Central Officer John Bradford is an officer attached to XCOM. He reports to the Commander (the player) and often confers with Dr. Shen and Dr. Vahlen. Bradford is frequently referred to and answers to the callsign "Central".
Bradford appears as a man in his thirties, and acts as the junior commander of XCOM. It is likely he served in the military prior to his transfer to the project. He speaks with an American accent, though his country of origin is never revealed in Enemy Unknown but it is confirmed in XCOM 2 that he is from the United States.
Although he never participates in a battle or mission, he is shown to be adept at fighting, when he is attacked and set upon by a mind-controlled XCOM staff member, during the opening cutscene of the aliens' assault on HQ in Enemy Within. In that cutscene, he manages to fight back and incapacitate the assaulting staff member.
In the alternate timeline of XCOM 2, Bradford survives the fall of XCOM during the initial alien invasion. After years of hiding from ADVENT on the edge of civilization, he has become jaded and depressed, even garnering an alcohol addiction. However, after bringing the Commander back, he gains more confidence and becomes inspired to take up arms again.
Bradford is the main person you will interact with. He will inform you about your missions as you go to them and comment on events in the Geoscape. During missions, he will provide intelligence on objectives, and alert the Commander of additional alien threats.
Throughout XCOM: Enemy Unknown, he expresses an eagerness to learn about the alien threat, but is also concerned for the safety of the troops. He frequently relays his opinions to the Commander.
XCOM 2 gives his date of birth as November 17, 1979 in Manhattan, Kansas, USA making him 35 years old at the beginning of Enemy Unknown and 55 in XCOM 2.
In XCOM 2, Bradford personally takes to the field on two occasions. The first time is during the tutorial mission in which he breaks the Commander out of stasis. The second is time during the Alien Hunters DLC's story mission where he is fielded as a Colonel-rank Ranger with the Slash, Blademaster, Shadowstep, Run and Gun, Bladestorm, Untouchable, and Reaper abilities. In both appearances, his weapon of choice is his unique "Multipurpose Combat Rifle"; this assault rifle is customized with six Advanced level weapon upgrades: Stock, Auto-Loader, Hair Trigger, Scope, Expanded Magazine, Laser Sights.
- In XCOM: Enemy Within, if the player fails the base defense mission, Central Officer Bradford will be seen dead with the pistol off of his hand, next to a deceased Sectoid.
- Bradford wears a commando sweater, as used by the USMC and British army, amongst many other military organizations around the world.
- As revealed by Jake Solomon during a livestream, Central Officer Bradford takes his namesake from Sam Bradford, American football quarterback.
- While not a player-controlled character by default, Bradford can still be seen around various areas of the Avenger, interacting with the crew.