The following are some of the named characters from the 501st.
The overall commander of the 501st is General Marcus Caine. He began his career as a young lieutenant as part of a joint task force sent to deal with a tyranid incursion. During that action he was promoted to captain and gained a reputation as a fearless soldier. after seeing how easily the tyranids could slaughter even the most experienced guardsmen once they got close, he decided that it was up to him to make sure that they never got close. He carries a cane in battle, instead of any melee weapons, believing that, if he ever had to use a weapon, it probably meant he had already lost the battle. During these campaigns he also decided that flamers were the best unit to use against tyranids and that ratlings were invaluable against the larger tyranids.
He was transferred to the 501st as a company commander and had required that all platoons in his company include specialist flamer squads. He also persuaded the general to request that a number of ratling companies be attached to the batallion. His success, and tactical genius led to him being promoted to colonel and given command of the first company. When General Cato was killed by an orc warboss, Caine became commander of the 501st. Confirmation of his promotion to general was recieved a year later.
The commander of the first company is Colonel Casca, an aristocratic Cadian who was trained in swordsmanship by the finest fencing academy on Cadia. He is always extremely calm under pressure and loves the excitement of a challenging fight. The first company are assigned to holding actions and make extensive use of artillery.
Colonel Crixus, the commander of the second company, rose from the ranks and is without doubt the most powerful fighter in the 501st. His ferocity, luck and fearlessness has made him a legend on Gwyr and a source of great inspiration to his men. They would do anything for him and his presence always gives them the sense that they can achieve anything. During the war with the Orcs he found himself in single combat with the Orc war leader. Despite the orc ripping his arm off with a power claw, crixus still killed him. No expense was spared in patching Crixus together with extensive cybernetics. (Crixus is equivalent to Iron hand Straken)
Carter was a young sergeant in the Melian 27nd when the Orc Waagh! reached Gwyr. Fighting in support of the Genesis chapter at the battle of Fort Dyggion they were surprised by the arrival of a small, but powerful force of Chaos marines. Nobody knows why the Chaos marines were there, as they had not been seen on Gwyr either before or since. The marines were caught by surprise and suffered badly at the hands of the Chaos forces, and especially their sorceror. Carter’s company had been assigned to defend the fortress, but without the support of they suffered horribly at the hands of the orcs. Only three men from the entire company survived. The sorceror had moved close to the fort and Carter ordered his men to attack. By luck they were able to kill the sorceror, draw the fire of the obliterator and allow the marines a chance to regroup and regain the upper hand. In return for his timely intervention the marine captain gifted Carter with his power fist. Carter was given a battlefield commission. Three years later, when the Melian 27th had been mostly killed the remains of their forces were merged with the Cadian 501st. Carter has continued to have an exceptional career and is now a platoon commander in the 1st company.