Ryan Sandburg was born on St. Michael's Star in 2242, the son of a hovercar mechanic and a Tech Infantry soldier. His mother died when he was still an infant, one of many casualties of the 3rd Civil War, and he was raised by his grease-monkey father, who frequently worked as a civilian contractor repairing vehicles for the TI and the Light Infantry. Although resentful of the death of his mother in military service, the policies of Grand Council Chairman Arthur Clarke after the war was over favored werecreatures, orphans of soldiers, and children of veterans, and young Ryan was all three. Realizing even as a teenager that a lifetime of government handouts and public schooling had not prepared him for life on the run, he did not seek to avoid the draft and entered the Tech Infantry at age 16.
Entering the military just too late for the Vulthra War, he spent the next four years fighting Bugs on Fieras VI and in the Arachnid Quarantine Zone. As his five-year mandatory term of service neared completion, he was offered a promotion to corporal and transfer to the Raptors if he would extend his enlistment. He accepted, and was stationed on Rios under the command of Adelisa Soti as part of a unit busting rings of organized draft-dodgers. After the Caal Invasion, he remained loyal to the Earth Federation, and soon he and Soti were both sent to Kalintos to repel an invasion by the Holy Terran Empire. He participated in the capture of the INS Alistar Dimiye and the killing of Lord General Nicolai Malakov. He was killed soon afterwards, when his Drop Pod was hit by ground fire during the opening stages of the Federation's liberation of St. Michael's Star, the planet of his birth. Around the same time, his father was also killed, when a Lance Torpedo from one of the bombarding warships in orbit hit the Hovertank depot where the Imperial Guard had forced him to work as a mechanic.