Leroy Jethro Gibbs is a former NCIS Special Agent in Charge of the NCIS Major Case Response Team which operates out of the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. Sometime in the early 1990's, he created The Leroy Jethro Gibbs Scholarship Fund.
He held this position up until March 2021 when he was suspended with his second-in-command, NCIS Special Agent Timothy McGee succeeding him as the agent in charge of the MCRT.
In June 2021, Gibbs resigned from the team and NCIS for good, opting to remain in Alaska instead of returning to Washington D.C. and ultimately resuming his career as the leader of the MCRT and also an NCIS Special Agent with former FBI Special Agent Alden Parker replacing him as the new leader of the NCIS Major Case Response Team.
He is a former Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, the son of Jackson and Ann Gibbs, the widower of Shannon Gibbs, father of Kelly Gibbs, ex-husband of Diane Sterling, Rebecca Chase and Stephanie Flynn, the godfather of Amira Shakarji and the son-in-law of Joann and Mac Fielding.
Born in the small town of Stillwater, Pennsylvania on November 21, 1954, Gibbs was the only child of US Army Air Force veteran Jackson Gibbs and civilian housewife Ann Gibbs with Gibbs receiving his first two names in honor of Leroy Jethro Moore, Jackson's best friend and business partner.
In My Other Left Foot Gibbs states that he had an aunt who died at age seven.
Gibbs had a very quiet upbringing but suffered a tragedy at the age of 14 when his mother died of cancer. It was revealed that she had actually committed suicide so that her husband and son would not have to watch her suffer, leaving Jackson a widower and also forcing him to raise young Gibbs all by himself.
Jackson blamed Moore for her death as she had confided in him about what she was going to do and he had not stopped her, with this secret breaking apart their friendship and neither Gibbs nor his father seeing Moore again for many years.
As a teenager Gibbs faced confrontations with Chuck Winslow and Ed Gantry and became captivated by local girl Shannon Fielding, later Shannon Gibbs, who he would properly meet for the first time before being deployed. It is later revealed that Shannon inspired Gibbs to create his rules as she was creating her own set of rules to live by. They later married in December of 1981 and had a baby girl sometime in 1982 whom they would name Kelly Gibbs.
In Semper Fidelis Gibbs mentions that his grandfather had a still and that it blew up once.
After graduating from high school, rather than going to college Gibbs chose to join the United States Marine Corps instead. Gibbs enlisted in 1972 and shipped to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island for recruit training, gaining the serial number 817657329 in which he added a G after to close friends.
After graduating from bootcamp, Gibbs shipped out to Camp LeJeune for further training. There he befriended fellow Marine Joan Matteson, but she was one of several Marines killed in a helicopter crash in April of 1972 after she was deployed to Okinawa, Japan.
Gibbs's early years in the Marine Corps were with the Military Police. He rose to non-commissioned officer rank. Later, as a Sergeant, Gibbs became a Scout Sniper and saw several overseas deployments. In 1989-1990, Gibbs deployed to Panama as part of Operation Just Cause, and then in January of 1991, he deployed to Kuwait with the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines during Operation Desert Storm.
In early 1991, Shannon witnessed the murder of a marine by Mexican drug cartel leader Pedro Hernandez and agreed to testify against him, with her and their daughter Kelly being placed under the protection of a NIS Special Agent Kurt Mitchell. However, Mitchell was shot in the head by Hernandez while he was driving them and died instantly, both Shannon and Kelly dying in the resulting crash.
During his deployment in Desert Storm, Gibbs received the news that both Shannon and Kelly had been murdered. Being understandably grief-stricken and devastated, he was wounded during an engagement and was left comatose for nineteen days. As he had been wounded in combat with an enemy force, Gibbs was then awarded the Purple Heart medal.
Gibbs was an in-patient at Bethesda up until June of 1991. During his recovery process, Gibbs visited the graves of his dead wife and daughter who were buried while he was in a coma. They did have a memorial service for the girls, however, once Gibbs was physically well enough to attend. He also met NIS agent Michael Franks who was investigating the girls’ deaths.
Once he had recovered, Gibbs personally traveled to Mexico and shot dead Pedro Hernandez in revenge. He was investigated for the shooting by Lieutenant Lara Macy of the USMC Military Police but she closed her investigation after learning about the circumstances that led to the shooting.
In 1991, after a final (classified) drug interdiction mission down in Colombia, Gibbs was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps with the rank of Gunnery Sergeant.
Following that, in August of 1992 Gibbs joined the Naval Investigative Service presumably having been impressed and inspired by Franks' actions. He subsequently became a Probationary Agent with Franks handling most of Gibbs' training.
As a probationary agent, Gibbs worked alongside Dwayne Cassius Pride, Dan McLane, Felix Betts and Michael Franks. The posse were dubbed the "Fed Five" and gained national recognition for their work on the Privileged Killer case.
Gibbs also met Vera Strickland, Franks's partner at the time.
After Franks had retired from NIS/later NCIS in 1996, Gibbs began working as an undercover agent. He also traveled the world while serving as a training officer to NCIS Special Agent Stanley Burley.
In 1999, NCIS Special Agent Riley McCallister sent Gibbs to Europe, the destination being Paris, France where Gibbs met NCIS agents William Decker and Jennifer Shepard, as well as Medical Examiner Donald Mallard
During their time in Paris, Gibbs and Jenny participated in a mission with Decker serving as their handler with the objective being to eliminate Russian arms dealer Anatoly Zhukov and his fiancée, Svetlana Chernitskaya. Gibbs managed to kill Zhukov but Jenny hesitated and let Svetlana escape.
Gibbs and Shepard became partners and eventually lovers with the relationship soon ending after Jenny left Gibbs a "Dear John" letter.
Gibbs was later assigned to Moscow where he worked alongside NCIS Special Agent G. Callen.
Later, Gibbs served as an Agent Afloat on board an unnamed Navy ship in the Mediterranean.
Upon his deployment ending, Gibbs returned home and found his then-wife, Rebecca Chase in bed with another man. As such, Gibbs and Rebecca divorced.
In 2001, Burley became an Agent Afloat while Gibbs was assigned to the NCIS Headquarters located in the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. This happened concurrently with Gibbs' divorce from Rebecca, as shown in flashbacks in Baltimore.
While there, Gibbs formed his own team originally composed of former Baltimore Police Department Detective Anthony DiNozzo, Forensics Specialist Abigail Sciuto and Ducky with former FBI agent Vivian Blackadder later joining the team a few months after the attack on the U.S.S. Cole that had killed her brother, Rex.
JAG Season 8
Gibbs made his debut appearance in the JAG Season 8/NCIS backdoor pilot episode, Ice Queen.
NCIS Season 1
NCIS Season 2
NCIS Season 3
NCIS Season 4
NCIS Season 5
NCIS Season 6
NCIS Season 7
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 1
NCIS Season 8
NCIS Season 9
NCIS Season 10
NCIS Season 11
NCIS Season 12
NCIS: New Orleans Season 1
NCIS Season 13
NCIS: Los Angeles Season 7
NCIS: New Orleans Season 2
NCIS Season 14
NCIS: New Orleans Season 3
NCIS Season 15
NCIS Season 16
NCIS: New Orleans Season 5
NCIS Season 17
NCIS Season 18
NCIS Season 19
In the fourth episode, Great Wide Open, the mystery of how Gibbs got the boats out of his basement was finally revealed. It turns out he would break the basement wall to get them out and then rebuild the wall.
A man of few words, Gibbs is known for his glare which can have others whether it be his fellow NCIS colleagues or criminals talking in seconds. He is a gruff man who speaks his mind and has a dislike towards political red tape as well as politics.
Gibbs is a tall man in his late fifties, early sixties with silver and white hair and blue eyes.
As both a former Marine and a former NCIS Special Agent, Gibbs is a man with a unique range of abilities, many of which have made him a great asset to the NCIS agency.
Hand to Hand Combat
During his time in the Marines, Gibbs presumably learnt how to fight and is an exceptionally skilled fighter, able to subdue opponents.
Having served as a Marine sniper, Gibbs is an ace sharpshooter.
In the season 6 episode Heartland Gibbs' frosty relationship with his father Jackson and the backstory behind it is revealed. His father had rarely been mentioned up to that point and Jackson had not known that Gibbs was a "boss" until Gibbs and his team visited Stillwater to investigate a case. By the end of the episode, they make amends and the two have become closer ever since.
Shannon was Gibbs's first wife. They married in December 1981 and had their daughter, Kelly, sometime in 1982. Their marriage was by all accounts a happy one, and ended on February 25, 1991 when both Shannon and Kelly Gibbs were killed by Pedro Hernandez. At the time, Gibbs was fighting in Desert Storm. Shannon witnessed the shooting of a Marine in Oceanside, and she identified the killer as Pedro Hernandez, a Mexican drug dealer working Camp Pendelton. An NIS agent was assigned to protect her, but a sniper shot him in the head while he was driving their van. He died instantly. Shannon and Jethro's eight year-old daughter, Kelly, were killed in the crash.
Special Agent Michael Franks headed the murder investigation. Knowing Hernandez was in Mexico and that they would not extradite him, he allowed Gibbs to look through the file while he took a 'bathroom break'. Gibbs went to Mexico and used a sniper rifle to kill his wife and daughter's murderer.
Kelly was the daughter of Gibbs and his first wife, Shannon. She was born in 1982 and was killed on February 25th, 1991, at the age of eight. Pedro Hernandez set out to kill her mother so she couldn't testify against him. Kelly was collateral damage due to being in the same car as her mother.
In flashbacks, she is shown to love riding horses, spending time with her parents, playing the piano for her father, as well as playing with her Strawberry Shortcake doll. She is also shown helping her father sand the boat in their basement.
Other romantic relationships
He has formed a rather brotherly bond with Tobias over the years, calling the man by his first name on a regular basis and earning himself the title of Uncle Gibbs to Emily Fornell.
The pair were very close, Tobias even hinting at one point that he was aware of Gibbs having killed Hernandez back in 1991.
At one point when Gibbs is pushing him away emotionally - out of guilt - Tobias tells his friend, “Gibbs, this is me! This is me. You do this to other people; not to me."
Past and Current NCIS Colleagues
Donald "Ducky" Mallard
Jennifer "Jenny" Sheppard
Stanley "Stan" Burley
Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo
In Season 7, Episode 12 Flesh and Blood when Gibbs first met Tony's father he gets "defensive" over Tony. Gibbs also "Interrogates" Tony's father about his relationship with his son. In Tony’s last scene of NCIS, he tells Gibbs, “I would say thank you, but I don’t think it quite cut it.” The relationship Tony has with Gibbs is one of a special kind.
Abigail "Abby" Sciuto
The relationship with Gibbs and Abby is one of a kind. Gibbs treats Abby as his daughter and loves surprising her. He would take her out for dinner the evening before her birthday every year, using her first language - American Sign Language - with her on many occasions.
Caitlin "Kate" Todd
Timothy "Tim" McGee
Nicholas "Nick" Torres
Jacqueline "Jack" Sloane
Awards and decorations
United States Marine Corps
Here is a list of awards and decorations worn by GySgt. Gibbs:
- Silver Star (later gifted to Damon Werth)
- Purple Heart
- Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal, w/2 gold award stars (3rd award)
- Combat Action Ribbon
- Navy Unit Commendation
- Meritorious Unit Commendation, w/1 bronze service star (2nd award)
- Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, w/1 silver service star (6th award)
- Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
- National Defense Service Medal, w/1 bronze service star (2nd award)
- Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
- Southwest Asia Service Medal, w/ bronze service star (2nd award)
- Humanitarian Service Medal
- Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, w/3 bronze service stars (4th award)
- Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
- United Nations Medal
- Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
- Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
- Diver insignia
- Naval Parachutist insignia
- Marine Corps Expert Rifle Badge
- Marine Corps Expert Pistol Badge
Gibbs also gave a Bronze Star to Ruby Lemere, the widow of Marine Sgt. Ted Lemere, on behalf of the sergeant's military dog Dex, admitting that it had not been "officially" awarded, indicating the medal was, like the above-mentioned Silver Star, originally awarded to Gibbs.
Here is a list of awards and decorations received by Sp. Agt. Gibbs:
- Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award (7th award).
- Most people refer to him as Gibbs, but there are a few exceptions. His father, Jackson Gibbs, his ex-wife Diane Sterling, and his namesake, Leroy Jethro Moore, called him Leroy. Shannon Gibbs, Donald Mallard, Jennifer Shepard, and a few others used Jethro instead.
- Interestingly, Abigail Sciuto, the former NCIS Chief Forensic Specialist, consistently called him Gibbs despite the obvious close relationship between the two. In contrast, he would call her both "Abby" and "Abbs".
- He knows American Sign Language (ASL).
- He never locks the front door to his house because he has already lost what was most important to him, and everything else can be replaced.
- In season 15 he was seen both locking and unlocking his front door. Even going so far as to give Jacqueline Sloane his keys in Skeleton Crew and telling her to lock the door when she leaves after having just met her.
For a more detailed list, see Leroy Jethro Gibbs/List of Appearances.