Tony Stark's best friend, James Rhodes, is one of the few to wear the Iron Man armor, other than Tony Stark himself. Although he initially took on the role when Stark was dealing with his demons, Rhodes has reprised the role over the years.
A Turbulent Start
While growing up in South Philadelphia, James Rhodes was frequently bullied, and he longed to forge a new life for himself by moving away. Despite his hardship, he remained noble and good, even forming a close childhood bond with a girl named Glenda Sandoval and defending her from other children. However, when he gravely injured another child in the process, Rhodes was sent to a juvenile correctional facility
Later in life, Rhodes joined the Marines. He served for several tours in Southeast Asia, while also studying to become an aviation engineer. He became particularly close to fellow Marine Parnell Jacobs, who he even introduced to his childhood friend Glenda; they fell in love and later married.
Despite his military background, Rhodes hated taking lives and it took a toll on him. After his helicopter was shot down during a mission, he was found by Tony Stark AKA Iron Man, after the latter's own situation had gone awry. The two worked together to escape. Out of the Iron Man armor, Stark offered Rhodes a job as his pilot, which he took once his tour of duty was complete.