Soap MacTavish

John "Soap" MacTavish is a main character and protagonist in the Call of Duty story arc Modern Warfare. He first appears as a main playable character in the 2007 video game ' where he is part of the 22nd Special Air Service regiment as a sniper and demolitions expert.
He later appears in the sequel
', released in November 2009, as one of the playable characters. He also appeared in , released in November 2011. In both games John "Soap" MacTavish plays the role of Captain and Field Commander of Task Force 141 along with Captain John Price who also appears alongside him in the original three titles.
MacTavish is voiced by Scottish actor Kevin McKidd.


John "Soap" MacTavish plays a key role in the storyline of ' where he is on the front lines of the fight against the Ultra-nationalists as part of the SAS, more specifically Captain Price's Bravo Team. In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the player experiences the storyline through the eyes of Soap however certain missions were played from a different characters perspective. Soap appears to be modeled after the character "Lake" in the 2003 movie Tears of the Sun.
The later games present MacTavish as a non-playable character that the playable character fights alongside. However, in
' the player takes control of MacTavish in the final three missions. In the final game in the series, MacTavish appears as a playable character only for the first mission then reverts to an NPC for the remainder of the storyline.
MacTavish is later killed in action during the course of ' after an explosion where he experiences massive blood loss, whilst on a mission to assassinate Vladimir Makarov, a continuing antagonist of the series appearing in all three titles.
The developers of
' added a DLC which allowed the player to play as the iconic character called the Soap Legend Pack which was released in April 2014.
The fourth season of features Soap as a playable avatar upon purchase of the season battle pass.

Plot appearances

''Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare''

MacTavish is first introduced in the opening mission, after having been selected for the 22nd SAS, based at Hereford. He is introduced to fellow squadmates as well as his new commanding officer, Captain John Price, where he undergoes a routine training exercise in the killing house before proceeding on a mission to infiltrate a container ship in the Bering Strait and retrieve a nuclear device. He is part of the team responsible for the capture and execution of Khaled Al-Assad, the man responsible for the detonation of a similar nuclear device in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, and also the death of Imran Zakhaev, the man responsible for providing Al-Assad nuclear weapons. Soap is part of Bravo Team, which works with US Marine Force Recon in disabling nuclear missiles which Zakhaev launched at the shores of the United States, where he later kills Zakhaev after an Mi-24 Hind destroys a major bridge on their evacuation route. Soap and Price are barely spared the untimely death their squad received when a diversion created by Russian loyalists buys Soap time sufficient to kill Zakhaev and two soldiers with Price's M1911 pistol.

''Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2''

Soap makes his first appearance in Modern Warfare 2 as Captain of Task Force 141, a promotion he received in the aftermath of, where Price was captured and taken to a gulag in eastern Russia after an attempt on the life of Vladimir Makarov, Zakhaev's former top lieutenant. He appears on the mission "Cliffhanger" as an NPC, assisting the player's character, Gary "Roach" Sanderson. In the following mission where the player controls Roach, MacTavish and his team capture the right-hand man of an arms dealer and interrogate him, which then leads them to hunt for Alejandro Rojas, whom they captured in time, which leads to the rescue of Captain Price – the man Makarov hates most. In the final three missions of the game, he and Price discover that their commanding officer, Lt. General Shepherd had double-crossed them, but are unable to warn their team in time and they are subsequently killed. After battling through a massive battalion of armed military contractors Soap attempts to kill Shepherd with his combat knife, but Shepherd manages to stab him in the chest. With Shepherd distracted by a hand to hand duel with Price, and with what little strength he had left, Soap pulled the knife from his chest and threw it, directly hitting Shepherd in his eye and killing him instantly. Price patches up Soap when their friend Nikolai lands near their pickup point and extracts them to safety, setting the stage for Modern Warfare 3.

''Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3''

Hours after being extracted from Site Hotel Bravo, Task Force 141 has been disavowed and a dying Soap has been extracted to a Russian loyalist holdout in India. With Makarov on their trail to tie up loose ends and a quick patch job by a loyalist doctor, loyalist Yuri joins Bravo Team in escaping the relentless assault by Russian ultranationalists loyal to Makarov to lay low while Russia is engaged in all-out combat with the United States across the eastern seaboard. Sometime later, Price contacts former 141 operator Sandman who they worked with during Operation Kingfish for assistance with leads on Makarov's location, as well as SAS commanding officer MacMillan, Price's former captain in the SAS with whom he worked during the initial attempt to kill Imran Zakhaev 20 years prior to the events of Modern Warfare 3 After retrieving intel from a number of sources and with help from loyalist Kamarov, the team is able to lock down Makarov's location in a martial law run-down Prague, in the Czech Republic, where Makarov is expected to attend a high-level meeting with other senior officials in his organization. Makarov, however, is aware that 141 is in the city, and, after letting Yuri know he shouldn't have come after them, activates bomb charges intended to kill Soap and Yuri both. Soap saves Yuri's life by pushing him out of the window at the last moment, and is then jettisoned himself from a very high elevation, at which point Soap's previous knife wound is reopened. During an attempted extraction, Soap dies from massive blood loss moments after informing Price that Makarov knows Yuri. Soap is later mentioned by Price when the latter calls MacMillan to let him know that Soap has died and pleads for help in finding Makarov's location. He is mentioned one final time at the beginning of the last mission of the game by Price, who the player takes control of, when he and Yuri suit up in EOD armor, says "This is for Soap."

Other appearances

Due to the popularity of the character, an Xbox 360 user avatar was released for purchase, which allows players to look like Soap. Similar to the Call of Duty character Captain Price, MacTavish appears in a video posted on YouTube by Machinima entitled "Captain MacTavish Plays Halo 3", as part of their Call of Duty and Halo crossover series. The character also appears in the Soap Legend Pack, a DLC for ' where Soap is a playable multiplayer character. This was released on 22 April 2014.
On 22 November a mobile app designed for iOS and Windows Phone entitled
' was released which featured Soap as a character that the player could control once unlocked.
The fourth season of features Soap as a playable avatar if the player purchases the Disavowed Battle Pass. The season also included weapons, equipment and vehicles with MacTavish themed skins.
In the rebooted Modern Warfare, he is among the names up for consideration for the newly assembled Task Force 141.


The character was well received by many fans of the Call of Duty franchise. An online poll on the Guinness World Records 2011 Gamers' Edition which involved over 13,000 gamers voting placed John "Soap" MacTavish in 12th place out of a list of 50 fictional game characters.