M.A.R.S. Ground Forces
"We have no hearts,
we have no fears,
we'll sell you guns,
we'll sell you spears...
we are the Iron Grenadiers!"
The Iron Grenadiers represent the first of a new generation of private armies. When most men in that type of company tend to be satisfied by simply being paid for their services, Destro does one better by making them active participants for his growing arms business. Not content to be merely hired infantry, these men are encouraged to come up with devious ways to convince the clients that their sales and services are needed. If successful in the transaction, their commission is a percentage of gross sales.
Mercenaries are in it for the money; Iron Grenadiers are in it for the money too, but they have figured out they can increase their coffers by combining grunt work with weapons sales. The more they sell, the more they can squeeze out of that commission they get. Now, who do you think is the more motivated of the two?
Iron Grenadiers is the name given to Destro's private army, first seen months after the arms dealer broke his ties with Cobra. The regular infantry of his army was built around a core of Destro's castle guards from Scotland. The rest of the Grenadiers were mercenaries, and included pilots, armored vehicle drivers and a handful of special forces. The army featured all new vehicles, weapons and uniforms designed by Destro himself. Destro's new uniform and that of his Sergeant Major were first seen in the midst of civil war in Sierra Gordo, when Destro supplied both sides of the war and allied with the leader of the Counter-revolutionaries, El Jefe. Destro later hired the mercenary Voltar to serve as his field commander.
A short time later, Destro revealed his entire army during the Cobra Island civil war. Cobra forces had split into two factions; one loyal to Cobra Commander (Fred VII) and one loyal to Serpentor. The G.I. Joe team entered the war on Serpentor's side, and in the midst of heavy fighting, the Iron Grenadiers arrived and simply landed on the beach. Destro kept them out of the fighting, but managed to take command of the airfield. In the end, it turned out that Destro was goal was to bring the Baroness back with him, and use the conflict as a field test of his new equipment and personnel.
A short time later, the Grenadiers raided the Army's Piccatiny Arsenal disguised as Cobra Vipers. A small group of G.I. Joe recruits repelled the assault and revealed their deception. Soon after, Destro offered the assistance of Voltar and his Grenadiers to Big Tep, the would-be leader of a small country in Southeast Asia, hoping for trade concessions when he took control. They eventually fought the Soviets' Oktober Guard there, until a small team of Joes eliminated Big Tep.
The Iron Grenadiers defended Castle Destro from Cobra attack when Fred VII - posing as Cobra Commander - decided to eliminate Destro. After the battle that followed, Destro had won, but took that opportunity to take control of Cobra. The Iron Grenadiers were merged into Cobra's forces and fought alongside them for a time, helping to keep control of Sierra Gordo. Voltar and his Grenadiers captured Sierra Gordo's revolutionary leader, El Jefe and tried to fight off both the Joes and the Oktober Guard before El Jefe was rescued.
Months later, the Joes and Oktober Guard again clashed with the Iron Grenadiers in Sierra Gordo - this time in the nation's rainforests. The alliance between Cobra and the Grenadiers ended when the true Cobra Commander returned and cut all ties to Destro. When he buried several of his enemies in the landlocked freighter on Cobra Island, Voltar was one of the casualties.
Destro gladly retired to his castle in Scotland and had little contact with Cobra until the Commander attacked shortly after the Battle of Benzheen. The Iron Grenadiers fought Cobra's troops but failed to stop the Baroness from being captured and the castle from being destroyed. Destro again retired from business after the Baroness was rescued. The Grenadiers stayed behind in Scotland to guard Destro's family estate. Destro, meanwhile took up residence in his Silent Castle in Trans-Carpathia where he fell under Cobra Commander's mind control and served with him once again.
Years later, Destro finally returned home to reclaim the family business. Recently, a new force of Iron Grenadiers have been spotted at their employer's side.
The Iron Grenadiers currently serve both to defend Destro's personal holdings, and as mercenary troops rented out to whomever can pay their exorbitant fees.
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