After the failure of the Atomic Knight project to condition soldiers to a post-atomic scenario, the US military decided to create their own such soldier. Using genetic engineering techniques developed by Project: Cadmus, they attempted to create a super-soldier capable of surviving in a post-atomic environment. Their first attempt was a failure, their second was Patriot.
Patriot was engineered fully grown. He was programmed with all the skills and knowledge of an adult as well as training in military procedures and operations, and in combat techniques. He was also programmed with fail safes to allow his military creators to maintain control over him. Unknown to Patriot's creators, the entity known as OMEGA also had a hand in his creation. OMEGA saw Project: Patriot as an aid to his plan to take control of all of Earth's metahuman resources.
Patriot's existence was to have remained Top Secret, but OMEGA had other plans in mind. What was supposed to be a training exercise using a simulated battle with a super villain in an urban environment, turned out to be very real. Patriot battled the villain named Warmonger in Pacific City. It was not until the heroes Galahad and Shadow Walker arrived that it became clear to Patriot that the battle was very real. Warmonger was defeated, but Patriot had now made a very public appearance.
Since the US Government had recently began taking a greater interest in the Pacific City-based team the Enforcers, Sarge Steel (then head of the Dept. of Metahuman Affairs) decided to allow Patriot to join that team. He assigned Galahad, a member of the Enforcers and also an operative of Checkmate, to watch over Patriot. Patriot's stint with the team turned out to be a brief one. During a battle with the time traveling villain Per Degaton, Galahad, Shadow Walker, and Patriot found themselves in the year 1941. They managed to thwart Degaton's plan but while Galahad and Shadow Walker returned to the present, Patriot was left behind in the past.
Even though he was trapped in the past, Patriot's programming was still in place. Since much of the programming involved loyalty to the United States, Patriot continued in his role as hero. He wound up in Superior City where he joined that city's resident hero team, the Adventurers. He also adopted the civilian identity of Paul Anderson and for the first time experienced what life as a "normal" person was like. Near the end of World War II Patriot was asked by the military to be part of a special strike force heading into Germany. His programming had weakened, but he was still a hero so he accepted the assignment. During the Allies thrust into Berlin in 1945 , Patriot met up with his former teammate Galahad (now calling himself Paladin), who was traveling through time. Patriot chose to return to the present with Paladin.
Once back in the present, Paladin told Patriot the truth about OMEGA, and OMEGA's role in Patriot's creation. This broke the last remaining controls and Patriot gave up his heroic identity, choosing instead to travel the U.S. as Paul Anderson in an effort to find his place in the world. His travels led him back to Superior City where he helped the new Enforcers of Justice on a few missions. During this time he began calling himself Adventurer. Though he did help out the Enforcers on occasion, Paul never did join the team. When Paladin and Justice Inc arrived in Superior City to fend off an invasion from the Anti-matter Universe, Adventurer helped them and was invited by Paladin to join the newly created Knightwatch. Paul agreed and returned with Paladin to the Knightwatch headquarters. Paul is now one of Knightwatch's elite members and uses the code-name Vanguard.
Vanguard was genetically engineered to be able to survive in a post-holocaust environment. His reflexes are super-human, his body is dense enough to resist high-caliber rifle fire, and he is capable of lifting several tons. Paul's body also heals very quickly making him difficult to hurt and even more difficult to kill. His senses have also been enhanced. He can see in near-total darkness, hear a greater range of sounds at a greater distance than normal, and his sense of smell is acute enough to allow him to track in individual by scent. His senses also combine with his training to give an innate danger sense that warns him of threats.
Vanguard was also programmed with extensive military training. He is skilled with most modern military weaponry and is also highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat. He is trained as a combat medic, and is skilled in most military field operations. As a member of Knightwatch, Vanguard has access to a vast array of advanced military equipment that his skills allow him to master quite easily, making him one of the most effective combat troops in the organization.