German Shepherd served as the supreme commander of the US and coalition military forces in the Middle East during the course of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, including the Marine Force Recon forces killed when Al-Asad detonated a nuclear weapon in the capital city. It was possible he was callsign "Overlord", the voice heard in Shock and Awe. After losing 30,000 troops as a result German Shepherd became disenchanted with the world, seeking a way to fully unleash the military might of the United States, as well as spark a restoration of American power and influence around the world, something he felt had waned in recent years.
To accomplish this, G Shepherd needed an enemy, something to rally the entire nation behind him. To that end, he began to work with Russian Ultranationalist Vladimir Makarov to sow the seeds. Shepherd becomes the commanding officer of Task Force 141 with the intent of "stopping" Makarov and handpicks Joseph Allen to be an undercover agent. It is later implied that Shepherd revealed Allen's undercover status to Makarov to facilitate a war between Russia and the United States. As a result, the United States is invaded, and in response, Shepherd is named supreme commander of all US military forces around the globe, just as he had planned. With the full power of the 2.5 million soldiers of the US armed forces at his fingertips, Shepherd was in a perfect position to realize his ultimate goals: to make the United States the mightiest power on the planet, and style himself as the hero who made it so. While doing so he procures another team of elite US Military soldiers to be part of his Shadow Company, their goal is to do General Shepherd's bidding no matter what.
Shepherd later deploys Task Force 141 to recover intelligence pertaining to his scapegoat, Vladimir Makarov. Shepherd eventually reveals his true colors when he executes Ghost and Roach in the Caucasus mountains after the latter raid an Ultranationalist safehouse and retrieve intelligence that could implicate him, and attempts to have his Shadow Company men assassinate Captain Price and Captain "Soap" MacTavish in Afghanistan. With his status as a war hero secured, the ruthless officer betrays his Ultranationalist partners, both in an attempt to remove any last link to his treacherous actions and the deaths that resulted from them, and to gain further glory as the man who brought down Makarov. Makarov survives his betrayal, however, and prepares to go into hiding, while Price and MacTavish figure out Shepherd's agenda and attack his base in the Afghan cave system known as Site Hotel Bravo.
Shepherd escapes Site Hotel Bravo with Soap and Price in hot pursuit. After having his helicopter shot down, MacTavish and Price's speed boat plunges into the water falls below. An injured and dazed MacTavish attempts to kill Shepherd with a knife, only for Shepherd to take down MacTavish and stab him in the chest. Shepherd later attempts to execute MacTavish, only for Price to intervene in a hand-to-hand fight. Just as Shepard gains the upper hand due to Price being weakened from plunging off the waterfalls, MacTavish removes the knife from his chest and throws it into Shepherd's left eye socket.http://
- "We are the most powerful military force in the history of man. Every fight is our fight. Because what happens over there matters over here. Learning to use the tools of modern warfare can mean the prospering of your people, and utter destruction. We can't give you the tools to survive, but we can give you the know-how to use them, and that's worth more than a whole army base of steel. Sure it matters who's got the big stick, but it matters a hell-of-a lot more who's swinging it. History is written by the victor. Let's get to work." :— Shepherd discussing the military might of the United States, during the briefing of Team Player
- "Get up, Private Allen! Rangers lead the way!" :— Shepherd telling Joseph Allen to go with the rest of the Rangers
- "Five years ago, I lost 30,000 men in the blink of an eye. And the world just fuckin' watched. Tomorrow there will be no shortage of volunteers, no shortage of patriots. I know you understand." :— Shepherd before attempting to execute "Soap" MacTavish
- "We're gonna re-write history, gentlemen." :— Shepherd
- "Since when does Shepherd care about danger close?" :— Cpl. Dunn in Team Player and Captain Price in Endgame http://
- General Shepherd wears JFKSWCS (John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School), the Joint Special Operations School located at Ft. Bragg, patches which would normally mean he is the head of the school, though why he has one as a deployment patch is a mystery, since it is a school, as it hardly ever deploys personnel.
- It is unknown why Shepherd is selected as the US supreme commander, as he isn't the highest ranking military general being a Lieutenant General. Normally a high rank general is given that honor. Perhaps after the events of "Shock and Awe" Shepherd had warned America about the threat of the Ultranationalists but his warnings went unnoticed given that they still exist 5 years later. Only until the Ultranationalists instigated a war did they listen and in order to make it up to him for his insight they gave him the position and the blank check.
- Shepherd is a man known by his men (Cpl. Dunn and Captain Price pronounced the exact same sentence at different moments) for not caring about the safety of his soldiers, especially during artillery fires. As seen in the picture, he doesn't concern himself much with his own safety either.
- After you chase down Shepherd, you can see the multiplayer map "Rust" in the background.
- No matter where you aim the throwing knife in Endgame, it will always land in his eye.
- When you approach Shepherd, hide behind cover with the barrel and wait a moment, he opens a conversation with you, as long as you don't get too close to him. He says: "You know what they say about revenge... you better be ready to dig two graves... Go ahead and end it. It won't change anything. Hmph... I knew you couldn't do it. You're a good warrior... but you could never take that extra step... to do what was absolutely necessary."
- Despite being a high-ranking officer who is rarely in battle, Shepherd seemed to have great skill in hand-to-hand combat, which is shown when he countered Soap's attack on him, and when he engaged Price in a fist fight. Although both Price and MacTavish were already injured from plunging downwards off a waterfall.
- He is also the first main villain to be American as he is secretly manipulating the storyline from behind the scenes, until he executes Ghost and Roach where he reveals his true motives.
- Although part of his motivation is based off losing Marines to the nuclear blast in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, this is inaccurate as an Army officer would never be in command of a Marine Expeditionary Unit. The only way an Army officer could have operational control of a Marine Corps unit would be at the theater/regional level, such as CENTCOM, which is commanded by a full General (four stars), not a Lieutenant General (three stars). It is possible he was demoted as a result of the nuclear explosion. That would mean he is the second character to be demoted in the Call of Duty series, the first being Guzzo. This might also suggest that Army teams were present at the site during the explosion.
- His name is ironic. A shepherd is a sheep caretaker, similar to what a general does to his troops. It is shown many times that he never cares about his soldiers.
- Another officer with the surname "Shepherd" is mentioned in Call of Duty Classic, when the player must ride through Enemy lines in a civilian vehicle with Sergeant Moody and Private Elder, although this Shepherd is a Major.
- If you walk around the car and place yourself behind the barrel with Shepherd on the other side, it is possible to attack and hurt him. Strangely enough you hear the sound of him being hurt and even see blood coming out but he does not die or even flinch no matter how many times you do it.