Beau Valentine is an agent with the OSS.
With the unusual codename of Crawdad, Valentine is an interesting man as we learn before we actually meet him in the first recorded adventure. The time period for our introduction is the Second World War and the location of our eventual meeting is the mountains near the Adriatic Sea where this 'legend' of that American organization lived with the partisan team he had put together of both Italians and Yugoslavs.
I put the word 'legend' in quotes because we are told by another agent that "nobody in his right mind would relish" having to deal directly with Valentine. "It was universally agreed that Crawdad was the most unpredictable and unorthodox man in the ass [Not sure what that means]. When he was given a job to do, he did not care what rules he had to violate in order to finish it."
In today's vernacular, Valentine was known to not play nice with others, even his own people; "Valentine .. openly professed hatred for all OSS office personnel, except his own case officer". Most learned that if you were part of Valentine's personally picked team, you had a staunch brother-in-arms who would do anything to save you; if you were not, you did not matter.
A clear indication of this comes when an OSS agent needed to contact him while he was living in those Balkan mountains where Italy and Yugoslavia meet; said man injuring his leg and needing medical treatment. Valentine did the stitching up but only after he had placed bets with his fellow partisans as to how fast he could get the work done.
The first adventure we follow Valentine in takes place, as stated, during WWII. The second over a decade later as Valentine is living in New Orleans running a military surplus company doing a very lucrative business especially when CIA operators showed up at his back door needing off-the-books items. "It had been a lucrative arrangement; he made a nice profit, and the Company's selected clients received what they needed".
Sometimes what they needed was Valentine.