Echo in Episode 19.
|Affiliations||Koko's Squad |
Delta Force (former)
Delta Force operator (former)
|Manga debut||Chapter 38|
|Anime debut||Episode 14|
|Japanese voice||Kenji Hamada|
|English voice||Josh Grelle|
Eckhart (エッカート Ekkāto?), more commonly known as Echo (エコー Ekō?), was a former Delta Force operator and one of the earlier members of Koko's Squad. He was the first member of the squad to die in the line of duty and was succeeded by R.
Characterized by his open and gregarious personality, Echo believed that a boss should always be smiling no matter what the circumstances. He was committed to protecting Koko Hekmatyar and placed himself in harm's way to ensure her escape.
Echo and Wiley got along particularly well as a result of the former's open acceptance of the latter when they carried out a mission together in 1991 during the Gulf War. Echo's demeanor both before and during the mission played a role in convincing Wiley to join Delta Force. His death had a profound impact on Koko Hekmatyar and she subsequently strove to follow what he had told her, masking her true feelings with a smile and presenting a bold face to her squad.
As a member of Delta Force, Echo was a highly skilled soldier and proficient with a variety of weapons.
During the Gulf War in 1991, Lehm led a small Delta Force team consisting of Echo, Arkin, and Howe that was assigned to destroy an Iraqi chemical weapons plant in the north within 40 hours. They enlisted the help of Wiley and after he was brought by Lehm, Echo introduced him to the others. During the trip to the plant, he got to know Wiley while the other operators remained largely quiet. However, once they were dropped off at the plant Echo's demeanor shifted and he became all business. However, one of the injured guards managed to draw his pistol and was spotted by Echo, who shot him but not before he gots off a shot that grazed the right side of Wiley's head. Despite this Wiley continued to work, amazing Echo with his focus and concentration. The operators were impressed again when Wiley detonated the charges he had rigged to the chemical bombs in the plant, causing it to implode.
Wiley later found Echo at a bar in Fort Bragg having a drink with a lady friend. When he asked for Lehm, Echo informed him that he had been promoted to major before leaving the army and offered to show him where he was. He then noticed the streaks on Wiley's head and was highly amused that the hair on the side that was grazed had stopped growing, so Wiley had it balanced out on the other side by shaving the opposite side in a similar manner. It is implied that Wiley and Echo subsequently joined Koko's Squad after they saw how Lehm was doing with Koko.
About two years before the beginning of the main story, Koko was being pursued through the woods of Eastern Europe by Hex and her team of paramilitaries. Koko panicked while fleeing with Valmet, who was forced to stop and slap her to bring her to her senses. Echo then came across them and promised to protect Koko and not just for the pay. She was alarmed that he had been hit but he told her that in return she had to stop screaming and crying and instead smile, which was how a boss should be. He then confronted Hex after she picked up his blood trail, but she was able to shoot him first. The event was so traumatic for both Koko and Hex that they still have trouble sleeping when the moon is full because it reminds them of that night.
Hill of Doom Arc
After Koko had her men wipe out a local gang that had tried to make a payment with cocaine outside Alexandria, the bodies were buried while she and Lehm stood off to the side. He mentioned that the boss should always be smiling as she had promised "him", although he did not mention Echo's name. Koko replied that one cannot keep every promise.
Anime and manga differences
In the anime, Echo draws a bead on Hex after vowing that she will not get Koko.
- Echo placed 38th in a character poll conducted by Sunday GX which ran from June through September 2012, holding the lowest ranking for a member of Koko's Squad.
- Echo appears during the opening sequence for Perfect Order with the earlier version of Koko's Squad as the only member with his back to the camera.
- Echo and R share several similarities:
- Both were members of elite military units of their respective nations.
- Both were involved in wars during the early 1990s in which the United States was involved in a coalition role.
- Both their nicknames were letter based. Echo's was derived from the NATO phonetic alphabet code word for his first initial, E, while R's also came from his first initial.
- They were the only members of Koko's Squad to die in combat and both were killed in a similar manner by Hex.