A Soldato (Italian for Soldier) or Made Man is the first level of both the American and the Italian Mafia in the formal Mafia hierarchy. Several mobsters and other criminals who hold the rank of soldatos or similar ranks were seen in the Grand Theft Auto series.
In Italian Mafia, the Soldato is an assocaite (must to be of Italian blood, most of the time, %100 bloodline) who has proven himself worthy to the crime family. Once he has proven himself, he is also known as "Made Man", and "Man of Honor". While now, the soldato is truly a member of the Mafia, he is still forced to take orders from higher ranking members like Caporegimes or Underbosses.
An induction ceremony of Made Men was seen once in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, and was held by Liberty City's Leone Family. The ceremony was for the player character Toni Cipriani, during in which he was personally greeted the family's Don, Salvatore Leone, alongside several prominent members such as Mickey Hamfists. Toni became a Made Man thanks for carrying out a contract killing for the Don himself; in this case, the murder of Roger C. Hole, Mayor of Liberty City.
Another example for a, failed, induction ceremony was the one for Joseph Daniel O'Toole to the Leone Family, in the same game. JD was meant to be inducted to the family, but failed due to his mixed Irish lineage. More so, he was presumed to be a traitor sided with the rival Sindacco Family, causing Don Leone to order his death.
Duties and advantages
The Soldato, now a full recognized of the family, works as a part of a crew of associates and other soldatos under a Capo. A soldier's main responsibility is to earn money and kick a portion of his profits up to his caporegime. For example Luca Silvestri from the Pegorino crime family often worked and earned money for the family's Capo, Ray Boccino.
Under most circumstances, a soldier never receives orders directly from the boss of the family. Rather, the boss passes orders down the chain of command to the soldiers. On certain situations, the soldato may receive orders from the Don. An good example would be Toni Cipriani, who, after being inducted started taking orders directly from Don Salvatore Leone.
Positions and roles among the soldato are varying, and may be given to the soldatos based on their specialties, status or even closeness to higher ranking members. For example, Anthony Corrado serves as bodyguard in the Pegorino family for Don Jimmy Pegorino and his wife Angie, mainly because he is seen as son-figure by the Don.
Several soldatos may also serve as bodyguards for the Don, Underboss, Consiglieres and Capos when each of the higher ranking members is out in the public; Don Salvatore Leone, by 2001, had a dozen bodyguards in a single ride from a strip club, while Capo Ray Boccino had at at least the same number when he was out his place.
Most soldatos also serve as muscle of their crime family, like Rocco Pelosi for the Ancelotti crime family. Like an associate, he can also be relied on to commit acts of intimidation, threats, violence and murder. The soldier is obliged to obey orders from his capo to commit murder for his crime family. Some of them are also in charge of buisnesses owned by the family, like Luigi Goterelli owning Sex Club 7 in the name of the Leone Family.
As a made man, the soldato is bound by the Mafia code of Omertà and must serve loyally for life. Since the soldier is a made man, he is considered untouchable in the criminal underworld. Rocco Peloci was known of using this 'law', and often allowed himself to insult and taunt Ancelotti assocaites and enemies, knowing he wouldn't receive any harm.
Killing the soldato without getting the boss's permission is considered taboo in mob circles and can lead to the perpetrator of the murder getting killed himself, or, at least exile, as with the case of Toni Cipriani when he killed a Made Man in 1994, forcing him to leave Liberty City for four years before returning in 1998.
Non-Italian crime syndicates, cartels and even small-time street gangs also make use of low-ranking members similar to the Italian Soldatos. However, the "soldiers" of these gangs are not called "soldatos", but referred by their gangs' native terms.
Similar to their Italian counterpart, Russian crime organization make use of low-ranking members whom they call "soldiers". The troop of the Russian Mafia is called in the Mafia's native language "Boyevik" (Russian for "warrior"). Regulary, the Boyevik is often ordered to recruit new members and is often take orders from a "Brigadier" (the Russian equivalent for Capo).
Apart from the regualr Boyevik, there are three additional 'types' of the Russian "soldato":
- Kryshas ("covers") are violent yet cunning enforcers whose job is to protect the Bratva's buisness from rival gangs.
- Torpedo are contract killers.
- Byki ("bulls") serve as bodyguards for the "Pakhan" (the Russian equivalent for Don).
In the Grand Theft Auto series, a few Russian criminals can be fit to these categories; Ivan Bytchkov of the Faustin Bratva often worked as a regular Boyevik, and was tasked with burglary, and so does Andrei, who was tasked to work as an enforcer. Vladimir Glebov was shown to be either a Krysha, whose job is to protect and manage the Faustins' Comrades bar, or the much higher Brigadier. Mikhail Faustin had another Boyevik who he employed as "Byk".
The Petrovic Bratva had plenty of Boyeviki from different classes, including Anton, Boris, Vasil and Ivo. Another member of that Bratva, Vanya, appears to work as Torpado, given the tasks he received from his boss, such as killing traitors and bury cropses.
The Triad counterpart of the Italian soldato is referred to as "49er", while higher ranking soldiers are known as "Red Poles". Guppy from the San Fierro Triads appears to be a "Red Pole", and he is often serves as the right-hand man for co-leader Wu Zi Mu. Uri from the Ming Family and Xin Shan were known to be "Red Poles", or at least "49ers", as well.
Most of the street gangs in the Grand Theft Auto franchise showed only two main positions within the organization - the leader, and the regular members/soldiers.
The soldiers of the street gangs, simply called "Gang members", are often between their early 20's to 30's, and are almost fully dedicated to the gang. Street gangs soldiers often walk in groups of up to four or even five gangsters, and mostly wear the same clothes, which have the gang's colour and logos.
The soldiers in street gangs are often tasked in either warring with another, rival gang, or selling merchandise on the street, which can be anything like drugs and weapons.
- Italian Mafia
- Luigi Goterelli, Leone Family.
- Vincenzo Cilli, Leone Family. (Promoted to Caporegime\Deceased)
- Toni Cipriani, Leone Family. (Promoted to Caporegime/Underboss)
- Mickey Hamfists, Leone Family.
- Mickey Hamfists, Leone Family.
- Lou Bricant, Forelli Family.
- Lance Urwell, Sindacco Family.
- Federico, unkown Mafia family.
- Crime syndicates
- Asian gangs
- Street gangs
- Italian Mafia
- Rocco Pelosi - Ancelotti Family
- Jimmy Capra - Messina Family
- Anthony Corrado - Pegorino Family
- Luca Silvestri - Pegorino Family
- Marco Bonnaro - Pegorino Family
- Peter Marchetti - Pegorino Family