Harry Arnold Tasker was born in Washington, D.C, the son of Augustus "Gus" Tasker and Aurelia Gardner-Tasker. His father was an political officer for the United States Foreign Service, so the family moved around a lot. When Harry was nine, the family moved to Vienna, where his father had been stationed. They stayed there for eight years, until his father left the U.S. Foreign Service and moved the family to his hometown of Santa Monica, California. Because he was raised in Austria, Harry speaks with an Austrian accent. After high school, Harry went on to Cornell University on a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship. He graduated from Cornell with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps via the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps.
While at Cornell, Harry decided to become a signals intelligence officer. Upon graduating from The Basic School, he went on to the Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Afterwards, Harry was assigned to the 2nd Radio Battalion as a mobile electronic warfare support system platoon commander. He later deployed with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit as the signals intelligence support platoon commander. Harry left the U.S. Marine Corps after four years of service and returned to Washington, D.C, where he found employment as a computer systems analyst for a commercial security systems company. A couple of months later, he applied to join the Central Intelligence Agency as an operations officer.
Before Harry could join the CIA, he had to go through background checks, take the entrance exam, and go through a series of interviews and psychological tests. After passing the entrance and psychological examinations, he was accepted as a "career trainee." Harry then quit his job at the security systems company. After an orientation period, he was sent to the CIA Special Training Center - "The Farm," Camp Peary for intensive training in clandestine operational tradecraft. Harry was taught the art of surveillance, and how to deceive, conceal, disguise and detect. He learned how to role-play, psychologically asses, sell, exploit. He was to be given the know-how to kill with a variety of weapons or none at all. Harry was also trained for night parachuting, clandestine photography, tactical high speed emergency driving, rappelling from choppers, and dry and wet demolition.
After completing the Clandestine Service Trainee Program, he was given non-official cover status; meaning he is an operations officer without any official connection to the central Intelligence Agency and also without diplomatic protection if ever caught in an act of espionage. Harry's "cover legend" was that he was a global account manager for Plowman-Black LLC, an information technology consulting firm used as a front company by the CIA. While his primary duty as a CIA operations officer was recruiting foreign human intelligence assets, because of his experience as a signals intelligence officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, he was frequently embedded with Special Activities Division paramilitary teams to provide signals intelligence and communications support.
Five years into his career as a CIA officer, Harry was recruited into the Omega Sector Program. Omega Sector is an ultraclandestine CIA unit tasked with conducting unilateral espionage operations to recover or destroy U.S. military or intelligence technology that has fallen into the possession of persons or organizations engaged in hostilities against the United States. Operating as a rapid response force, Omega Sector's operatives and resources are only deployed when high-ranking officials within the U.S. Intelligence Community have concluded that the recovery or destruction of the technology would require the specific tradecraft techniques and methods utilized by Omega Sector; otherwise the mission would be carried out by standard U.S. intelligence or military special operations forces.
Instead of relying on foreign agents or filtering the world through satellites and antennas, Omega Sector's operatives physically infiltrate dangerous and sensitive enemy locations to complete a mission by whatever means deemed necessary. They mark a return to the classical method of deep-cover spies in the field, risking their lives for the sake of taking a photograph or copying a computer hard drive or assuming a false identity to infiltrate a terrorist cell. By utilizing the most advanced espionage technology, Omega Sector operatives go deep undercover to infiltrate secure installations, seize critical intelligence, destroy dangerous data or equipment, and neutralize the enemy as needed, without leaving a trace. Omega Sector works under the cover of being a downtown Washington, D.C-based computer security services company named Tektel Systems.
Upon joining the Omega Sector, Harry was given the new cover legend of being a sales representative for Tektel Systems. Like his previous cover, that gives him the cover to travel frequently. Because the Omega Sector Program operates semi-autonomously from the CIA headquarters, Harry has been given full discretionary power to do whatever he personally believes is required to accomplish Omega Sector's mission of protecting the United States from high-tech enemies. A little under a year after Harry joined Omega Sector, he married his girlfriend of three years, Helen Jameson, a paralegal at a corporate law firm. A little over a year after that, their daughter, Dana, was born. Having never told Helen that he is a CIA officer, Harry often struggles to balance his life as a spy with his familial duties.
- A version of this character appeared in the 1994 American action film True Lies.