The Hot Zone

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Lieutenant Colonel Gerald (Jerry) Jaax Character Analysis

Like his wife Nancy Jaax, Jerry is devoted to his family, but does not hesitate to risk his life during the USAMRIID operation to contain the Ebola virus within the Reston Primate Quarantine Unit. Although he doesn’t feel comfortable with his wife handling Ebola during research at USAMRIID, Jerry himself ends up leading the team that must enter the contaminated building and euthanize hundreds of infected monkeys. At every turn Jerry is courageous but cautious, consistently putting the needs of his soldiers above his own.
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Lieutenant Colonel Gerald (Jerry) Jaax Character Timeline in The Hot Zone

The timeline below shows where the character Lieutenant Colonel Gerald (Jerry) Jaax appears in The Hot Zone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 4: A Woman and a Soldier
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...for her five-year-old daughter Jaime and her seven-year-old son Jaison. Nancy’s husband, Major Gerald Jaax (Jerry), is in Texas training. Both Nancy and Jerry are part of the Army Veterinary Corps,... (full context)
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...python named Sampson, which occasionally escapes its cage and slithers through the house. Nancy and Jerry are deeply in love, and met in veterinary school. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5: Project Ebola
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...man. When Nancy applied for the program, he asked around about her, even talking to Jerry Jaax, who didn’t want his wife handling Ebola or wearing a spacesuit. When Tony talked... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: Total Immersion
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Later that night, Nancy calls Jerry in Texas to tell him about her close shave. He is appalled, and reminds her... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 9: Going Deep
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The Army sends Nancy and Jerry Jaax to the Institute for Chemical Defense near Aberdeen, MD. Nancy studies the effects of... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 1: Reston
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That same October, the Jaax family experiences a tragedy: Jerry’s brother, a businessman from Kansas named John Jaax, is mysteriously and violently murdered. A homicide... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4: Thanksgiving
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From November 20th to 25th, Nancy and Jerry Jaax have “the worst Thanksgiving of their lives.” They arrive in Wichita to eat with... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 8: Chain of Command
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Nancy walks to Jerry’s office and finds him brooding about his brother. She tells him that they’ve found Ebola... (full context)
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...car on the way home. Later that night, after reading in bed together, Nancy and Jerry discuss the monkey house. Jerry stays up late reading about the Battle of Gettysburg, and... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 12: The Mission
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...who can lead a team into the monkey house, and for this position, he chooses Jerry Jaax. Although Jerry has never worn a spacesuit, he is the chief of the Institute’s... (full context)
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Jerry then visits Gene Johnson in order to map out a plan. They set up a... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 13: Reconaissance
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...the outbreak. He calls C. J. Peters, and the news immediately spreads through the Institute. Jerry Jaax calls a meeting for all the commissioned officers on his staff: Major Nathaniel Powell,... (full context)
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...because of the monkey’s sharp teeth and its overall ferocity. Nancy realizes just how careful Jerry and his team will have to be. (full context)
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Later that evening Jerry drives home, while Nancy returns to her lab to continue working on the monkey samples.... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 1: Insertion
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At 4:30AM on Friday, December 1st, Jerry Jaax gets up and puts on civilian clothes in order to head to the Institute.... (full context)
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...team begins to unload, they hear the shouts of children at a nearby day-care center. Jerry Jaax and Gene Johnson decide to have their team put spacesuits on inside the building... (full context)
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Meanwhile Nancy wakes her children at 7:30 AM and reminds them that she and Jerry will be working late. She watches as they walk to school and remembers being told... (full context)
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Jerry Jaax and Mark Haines enter the hot zone, hearing monkeys screaming as they do so.... (full context)
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...and goes into the building with Captain Steven Denny. They head into Room H where Jerry is with his team. Dan Dalgard, meanwhile, picks four monkeys that look the sickest and... (full context)
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After Nancy has left, Jerry counts sixty-five more monkeys in the room. He uses a special device that Gene Johnson... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 3: Tangos
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Preston outlines the new plan: Jerry is going to have to go back into the monkey house with a much larger... (full context)
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...pay. They also are not allowed to discuss the operation with anyone, including family members. Jerry instructs them to wear civilian clothes and to report to the Institute at 5 AM... (full context)
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With Nancy still asleep, Jerry Jaax leaves home at 4 AM and meets Gene Johnson, and together they go over... (full context)
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Jerry Jaax is helped into a spacesuit and enters the monkey house with Sergeant Thomas Amen.... (full context)
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...they are inside, the smell of monkey is overpowering, but the air is deadly quiet. Jerry Jaax orders her to load syringes with double doses of ketamine. Meanwhile, he waits as... (full context)
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As more team members come in, Jerry orders them to check each others’ spacesuits every five or ten minutes, and to rest... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 4: Inside
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The day continues, and the soldiers grow exhausted. Jerry tries to make sure that they take breaks in order to keep fatal errors from... (full context)
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...more in the grass. More people leave the building, and the last one out is Jerry, who emerges looking pale and aged. The soldiers head to Taco Bell, starving and exhausted.... (full context)
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Jerry returns home to Nancy, and the two talk while Jaime sleeps between them. Jerry tells... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 5: A Bad Day
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...day of the Army operation in the Reston monkey house and things are going smoothly. Jerry Jaax and Sergeant Amen go in to feed the monkeys, and they find many more... (full context)
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...it running under her feet and out of the room before scampering back in, while Jerry insists that it always remained within Room C. Jerry turns out to be right, but... (full context)
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Back inside the monkey house, Jerry decides to leave the escaped monkey in the room overnight. Meanwhile the surviving monkeys have... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 6: Decon
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...brother: their father’s heart is failing, and he is going to die soon. She wakes Jerry and wonders whether she should head home to say goodbye. Once again, however, she decides... (full context)
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At 4 PM on December 7th, the last monkey is killed. Jerry Jaax has spent hours chasing the escapee, finally catching it behind a cage with the... (full context)