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"There is no walking away from us, Fisher! We made you, we own you, and we always will!"
― Tom Reed on Sam Fisher's resignation from Third Echelon.[2]

Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Reed (1971–2011) was the last Director of Third Echelon and an instrumental figure in the Third Echelon Conspiracy in 2011. He replaced Lawrence Williams as Third Echelon Director, who briefly became agency director after the death of Irving Lambert in 2008.

Reed was voiced by actor James A. Woods.


Reed accesses Sam Fisher's personnel file at Third Echelon Headquarters.

Early life

Thomas Jeffrey Reed was born in 1971 and attended the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he specialized in cyber warfare. Upon graduation, he went to work for Air Force ISR. He was then transferred to AFCYBER immediately following reorganization. He was instrumental in preventing multiple cyberattacks against U.S. interests from non-governmental organizations. Reed was later chosen to testify before Congress on AFCYBER activities; attracted patronage of several senior legislators as a result and his career advanced rapidly, eventually being promoted to Colonel. He transitioned from AFCYBER to a new Third Echelon initiative under then-Director Irving Lambert. After Lambert was killed in the field, Reed positioned himself to ascend to the Director position in Third Echelon. He has expanded the organization’s headcount and mission, moving aggressively into preemptive information warfare approaches.[3]

2011: The Third Echelon Conspiracy and the D.C. EMP Event

Prior to the events of the Third Echelon Conspiracy and the D.C. EMP Event, Reed was promoted to Director of Third Echelon after the death of Irving Lambert and the resignation of Lawrence Williams. When President Patricia Caldwell was making moves to shut Third Echelon down, because she thought that the agency was not justifying its funding anymore, Reed responded by planning a coup that involved using three stolen Russian EMP devices in Washington, D.C. to disable the power and the electronic security measures in the city and at the White House. Then, Reed would use the downtime to attack the White House and assassinate Caldwell using an elite squad of Third Echelon agents composed of Splinter Cells personally loyal to him and mercenaries from the private military company Black Arrow.

Reed revealing his plan to kill the President to Sam in the Oval Office, fake captured by Grim

However, things didn't go as planned. Anna Grímsdóttir brought Sam back to foil the conspiracy and coup by extorting him with Sarah while simultaneously fooling Reed into believing that Sam knew about Kobin and the stolen Russian EMPs when he was captured and detained at Kobin's mansion in Malta.

After meeting up with Grim at the White House, Sam went along with Grim's plan for him pretend to be captured by her so that he could enter the Oval Office without Reed immediately killing Caldwell. Sam waited for the right time to strike while Reed gloated. When a window of opportunity presented itself, Sam attacked Reed and, together with Grim, shot and killed all the treasonous Splinter Cells in the room.

After Grim secured the President, Sam interrogated Reed about the nature of the shadowy group known as Megiddo. Although Reed revealed little, he admitted to being the suspected mole in Third Echelon that had caused Lambert to hide Sarah and put her under Grim's protection, and then fake her death. Reed then revealed his motive; that threatening Sarah was just a way to get to Sam, and that leveraging him was a way to get to Third Echelon and Third Echelon was a way to get what Megiddo wanted out of the White House.

Reed's corpse after being killed. Note the iconic trifocals symbol created by the three bullet holes.

After the interrogation (during which Sam left two bullet holes in each of Reed's shoulders), Sam spares Reed, who brags to Sam about having him as a character witness for his trial. This prompted Grim to tell Reed, "There won't be a trial" and she shot Reed in the head, killing him.

As a result of Reed's treasonous actions, Caldwell dissolved Third Echelon.


Reed's psychological profile indicates strong adaptive thinking with some narcissistic tendencies. He prefers hands-on operation and places a great store in personal loyalty. Reed replaced most of Lambert’s appointees in Third Echelon with his own people. However, even his own men may be punished by death if they fail him, he does not tolerate failure. Despite this, he does show some trust and respect to Grim, probably due to her previous history with Third Echelon, furthermore she was the interim director of 3E before Reed took over.

As head of Third Echelon, Tom Reed has a very clear idea as to what the agency – and make no mistake, it’s his agency – could (or should) be doing to protect the United States. Equally at home in the field or testifying in front of Congress, Reed is an operator in every sense of the word. Fast, cunning, and deadly, he’s exactly what Third Echelon needs to lead it in a brave new world of terrorism and information warfare. Reed is a ruthless, efficient, and energetic individual who has revitalized Third Echelon and extended its reach in ways his predecessor never would have imagined – or been willing to do. Then again, Irving Lambert was the man who brought Tom Reed into Third Echelon, a decision with consequences that still occur years later.[4]


Developer commentary

"Tom Reed was sort of the anti-Sam. He’s smooth, he’s a big picture thinker, he knows how to leverage technology and the media to get what he wants. He’s also ambitious. He’s looking to the future and seeing Third Echelon’s place in it.

Part of that is that he doesn’t have a plan. He has an agenda, and he has responsibilities, and he’s got resources – including himself – that he’s willing to use to in service to that agenda. He’s got things he believes in very strongly, and one of those things is that Third Echelon needs to keep adapting and evolving. The agency that he’s in charge of doesn’t have a place for Sam Fisher – it left him as much as he left it – and in some sense the conflict between these two characters is as much about this as it is anything else.
― Richard Dansky, Splinter Cell: Conviction Game Script Writer.[5]


Main article: Tom Reed/Quotes


  • A person named "Reed" was one of Sam Fisher's contacts for the original 2005 build of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction.[6][7][8] It's likely that this Reed was the same character in name but he probably served a different role in that un-released version of the game than the final Reed did in the released version of the game. Same for Lucius Galliard, whose character model (wearing glasses) appears in the demo build.
  • Coincidentally, there is an email in a data stick in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell with the recipient with the first name "Tom" and the sender of the email as "Reed". The data stick is located in the CIA HQ level.
  • Like Lucius Galliard, Reed was affiliated with Megiddo.
  • Reed admits that he voted for Caldwell in the presidential election. This is revealed if the player chooses to ignore two opportunities to grab Reed.
    • If the player chooses to ignore three opportunities to grab Reed, he will shoot Sam and kill him.
  • During Reed's interrogation in the Oval Office, if the player chooses to have Sam shoot Reed twice instead of bashing him, the final bullet hole in his head plus the ones in each shoulder make a triad that resembles the trademark three-dot pattern of the Splinter Cell series logo and the trifocal goggles.
    • The same applies to bashing Reed twice; it is less noticeable, but the bruises on his cheeks and bullet hole in his forehead still form the pattern.
  • Reed was the last director of Third Echelon, as the agency was dissolved by President Caldwell in the aftermath of the EMP terrorist attack on Washington, D.C. and the failed assassination attempt.
  • The SMI database in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist confirmed that Anna Grímsdóttir shooting him is the canon ending of Conviction.[9]
  • Fisher's departure from Third Echelon and Reed was seen in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Echoes.
  • In Java ME mobile, Reed will fly a fighter to confront Sam. This may also be the only boss in the series who uses vehicles as a means of combat.


See also


  1. SMI database in Blacklist
  2. Splinter Cell Conviction - E3 trailer
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Splinter Cell Conviction Starter Kit
  4. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction manual, pp 5
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Dev Blog
  6. Splinter Cell: Conviction presentation
  7. https://forums.ubisoft.com/showthread.php/619627-Old-SCC-build-demo-with-(new-)-intro
  8. https://forums.ubisoft.com/showthread.php/410652-Why-Conviction-is-still-Splinter-Cell/page19
  9. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist (2013).
    Anna Grímsdóttir and Sam Fisher, working together, were able to prevent one of the EMP detonations, save the President and disable Reed, at which point Grimsottir[sic] shot and killed him