Captain Harmon Rabb, Junior
Harm, played by David James Elliott, was the series lead and a force to be reckoned with in any situation. Harm was a third-generation naval aviator – his grandfather was killed flying off the USS Hornet in 1942 (“Full Engagement”), and his father was shot down over North Vietnam on Christmas Eve, 1969 ("A New Life"). His mother, Trish, remarried Frank Burnett, a senior VP at Chrysler.
At 16, Harm ran away from home to search for his missing father in Laos (“Déjà Vu”). During that time, he fell in love with a girl in country who was later killed. He returned home without having found any new information about his father. Later, he enrolled in the Naval Academy, intending to follow in his father’s footsteps. A number of his Academy classmates have been referenced on the show: Jack Keeter (“Smoked,” “The Black Jet”), Sturgis Turner (“New Gun in Town”), and Diane Schonke (“Death Watch”).
Lieutenant Colonel Sarah MacKenzie
Sarah Mackenzie, or Mac as she is called, played by Catherine Bell, first appeared in the second season opener, “We the People.” A Marine major and fellow lawyer, she was pulled off another case in order to partner with Harm on the investigation into the theft of the Declaration of Independence. It later became clear that she was assigned to the case because the perpetrator, Colonel Matthew O’Hara, was her uncle. He had helped her overcome a drinking problem as a teenager, and we later learned that her alcoholism was a result of abuse from her father, which drove her mother to leave the family on Mac’s fifteenth birthday (“Rendezvous”). Mac told Harm about a drunk-driving accident that killed her best friend in the episode “Full Engagement.” She was commissioned through OCS (“Ghosts”), and served in Bosnia (“We the People,” “Force Recon”) and Okinawa (“The Good of the Service”) before coming to JAG.
Lieutenant Commander Bud Roberts
Bud Roberts, played by Patrick Labyourteaux, made his debut along with the series. In the pilot episode, Bud was a lowly ensign and the Public Affairs Officer aboard the USS Seahawk. He made one more appearance, in the first season's final episode, "Skeleton Crew". When CBS picked JAG up for a second season, the character was brought back as a lieutenant, junior grade, and assigned to Harm's section.
Over the course of the next nine seasons, Bud got married and became a lawyer and a father. By the time the series ended, Bud was the proud father of four children, three boys and a girl, the youngest two a set of twins. Just after the middle of season seven, Bud returned to sea duty as the JAG officer aboard the USS Seahawk. In the season seven finale, he lost his leg to a landmine. Despite the severity of his injury, Bud was able to remain an active duty JAG officer and due to the efforts of Admiral Chegwidden, Bud was promoted to Lieutenant Commander at the end of season nine ("Hail & Farewell").