- "You don't get me. No, you don't get me. You non-operators, you sit on the sidelines and you judge us in the field. You have no idea what it's like. The hard decisions we have to make every day going downrange, and the consequences that we have to live with forever. I'm speaking for anyone who's ever had to do this job."
- —Steve McGarrett in Pale'la (Buried Secrets)
Lieutenant Commander Steven Jack "Steve" McGarrett is a former Navy SEAL who founded and led the Hawaii Five-0 Task Force for ten years before resigning to move to New Jersey. Steve is the son of John McGarrett and Doris McGarrett and older brother of Mary Ann McGarrett.
Steve had a happy childhood and enjoyed spending time in the garage watching his father fix the his 1974 Mercury Marquis. A star quarterback, he attended Kukui High School when his mother Doris was murdered in a staged car accident in April 1992 when Steve was fifteen. This prompted his father John to send him and his little sister Mary away to the mainland for their own safety. Mary went to live with John's older sister Debora, and Steve was sent to the Army and Navy Academy in California for his junior and senior years. This led to a decade-long period of estrangement between John and his children, as Steve and was in BUD/S in 2000. In the Season 6 episode Ka Pohaku Kihi Pa'a / The Solid Cornerstone, Steve admitted that he deeply regretted not patching things up with his father when he had the chance to.
After returning to Hawaii, McGarrett moved into his childhood home on the beach, where his father still lived in after the break-up of their family. Although a haole, Steve is accepted as kama'aina as he was born and raised on Hawaii, respecting and embrace the local culture, and can even speak "bird" (Hawaiian Pidgin). Evidenced by his friendship with Mamo Kahike and the deference shown to him by Kapu leader, Kawika and Kamekona Tupuola, who affectionately call him "the big kahuna".
He graduated from the United States Naval Academy and went on to have a distinguished career. Governor Pat Jameson once outlined his resume: "Amphibious, five years Naval Intelligence, six years with the SEALs. Your superiors say that you are the best they have ever seen." Steve graduated from BUD/S Class 203 at the top of his class. His time in the military is largely unknown due to the highly classified nature of most of his missions. It was mentioned that he has been deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and North Korea, served on board the U.S.S. Enterprise, and stationed at Coronado at some point in his career and was known by the nickname "Smooth Dog".
Steve is multilingual and is mainly conversant in Asian languages; he understands Pashto (he did several tours in Afghanistan), speaks and reads Mandarin fluently and knows conversational Korean and Japanese. He is friends with former Navy SEAL Senior Chief Petty Officer, now NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna, and Delta Force operator, now Phoenix Foundation agent Jack Dalton. Due to his intelligence and special ops background, he is well-connected to high-ranking officials in the United States Navy and the Central Intelligence Agency, which he has used to his advantage on several occasions. Prior to his father's murder, he served on a Black Op with his best friend, Freddie Hart, but the mission went south and Hart was killed; his body was not recovered for 3 years when Steve personally flew to North Korea to oversee the repatriation. A year later, he admits to Lou Grover that after Hart's death, the Navy "didn't feel the same" anymore and that he jumped at the chance to leave when Governor Jameson asked him to set up the task force.
Steve uses the same weapons he used as a SEAL including a SIG Sauer P226 Navy as his sidearm as well as the Heckler & Koch MP5K and MP7 sub-machine guns, and HK416 assault rifle.
Besides his father's vintage Marquis, Steve drives a blue Chevrolet Silverado. Its license plate registration number is F6-3958, which was also used by Jack Lord's character in the original series. In Season 7, the blue Silverado is torched by Madison Gray and later replaced with a silver model. In Season 10, the silver Silverado is replaced with a red 2019 Silverado.
In the Pilot, Steve is transporting a prisoner in Pohang, South Korea. Anton Hesse, who McGarrett has been tracking along with his brother Victor Hesse for over five years, is an international arms dealer. Hesse taunts Steve just as his cell phone rings and Steve looks to see the caller ID is his father John. He answers the phone to find Victor Hesse on the other end. Victor explains that Steve will release Anton and his father will live. John McGarrett asks to talk to his son and when Victor puts the phone up to him, he tells Steve, "Listen to me, Champ" and admits that he lied to him. He further states that he loves him and then tells Steve to do the right thing.
Victor hangs up the phone and Anton looks at Steve as the first transport is blown up by a helicopter. Victor was actually using the call to track the transport by tacking Steve's cell phone. The helicopter shoots at the second armed vehicle and then several armed men rappel from the helicopter. Steve and the other men hold off them and Anton uses the opportunity to duck away from Steve. Steve chases him and Anton reaches for a gun, pointing it towards Steve, who shoots him. Victor calls Steve and asks what's happening.
Upon realizing that Anton is dead, Victor responds by shooting John dead in revenge, causing Steve to shout, "No!" in horror.
Steve lands in Honolulu, Hawaii on an Air Force transport to attend his father's funeral. As he is landing, a call comes in to the flight crew for Steve, and it is the Governor. He meets Governor Pat Jameson at Pearl Harbor. She wants him to come back to the island and run a newly formed task force for her.
She explains that she will give him the authority and her full backing to do what is necessary to keep her island safe. Steve is not impressed and notes that she had this meeting at Pearl Harbor, where his grandfather was killed. He thinks that she is running for re-election and turns her down. She reminds him that she knew his father and wants Victor to pay for his crimes. Steve explains that Victor already had an exit strategy and is laying low until he leaves. She gives him her card telling him to think about it.
After meeting the lead investigator, Detective Danny Williams, Steve changes his mind and contacts Jameson, informing her that he'll take the job and once he's taken an oath, gains access to the entire investigation, informing Danny that the crime scene now belongs to Steve.
Despite bad blood brewing between the two of them which eventually culminates in Danny punching Steve after Steve had Danny in an arm-lock, Steve adds Danny to the team, making him Steve's partner and also the second-in-command of the unnamed Task Force.
As a result of joining the Hawaii Five-0 Task Force, Steve also joins the Reserves which means that while he can aid and participate in active investigations that the team usually handle, there's also the chance that Steve can be recalled to active duty or given orders to go on a new albeit classified mission for the Navy.
For a year or so, the team begin cleaning up Hawaii, arresting various criminals with their actions eventually drawing the attention of crime boss, Wo Fat.
Upon learning that Governor Jameson is corrupt and in league with Wo Fat, Steve breaks into her mansion to arrest her but is tasered and knocked unconscious by Wo Fat who then kills Jameson before framing Steve for the crime.
As a result, Steve is arrested and imprisoned while Hawaii Five-0 is disbanded due to Kono also being arrested and Chin rejoining HPD while Danny's position is left vacant.
A week after the events in Oia'i'o, Steve is awaiting trial for Governor Jameson's death. He is attacked in the prison yard by Victor Hesse who stabs him so badly that Steve needs to be brought to hospital for treatment.
During the transfer, Steve takes the opportunity to escape and go on the run, arriving at Max Bergman's house in where he faints in the bathroom from blood loss.
Max arrives and finds Steve before successfully bandaging Steve's injuries. Danny and Chin eventually arrive, Max having alerted them to the house.
After some work from the team with the help of Steve's commanding officer Joe White, Steve is found innocent and the H50 team is officially reinstated.
He reacts with anger upon discovering that Kono was working for Captain Vince Fryer and once the team have brought Fryer's former partner to justice, Steve punches Fryer in revenge for Fryer using Kono as a bait.
During the year, Joe informs Steve of someone named "Shelburne" who Wo Fat supposedly fears. This has Steve digging into his father's past more deeply and after Joe tells Steve that Joe is Shelburne, Steve is left shaken.
Steve eventually resolves to get answers for himself and heads to Japan to look for Joe prior to Ha'alele. As a result of his absence, he leaves the team in Danny's hands, resulting in Danny becoming the temporary leader while Chin is the temporary second-in-command. (In real life, this was written in after Alex O'Loughlin went to rehab to get treatment for prescription pain medication due to a recent shoulder injury.)
Although he doesn't appear in Pa Make Loa, Steve is mentioned during a talk with Chin and NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna concerning the supposed steak dinner that Steve owns Sam while Chin brings up the fact that Steve speaks very highly of Sam.
Steve returns in Ua Hopu where he successfully tracks and captures Wo Fat before returning to Hawaii which results in him becoming the H50 leader again while Danny and Chin return to their original positions.
At the end of the Season 2 finale episode, Ua Hala, Joe brings Steve to a lone hut in Japan where Shelburne is waiting. Steve approaches, knocks on the door and gets a huge surprise when it's revealed that Shelburne is his dead mother.
Upon meeting his mother, Doris McGarrett for the first time in twenty years, Steve reacts angrily to the fact that Doris faked her death for the sake of her children and her husband, remarking that Wo Fat killed John McGarrett anyway.
In spite of this, Steve later brings his mother back to Hawaii but is forced to put her into protective custody after learning from Danny that Wo Fat has escaped prison.
In Aloha Ke Kahi I Ke Kahi, there is a hostage situation at the palace. It is up to Steve, Chin, and Danny to get everyone out safe.
In Ina Paha, as a result of being given drugs, Steve finds himself experiencing an alternate reality. In that reality, due to John McGarrett not dying at the hands of Victor Hesse, Steve remains an active Navy SEAL member due to the fact that the Hawaii Five-0 Task Force was never created as a result of John's death.
Presumably a few weeks after the assassination attempt against John McGarrett, Steve returns to Hawaii and meets his father with the two having a reunion while Steve also meets Detective Danny Williams, the man who saved John's life. Both Steve and Danny later visit Victor Hesse with Steve being left shocked at Danny's brutal interrogation methods.
The two later team up together and are successful in eliminating that reality's Wo Fat with Steve later departing Hawaii once again.
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In No Ke Ali'i' Wahine A Me Ka Aina, Steve and Danny, along with an MI-6 officer are awarded the George Cross by Queen Elizabeth II for stopping a terrorist attack against Europe.
In Episode 19, No One Has Ever Died For the Mistakes He Has Made; Only Because He Didn't Repent, we learn that Doris went into labor with Steve in 1977 because according to hitman Leroy Davis, John McGarrett got a radio call to tell him that his wife was in labor well he was looking into Leroy in the Ewa Forest. Leroy also tells Steve that he saved his fathers life that night because he was about to kill John when the call came through.
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In 'Aloha', Steve takes a leave of absence from the Five-0 Task Force, leaving Lincoln Cole in charge, giving Danny and Junior his house and Eddie, and affectionately hugs the team. Before he leaves his house for the airport, Steve says in Hawaiian "until we meet again."
At the very end of the episode, Catherine reunites with Steve while on a United Airlines plane going to an unknown location. As Steve looks out the window, a figure appears from the corner asking "is this seat taken?" Steve is surprised by her presence, and responds with "Catherine," who responds with a classic line between the two "hey sailor." He pauses, then realizes that once again, she helped the team; "it was you, you cracked that cipher?" he asks. Catherine nods and tells him that "Lincoln got a hold of me, said you guys needed some help." Steve realizing what Lincoln did for him says "He's a good man." Catherine then remarks on how he must be since Steve gave him the keys to Danno's car. He makes a joke about how Danny shouldn't be driving his own car in which Catherine responds "like he ever did." They both laugh, and Steve asks her if she's going to sit down, in response, she sits in the empty seat next to him. There's a brief pause. She asks him if he's ready, he says yes, and takes her hand; reconciling their relationship.
As a member of the Navy, Steve can be described as stiff or wooden with home often keeping his emotions in check. According to Chin Ho Kelly, Steve has "a laser focus embedded in his DNA." Mary also adds that Steve is like a ninja. Steve is a fearless, resourceful, and loyal man, as Pat Jameson, the murdered Governor entrusted Steve with establishing a task force.
Steve has also been complimented by Victor Hesse on one occasion. Steve is shown to have an intense hatred of Wo Fat, who was responsible for his parents' murders. He is also shown to have a sense of honor, even though he would go to prison for "borrowing" ten million dollars that ultimately went up in flames in order to catch a criminal with Steve catching the criminal anyway.
Steve is also shown to go to drastic measures to get the job done: hanging a man thirty feet in the air on a roof, throwing another man in a shark cage, etc. much to the anger of his partner, Detective Danny Williams who regularly berates Steve for doing so.
Steve is also shown to have not only medical knowledge, but knowledge about nature.
However, there's usually a softer, goofier and warmer side to him with his sister, Mary McGarrett, and Danny. Although Steve's partner Danny irritates and they often argue, Steve deeply cares about Danny, and the rest of Five-0.
Steve is willing to risk everything and anything to save those he cares for, as shown in Hana 'a'a Makehewa, and again in Ke Kinohi. He is also willing to go against protocol to stay behind and aid a friend who's in danger which is seen in Hana 'a'a Makehewa when he stays behind to talk to Chin who has a bomb collar around his neck.
Steve also displays disgust towards fellow military members who he feels have disgraced the uniform by committing various crimes such as murder or robbery. He also displays a huge, almost overwhelming anger towards those who have abused or assaulted children, often resorting to violence, forcing Danny and the others to stop him.
Despite the fact that he is no longer on full-time active duty, McGarrett's military background and SEAL training are still evident in his daily routine and habits; he still takes a "Navy shower", keeps his house in impeccably condition, maintains a fitness regimen and is sensitive to sound when asleep. His military mannerisms are also apparent in the way he approaches his cases and his ability to remain calm even when under intense pressure and frequently mocked by Danny for his lack of "human" touch.
Many characters, namely Danny, has repeatedly said Steve has control issues, which has led to his habit of driving other people's cars and faster-than-legal driving style. At one point, he tries to explain that he gets carsick if he doesn't drive, but is refuted by Danny as a terrible excuse. However, when his Aunt Deb took control of his truck and drove it as reckless as he does, Steve is visibly distressed and on the verge of being sick.
Steve is just under 6'1 with brown hair and green eyes. He is extremely athletic, physically fit and agile, with an above average pain threshold from his time in the military.
Abilities and Skills
As a Navy SEAL and leader of the Hawaii Five-0 Task Force, Steve harbors a unique range of abilities that assist him in his everyday life.
He is also one of the most physically strongest members of the H-50 team and also a sharpshooter/sniper.
- Tracking: Highly skilled in tracking in multitudes of terrain, as well as the knowledge in scouting safe to eat food and clean drinking water.
- Swimming: A strong swimmer that is very comfortable and capable in the open waters.
- Pilot: Has been seen flying a helicopter on multiple occasions, including helping Kamekona get his license.
- Explosives knowledge: Highly skilled in utilizing a number of explosive devices during his Navy SEAL and Five-0 career.
- Physical Stamina and Tolerance for Pain: As a Navy SEAL, Steve is very fit and agile, capable of withstanding more pain than the average person can handle.
- Technologically: Skilled at using technology, even when foreign to him.
- Combat EMS Medical Training: Capable of treating severe injuries including a collapsed lung, bullet wounds, CPR and triage.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat: Trained in hand-to-hand and close quarters combat, Steve is capable of incapacitating most opponents with relative ease.
- Weapons Master: As a top Navy SEAL sniper, Steve is an exceptionally skilled shooter capable of firing a kill shot from a long distance with precise accuracy. He is extremely resourceful with the skill set, and mental know-how to turn normal items into weapons or use them for defense.
- Multilingual: In addition to his native English, Steve is fluent in Hawaiian and Mandarin, conversational in Korean and Japanese, and understands Pashto.
- Interrogation: The sharpest and most efficient interrogator in 5-0. He uses various strategies to gather information including intimidation, mental techniques, threatening and torture.
Awards and Decorations
In the beginning, Steve resented Danny for leading the investigation into his father's murder as Steve was the one who had knowledge and information into the one responsible for his father's death.
After their first confrontation at the crime scene that ended with Steve gaining control of the scene after making a call to Governor Pat Jameson and accepting her job offer, Danny attempted to move on, only for Steve to head back into his life again, announcing that as the head of the unnamed Task Force, he would make Danny his partner and second-in-command, a role Danny accepted albeit grudgingly.
Despite that, their relationship has warmed in recent years with both men expressing concern for each other while their behavior towards one another has caused many of the other characters to believe that they're married to each other although both men strongly deny this.
Fans have often regarded the relationship between Steve and Danny as either a bromance or of a romantic term with the term, McDanno being used.
* They are each others Emergency Contacts.
Steve's relationship with his estranged sister is one that is full of tension given that Mary has a habit of arriving and then fleeing Hawaii but despite this, they both love each other very much.
- Was a Navy SEAL. Steve served for six years (four years in Afghanistan) before transferring to the Naval Intelligence Corps. He had been pursuing terrorists Victor Hesse and Anton Hesse for five years. 
- Attended the U.S. Naval Academy, and graduated at the top of his class. 
- Is a decorated war veteran. He has received numerous medals, including a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Navy Expert Rifleman award. 
- Speaks multiple languages. During his time abroad he learned to speak Mandarin.  and Japanese, and is also fluent in Hawaiian,  conversational in Korean, and Arabic  and can understand the Berber language. 
- Prior to the start of the series, Steve would have still been in North Korea with his Navy SEAL buddy Freddie Hart bringing back Anton Hesse. 
- His father was investigating The Yakuza and Hiro Noshimuri, and his murder was ordered by Wo Fat. 
- He didn’t talk to his sister for 10 years. He and his sister, Mary, had a troubled relationship after the death of their mother. They didn’t speak for a decade. 
- According to Steve's police report after being accused of killing Governor Pat Jameson he; Resisted Arrest, Assaulted a Police Officer, but did not injury any. 
- Was sent to live in California when he was 15, and joined the service when he was 18, training at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, where he met Joe White. 
- Joe White served alongside John McGarrett, and later trained Steve. 
- Led a SEAL team on a top secret mission code-named 'Strawberry Field'. 
- Unlike Steve, Catherine Rollins and Billy Harrington both retired from the military, instead of joining the Reserves.   However, Billy still received a military funeral. 
- Danny and Steve are each others Emergency Contacts. 
- Preferred cats over dogs. 
- Used to play guitar until high school. 
- Steven was not court-martialed after his escape from Afghanistan due to the fact that he and Catherine Rollins had entered the country as civilians without any intentions of using military equipment or information. However after being attacked and Steve's capture his military rank was discovered. Even after severe torture, and the threat of death he did not reveal any military secrets or information. The last part of his torture and execution was being recorded by camera, to which the military had gained access. Steve was rescued by his his fellow Navy SEALs seconds before his own decapitation.
- He was named after his grandfather, Steven McGarrett who was a Navy ensign on the battleship U.S.S. Arizona and was killed on December 7, 1941 in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. 
- His mom, Doris McGarrett faked her own death. She was also a former CIA agent, who went by the code-name Shelburne.  
- Has two tattoos on each of his upper arms.        
- Has received many injuries on the job including, being shot in the shoulder, a broken arm from a 20 foot fall,  , shot again in the leg, a fractured arm and rib plus a swollen eye and face in Afghanistan,  and then shot again in the arm, chest and lower torso.  He was then stabbed in the back months later after his liver transplant. 
- Is a men's medium and has an 11 shoe size. 
- Is very competitive, and curious. He hates secrets kept from him, however has never spilled a secret of his own, as he has never talked about any of his missions over sea.
- His common side arm is a SIG Sauer. This starts off with a SIG-Sauer P226 and SIG Sauer P226 E2 in Season 1, moving to a SIG-Sauer P226 Navy with a Surefire X300 throughout the Season 2 to 7.
- Kono Kalakaua is the only original cast member not to spend time in jail. Steve spent just over a week in Halawa Correctional Facility.  Chin Ho Kelly spent 8 hours in Halawa Correctional Facility,  and was arrested 2 years later. . And Danny Williams spent a few days in a Colombian prison. 
- Was going to propose to Catherine Rollins. 
- Steve and Lynn Downey were set up on a blind date by Ellie Clayton.
- Danny and Steve have the same blood type, and now share a liver. 
- Steve recently revealed he is single once more. 
- Steve, Danny Williams and Harry Langford were all given the second highest award of the United Kingdom, the George Cross, by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England. 
- Enters a professional plane completion. 
- Does not eat veal. 
- Knows how to play a Portuguese guitar, given to him by Frank Bama. 
- Confirmed his age as 41 in Dog Days.
- Personally knows senior NCIS agent Sam Hanna from their days in the Navy SEALs together, and Jack Dalton but to a lesser extent from the military.
- Main article: Steve McGarrett/Appearance
|Hawaii Five-0 Characters|
|Final||Steve McGarrett • Danny Williams • Adam Noshimuri • Tani Rey • Junior Reigns • Lou Grover • Kamekona Tupuola • Duke Lukela • Noelani Cunha • Quinn Liu|
|Former||Chin Ho Kelly • Kono Kalakaua • Max Bergman • Catherine Rollins • Jerry Ortega|
|Other||Lori Weston • Mary McGarrett • Grace Williams • Charles Williams • Jenna Kaye • Dr. Malia Waincroft|