One Piece 1081: Confirmed and rumored members of SWORD

Koby is one of the major members of SWORD (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Koby is one of the major members of SWORD (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

One Piece's narrative is currently set on the island of Fullalead. A big showdown is about to take place between Monkey D. Garp, the legendary Marine Hero, and some members of the Blackbeard Pirates, the most notable being Shiryu.

When Garp heard that Blackbeard kidnapped Koby, he immediately headed to Fullalead to rescue him. He was accompanied by some of Koby's fellow colleagues in SWORD, the secret unit within the Marine.

One Piece 1080 revealed some members of SWORD, as well as the main rules of engagement under which the organization operates. With that being said, other members of the secret unit may be revealed in the future.

Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to Chapter 1081 and reflects the opinions of the writer.


One Piece 1080 finally discloses the secret of SWORD, but there may be more to come

What is SWORD? An overview

SWORD is a special unit within the Navy (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
SWORD is a special unit within the Navy (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Tasked with law enforcement, international security, and military operations, the Navy is the World Government's main military sea force. Considered in its entirety, it's the strongest organization in the One Piece world.

Known as the Marine Headquarters Secret Special Force, SWORD is a unit composed of Navy officers who have formally resigned themselves from the actual structure of the organization but still operate on its behalf.

On paper, SWORD members have submitted their resignations, but in reality, they are still loyal to the Marines. They operate as part of their forces and as sort of "wild-card commandos."

Their operations mostly involve undercover missions to monitor the activities of the Four Emperors. Unlike other Marines, members of SWORD can act freely, even engaging in fights without being bound by the orders of their superiors.

In return, however, the Marines and the World Government take no responsibility for their actions. Moreover, unless that were to become a convenient option, they wouldn't help or rescue SWORD members, as they are indeed not Marines anymore, at least formally.

Considering that, on paper at least, members of SWORD stopped being part of the Marines, their formal status is not a result of their current capabilities. It's just the latest ranking that they achieved when they were normal officers in the Navy.

Thus, their fighting skills are worth much more than their rank would imply, as they never received the promotions that they would have likely deserved. For instance, Koby's formal rank is that of Marine Captain, but he may be stronger than most Vice Admirals.

At the moment, there are six confirmed members of the organization:

  • X Drake (Rear Admiral, also "Captain of SWORD")
  • Koby (Captain)
  • Prince Grus (Rear Admiral)
  • Kujaku (Rear Admiral)
  • Helmeppo (Lieutenant Commander)
  • Hibari (Commander)

The members of SWORD

X Drake

X Drake (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
X Drake (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Drake started a pirate career and even managed to become a member of the Worst Generation. In truth, he was working as a Marine in disguise. As of now, he seems to be the officer in charge of SWORD. After his infiltration into the Beasts Pirates was exposed, Drake joined the Wano Alliance.

Serious and honorable, Drake prioritizes the mission over anything else. He reluctantly teamed up with a fellow Supernova, Scratchman Apoo, to take on two CP0 agents, Maha and Guernica. However, Apoo ran away, and Drake, left alone, was easily beaten.

Drake is a skilled dual wielder with a sword and a four-bladed ax. Owing to the Dragon-Dragon Fruit, Model: Allosaurus, he can also transform into a carnivorous dinosaur, notably increasing his physical strength and durability.


Koby

Koby (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Koby (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Inspired by Luffy and Zoro to follow his dreams no matter how hard they seemed, Koby joined the Navy, aiming to become an Admiral. Together with Helmeppo, he trained under the supervision of Monkey D. Garp.

Despite starting as absolute weaklings, thanks to Garp's tutelage, Koby and Helmeppo have improved immensely. Koby now possesses impressive speed and physical strength. He can move very fast, even when underwater.

Koby became a master of the Rokushiki martial arts style, as well as a proficient Haki user, especially with regard to the Color of Observation. He became renowned as the "Hero" who played a major role during the famous Rocky Port Incident.

At one point, Koby headed for Amazon Lily to capture Boa Hancock following the abolition of the Seven Warlords of the Sea system. Unfortunately, Blackbeard also arrived on the island. He defeated Boa and was determined to steal her Devil Fruit Power.

However, Silvers Rayleigh's presence intimidated Blackbeard, forcing him into giving up his intent and accepting mediation. During his getaway, however, he abducted Koby. The latter was detained in Fullalead but eventually managed to escape with the help of Perona.


Prince Grus

Prince Grus (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Prince Grus (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Grus is a relatively powerful officer. He was able to beat Gotti, the second strongest subordinate of Worst Generation member Capone, with the utmost ease, despite putting in little effort.

Grus can create golems made of clay that fight for him. It is unknown whether the golems have autonomy or are fully controlled by him, as well as if this power belongs to the Paramecia class or the Logia class.

The golems were compared to Logia users themselves, given that they can reform their bodies no matter what damage they take and that they are made with clay, which is a natural substance. However, it is unknown whether Grus can transform into clay himself.


Helmeppo

Helmeppo (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Helmeppo (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Once a spoiled individual who shamelessly exploited his father's status, Helmeppo befriended Koby and, together with him, underwent extensive training under the tutelage of the legendary "Marine Hero" Garp.

Thanks to the harsh training regimen, Helmeppo gained great physical prowess, turning himself into a capable swordsman. He even compared Koby's Haki prowess with his own, implying that he is also a Haki user.

Koby and Helmeppo have become great friends. When Helmeppo heard that Koby had been abducted by Blackbeard, he was emotionally shaken, to the point of being brought to tears. He was very happy to join Garp on the rescue mission.


Kujaku

Kujaku (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Kujaku (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

A Rear Admiral stationed at the Marine Base G-14, Kujaku is the granddaughter of the famous Vice Admiral Tsuru. Owing to the Whip-Whip Fruit, Kujaku can turn any object into a whip that allows her to command anything she hits with it.

This Devil Fruit allows Kujaku to become a "Training Human" whose weapons can implant obedience into whatever she lashes them into, including inanimate objects. She can even command entire buildings as she wishes.


Hibari

Hibari (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Hibari (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Hibari is a skilled sniper. She wields a rifle enhanced with Vegapunk's gunpowder-modifying technology, allowing her to render the guns of their enemies useless. She can disarm a whole crowd in an instant, making her an effective long-range support fighter.

Like Helmeppo, Hibari has a significant bond with Koby. She mentioned that Koby has done a lot for her in the past, explaining her gratitude for him. However, One Piece 1080 featured her acting like a sort of tsundere towards him.


Major Marines who may be linked to the organization

Many powerful officers are hinted to have a connection with SWORD (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Many powerful officers are hinted to have a connection with SWORD (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Since its introduction, fans have been speculating if any major Marine is involved with SWORD. Among the most debated officers is Vice Admiral Smoker, who has his own perception of justice.

Smoker has often followed his personal moral code rather than the orders of his superiors. He has repeatedly expressed his discontent with the World Government. For the greater goal of saving innocents, he even allied with pirates.

Back then, Smoker was a fearsome foe who brutally beat Luffy several times. However, after the time skip, he doesn't seem to be able to keep up with Luffy anymore, let alone seriously threaten him.

Many One Piece fans speculated that Smoker has realized this fact. Knowing that he can't protect justice if he lacks power, Smoker may have swallowed his pride and asked Vegapunk for assistance in becoming stronger through some sort of technological enhancement.

Tashigi, Smoker's assistant, was at the G-14 Base, which is near Egghead Island, Vegapunk's location. She then boarded Garp's ship, joining the mission to rescue Koby from the clutches of the Blackbeard Pirates.

Given Tashigi's connection with Smoker, who is her mentor and superior officer, the latter is implied to be either in the G-14 Base or aboard Garp's ship. Admittedly, Smoker is the perfect profile for an officer who has some connections with the SWORD unit.

With Koby being a direct subordinate of Monkey D. Garp, the latter is implied to be at least aware of SWORD. Garp takes pride in being a Marine, but he was already torn about which side he had to take during the Paramount War, with his indecision indirectly fostering the death of his adoptive grandson Ace.

Sengoku, the former Fleet Admiral, should know about the group. Not only is he a close friend of Garp, but he has also led Rocinante's covert activities, which closely resemble those of SWORD. Moreover, Sengoku is the one who personally raised Drake, a current member of the unit.

Admiral Fujitora is another Marine who truly cares about doing the right thing. A kind man with a pure heart, Fujitora willingly blinded himself to stop seeing the world's evilness. He may have formed some allegiance with SWORD to transform the Navy from its insides.

Some One Piece fans noticed that current Fleet Admiral Akainu has a sword-themed tattoo and suggested that this could be a hint that he is a part of the organization, if not its true leader. It wouldn't be surprising if Akainu is trying to work independently from the Five Elders, whom he despises.

Former Admiral Aokiji is another character often involved in theories about the SWORD group. With Garp and Sengoku being his mentors, it is very feasible for him to share the same ideals as them. If they have any allegiance to SWORD, Aokiji will likely share it as well.

Akainu and Aokiji fought a fierce battle to decide who would become the new Fleet Admiral. Akainu emerged as the winner and took over the Navy as its new leader. Severely injured, Aokiji left the Marines and shockingly joined the Blackbeard Pirates.

Still, it doesn't seem feasible for a man like Aokiji to truly join such a wicked bunch. When he met Smoker in Punk Hazard, Aokiji declared that he is still the same person that he has always been. Thus, it's highly likely that he is infiltrating the Blackbeard Pirates on behalf of SWORD or another faction.


Final Thoughts

Garp proclaimed Koby the future of the Marines (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Garp proclaimed Koby the future of the Marines (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

A widely shared opinion among One Piece fans is that SWORD lacks the needed strength to operate against its enemies. Drake, Koby, and the others are valuable fighters, but they don't seem strong enough to challenge foes above a certain level of power.

Thus, it's speculated that more powerful Marines will be disclosed in the future as secret members of SWORD and possibly its true leaders. Fans also assumed that SWORD represented an alternative faction within the Navy, but One Piece 1080 seems to have ruled out this possibility.

Regardless, with the only exception of Drake, all the known members of SWORD are currently on Fullalead with the legendary Monkey D. Garp. One Piece author Eiichiro Oda is certainly about to delve further into the organization's secrets.