Ray Cruz is a Gunnery Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps.
More specifically, he is a highly trained sniper in that branch of the service, perhaps the most skilled there is. On numerous occasions the question of whether he was as good as or possibly even better than the legendary was thrown out and different people had varying opinions but all agreed that there was no daylight showing between the two.
The interesting fact no one knew for the longest time was that they were related. You certainly could not tell by looking. Swagger was Caucasian. Cruz was Filipino. Until the events depicted in the first recorded adventure of Cruz and the seventh for Swagger, the elder Swagger had never heard of Cruz and Cruz only knew of Swagger as a bygone era sniper legend.
As far as Cruz knew, his full name was "Reyes Fidencio Cruz, forty-two years old, father a retired lieutenant commander, U.S. Navy, of Portuguese ancestry named Tomas Cruz, mother a Philippine national, Urlinda Flores Marbella. He grew up essentially on the big naval station at Subic near Cebu City, where his dad became head of the golf club as a second career. The kid should have been a pro golfer. Instead he became a sniper."
That was what Cruz had always believed but it was slightly inaccurate. Tomas and Urlinda were his adopted parents. His real mother was a Vietnamese woman who had married a GI during that conflict but had died during the Tet Offensive while the father was in Laos on assignment. Whatever became of the baby boy they had had was not known. While the father assumed the baby to have died as well, he had somehow ended up in the Phillipines where his new parents took him in and raised them as his own. That father was Swagger.
Cruz was "one of those rare men with a personality of hard metal—unmalleable, impenetrable, unstoppable. Back at battalion, he was called the Cruise Missile. Once fired, he kept moving until he hit the target. Since 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion was a Special Forces–rated unit, it got all the cool jobs, and he was the go-to guy on patrol security, Agency snatch-and-grabs and various countersniper and IED problems. He ran Sniper Platoon. He was always there, in the shadows on the ridge line or the village roof—sometimes spottered up, sometimes not, with his SR-25, a beast of a .308 semiauto with a yard of optics up top—paying out survival for his people at long range in packages that weighed 175 grains apiece. He never missed, he never counted or cared about the kills."