Joseph Sheridan is the main protagonist and player character in R.U.S.E..
Impetuous in all aspects of his life, Sheridan will always try to push his enemies to their limits – no matter the risks.
After he failed his first year exams at Yale, Sheridan decided to leave everything behind and enrolled in the United States Army. He served a couple years in Morocco where he gained small victories due to his initiative and courage. In 1941 he became the Commander of the 1st Armoured Division, which he sees as an opportunity to show what he’s capable of. He is not very patient, he wants a quick swift victory and end the war.
Sheridan is seen on a lower end of the command chain of a unit of infantry during the Allied efforts to drive out the 21st Panzer Division. After the initial commanding officers are killed, Sheridan takes command, quickly trying to bring his new force together. A British intelligence officer named Andrew Campbell arrives to tell Sheridan that Allied Command wants the unit to hold a line with help from the 1st Armored, but Sheridan has a better idea: take a stand at Kasserine. Joe befriends Campbell rather quickly by demonstrating his brilliant and daring nature as his men rescue a stranded anti-tank regiment and fight past a German vanguard to reach Kasserine. Sheridan takes command of the defenses and defends Kasserine against a combined attack by Italian and German forces, despite being blind, but not deaf.
Sheridan holds Kasserine and is promoted by the allied commander, Wetherby, though Sheridan doesn't entirely trust the general. Sheridan is giving command of a force of second-rate tanks and given orders to support Free French Forces. Sheridan pushes through the defenses, and uses his men and tanks to rescue wounded French Forces by taking out the Italian HQ. While the British forces and Wetherby's 3rd Infantry advance to finish the Germans, Sheridan takes the initiative and leads a force of men, AT guns, and tanks to destroy the German HQ. This ends up to be a trap however, and Sheridan finds his force trapped in the city. He manages to keep a stable defense up, even destroying a German Tiger in the process. British and American reinforcements arrive and the Germans are pushed out of Africa. Sheridan is promoted to a Colonel for his efforts.
Now under the direct command of Wetherby, Sheridan is displeased with his work, considering it a waste of his talent. During Wetherby's landing, Sheridan and a force of G.I.'s go behind the German lines to block their retreat. But while securing a base, Sheridan and Campbell discover Italian forces. Sheridan warns Wetherby, but Wetherby blows the warning off. The landing soon becomes a massacre. Sheridan, using his scarce resources, manages to defend against a Italian tank assault. Wetherby demands Sheridan to reinforce him, but Sheridan defies these orders, instead launching a attack against the Italians with help from the French. He eliminates their outpost, and uses it as a staging base to attack the Italian HQ. After some rough fighting, Sheridan defeats the Italians and the War Department hails him as a hero, promoting him to a Brigadier General. Aside from more men, he is put in command of a bomber squadron. Kate Garner, a intelligence officer, is assigned to his staff, much to Joe's pleasure and Campbell's disapproval. Using his new air power, Sheridan destroys German defenses so the allies can advance. He uses the same air power to destroy the German HQ, effectively keeping Allied losses low. Despite this, the Germans still manage to retreat to a new defensive line.
In Italy, Sheridan becomes displeased as the Garrison work is becoming boring, and that a new front is being opened while he sits there. He reveals this to Kate, who pulls a few favors for him. He is promoted to a Major General and is tasked with taking Utah beach during Operation Overlord, the famous D-Day. His infantry forces land on the beach and quickly move to establish a beach head. While his men build positions to hold of German counter attacks, Sheridan learns Wetherby, who is control of Omaha beach, has yet to break out. Finally, heavier equipment comes ashore in the form of Shermans and new Greyhound armored recon. He takes out some German artillery and his beach head is secure.
Sheridan learns German forces are prepaing to attack him from the north and from Carentan. This angers him, as Wetherby was suppose to have taken Carentan by then. Left without a choice, Sheridan links up with airborne troops in nearby towns and builds a line to hold off German forces. For several days, he holds off German paratroopers, tanks, and even several captured French tanks. Once Wetherby takes Carentan, the navy helps Sheridan drive back the depleted German forces and the allies go on the offensive. More troops come in, including planes, and Sheridan begins to move out to liberate Valonge while Wetherby comes under attack by German mechanized troops. Sheridan fights past German StuGs, tanks, AA guns, and tank destroyers and liberates the city, pushing the Germans back to the coast. While smaller allied units hold back German reinforcements, Sheridan takes all high command can give him: tanks, planes, artillery, and even the elite Rangers heavy infantry, and uses them to take Cherbourge, a crucial allied target. He wipes out the last of German units, including German heavy infantry and a few Tigers, and takes the city. He is promoted to a lieutenant general for his efforts.
Following France, Joe becomes much more carefree about his job, much to Campbell's annoyance. He also becomes closer to Kate. On the eve of Operation: Market Garden, Campbell resigns from Joe's staff, citing his changed personality and favorism of Kate, as well as Joe's uncaring attitude towards the lives of his men. Joe is unsettled about the loss, but continues on. He takes control of the 101st Airborne Division and with backup from the Irish Guards, takes the first bridge and secures the city of Son, all the while inflicting heavy casualties on the German mobile artillery battalions stationed there. He is wary of the experienced German units in the sector, but Kate puts his mind as ease temporarily. He then takes command of the Irish Guards and liberates Grave from the Germans, and so takes the second and third bridges. Following this, Sheridan takes control of the RAF, Irish Guards, and the 82nd Airborne Division, who has taken Nijmegen, and defends the flanks from savage German assaults while the British move tanks to secure the final bridge. His efforts are found in vain when the British 1st Airborne Division is defeated at Arnhem. Despite his brilliant performance, Sheridan is upset about the failure and about all the men killed. He suffers no punishment, but regardless begins to question his ways.
Joe still sees himself as a failure, despite encouragement from Kate. When Kate leaves, for a promotion she claims, Sheridan is even more let down. Joe is put in command of the 18th Corps, which is stationed in Belgium. He chooses to stay in Belgium for Christmas for unknown reasons. While there, he approaches Campbell, and apologizes for his ways, saying how he should've listened to him. Campbell accepts his apology, and together, the two men try and find out how the Germans have acquired step by step plans of the Allied offensive campaigns. However, German reserves, led by none other then Joe's nemesis Von Richter, attack the Corps. Joe personally takes control of the front lines while organizing better defensives at Bastonge. Despite his efforts, Wetherby (ironically now under Joe's command) allows his own ranks to be infiltrated by German commandos.
As the front falls apart, Joe falls back to Bastonge. Even though support is days away, Sheridan boldly refuses Von Richter's proposal of surrender and prepares to hold out. Against all odds, Sheridan holds Bastogne for several days, despite attacks by some of the German Army's most advanced weapons, including King Tigers attacking his left flank. When General Patton and Field Marshal Montgomery arrive, Sheridan provides each side with air support while they push the Germans back. When Sheridan learns the German's plan to fall back, Sheridan personally takes command of detachments of the British infantry and Patton's armor to ensure that doesn't happen. He orders the 17th Airborne under his personal command to capture Von Richter. Joe is hardly pleased with his triumph over his rival, and instead demands how the Germans came across highly detailed Allied plans. Von Richter reveals two troubling facts to Sheridan: The spy Prometheus is supposedly a double agent, and that because of his (Von Richter's) defeat, no one is left to stop the Soviet Union from capturing advanced German weapons of mass destruction.
For his strength and heroism, Sheridan is promoted and put in charge of the American First Army, the U.S.A.'s front line force. For three months, he pushes into Germany, scoring many victories along the way. High Command even allows him to test some prototype units, such as Super Pershings. In the meanwhile, Campbell sends his personal friend Angie Summers to find the identity of Prometheus. She is captured, however, at Colditz Castle. Fearing she could be killed, Joe leads an all out assault on the region, destroying many German units. The two men rescue Angie, who then informs them about the location of extremely destructive German V-2s near Torgau, and how the Soviet 1st Front of the Ukraine is seeking to secure them.
With blessings from Washington and London, Joe races to the Elbe, managing to grab it first and without conflict with the Russians. In the days following, Germany surrenders, but Joe still hasn't found the V-2s. He learns that the factory containing them is actually in the Soviet-controlled area, and held by rogue German forces. He is frustrated, but Campbell forms a plan. He fetches Von Richter and has German P.O.W.S and their equipment freed, forming the base of the German Transition Army. While Von Richter and his men eliminate the rogue Nazis, Joe himself leads American commandos in a false-flag operation. When they capture the research center, they find out that the Russians are also about to attack it. Sheridan and Von Richter hold off the Soviet assault with the help of recovered German prototypes. They successfully destroy the factory, but find out that several off the prototypes were shipped further into Germany. Joe also finds out Kate was the spy all along. He is unsurprised by these events, and instead focuses his attention on the V-2s.
He learns that they are in the hands of the 8th Guards Army, a elite Soviet force. Realizing that the Soviets cannot hold onto the missiles, he launches a Airborne assault on the region. He manages to destroy much of the Soviet's supply lines, effectively making the V-2s useless for their intended purpose. The Soviet Government declares the 8th Guards Army a renegade unit, and high command approves an offensive. Sheridan fails to convince Kate to surrender, and Von Richter's transition army, Montgomery's 21st British Army, and Leduc's French Army arrive to support him. While Joe, Von Richter, and the British hold back the remnants of the Soviet army, the French hold open a airport for a Nuclear Long Tom to finish the job. Despite the British and French forces taking heavy casualties from the V-2s. Joe holds out long enough for the French to deliver the Long Tom. He fires it at the enemy base, killing Kate, the 8th Guard's commander, and any surviving soldiers.
|“||Take some leave. See Europe, but without the bullets. Then see what Uncle Sam wants me to do next -- maybe in the Pacific.
- Sheridan, after The Grande Finale!
With the secret war over, Sheridan is transferred to occupation duty. He is seen musing about possibly working in the Pacific Theatre.
Although he holds the rank of Lieutenant General (normally indicated by 3 silver stars worn on the shoulders) by the time the fighting in Germany begins, Joe is always seen wearing the 2 silver BARS of a Captain on his shoulders. He is seen once, during the briefing for Market Garden, wearing the 2 silver stars of a Major General.