Leroy Jethro Gibbs (AKA Gunnery Sergeant Alvin Thomas, Boss or Leland Robert Spears) is a former Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps who is now an NCIS Special Agent assigned to the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. and the current leader of the main NCIS Major Case Response Team.
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.
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 1982 and had a baby girl in 1984 whom they would name Kelly Gibbs.
After graduating from high school, Gibbs was given the option of going to college but chose to join the United States Marine Corps instead. Gibbs enlisted in 1976 and shipped to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island for recruit training. There he befriended fellow marine Joan Matteson, but she was one of several marines killed in a helicopter crash in 1977 after she was deployed to Japan.
Gibbs' early years in the Marine Corps were with the military police. He rose to non-commissioned officer rank and was stationed at Camp Lejeune at one point. Later, 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 1990-1991, he deployed to Kuwait with the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines during Operation Desert Storm.
Around 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 killed by Hernandez while driving them and died instantly with both Shannon and Kelly dying in the crash.
During his deployment in Desert Storm, Gibbs received the news that both Shannon and Kelly had been murdered. Despite being grief-stricken and devastated, Gibbs opted to stay and fight. 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 awarded the Purple Heart medal.
During his recovery process, Gibbs visited the graves of his dead wife and daughter. He also met NIS agent Michael Franks who was investigating their 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 1992, Gibbs was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps with the rank of Gunnery Sergeant.
Following that, Gibbs joined the Naval Investigative Service- NIS, presumably having been impressed and inspired by Franks's actions. He subsequently became a Probationary Agent with Franks handling most of Gibbs's own training.
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 Dr. 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 fiancee, 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.
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.
Gibbs is a tall man in his late fifties, early sixties with silver or white hair and blue eyes.
Hand to Hand Combat
Past and Current NCIS Colleagues
Stanley "Stan" Burley
Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo
Abigail "Abby" Sciuto
Donald "Ducky" Mallard
Caitlin "Kate" Todd
Timothy "Tim" McGee
Nicholas "Nick" Torres
Jacqueline "Jack" Sloane
Jennifer "Jenny" Sheppard
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/1 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).
For a more detailed list, see Leroy Jethro Gibbs/List of Appearances.