William Anthony 'Buck' Rogers is an former United States Air Force pilot and astronaut who, following an accident during a deep space flight, finds himself living in the 25th Century.
United States Air Force
Born in 1957 and a native of Old Chicago, Rogers joined the United States Air Force after leaving college.
Though a skilled pilot, Rogers saw service in the United States Air Force during the final years of the Cold War, when America was not embroiled in notable air offensives, his only option to see "action" - or possibly swift career advancement - being via National Aeronautics and Space Administration's then-expanding space exploration programmes.
Initially shortlisted, he was guaranteed placement on the Ranger 3 mission after taking an undercover assignment on behalf of the United States Air Force to uncover a conspiracy of officers in many branches of the military who - it transpired - planned to engineer a full-scale nuclear war. Successful in his mission, but given the politically-sensitive nature of what he discovered, Rogers was knowingly "debriefed" via hypnotic suggestion to ensure that he remembered nothing of his assignment, his placement on the Ranger 3 deep space probe further guaranteeing that he would be out of harm's way once the conspirators were moved upon by the American government.
Notorious for his many female acquaintances through college and over the years of his United States Air Force service, in the final months he would spend on the pre-World War III Earth of the 20th century, Rogers became greatly attached to a woman he would in later life acknowledge as "Jennifer" to his close friends. Despite the duration of his upcoming mission, Jennifer insisted she would wait for Rogers to return.
The Ranger 3 mission commanded by Captain Rogers was, however, lost in space following a malfunction, and Rogers was eventually declared dead. Jim Peterson - Rogers' closest friend and a colleague in the United States Air Force, was later promoted to the rank of major and was able to access classified files on Rogers' service, believing the falsified documents that painted Rogers as a traitor to his country without realising they were planted as part of Rogers' undercover assignment. Now aware of the conspiracy and believing it to be responsible for the escalation in tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, Peterson recorded a last testament on November 22, 1987 - mere minutes before the final nuclear attack on the United States that would kill him and countless others. In the video testimony, Peterson's final words were to express regret that he mourned Rogers, whom he named as being personally responsible for World War III.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
In May 1987, Captain Rogers is launched into deep space aboard space probe Ranger 3, which is blown out of its trajectory and experiences a malfunction which puts it into a deep freeze. The change in trajectory means that Ranger 3 returns to Earth after 504 years, as opposed to the 5 months originally intended. (Awakening)
Buck was a charming and witty ladies' man, with a strong moral compass and a rigid use of non-lethal weapons, based on his desire to incapacitate rather than kill in a fight.
A pilot and later astronaut, Buck had little difficulty adapting to 25th century space fighters, despite feeling dizzy after a flight through warp gates. Capt. Rogers is also a skilled martial artist and is also very creative. His knowledge of 20th century matters, trivia and survival skills come in extreme handiness to him and to others while he lives in the 25th century. His air combat experience and tactical expertise make him a skilled combatant.