Cameron Mitchell had always wanted to be a part of the space program, a dream that would one day lead him to reunite the SGC's most elite team. Mitchell was born in 1970 and grew up in Auburn, Kansas, a small rural town in Shawnee County with a population of about 20,000. His parents, Frank and Wendy Mitchell, have a farm in Auburn where they still live today, and Mitchell has referred to having at least one younger brother. His early childhood was also influenced by his Bible-thumping grandmother, and weekends at his grandmother's house had meant long, long Sundays at St. Hilda's Church of the Grand Epiphany. Frank Mitchell had been an Air Force test pilot, but when Cameron was about 10 years old, his father had been in an accident in which he had lost both his legs. Young Cameron had visited his father in the VA hospital where, a couple of months later, they had watched together as the first space shuttle was launched, a memory that sparked young Cameron's interest in flight and space.
Mitchell graduated from George Washington High School in Auburn in 1987. He had been on the varsity football team in high school and had been involved in his share of high school pranks, including an incident in which he and his friend Darrell had disassembled Mr. Armstrong's car and reassembled it in pristine condition in his classroom, only to have to disassemble and reassemble it once again to remove it. In high school, Mitchell had had a huge crush on Amy Vandenberg, but he had never had the courage to ask her out, certain that she was way out of his league. He always considered her to be the one that got away, not realizing that she had had a crush on him as well and had hoped that he would ask her to the Senior Prom. It wasn't until their 20th high school reunion that they both realized that their feelings had been mutual.
Mitchell followed in his father's footsteps and entered the Air Force. Like his father, he wanted to fly, and after intensive training, which included six weeks' airborne training at Fort Benning, he earned the nickname "Shaft," as in "Camshaft," and a reputation as an outstanding pilot. His true goal, however, was to go into space, and as cadets he and his friend Bryce Ferguson had sworn a blood oath to make it into the space program or die trying. Mitchell would eventually achieve his goal, but a head wound that Ferguson sustained some years later while saving Mitchell's life would prevent him from entering the F-302 program with his friend.
Mitchell achieved the rank of captain and became an Air Force fighter pilot, but during one of his missions, Captain Mitchell was involved in a tragic friendly fire incident. Using the call sign "Mustang Three," Mitchell had been ordered to target a three-vehicle convoy. Although he was taking enemy fire, he waited for confirmation on the target, firing only after the target had been confirmed. Immediately, however, confirmation was lost and he was ordered to abort, but it was too late. The target, a group of refugees, was destroyed. His commanding officer, Colonel Davidson, tried to reassure him that the incident hadn't been his fault, but Mitchell would live with the guilt for the rest of his life, and he nearly resigned his commission. It was his father who convinced him of his own inner strength and his need to remain in the Air Force, always looking toward the horizon.
Mitchell was promoted and selected for a position in the top secret F-302 program at Stargate Command. Some months later, Earth came under attack from Anubis, and Mitchell, as "Blue Leader," led the F-302 pilots from the Prometheus that engaged Anubis's fleet in a dogfight over Antarctica. Mitchell and his co-pilot, First Lieutenant Adam Banks, were shot down in the devastating battle. Banks was killed, and Mitchell, unable to eject, crashed in Antarctica. Gravely wounded, with weak respiration, internal bleeding, and injuries to his neck and back, Mitchell was not expected to walk again. However, his fierce drive and determination overcame the odds, and after many months of intense physical therapy, Mitchell made a full recovery.
While he was still in the hospital, Mitchell was visited by General O'Neill, who reminded him that he could do anything he wanted to do, professionally, and offered him the choice of any posting he wanted following his recovery. Mitchell wanted to be on the front lines, working with the best, and he requested to join SG-1. His request was approved, and during his recovery he was given access to all of SG-1's mission files, which he read and committed to memory. However, when Mitchell was cleared once again for duty and reported to the SGC, he learned that SG-1 no longer existed. The team had been disbanded when Carter had been transferred to Research and Development at Area 51, Teal'c had left the program to devote his energy toward building the new Jaffa Nation, and Daniel had requested reassignment to Atlantis. Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell arrived at the SGC expecting to join SG-1, only to be told that he would be leading SG-1, and that he was expected to select his own team from the personnel files. It was not just any SG-1 team but rather THE SG-1 team that had drawn Mitchell to the SGC, and he made it his personal mission to reunite the team and to "get the band back together."
Mitchell was seen as a hero for his role in the battle of Antarctica, and he was welcomed warmly to the SGC, but convincing the members of SG-1 to return proved to be a challenge. With the arrival of the Priors in this galaxy, however, the expertise of Carter, Daniel, and Teal'c was needed at the SGC, and as they coordinated with Mitchell in facing the Ori threat, the team was brought back together. Carter had known Mitchell before, and as lieutenant colonels of comparable rank, they addressed each other by their first names and shared command of the team. Their mutual respect and friendship only grew stronger with each mission. Daniel admired Mitchell for his strengths as a military officer and his willingness to defer to the expertise of his team, and their friendship developed quickly over the occasional basketball game. Teal'c warmed up to Mitchell more slowly, Mitchell's enthusiasm and humor contrasting with his own silent stoicism, however he came to recognize in Mitchell some of the qualities he had admired in O'Neill, and the two bonded as warriors. Following the destruction of the first Ori supergate and the confrontation of Ba'al's clones on Earth, Mitchell offered an SG-1 uniform patch to each member of his team, and each nodded in silent acceptance. The SG-1 team had officially reunited.
Mitchell's service record is impeccable, and he has shown outstanding leadership skills. For his actions in Antarctica, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the US armed forces. He is an exceptional pilot, and in addition to flying the F-302 in combat he has also succeeded in delicately maneuvering the Odyssey to scoop up Carter from space, even though the ship should not be capable of that kind of control. He has had Special Forces training and is highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat. When he was wounded on P9G-844 and captured by Sodan warriors, he underwent intensive training in the art of Jomo Se Telek, the unique fighting style of the Sodan, in preparation for Kel Shak Lo, a battle to the death. For two weeks he refined his skills until he earned the respect of Jolan, the warrior he would face in battle, who offered him an elixir that would enable him to survive the fight. He has even managed to hold his own in combat with broadswords against a holographic knight, despite admitting to having failed fencing in college, and he has joked that "Broomstick battles with my kid brother and the Sodan ritual of Kel Shak Lo made me the nimble warrior I am today." He has had some medical field training as well, and when Carter was gravely wounded on P9C-882, he was able to keep her alive by tending to her wound and administering medication for the pain. He has also demonstrated a familiarity with riding motorcycles, and he is even capable of swearing in Mandarin if the situation calls for it.
Mitchell's recreational interests lean toward action and competition as well. As a former football player, he enjoys sports and frequently plays basketball at the SGC gym. He prefers jogging and hunting to bird watching, and although he has played chess and poker, he is much more at home with SOCOM 3 on PlayStation. As for his taste in food, he enjoys the occasional beer, is particularly fond of roast beef, has been known to go out for Szechuan, and fondly recalls, as a child, listening to his grandmother and nodding until she gave him a macaroon. He still has a soft spot for the cookies and has even tried his hand at baking them from his grandmother's recipe, with mixed results. His competitive nature often manifests itself in a tendency to confront obstacles with humor, and he delights in trading quips with the villains of the galaxy, on whom his humor is lost. He frequently quotes his Bible-thumping grandmother and has a particular fondness for sports metaphors and pop culture references, from "Buckaroo Banzai" to "Die Hard" and "Sesame Street." His childlike enthusiasm for winning and for new discoveries has led to his catch phrase, "THAT's what I'm talking about!" He even kept score of his trips through the stargate so that the occasion of his 200th crossing of the event horizon became a reason for celebration, much to the bewilderment of his team.
Mitchell's drive and determination have guided him through his life and his career. He admits that he has not mastered the art of relaxation and grows restless with nothing to do. He is much more at ease off-world, in the thick of the action, and it is the hunt that he finds relaxing, in a twisted kind of way. He recognizes that he can be impatient, a character trait he considers a flaw, and he tends to act out in situations where he feels helpless, acting rashly or losing control when inactivity and frustration lead to anger. When the team was stranded aboard the Odyssey for 50 years, Mitchell never could accept that their situation left them no options, and he preferred facing the enemy in battle to remaining trapped with no escape. However, his need for action has also given him the drive to overcome obstacles. He holds a firm belief in mind over matter, and he refuses to give up even against overwhelming odds. Many had thought he would not survive the crash in Antarctica, but after his recovery, a part of him believed that he could do anything. He had made it his personal mission to reunite SG-1 because he wanted to learn from the best. In that he had succeeded, but since coming to the SGC he has come to realize the value of a team, even without a clear chain of command, and he recognizes that he has grown dependant on SG-1 in order to handle the challenges that Earth has faced. So, too, has SG-1 come to rely on Cameron Mitchell.
Portrayed by: Ben Browder
See Also: Military Insignia and Ribbons
Cross Reference: Antarctica, Auburn Kansas, Adam Banks, Samantha Carter, Darrell, Colonel Davidson, Bryce Ferguson, George Washington High School, Daniel Jackson, Jomo Se Telek, Hank Landry, Vala Mal Doran, Memory Implant Device, Frank Mitchell, Wendy Mitchell, Jack O'Neill, P2C-106, Redmond, SG Teams, Shaft, Teal'c, Time Dilation Bubble, Amy Vandenberg
First Introduced: Avalon
Significant Episode Reference: Babylon, Collateral Damage, Stronghold, Arthur's Mantle, Bounty, Unending