Ramius is one of the most effective Russian submarine commanders (and trainers of new crews) in the fleet, and is known to the Americans as an “unpredictable Maverick,” because he is both impulsive and able to calculate the fall-out of his decisions. In a conversation with Jack Ryan, he points out that he has read Ryan’s book on submarines and “most of it was wrong,” and he disagreed with Ryan’s conclusions about a particular sub commander, since he made poor choices that left others in harm’s way. He logically makes decisions based on most likely outcomes, and knows how to cover his back—planning ahead to make the crew need to abandon ship and then choosing to make them think the officers have given up their lives to fight the enemy rather than defected to America. He misleads them into thinking something is wrong, forcing them to surface, and puts them all out in boats. Early on, knowing he will need to get rid of the high-ranking Soviet spy among them, he kills him and makes it look like an accident, while burning their actual orders and replacing them with fabricated ones. He knows how to diffuse a torpedo by increasing speed between them and it and striking it before it has time to arm itself, and also knows that “we won’t get another chance like that.” At one point, he simply tells someone to “shut up,” without an explanation. Ramius warns Ryan not to shoot anything important in pursuing the saboteur, and is able to keep his cool and maintain professionalism even when he loses his best friend. He has planned this scenario carefully, and allowed for alternative outcomes, saying that their luck relies on “what kind of an American” they meet—whether they will be open to the idea of the submarine defecting or see them as a threat and fire on them. He frankly tells his officers that they have a one in three chance of survival. Ramius is willing to take risks others are not, burning bridges behind him (he tells the government of their planned defection, so that there is “no home to return to” – it’s do or die) and not opening the torpedo doors under threat. His inferior Fi shows both in his dedication to his crew (he wants them to be safe, no matter what happens and in his willingness to die for his beliefs) and his emotional distance and willingness to take hard actions for what he considers to be a greater good.

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Ramius is cool and confident under pressure, has total faith in his ability to lead, and makes difficult decisions based on gut instinct, even where other, more fearful types (like Borodin) urge him to be more cautious. He effectively neutralizes threats through applying pressure to the situation, testing people to determine whose side they are on, and building inroads where he sees it might serve him in the long run. He is never fearful or nervous, and has built up a reputation as a powerful man with strong leadership skills. He takes power easily and gives orders expecting them to be followed, but has a soft 9 presence, an ability to make people like him, is good at winning over the trust and respect of his crew, and does not pursue pointless arguments. He is often quiet and chooses to listen rather than debate his officers, telling them only after they are at sea that there’s no turning back.