- "I'm glad it was you...Lions."
- ―Jennings' last words to Mike before succumbing to his injuries
Wade Jennings (died 2019) was a former Army Ranger and a former commanding officer of fellow Army Ranger turned Secret Service agent Mike Banning. He was also the founder and leader of the private military company Salient Global.
Early Life and Military Career
Wade Jennings was born in England to an expat father. After his graduation from school, Jennings moved to the United States and served with Mike Banning in the Army Rangers. The duo shared a friendship while serving in the same unit together with Jennings as Mike's commanding officer.
After his military service, Jennings founded Salient Global, a private military company based in Virginia. The company had since been sidelined due to the government investigations. In response, he secretly collaborated with the government insider, later revealed to be Vice President Martin Kirby, in a plot to assassinate President Allan Trumbull, who was against using private military companies on missions, and used someone as a scapegoat to be framed as a mole for the Russian government, which would allow the U.S. to retaliate against Russia and have Salient Global mercenaries among them involved in attacking Russia.
Jennings and his head of security, Travis Cole, supervised the training of his former fellow Army Ranger and best friend Mike Banning. Then, he shot a paint ball on Mike's vest, ending the training and even congratulating him for lasting a long period of time. His subordinate Bruno got into the argument with Banning when he confronted him for kicking down the stairs, but Jennings stopped the argument. Then he walked Banning to his car and asked if he could speak to President Trumbull about trying to remove Salient Global from being investigated and Banning says he would try to do that.
Jennings later visited Banning, his wife Leah and their daughter Lynne in their residence. He talked about how they previously served as Army Rangers, making a origami dog for Lynne. In the backyard, Jennings spoke to Banning about how he was feeling about taking the job as Director of Secret Service. He said that they were all missing the action that they did as Rangers.
Days later, Jennings launched a drone attack that killed most of the Secret Service agents and injured both President Trumbull and Banning. He and his men planted evidence using DNA they took from Banning during his training exercise with them, framing him for the assassination attempt. Planning to make him 'disappear' and staging a breakout, Jennings sent Bruno and three other commando teams to capture him, killing his escorting Marshals. However, Banning managed to overpower and killed them.
After the botched operation, his insider berated Jennings for only putting Trumbull in the coma and his failure to kill Banning, telling it was because of his personal connections with him. He assured his handler that he had it under control and he would finish Trumbull soon. He ordered Cole to have the men find Banning.
Unable to find his former friend and learning that the authorities could not find him either, Jennings ordered his men to check out his history and look for clues to find him. In their research, they found that Banning kept an eye on his father named Clay Banning, who was a former Army Ranger and Vietnam War veteran/tunnel rat and is living in the woods in West Virginia. He sent his men to the cabin, but they were all killed by Clay's explosives planted around his house.
The next morning, Cole received a phone call from Frost. Jennings realized it was not their man and had it put through on speaker. Banning confronted his former friend on why he would do all this and Jennings confessed that Trumbull was planning to ban all private military companies from doing mission assignments and felt that he was bringing the U.S. down without their help. Banning told Jennings that he did not have to worry about finding him and that he would find him before hanging up.
While speaking to his government insider who told him that Trumbull had come out of his coma, Jennings watched the news of Vice President Kirby announcing that Banning was responsible for Trumbull's assassination attempt with help from the Russian government, making him realize that Kirby was his government insider and was planning to retaliate against Russia, using Salient Global as the paramilitary organization to attack Russia. He told Kirby that he and his forces would finish Trumbull off soon.
Jennings and Cole learned that the FBI helicopter was coming into their base. He and Cole met up with FBI agents Helen Thompson and Ramirez. Thompson confronted Jennings about when was the last time he saw Banning. Then, he and Cole fatally shot the two FBI agents along with the pilot. Jennings told Cole that they had to empty their base and, once they took out Trumbull, they had to leave the country and disappear forever. With that, they and their remaining commandos headed for St. Matthew's Hospital where Trumbull was being treated.
Jennings had his hacker increase the nitrogen and oxygen supply in the hospital's ICU to dangerous levels, which would destroy the hospital with Trumbull inside. As they arrived, they saw the hospital was being evacuated and blocked the vehicle with Trumbull, Banning, Secret Service director David Gentry and other agents inside. During a massive firefight that resulted in heavy fatalities on both sides, Jennings spotted Banning getting Trumbull to the next building and aimed his assault rifle at the president's head and opened fire, but it accidentally hit White House Chief of Staff Sam Wilcox in the head and missed Trumbull as the hospital exploded, causing it to demolish.
Jennings, Cole and the remaining commandos pursued them to the next building. They noticed some more agents barricaded in the door. After a long firefight, they took them out. Jennings, Cole and other commandos search the office for Trumbull. With no signs of him, Jennings realized that Banning had deceived them as he hid both Gentry and Trumbull in a different office.
After seeing some of his men killed or captured by the joint civil-military authorities, Jennings called the helicopter to pick him, Cole and their commandos up on the building's helipad. After throwing a grenade at Banning to buy more time, Jennings, Cole and the others were about to evacuate when Banning fired the grenade launcher at the helicopter, killing Cole and the remnants of his men.
After a long firefight on the rooftop, Jennings quickly engaged in a brutal hand-to-hand combat with Banning which ended with Jennings being stabbed in the side, causing him to bleed out profusely. Jennings acknowledged his old friend as he died from blood loss.
Prior to his death, Jennings had prepared his most important insurance; storing detailed files of his dealings with Kirby together, allowing Trumbull to arrest the corrupt Vice President afterwards.
Wade Jennings used to be a good man and a soldier when he served with Mike Banning in the Army Rangers, especially when he liked to recall his and Mike's days in the military to Mike's wife Leah during their conversion with the Banning family at their residence. He even gave a origami dog to Mike and Leah's daughter Lynne as a sign of good gesture.
However, the friendship between Mike and Jennings had fallen apart due to the latter's long-term plan of framing his old friend for the attempted assassination of Mike's most trusted commander-in-chief, President Allan Trumbull, an act which led to his eventual death at the knife of his former friend.
It could be implied that he was jealous of Mike as he stated his actions weren't done for earning money from contracts, but because Mike was the one who could work in the Secret Service efficiently whereas Wade and his men couldn't due to Trumbull's rejection of private military companies, which Wade saw as a liability to the U.S and private military companies in general.
Despite this, Jennings did seem to have some regret and hesitation to frame Mike as stated when Kirby believed that Wade's personal connection to Mike might hinder the mission. He also stated that he was glad that his former friend was the one to finish him off and reminded Mike that they do what Army Rangers do before dying of his wounds, showing that despite framing Mike, he still held respect for him.
- Originally, Holt McCallany was going to play the role of Wade Jennings, but was replaced by Danny Huston.
Behind the Scenes
- Angel Has Fallen (First appearance)