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DHS- Michael Irby on The Unit

Charles Grey on Season 3

Sergeant First Class Charles Lewis Grey (United States Army, callsign Betty Blue) is one of the main characters on the television series "The Unit" and is portrayed by Michael Irby.

Character Summary[]

Grey is a Unit operator whose specialty is electronics, engineering, explosives and is also trained as a medic. He is proficient in many other languages, including Spanish, French, Arabic, and Korean. Before his service in the Army, he was a member of a latino gang called the "Byz-Lats" based in Farmington, Los Angeles.

He customarily uses a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, the same weapon as Hector. His fighting style is based on the Israeli martial art of Krav Magav, a trait based on actor Michael Irby who is a student of it in real life. As a hobby Grey writes poetry. According to Grey, his old roommate Hector Williams considered him 'cheap'.

Grey's appearance makes him ideal for undercover operations, particularly in the Middle East and in Latin America. He can speak conversational Spanish, Portuguese, French, Arabic, and Korean, in addition to English. Like all Unit members, he is HAHO/HALO qualified, and is qualified in submarine lock in/lock out procedures. Despite serving as the team's primary engineer/demolition specialist (possibly having been an 18 Charlie "United States Army Special Forces Engineer Sergeant"), he is also cross-trained as a medic.

Seasons Overview[]

During Season 1, Grey participated in an operation in the fictional town of Wyndham, Idaho, to recover hostages taken by Islamic terrorists. The action incurred the wrath of the FBI, as the Alpha Team LSU members had violated the Posse Comitatus Act. However, Grey and the remainder of Alpha Team were cleared of any wrong-doing.

Grey, in conjunction with Alpha Team, was also responsible for the recovery of a radioactive component of a Chinese satellite, rescuing the drug minister of Mexico, the assassination of a terrorist financier in Spain, the recovery of seven Stinger missiles from Brazilian arms dealers, and the apprehension of a Serbian war criminal in The Balkans.

Grey is also a demolitions expert-during Episode 1x12, Morale, Recreation, and Welfare, Grey, Blane, and Williams were sent to Atlanta, Georgia, to advise the FBI on a bomb threat, possibly a nuclear bomb. Grey did most of the bomb inspections, and was the one that determined that the bomb was not nuclear-the bomb maker had sprinkled plutonium around the bomb in order to set off the Geiger counter.

While in the Balkans, the aforementioned war criminal got a good look at team leader Jonas Blane. When the criminal escaped from UN custody, he tracked Blane back to Fort Griffith, the Alpha Team's headquarters. When Alpha Team went off post to celebrate the marriage of Unit commander Colonel Tom Ryan, the war criminal struck, killing a few workers and injuring Mrs. Ryan and Sergeant Major Blane.

During Season 2, Grey helped prevent the spread of weaponized smallpox throughout the world by members of al-Qaeda. He was also responsible for helping Sergeant Major Blane's wife, Molly, train a young Unit support staffer in offensive driving in order to qualify him for a job with Blackthorne Security, a private military company. Along with Hector Williams, he instructed a SWAT unit in advanced closed quarters battle tactics, and designed the deliberate assault plan for the Braydon School takedown in "In Loco Parentis". He along with Mack Gerhardt, served as a spotter, for Bob Brown and Hector Williams, who were snipers, when they engaged vehicles and personnel at a base during the "Dark of the Moon" episode.

When the Unit was on lockdown pending an Article 32 hearing, Grey decided to escape Federal uniform and civilian custody by going AWOL. His whereabouts were unknown until the Season 3 premiere, where it turns out he linked up with Jonas in Panama City, Panama.

In the episode Five Brothers Grey was severely wounded but survived until the team was extracted by Marines. Though he survived, his best friend Hector Williams was killed when trying to aid him. In the episode Binary Explosion it was revealed that Grey had past history with the Hispanic gang "Byz-Lats" and that his late mother had been the last of his only real family. In season 4, he meets Joss Morgan and falls in love with her. Though it becomes hard for the two of them to marry because of her Russian relations, he and Joss do get married in the season finale.

Possible Season 5 storyline[]

According to the writers in the provisional storyline for season 5 Grey's marriage to Joss Morgan would cause difficulties as she is an independent woman and not prepared to submit to the normal restrictions of a Unit member's wife. With Jonas' retirement and Mack leaving the Unit for a training post Grey is promoted to team leader at the end of the season and trains up new recruits in order to bring the squad up to full strength.

Background information and notes[]

  • According to an interview with actor Michael Irby, Grey has been an operator with the Alpha Team of the 1st Special Actions Group (official cover as the "303rd Logistical Studies Group") for roughly six years, and is single. He is also something of a womanizer, as well as a bit of a hothead; during Season 1, Episode 7, SERE, upon learning that Alpha Team had been "captured" and were prisoners of war, Grey rushed and struck the guard, an action he repeated later in the episode.