LaRocha's been with Shadow Strike from almost its inception, working deep penetration missions in the jungle, waging bush wars that sprung up around the globe quicker than anyone could beat them back down again. They were straight military - elite Special Forces recon - but the more they fought and bled, the more they wondered what it was all for. They found themselves acting as combat advisors and training up local militias of wherever they were into something resembling a professional army. Six months, and a coup d'etat or two later, they'd be back in the bush, fighting their former protégés, as sides and agendas changed and one dying bush war flared up into a brand new one.
When they weren't doing that, they were watching private security outfits - would-be hard-asses who weren't fit to clean any of Shadow Strike's boots, but who were still pulling down about ten times their weekly pay - getting handed lucrative Federal contracts to guard diplomats and embassy compounds, while LaRocha and his comrades were still sent out to do the actual fighting.
It was the school bus massacre that precipitated LaRocha's departure from the military. One of those private security details was running escort, babysitting the latest group of business class ambulance chasers round the warzone as the corporates chased after those big military supply contracts that were being handed out by the Federal government. Someone in their security detail got an itchy trigger finger and misread a signal somewhere. Eighteen of the local civilians, including twelve kids on a passing school bus, died in the resultant crossfire that wasn't any kind of crossfire at all - just some bunch of glorified weekend warriors blasting away on full auto at an enemy that was never even there in the first place.
The locals wanted blood. The Feds did what they did best, closing ranks and tightening the diplomatic screws, riding roughshod over the locals' complaints. The guys actually responsible were confined to their luxury hotel until the next thing came along to blow the matter out of the headlines. They sat in the bar, laughing and joking, still on full pay.
LaRocha was a soldier. He killed people - other armed men who were trying to kill him - on his government's orders, and made no apology for it. He didn't know what to call these guys. Not soldiers, that's for sure. He knew what to do with them, though.
The Feds decided to bring the security consultants out of the country. Someone found out the route they were taking to the airport. Someone was waiting for them. The men in the convoy were heavily armed, and had military training. That's a lot better chance than they gave the kids in that school bus. It didn't matter. Whoever was waiting for them was a lot better at this kind of work than they were.
No-one ever found out who had carried out the ambush. Local insurgents were blamed. A couple of months later, LaRocha's final tour of duty ended, and he left the military without a backwards glance. A couple of months later, the core of Shadow Strike - Grissom, Templeton and the others - had joined him, and they were going into private business for themselves. No more bush wars or Fed-funded security details, though. Domestic and corporate, that was the client list they were going after.
San Paro's the warzone now. Grissom handles the wetwork and street patrol stuff. LaRocha volunteered to be Praetorian liaison at the CSA Facility. The place is full of barely-regulated vigilantes and run by a Fed, the old man Holland. LaRocha's seen first hand what happens when Feds put guns into the hands of poorly-trained assholes and let them onto the streets of a city full of normal people. That's why he wants to be there on-site.
He's used to training up local militias into something resembling professional soldiers. Same difference here. No more school bus massacres by trigger-happy yahoos, not on his watch.