxis II for basic training. During the journey, hundreds of convicts intended for a little-known Confederate reform program broke out and began fighting. Harnack called one a freak, prompting several to attack him. Raynor jumped into the fray and fought alongside Harnack, while Omer won money betting on them. Raynor and Harnack then became friends.
Raynor, Harnack, Omer and twelve other recruits rode in a dropship to the surface. However, it was shot down, killing the pilot and seriously injuring a recruit, Santhay. Raynor immediately took charge, helping move Santhay. Eventually they were rescued by Master Sergeant Hanson.
During training, Raynor was made a "training sergeant" and led the first squad of 2nd Platoon. Harnack was also in the squad, and so fell under his command. While on a punishment detail with Harnack, he made the acquaintance of Ark Bennet, an Old Family scion who had been kidnapped and sold to the military under the name "Ryk Kydd". They tutored him in a lifestyle away from the Old Families. Raynor's joy rideAdded by MecoImmediately prior to graduation, Raynor, Harnack and "Kydd" got drunk and fell into a bar brawl. They tried to escape by stealing a vulture but got caught by the police. However, they were released from the drunk tank the next day without incident.
Upon graduation, Raynor, Harnack, Kydd and numerous others were sent to Fort Howe by truck, where they made the acquaintance of Max Zander. The convoy was attacked by Kel-Morian Hellhounds and scattered. Their driver called the nearby Firebase Zulu, which was also under attack. Raynor helped take command, talking Kydd and Zander into taking a sniper post and launching an attack which captured some Kel-Morian APCs. However, Raynor noticed Tom Omer suffering severe injury during the fight. Meanwhile, Raynor contacted Captain Senko at Zulu and kept him apprised of the situation. The Kel-Morians were driven off.