Career Ship's Sergeant Jelal, or "Jelly" as he was more affectionately known by his platoon mate, was the acting commander of the Roughnecks onboard Rodger Young after the commanding officer Lieutenant Rasczak was killed in action.
After the Lieutenant Rasczak's death, Jelal was promoted lieutenant and took over the command of Roughnecks. The platoon voted unanimously to rename themselves "Jelly's Jaguars". However, Jelal vetoed the notion and the platoon remained the Roughnecks.
Jelly led the Roughnecks on a mission into a Skinnies city to cause panic and destruction on a raiding mission before pulling out on a transport. This mission of his went largely successful, apart from one of his troopers, Dizzy being wounded when his armor was penetrated.
At a certain point, Jelal was injured as he lost his legs in combat. Juan Rico, after completing officer training, replaced him as Lieutenant in command of the Roughnecks. As for Jelal, he was then promoted into a captain, possibly in another unit, with new legs.
- Jelal is a Finno-Turk.
- "Jelal" is an alternative spelling of Arabic name Jalal, which means majesty, dignity, lordliness, and glory.
- Anyone who has made a combat drop with the Roughnecks could call him "Jelly" to his face.
- Starship Troopers (novel)
- "What a gang of apes!" he growled. "Maybe if you'd all buy it this drop, they could start over and build the kind of outfit the Lieutenant expected you to be. But probably not — with the sort of recruits we get these days."
- He suddenly straightened up, shouted, "I just want to remind you apes that each and every one of you has cost the gov'ment, counting weapons, armor, ammo, instrumentation, and training, everything, including the way you overeat — has cost, on the hoof, better'n half a million. Add in the thirty cents you are actually worth and that runs to quite a sum."
- He glared at us. "So bring it back! We can spare you, but we can't spare that fancy suit you're wearing. I don't want any heroes in this outfit; the Lieutenant wouldn't like it. You got a job to do, you go down, you do it, you keep your ears open for recall, you show up for retrieval on the bounce and by the numbers. Get me?"
- "Rasczak's Roughnecks have got a reputation to uphold. The Lieutenant told me before he bought it to tell you that he will always have his eye on you every minute... and that he expects your names to shine!"
- — Sergeant Jelal, before the drop to raid the Skinnies' homeworld, which is the first mission he commands after the Lieutenant's death. Starship Troopers
- -" The Lieutenant wouldn't like it ..."