Mitch Rapp

Mitch Rapp is a character in a series of books by Vince Flynn. He works for the CIA as an operative for a covert counterterrorism unit called the "Orion Team."


Rapp attended Syracuse University, where he majored in international business and minored in French. He attended the college on a lacrosse scholarship and was All-American. Rapp was also offered a scholarship by the University of North Carolina, but turned that one down because his high school sweetheart Maureen "the Dream" Eliot was attending Syracuse with the hope of getting into broadcasting. Maureen, who Rapp had known since he was fifteen years old, was killed in the December 21, 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. She had been one of thirty-five Syracuse students returning from a semester overseas.

Nearly a year after Maureen's death, Rapp was recruited into the CIA by Irene Kennedy. He began training the week after graduating from Syracuse. Only twenty-one years old at the time, Rapp did not go through the standard CIA training program at "The Farm," outside Williamsburg, Virginia. Instead, for a year straight he was shuttled from one location to the next, sometimes spending a week, sometimes a month. The bulk of the training was handled by Special Forces instructors who taught him "how to shoot, stab, blow things up, and even kill with his bare hands." In other words, he was schooled in firearms and marksmanship, hand to hand combat, and explosives. Endurance was stressed. There were long swims and even longer runs. Between all the heavy lifting, they worked on his foreign language skills. Since he had minored in French at Syracuse, within a month at the CIA he was fluent in the language. He was then taught Arabic and Persian and can passably speak Urdu and Pashto.

Rapp then became an operative of the Orion Team, a highly secretive organization supported by the CIA but outside the Agency. It is funded by money that has been diverted out of congressionally funded programs. The job of the Orion Team in a nutshell is to take the war to the terrorists. It was formed in response to the Lockerbie disaster by the then CIA director of operations Thomas Stansfield. The unit operates in secret, independent of the U.S. national security apparatus and circumvents the leviathan of politics and gets around small impediments like the executive order banning assassinations. The team is headed by Rapp's recruiter, Irene Kennedy, whose official role is as director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center.

Rapp has been the Orion Team's star operative almost from the day he started and has been honed into the most effective counterterrorism operative in America's arsenal. He's spent significant amounts of time in Europe, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia collecting intelligence and when the situation called for it, dealing with threats in a more final manner.

Officially, Rapp has nothing to do with the U.S. government. He is what they like to refer to in the business as a private contractor. Rapp lives a life completely separate from the Agency. His cover is that of a successful entrepeneur. With the help of the CIA, he runs a small computer consulting business on the side that just happens to do a fair amount of international business, which gives him the cover to travel frequently. To keep things legitimate, Rapp often does indeed conduct business while abroad.

One of Rapp's aliases is Mitch Kruse. In the special ops community he is often known only by his call sign, "Iron Man" after the annual Ironman Triathlon in which he has participated on several occasions and has twice won. His only remaining family is his brother, Steven Rapp, a millionaire financial genius. Mitch and Steven grew up in McLean, Virginia.

Along with French, Arabic, Persian and English, Rapp is also fluent in Italian. He is also ambidextrous, but naturally left handed. Tragically, his wife, Anna Reilly, was killed in an explosion orchestrated by an assassin hired by a wealthy Saudi prince. Following the incident, Rapp went dark and was unheard from for months. He re-emerged in the intelligence community after a car bombing killed a presidential candidate's wife. Rapp's current residence is unknown, though he does maintain a safe house within the Washington, D.C. area.

Throughout the books, Rapp works with several special operations units including Navy SEALs and DEVGRU, Delta Force, Air Force Special Tactics, the Hostage Rescue Team of the FBI, and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). He also has close ties with "SEAL Demolition and Salvage Corporation," a private military company specializing in underwater salvage such as getting rid of debris for ports and shipyards and training law enforcement divers, but whose employees also work from time to time as freelance operatives for the CIA. The company is owned and operated by Scott Coleman, former commanding officer of SEAL Team Six and friend of Rapp.

Books Appeared In

Term Limits

(1999) -- Mitch Rapp did not appear in this book, Vince Flynn's first major novel. However, several key characters in the Rapp books are present, including CIA director Thomas Stansfield, future CIA director and leader of the CIA's counter-terrorism center Dr. Irene Kennedy, FBI Special Agent Skip McMahon, and former commander of the Navy SEAL's Team Six, Scott Coleman.

Transfer of Power

(2000) -- Islamic terrorists have taken over the White House. The President is safely evacuated to a bunker inside the White House. Things are not always as they seem, it is soon learned that his safety is in jeopard and over 70 hostages are still inside. The clock is ticking in-favor of the Terrorist and if nothing is done soon the President and the hostages will be lost. CIA operative Mitch Rapp is tasked to observe from the inside and act if necessary. However, he quickly finds that in Washington, nothing is as simple as it seems, for there are people who are willing to use the hostages as pawns in their power struggle, and pawns can be sacrificed...

The Third Option

(2001) -- Beyond diplomacy and military intervention, there is the third option. Sinister forces wish to discredit the existing CIA chief and deputy chief as a part of a power struggle. Their perfect plan: set up top CIA operative Mitch Rapp on a "third option" mission to fail, and let Rapp take the blame. Their only mistake: they picked the wrong man to betray...

Separation of Power

(2002) -- Dr. Irene Kennedy, now head of the CIA, has many enemies, and those enemies wish to destroy both her and the President in a daring plot. In the Middle East, Saddam Hussein is developing a nuke, and Israel vows to launch a preemptive strike if the nuke is ever completed. Can CIA Operative Mitch Rapp destroy Saddam's plans before the Middle East is plunged into war while unraveling the sinister plots developing at home... in only 2 weeks?

Executive Power

(2003) -- A disgruntled congressman has destroyed Mitch Rapp's CIA operative career by outing him on National TV, and marking him for death by almost every terrorist who owns a television. Now Mitch Rapp must adjust to a new life as a CIA analyst/adviser, while attempting to plug a leak in the State Department that led to an ambush of a US Navy SEAL team in the Philippines. But in the shadows looms a madman and his assassin, ready to ignite another world war, and Mitch Rapp is the only one in their way.

Memorial Day

(2004) -- Mitch Rapp leads a daring raid on an Al Qaeda stronghold on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and reveals the unthinkable: Al Qaeda has obtained a nuke, and the target is Washington D.C., on Memorial Day. As the government debates on a course of action, Mitch Rapp is chasing leads and suspects across the globe. When the nuclear material is intercepted, everyone breaths a sigh of relief, but Mitch Rapp can't help but think... what if there is more than one?

Consent to Kill

(2005) -- A Saudi billionaire vows vengeance on Mitch Rapp after his son was killed by Rapp for the plot to nuke Washington D.C.. However, he's not the only one who wishes to see Mitch Rapp gone. For Rapp has made too many enemies in his effort to save the nation from Armageddon. This time, the international conspiracy may be bigger than even Rapp's ability to unravel...and the consequences could be devastating.

Act of Treason

(2006) -- Mitch Rapp makes another major appearance in this story about a conspiracy by very high officials to passively rig a presidential election by launching a false terrorist attack on one of the candidates, granting him a strong sympathy vote and propelling him to the Oval Office. Rapp, still mourning the terrible loss he suffered in "Consent to Kill", must work to save the nation from corruption and evil once more.

Protect and Defend

(2007) -- After the Israelis take out the Iranian nuclear complex with a brilliant strike using a deep undercover agent, the Iranians blame the U.S. and launch proactive attacks on the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf, and threaten to unleash a worldwide terrorist attack. Mitch has a plan to thwart the Iranians and embarrass them by exposing their lies at the U.N. General Assembly. But, before he can complete his mission, he must deal with a Palestinian terrorist that is playing and being played by the highest levels of the Iranian government. This fictional terrorist, "Imad Mukhtar," descried as "chief of operations" for Hezbollah, is almost certainly modeled on the real person Imad Mughniyah. At the end of the book, Rapp rescues CIA director Kennedy, whom Mukhtar had helped to kidnap, also incriminating an Iranian moderate whom Rapp had come to trust. After Rapp puts an end to the conspiracy, Mukhtar is captured and placed in a temporary lockup, awaiting transfer to a more secure facility. Finally, Rapp bribes the warden of the facility and enters Mukhtar's cell, ruthlessly ambushing and strangling the defenseless Mukhtar. Like the fictional Imad Mukhtar, Imad Mughniyah was also highly sought after and was also assassinated, though in a different manner.

Extreme Measures

(21-Oct-2008) -- Now, with Rapp away on assignment in Pakistan, CIA Director Irene Kennedy turns to his protégée Mike Nash. Nash has served his government honorably for sixteen years -- first as an officer in the Marine Corps and then as an operative in an elite counterterrorism team run by none other than Mitch Rapp. He has met violence with extreme violence and has never wavered in his fight against the jihads and their culture of death.

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