Name: Eddie Mawae
Rank: Chief Warrant Officer (1), United States Army
Unit: 1st Brigade, 19th Special Forces Group, Alpha Company (Ft. Lewis, WA)
Other Affiliations: Steel River Security
About the Character:
Eddie Mawae is of Samoan/Hawaiian descent, roughly 30 years old, with soft brown eyes, thick black hair, and a massive frame best described as "refrigerator-esque."
Eddie is a wild boy in a man’s form, always quick to laugh and the first to order shots at the bar. He genuinely enjoys being a soldier, but his fervent demeanor shouldn’t be mistaken for a lax attitude towards the job at hand. If you spend one day on―and one night off―the field with Eddie, you will easily come to believe that he is absolutely indestructible.
Growing up the youngest son in a large, traditional Samoan-American family in Hawaii, Eddie is steeped in his culture and a devout Catholic. An average student in High School, Eddie was a natural athlete and excelled on the football field.
His athletic prowess won him a football scholarship to Kansas State University, but he simply couldn’t keep up with the demands of school and sports; he dropped out during his junior year.
The gates to Fort Riley, Kansas were only a few miles away from Kansas State, and the temptation proved too great to resist. Military life proved a perfect fit for Eddie; he eventually transferred to Fort Lewis, where he met and became fast friends with Terry Glass.
Eddie was actually recruited for Steel River employment while still enlisted; one of the company’s teams was on-site during a skirmish in Fallujah and offered Eddie a card after the smoke had cleared.
Though the initial inspiration for Shooters came, in part, from an aborted novel draft being written by Eric Trautmann, Eddie was "brought to the table" by Brandon Jerwa. "Eddie is a combination of a few people: A guy I knew in high school named Noah Mawae, my musician friend Isaac Glendening, and a tiny bit of a soldier I used to know named J.B. Von Holtz. Eddie's personality, manner of speaking, and overall demeanor are based on so many soldiers I've met and spoken to. I used to work at a nightclub in Manhattan, Kansas (specifically, in Aggieville, the college party district) and we'd get a steady stream of G.I.s in on the weekends. They almost all talked like Eddie — a mixture of urban slang (regardless of their own ethnicity), video game bravado, and insult comedy.
"If you move past that big surface personality, you find a very deep sense of honor and commitment. Again, this comes from firsthand experience with these people. There's a game face, a duty face, a friendship face. They're not completely separate things, and they can change at the drop of a hat. For my money, that's the best kind of guy to have watching your six."
Shooters co-writer Eric Trautmann: "Eddie is a complete contrast to Terry. With Eddie, what you see is very much what you get, as opposed to Terry's quiet exterior (which masks a fairly turblent inner life). Loud and jocular where Terry is reflective and calm, Eddie was always intended to be the yin to Terry's yang."
Here's a look at Steve Lieber's initial design for Eddie Mawae.