— Preston Marlowe
Private Preston Marlowe is the protagonist and main playable character in the singleplayer campaigns of Battlefield: Bad Company and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. He is a member of the 222nd Army Battalion's B-Company, collectively known as "Bad Company" among many soldiers in the US Army. He comes from a line of war veterans, as his father was a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War, and his grandfather fought in the European theater in World War II.
Before "Bad Company"Edit
Before his life in the army as a soldier of the 222nd Army Battalion, Preston grew up always wanting to be a soldier due to his family's heritage. Once he enlisted, he was shipped to Europe where he was stationed in Łódź, Poland.
Expecting to get right in to the action on the front lines, Marlowe became very disappointed as his unit did not receive orders and he was forced to pass time by playing cards and watching the war on the news. He feels due to his boredom that someone on the base will do something stupid, just to make the place more interesting, and he feels he will be that person.
Rumors start to spread about the 222nd's B-Company. Nicknamed "Bad Company" by the grunts, the unit is said to be a conglomerate of all the misfit soldiers that can't fit in another unit due to their actions. Preston likens the Company to be somewhere between a special needs class and death row since the unit is considered expendable by the Army and is meant to keep the Russian Army occupied while the real Army prepares. However, Preston is envious of the Company as they actually are fighting, while he is stuck at base.
Transfer to "Bad Company"Edit
Eventually, Preston got to know some of the helicopter pilots. Due to his father being a pilot in Vietnam, one of the pilots kept trying to get Preston to try flying their UH-60 Black Hawk. He eventually takes the Black Hawk for a spin, noting it does not handle like his father's Bell helicopter that he had previously flown. Upon landing the helicopter, he ends up hitting a General's limousine with the rotor. It cracks the vehicle's windshield and lacerates the vehicle's hood, as he landed too close to the right side of the helipad. Preston is taken into custody by the military police for his infraction. Feeling he would get off with a warning, Preston is instead transferred to B-Company for his insubordination, put on a Black Hawk, and sent to the front lines with the rest of his new unit.
Battlefield: Bad CompanyEdit
Preston meets his new squad-mates and quickly learns from Redford that Bad Company is much less formal than other military units. An artillery barrage wipes out the convoy, along with the squad's truck. This is where the player learns to look, jump, crouch, shoot, fire grenades, and repair vehicles. Mike-One-Juliet, the dispatch officer, sends Bravo-One Charlie (Preston's squad), to wipe out an artillery battery used by the Russians and later to use them to shell the incoming vehicles attacking Juneau convoy. The squad is then sent to clear a Russian-occupied river crossing when the Russians destroy the bridge. Bravo-One is then sent to clear a Russian-occupied farm before being extracted, but when their helicopter is shot down by anti-aircraft fire, they are then sent to destroy the anti-air emplacements and raid another Russian-occupied farm in Juneau Convoy's path. When the squad joins Juneau convoy, it is attacked by another artillery barrage. They barely manage to escape, and are sent to destroy radar jammers to let an airstrike destroy the artillery. After the airstrike finishes, Bravo-One clears out any survivors and encounter the Legionnaire Mercenaries, a mercenary group said to be the strongest military organization in the world. Haggard finds a gold bar in the suit of a dead Legionnaire mercenary, starting their interest in the Legionnaire's gold.
On what was supposed to be Redford's last mission before retirement, the squad is sent to move through more Russian territory when they find a house with the Legionnaires' insignia on a sign in front, Acta Non Verba - Latin for "Action, Not Words". Haggard sends Marlowe inside to check out the house. There, Marlowe finds the first case of gold. The squad had been given orders to destroy fuel and missile storage facilities and to then meet up with a US Armored Division and escort them into the Russian-held city of Zabograd. Bravo-One Charlie is sent ahead to clear the pass of anti-tank missile launchers and to escort the tanks to the other side of the town where the main assault is to take place. The squad is then sent to destroy a Russian radio outpost before they call for reinforcements, but they are too late as the call is made and more Russian forces arrive. Just then, a rocket is heard hitting a US tank nearby, to which Mike-One-Juliet sends the squad to defend it from the enemy reinforcements until more US forces arrive. Mike-One-Juliet then sends them to a harbor full of suspicious activity and says that if they do a good job, she could get them out the company and in to a better unit. They arrive at the harbor, but find that it is full of mercenaries. The squad, led by Haggard and the thought of gold, fight their way through, but after checking the bodies, find nothing. They then spot some trucks and watch them drive away. As they go, a bar of gold drops out of the back and they become determined to follow them and retrieve the gold.
Soon after arriving on the border of Serdaristan, Bravo-One Charlie finds the trucks crossing the border and realize they can't follow it any longer as Serdaristan is neutral in the war. Overcome with greed, Haggard runs across the border, "single-handedly invading a neutral country". When asked why they were in Serdaristan, Redford Tells Mike-One-Juliet that it was his idea to wipe out a potential threat. Redford's tour of duty is consequentially increased by another year. This pushes Redford over the edge and he tells the squad that they're going AWOL. They first destroy three radio transmission towers to cover their tracks. Redford then figures out that the gold is in another harbor. After they fight their way through, they are just about to enter the Legionnaire's cargo ship when the US Army shows up and captures them.
The army sends Bravo-One Charlie on a top-secret mission to go into Serdaristan and capture the President, who they believe is selling arms to the Russians. However, the squad realizes that Serdaristan is no longer neutral when they witness their chopper being shot down by Serdaristani anti-air emplacements. Mike-One-Juliet sends them to destroy the emplacements so that another chopper can be flown in to extract them with the President once they capture him. Later on, Miss July sees lots of activity at the Presidential Palace, so she sends Bravo-One a laser designator and directs them to an enemy weapons cache. They make their way through the President's personal golf course and head towards the Presidential Palace. Once they arrive, they find that the grounds are crawling with Legionnaires. They fight their way in to get the President but when Redford calls for an evac chopper, Mike-One-Juliet tells them that she cannot because the Army ditched them and that they were on their own. President Serdar then tells them he has a personal Mi-24 Hind that they could use to escape from Serdaristan.
The squad then takes the President's helicopter and use it to destroy Serdaristan's military infrastructure. Their helicopter soon runs out of fuel and they arrive at a refueling station. As there is no source of fuel near the helicopter, Marlowe and Haggard are forced to drive an M939 truck carrying fuel to the Hind. Haggard then accidentally pours the fuel into the cooling unit, making Sweetwater have to fix it due to Haggard's incompetence. They hold off Serdaristan Army reinforcements and as several BMD-3's starting moving towards them, Sweetwater fixes the fuel problem and they escape. The President than asks Bravo-One to bring him to Russia for his exile and as he informs them about where the gold is, but the Legionnaire appears in his personal Ka-52 and shoots down the pimped-out Hind.
Marlowe wakes up after the crash, only to find his squad-mates and the President missing. He tries contacting Mike-1-Juliet, to which she guides him to several areas where she thinks the squad is located. In one of the areas, there is a video screen of the Legionnaire interrogating President Serdar and later shooting the camera after he finds out that it was recording. Marlowe makes his way through a large Russian Army force to get to the monastery located on top of a mountain, where he finds his squad did not actually need much saving as they had just escaped captivity. Together, they all head back down the mountain, evading Russian reinforcements as they head towards the sea where they may find a boat to escape with. After fighting tanks, APCs and a Russian Hind, they find the President in a small port about to be executed by the Legionnaires. The squad manages to stop the execution and, with the President, take a boat to Sadiz, along the Caspian Sea.
The President gets his exile from his country on a small island near Sadiz while the squad goes after the gold. After fighting a large number of Middle Eastern Coalition soldiers and tanks, Bravo-One Charlie overhears that the US army is pushing onward toward the port of Sadiz, where the gold is located on the Legionnaire's tanker. The squad then destroys two bridges to prevent the Army from getting there first. When they reach the port, they find the stash of gold in a warehouse. While they were staring in awe at the piles of gold, the Legionnaire shows up and attacks the squad in his helicopter. They race towards the end of a pier where Sweetwater believes and anti-aircraft gun is located. However, just as Marlowe is about to man the VADS, the Legionnaire destroys it. Marlowe finds a M2 Carl Gustav helipad above and with a few well-placed shots, destroys the Ka-52. They return to the warehouse to find the US Army packing up all of the gold in the warehouse in to trucks. Just when the squad is about to leave in disappointment, a US Army Officer notices them and gives them orders to drive one of the trucks full of "scrap metal" with the convoy. They follow the convoy for a while until they turn off to a side road and speed away, each talking about how they will spend their share of gold.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2Edit
Bravo-One-Charlie escaped with the gold though it is assumed that the US Military eventually caught up to them and took the gold back. Marlowe and the squad are later sent on a counter-intelligence operation behind enemy lines in Russia in attempt to secure a high value individual of the US military, and a device related to a scalar weapon. Despite escaping Russian soldiers, and completing what they thought was their final mission in B-company, the device is discovered to be a fake. Being impressed with their previous activities, Army General Braidwood assigns them to the Special Activities Division, and tasks them with delivering information to Agent Aguire, much to the disappointment of Sgt. Redford.
The squad travels to Bolivia in search of Aguire. Through many firefights with paramilitaries, they manage to save Aguire just before a Russian hauls him onto a waiting Mi-24 Hind. After discovering that Aguire's findings were stolen by the Russians, Aguire requests the squad to get all his intelligence detailing the scalar weapon from a satellite. The squad moves up to take the mountain with assistance from their pilot Flynn and his UH-60 Black Hawk. After taking over the satellite station, Sweetwater codes the satellite to crash, with the squad driving over cross country to find it, taking on Vodniks and Quad Bikes along the way. After reaching the satellite, the squad successfully defeat a Russian counterattack aimed at destroying the satellite, but soon bad weather rolls in. While Redford and Haggard go to find transport, with Sweetwater following, Marlowe soon finds the data storage unit and proceeds to go down the mountain during a blizzard, taking on Russian patrols, and is soon extracted by the others in Flynn's helicopter.
During extraction, Aguire briefs the squad about the man responsible for building a scalar weapon named Arkady Kirilenko; the Russian Army colonel the squad failed to eliminate in Chukotka, who is believed to be hiding in Chile. Marlowe and the squad travel to Chile, where they, aided by US Armoured forces and Marines, find Kirilenko, though he soon escapes after US Command starts shelling Kirilenko's position. Left only with papers from Kirilenko's office, Sweetwater discovers there is a shipping manifest for a lost ship called the "Sangre del Toro." Aided by the rest of the squad getting the coordinates, Marlowe finds the ship and retrieves an unnamed compound essential to the use of the weapon, and finds out the truth behind Operation Aurora.
While attempting to meet Aguire in Colombia, the squad's helicopter is shot down by a Javelin and they become separated. Sweetwater and Marlowe regroup first, taking on a militia counter-attack, and they soon find the rest of the squad. After fighting through heavily defended Russian bases, the squad find Flynn, and then race to a helicopter base on Quad Bikes. After fighting through Russian territories in a salvaged Black Hawk, the squad reach the rendezvous with Aguire, and Marlowe gives Aguire the compound, while Redford demands to know what's happening. However, Aguire double-crossed the squad by allying with Kirilenko, his rival in the quest for the scalar weapon. Aguire wanted revenge against the United States for what happened to his father, one of the commandos in original raid on Japan, after Marlowe revealed that the US military callously sent them to their deaths. Despite the alliance, Kirilenko betrays Aguire and kills him. Flynn intervenes and saves the squad at the cost of his own life, his helicopter shot down by an RPG.
While still mourning after Flynn's loss, the squad overhear a Russian soldier's radio, which the squad use to find their position. They begin to move towards a city, but then Kirlienko begins the detonation of the scalar weapon. The squad begin advancing through a Venezuelan city, being attacked by Russian and militia troops, along with mortars. However, as they reach the mouth of a large river, they witness a huge firefight between US and Russian troops. However, as the fight reaches a climax, the scalar weapon detonates, annihilating the US forces and sending "all tech dead." The squad then fight through the blast zone in pursuit of Kirilenko, but, as the squad reach the plane, an An-225 Mryia, they realize it's taking off. The squad unanimously vote that they should hijack the plane, and set off through sewer tunnels towards it. Though they had to discard their weapons, they climb on board through the undercarriage, and await dawn.
The squad begins to progress through the plane, taking out multiple guards before reaching the scalar weapon, which is protected by a reinforced pane of glass, which Haggard says will "take an act of God to get through, or a lot of C4." The squad then fight towards the cockpit of the plane, but realize that Kirilenko is in the Scalar chamber itself when they discover that the cockpit is empty. After detonating C4 to get through the glass, the squad destroy the Scalar weapon, and then proceed to bail out of the plane. However, as Sweetwater tries to give Marlowe the last parachute, Kirilenko tackles him, and Marlowe is forced to dive out of the plane, killing Kirilenko in a free fall with an MP-443. Sweetwater passes Marlowe a parachute in midair, and the pair land safely in Texas alongside the rest of the squad. However, as they begin to celebrate, General Braidwood tells them to follow him in a HMMVW, as the Russians are invading through Alaska.
- Prior to his transfer, Marlowe shared the common belief that "the Legionnaire" was a myth.
- In Battlefield: Bad Company, Marlowe is always portrayed with an M416, whereas in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Marlowe is seen carrying an XM8 Prototype with a 4X Rifle Scope.
- Despite his delinquent act that landed him in Bad Company, he is a very eager and somewhat by-the-book soldier, as can be seen by his use of "Sir, yes, sir" terminology when addressing Redford in the opening cutscene.
- In Battlefield: Bad Company, he is the only American soldier with goggles - the Legionnaire Mercenaries are the only others to wear them.
- Marlowe seems to be an incredibly talented soldier. He is proficient at driving and gunning light vehicles and armor, piloting helicopters, and has extensive knowledge of handheld weapons, both small arms and explosives, American and Russian designs alike. He is also a talented marksman with high-powered rifles, as shown in some missions of Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
- Marlowe also appears to have some knowledge of hand-to-hand combat, as seen in a few cutscenes in Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
- In Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Marlowe rarely curses, only swearing when Kirilenko escapes in Cold War, calling him a piece of shit, and when the squad gets pinned down by flames in the mission High Value Target, something Haggard and Sweetwater congratulate him on. Finally, he curses near the end of the game when no one wants to try and stop Kirilenko's plane, saying "Fine, I'll go my-fucking-self." In Battlefield: Bad Company, Marlowe doesn't curse at all.
- Preston seems to be a marksman in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, as do the rest of his squadmates.
- Preston never speaks in a mission or during first-person cutscenes. He only speaks in third-person cutscenes (such as beginning or ending cutscenes, or during important moments during missions).
- In Bad Company, he is the only playable character. But in Bad Company 2, he is accompanied by another playable character.
- His outfit is the same as Redford's in Bad Company 2.
- A line of war veterans including himself in his family tree may be a nod to (partial) evolution of Battlefield series: World War II (grandfather), Vietnam War (father), Modern Era (Preston himself).