Steeler's real name is Ralph W. Pulaski and he was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (just one fact that contributed to his code name). Steeler comes from a middle class family and put himself through college on an ROTC scholarship. Steeler is known to be young and reckless and he often clashes with his superior officers. But he's a "tough as nails" soldier and he proves it on the battlefield.
Steeler serves as G.I. Joe's Tank Commander. He handles the M.O.B.A.T., the Multi-Ordnance Battle Assault Tank. Armor is his military specialty. He graduated top of his class in Armor School and received special training in artillery, AFV Desert Exercises, and Covert Ops.
Steeler was created for Hasbro's G.I. Joe toy line in 1982. His story and character were written and developed by Larry Hama for the toy line and Marvel's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero series.
In the team's early days, Steeler is mostly seen as G.I. Joe's tank commander. When General Austin transfers the original Joe's to administrative duties, Steeler becomes a mechanic and a part of the security detail in the PIT's public cover facility the Chaplain's Assistant Motor Pool. There he becomes the "gate keeper" for Joe's who wish to gain access to the lower levels of the PIT. When the G.I. Joe team is reinstated in the Devil's Due Publishing version of G.I. Joe, Steeler is called back to the team and engages in the attack on Cobra Island.
In IDW's current incarnation of G.I. Joe, Steeler's origin is revised. He is a member of the G.I. Joe team but is working for Cobra as a secret agent. He reports to Major Bludd, and kills G.I. Joe member Breaker in order to protect his secret identity. He goes by the code name Black-Out for Cobra. Eventually, he is killed in an altercation with Lady Jaye, Firewall, and Chameleon when his true identity is discovered.
Major Story Arcs
Steeler appeared in Sunbow's G.I. Joe animated series in 1983. He was a regular on the series appearing in several episodes, still as the team's M.O.B.A.T. driver. He was voiced by Chris Latta. Steeler also appeared in an episode of the television series G.I. Joe: Renegades, this time not as a member of the team, but as an army veteran who was subjected to many Cobra experiments. He was rescued by the G.I. Joe team.
Steeler was first released in 1982 in Hasbro's G.I. Joe toy line. He was re-released with all original members in 1983 with the figure's new swivel arm battle grip. He wasn't released again until 2004 where he was packaged with General Flagg, a Cobra Officer, and issue #5 of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. He also was released as an action figure in 2007 for a G.I. Joe international convention.
Steeler was a featured character in the 1985 G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero computer game.