Leroy Jethro GibbsThis is a featured page

Leroy Jethro GibbsCredited to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leroy_Jethro_Gibbs

Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs is a fictional Chief investigator from the NCIS television series by CBS Television, portrayed by Mark Harmon.


An experienced former US Marine recon scout sniper who served in Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Storm and reached the rank of Gunnery Sergeant, Agent Gibbs is a highly skilled investigator and interrogator endowed with virtually infallible intuition. He uses these skills to his advantage while working on a case. He also tends to think out of the command structure if that helps him. In one third-season episode, when he couldn't make a solid case against a gang leader for murder, he allowed members of the gang to see the evidence that the leader had betrayed and murdered their former leader. After Gibbs released the gang leader, his own people killed him.

During his service in the USMC, Gibbs earned a Purple Heart for wounds suffered during Desert Storm.

At one point, Gibbs also served in the Military Police.

Throughout the first three seasons, much of Gibbs' personal history had been kept a mystery — even from his NCIS colleagues. It was known that Gibbs had been married three times and that he once had a romantic relationship with the recently appointed director of NCIS, Jenny Shepard. In the first season, he was also occasionally seen in the company of a mysterious (and never-identified) redheaded woman, suggesting an active personal life away from NCIS, even though his colleagues were never able to identify the woman. The only evidence of an active personal life we do see is his relentless commitment to the building of wooden boats in his basement using only hand tools. As of the fourth season, it is alleged by Director Shepard that he now has a fleet of four. The boats are shrouded in mystery, as it's never been revealed exactly how Gibbs manages to remove the completed vessels from the underground basement, which appears to have only a single small door for access and no windows. Gibbs has been asked to reveal his paradoxical secret, but his reaction, so far, has been to ignore the question.

In the two-part third season finale, "Hiatus," numerous secrets about Gibbs' past were revealed. It was learned that he had a child (Kelly) with his first wife (Shannon) and that both were killed by a Mexican drug dealer while Gibbs was serving in Desert Storm in 1991. This means he has actually been married four times. Upon his return, the NCIS lead investigator (Mike Franks) at the time secretly provided Gibbs with information as to the Mexican's whereabouts; Gibbs subsequently tracked down the man and used his sniper skills to assassinate him. In 1992, he joined NCIS. The episode also revealed that Jenny Shepard was Gibbs' partner when she joined NCIS, before their romantic involvement.

During Desert Storm, Gibbs was caught in an explosion which left him in a coma for 19 days. In 2006, another explosion, caused by a terrorist's bomb, likewise left him in a coma, followed by a period of selective amnesia in which the trauma of his wife and child's death 15 years earlier caused Gibbs to forget much of his life after that point. In fact, he nearly cries at one point because he misses them so much (this is a big deal for Gibbs, who is usually unemotional except for anger and amusement). With the aid of his former NCIS junior partner, Jenny, Donald "Ducky" Mallard, and finally Ziva David, Gibbs is able to regain his memories. When his NCIS superiors are unwilling to prevent a terrorist bombing from destroying a freighter and a navy vessel, Gibbs resigns from NCIS and as the third season ends, he takes up residence in Mexico with his former mentor (again, Mike Franks). At the start of the fourth season, however, he returns to Washington in order to help Ziva clear her name after she is framed for the murder of three men; although he subsequently returns to Mexico, the second episode of the season sees him once again returning to NCIS to assist on a case.

Before the end of the second episode, he has a conversation with Director Shepard, who states that she doesn't want Gibbs back because she's worried he won't be able to handle himself. She states that "you've already been in two comas. You might not come out of the next one." She also argues that Gibbs was "the best. When you're that good at something, you don't just quit."

At the end of the second episode, he is seen sitting at his own desk, after re-organising everyone else's, and the episode finishes with Gibbs saying "What?" and McGee smiles, realising Gibbs is now back to stay. He also sports a moustache, having tidied up and shaved his beard. The moustache is gone by the fifth episode, signifying a return of the 'old' Gibbs, including, as Ducky notes, "his usual impatience".

Since Gibbs' return, Shepard has been keeping certain NCIS operational details secret from him, at one point ordering that all the view screens in the control room "go dark" when Gibbs enters in order to prevent him from seeing details of an ongoing operation. When Gibbs asks Shepard about this, she replies that the operations are "need to know, and you don't need to know". Exactly why Gibbs is being excluded has yet to be revealed. (Season 4 is being promoted as a "Season of Secrets".)

In the fourth season episode "Sandblast", Gibbs has become involved with Army Lt.Col. Hollis Mann (played by Susanna Thompson), who works for Criminal Investigation Division (CID), the U.S. Army's version of NCIS, leading several of his colleagues to speculate that she could end up being his fourth ex-wife. (One wife was killed, he's been divorced three times)


Gibbs tends to be reticent, and reluctant to reveal his feelings. Only Ducky (Dr. Mallard) and Jenny get to call him "Jethro" on a regular basis because they have worked/known each other for a considerable time (at least since he was in Paris undercover) and there is a heightened sense of trust on both sides, although this seems to have diminished somewhat after Gibbs' return to NCIS.

He is mostly called "Gibbs" by colleagues, "boss" by Tony and McGee. He is called "Gunny" by former USMC associates. He has been married three times to red-haired women — his later three marriages all ended badly. The first wife was murdered, one ex-wife attacked him with a golf club (seven iron) and now stalks him on the anniversary of their split, and the other attacked him with a baseball bat. The mysterious red-headed woman who appears briefly to drop him off or pick him up at the end of a case (mostly during season one) is never identified. Jenny Shepard, another former love interest, is also a redhead. A couple of very early episodes suggested an attraction existed between Gibbs and Caitlin Todd, but any possibility of this going beyond flirting and jokes evaporated when he indicated to her that it was a bad idea for NCIS operatives to have a relationship (a possible reference to Jenny Shepard). Gibb's relationship with Ziva is one of trust although he tends to keep her on a bit of a short leash because he knows how dangerous she can be, leading to one investigation in which he didn't involve her in a search for the suspect because she probably would have killed him which Ziva confirms that that's probably the reason. He has also had to remind her more than once that suspects are needed to be brought in alive.

During the first season, Gibbs develops a habit of smacking his subordinates on the head if they do or say something foolish. Tony is the most frequent target of this, though most of the others have all endured their share of smacking as well. Gibbs is not above giving himself the same treatment; in a third season episode he is seen smacking his own head (in private) when he chooses to tamper with evidence in order to protect a marine's career. In the season three finale, "Hiatus", one flashback shows that Gibbs got this idea from his own boss back when he was still a "probie", when his now-eldery boss smacks him on the head.

Gibbs is fond of Abby and regularly bribes her with her favorite "Caf-Pow!" beverage. He is so fond of her, in fact, that when a former date of hers stalks her, Gibbs threatens him by saying "The only reason you're still able to walk is because I never heard about you until today!" Abby is the only person to whom Gibbs regularly shows any affection, usually in the form of a hug or a kiss on the cheek, and she reciprocates just as much. Similarly, she is often the only one who can get away with teasing him. He is particularly protective of her, almost failing to control his anger when she is nearly killed in an episode of season four, "Driven." Professionally, he has a lot of faith in her knowledge of forensics, often relying on her for answers and help in solving cases; he once declared that in the lab, "Abby doesn't have accidents."


Gibbs can be extremely charming in an understated way and has a dry sense of humor. He is unforgiving of his or his colleagues' mistakes and demands high standards of himself and his team.

He is building a boat in his basement by hand; with no power tools. According to the series, he did so after each time he has been divorced. It is also stated that he destroyed each one after it was done. It is also hinted that he names the boats after women he is involved in, and when the relationship ends, so does the boat.

He has a coffee addiction and even has a personal rule about it: "Rule 23, never mess with a Marine's coffee if you want to live". He also appears to be farsighted, as early episodes of the series reveal that he has difficulty reading fine print, though he refuses to wear reading glasses.

Gibbs is usually portrayed as a complex man of mystery and intrigue. He likes to use his marine training to give him an advantage over other people, such as when he silently appears behind people.

When it was revealed that his wife and daughter were murdered by a drug runner, Ducky casually states that they can close the book on the drug runner's disappearance, because there is no way that Jethro would have allowed the man to remain alive. In the same episode it was revealed that Jethro gained access to the case file, crossed the border into Mexico, and killed the man with a sniper rifle.

Whenever he needs to have a private talk with someone, usually FBI Special Agent Tobias Fornell, but also occasionally Ziva and others with whom Gibbs confides, he takes them to his "Conference Room," which is basically just the main elevator of NCIS headquarters with the emergency brake pulled.

Gibbs has displayed an uncanny awareness of his co-workers activities. An oft-repeated scene has Gibbs walking in on his team-members having an off-topic conversation: even though they immediately break off to focus on the case at hand, Gibbs drops a remark later on referring back to the earlier conversation. In "Escaped" 4x02, Tony attempts to replicate this action by "listening in" on their conversation with a cell phone and an opened line. However, Gibbs trumps him after his attempt.

His taste in "pop culture" is rarely discussed; however, in the series pilot, he is revealed to have seen the movie Air Force One with Harrison Ford. A recurring theme is how out of step Gibbs is with popular culture.

In Season 4 Gibbs has been shown to be able to speak Russian as he speaks to the suspect in Russian.


Gibbs has very little knowledge of technology and shows little patience when exposed to tech talk. He often can't or won't work a Palm Pilot, and regularly trashes his cell phone, which prompted his subordinates to keep a stock of replacement cell phones at NCIS HQ. He has trashed the computer on his desk six times, before the NCIS technicians realized that he was "smacking them to make them go faster." On occasion, however, it is suggested that this apparent lack of knowledge may, on occasion, be a ruse. For example, in the second season episode "Terminal Leave", he displays apparent lack of knowledge about the workings of a flash drive, only to later indicate that he knew how to manipulate it. During the previous episode, "The Bone Yard", he prevented an unknown remote computer from hacking Abby's computer by simply unplugging it from the electrical socket.

He needs corrective lenses for far-sightedness, but he is too stubborn to wear them.

He has been known to communicate in American Sign Language with Abby Sciuto.


* Has photo of a headstone on the cubicle wall behind his desk, presumably his first wife's, or daughter's headstone.
* FBI Special Agent Tobias Fornell, Gibbs' friend, married the second of Gibbs' ex-wives (despite a warning from Gibbs that Fornell was making a big mistake); he is now divorced from her as well.
* Gibbs has a silver hip flask, a present from his first wife and daughter; the inscriptions on the flask indicate that he shares his birthday with that of the Marine Corps, November 10th. There is what apears to be an indentation caused by a bullet's impact, suggesting that Gibbs carried the flask with him during Desert Storm. Despite this, his star sign was indicated to be Virgo, putting his birthday in late August or September.
* His middle name, Jethro, is also the same middle name of JAG's Admiral A.J. Chegwedden, another Donald Bellisario television show.
* This is not the first time Mark Harmon has played a detective investigating a crime at a Military establishment. In the 1987 movie The Presidio, Harmon played an MP turned SFPD detective investigating the murder of one of his former colleagues.

Gibbs' Rules

* Rule #1: Never let suspects stay together. - From episode Yankee White (season 1)

* Rule #1: Never screw over your partner. - From episode Blowback (season 4)

* Rule #2: Always wear gloves at a crime scene. - From episode Yankee White (season 1)

* Rule #3: Don't believe what you're told. Double check. - From episode Yankee White (season 1)

* Rule #3: Never be unreachable. - From episode Deception (season 3)

* Rule #4: If you have a secret, the best thing is to keep it to yourself. The second-best is to tell one other person if you must. There is no third-best. - From episode Blowback (season 4)

* Rule #7: Always be specific when you lie. - From episode Reveille (season 1)

* Rule #8: Never take anything for granted. - From episode Probie (season 3)

* Rule #9: Never go anywhere without a knife. - From episode One Shot, One Kill (season 1) and Missing (season 1)

* Rule #12: Never date a coworker. - From episode Enigma (season 1)

* Rule #18: It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission. - From episode Silver War (season 3)

* Rule #22: Never, ever bother Gibbs in interrogation. - From episode Smoked (season 4)

* Rule #23: Never mess with a Marine's coffee if you want to live. - From episode Forced Entry (season 2)

Another one of Gibbs's rules which is used more often than the others, but without a number, is "Never say you're sorry, it's a sign of weakness."

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