Roach’s first appearance is in the level “Cliffhanger,” where he accompanies Captain MacTavish on a mission to infiltrate a Russian-controlled airbase in Kazakhstan. While the two climb the mountains on the base's outskirts, Roach nearly falls to his death before being saved at the last second by MacTavish. The two then approach the base on foot and manage to retrieve a stolen ACS module before escaping on snowmobiles. Shortly afterward, Task Force 141 goes to Rio De Janerio on a mission to capture arms dealer Alejandro Rojas, a contact of Makarov. Roach and the other team members pursue Rojas through the Favela and eventually capture him, only to be swarmed by local Militia. The team then mounts a break out and is able to work their way to the Favela rooftops, where they jump to a waiting helicopter. Roach, however, misses the jump and is forced to make his way back to the helicopter totally unarmed. As the helicopter nearly runs out of fuel, he successfully makes a second jump and is extracted with the rest of the team.
While in Brazil, MacTavish and Ghost were able to extract from Rojas that Makarov has a hate-on for Prisoner #627, who is being held in a gulag off the coast of Russia. Task Force 141 initiates a two-stage operation to secure the prisoner. It begins with a raid on a Russian oilrig platform armed with SAMs that is guarding the approach to the gulag. Roach and the rest of the Task Force make their way onto the platform via SDVs and proceed to neutralize the majority of hostiles and free the hostages being used as human shields. The Task Force then departs on Little Birds as U.S. Marine forces simultaneously touch down to dismantle the SAMs. Thesecond phase of the operation then proceeds with an assault on the gulag itself. After freeing Prisoner #627, who turns out to be Captain Price, Roach and a small number of other Task Force members manage to extract via SPIE rig as the U.S. Navy destroys the facility. With Price back in the fold, Task Force 141 facilitates his plan to board a Russian submarine and use it to launch a nuclear missile at Washington, D.C. During the assault on the submarine base itself, Roach contributes significantly using an MQ-1 Predator Drone to provide close-air-support. Price is able to board the submarine and put his plan into action, air-bursting a missile over Washington D.C. and utilizing it as a massive EMP.
U.S. forces in Washington are able to tip the scales in their favor as a result of the blast and save the city from being carpet bombed by the U.S. Air Force. As a result, Task Force 141 turns its main focus to finding and eliminating Makarov. Ghost and Roach lead an attack on one of Makarov’s safe houses on the Georgian-Russian border. Most of the team is killed during an ambush on approach but Roach, Ghost, Ozone and Scarecrow are able to reach the safe house and breach inside. They are unable to locate Makarov, but quickly begin to collect highly valuable intelligence from available computers, documents and photos as Makarov's forces begin to mount a counter-attack. After a DSM with intelligence finishes downloading, the survivors head for the extraction point and General Shepherd’s forces. On approach, Roach is wounded by a close mortar strike. He comes close to blacking out several times before Ghost comes to his aid. The latter ends up dragging Roach to the extraction point, where Shepherd's forces rout theUltranationalists. Shepherd emerges from the Pave Low and asks Ghost if they have the DSM, which Ghost confirms. Shepherd then betrays the two by shooting them both with his .44 Magnum and taking the DSM from Roach's body. Both Ghost and Roach are then taken to a ditch and immolated by Shadow Company soldiers as Shepherd looks on.