Early life
Ryan was born in the Lyran Commonwealth ca. 2988 as the illegitimate child of of a noble descendant of Rudolph Ryan, although his exact birthplace is unknown. He attended a Commonwealth military academy, but was thrown out for doctoring evaluation reports. Subsequently, he made his way to the Oberon Confederation and purchased himself a position as battalion commander.
 The 3017 incident
As a lieutenant in the forces of Hendrik Grimm III of Oberon, Ryan and his unit were "on loan" as mercenaries to the Lyran Commonwealth in 3017, and were ordered to occupy and garrison the agricultural border world of Fianna (also called Lysidas, though this likely refers to a specific area on the planet), which was held by the Free Worlds League at the time. Ryan and his battalion wrought utter destruction on the planet, sacking entire cities, enslaving the population and destroying many industries including a large fusion power plant. The destruction of the fusion reactor poisoned half of the planet's atmosphere and this brought an end to his carousing.
Both the Oberon Confederation and the Free Worlds League prepared a military response, but Ryan and his men fled the Inner Sphere and set up shop on the world of Butte Hold, adjacent to the Oberon Confederation, in 3018. They became pirates of the worst sort.
Another version of the story claims that Ryan had no interests in life besides murder and rapine, and fled when Hendrik Grimm III wanted to place actual command responsibility on him. It has also been revealed that sleeping with Hendrik's daughter Ella may have played a part in Ryan being purged from the Oberon Confederation.
 Pirates of Butte Hold
Henceforth known as the Pirates of Butte Hold, Ryan and his troops (calling themselves Ryan's Rebels) indiscriminately raided nearby realms for water, supplies and spare parts. The Lyran Commonwealth and Draconis Combine suffered the most attacks, but the Oberon Confederation was raided as well.
Ryan's depredations and the prospect of booty attracted numerous recruits, and he soon commanded some two battalions of 'Mechs. However, his hold over them was tenous at best. From approximately 3018 to 3021, Wilson's Hussars, having been betrayed by their previous employer, found refuge on Butte Hold. Their relationship soured after Hussar Lt. Sheila Bannock was killed in a barfight on Butte Hold in 3021; subsequently, the Hussars ended their employment with Ryan and went to work for neighbouring pirate king Helmar Valasek on Santander V.
Generally, Ryan and his pirates were a hated pest, but no government dared to move against him because of the many hostages he held.
 The Greater Valkyrate
Shortly after Ryan had parted ways with Hendrik Grimm III his lover, Maria Morgraine, also a lieutenant in the Oberon forces, broke away from the Oberon Confederation as well; she gave birth to Ryan's child in 3018, implying that she was already pregnant when he fled the Oberon Confederation in 3017. Morgraine established her own pirate kingdom, Morgraine's Valkyrate, near the Oberon Confederation, too, but was initially unaware of Ryan's fate or the existence of Butte Hold until 3026. In the following year, Ryan's lieutenant Agnar "Satan's Son" Haggerty, who was secretly spying on Ryan for Hendrik Grimm III and coveted Ryan's position of pirate king, raided the Valkyrate world of Last Chance in an attempt to incite a war between the pirate bands. Haggerty's force damaged factories and stole an entire year's harvest which led to food shortages and starvation in the Valkyrate.
Redjack Ryan and Maria Morgraine were reunited in 3028, following an attempt by Hendrik Grimm III to play them against each other and have their units wipe each other out in an engineered raid on a Lyran depot on Toland. The plan backfired and the pair joined forces, marrying to merge their previously independent pirate kingdoms into the Greater Valkyrate. They had one legitimate child, Susie Morgraine-Ryan, who was born in 3018 and became commander of the Ryan's Rebels' Third Battalion by 3050. Redjack Ryan was noted to have many illegitimate children, including his son Kenny Ryan.
 Clan Invasion
In 3049 the Kell Hounds were on a pirate-hunting mission against Kenny Ryan's pirates in the Oberon Confederation system of The Rock where they witnessed the arrival of the Clans and their capture of Kenny Ryan. The Clans quickly overran the local pirate realms including the Greater Valkyrate. Maria Morgraine was killed fighting the Clans, buying her daughter time to withdraw with the greater part of her battalion. Susie "One-Eye" Morgraine-Ryan escaped to Star's End.
The fate of Redjack Ryan is unknown. He is generally considered to have perished around the year 3050, as his daughter Susie Morgraine-Ryan was said to have been orphaned during the Clan Invasion.
As of 3025, Redjack Ryan was described as tall and lanky, with sandy-blond short-cropped hair and shifting gray eyes. His scarred back was tattooed by 3028.
His personality was described as particularly unsavory, arrogant, self-centered, avaricious, sadistic and savagely cruel. He delighted in rapine and wanton murder and could hold a grudge forever. Testimony taken by ComStar in 3020 indicates sexual abuse of prisoners and that he enjoyed the torture of captives.
Although "Redjack" Ryan is almost certainly not his actual name, no other name is known.
- Redjack Ryan was one of the three pirate kings from the Periphery that were introduced in the 2nd edition board game rulebook (the others being Hendrik Grimm III and Helmar Valasek). As such, he was part of the BattleTech universe right from the beginning.
- In 3028 he initially piloted a Quickdraw in the fighting on Toland. After it had sustained critical damage, he switched to Agnar Haggerty's Orion.
- Critter-TEK refers to him as "'Redjac!-Redjac!-Redjac!-Redjac! (shut up!)', who used to be a Minor League player before he walked out of Spring Training during a contract dispute, never to be seen in uniform again."