Byrd, nicknamed "Birdie", was one of Juan Rico's fellow Officer Candidate School cadet.
Byrd had a B.S. in math on his eighteenth birthday. During his day in the Officer Candidate School, Byrd taught math instead of studying it. Byrd was a faculty member, much like Shujumi did in Camp Arthur Currie.
Juan Rico mentioned that Byrd had that rare combo of brilliant intellect, solid education, common sense, and guts, which gets a cadet marked as a potential general. People figured he was a cinch to command a brigade by the time he was thirty, what with the war.
Byrd was given pips which have been worn by five officers — all of them were killed in action. However, he wasn't superstitious, so that didn't bother him.
He was tasked with an assignment to the Moskva the day Juan Rico was assigned to the Tours. Before leaving, Byrd had a conversation with Juan Rico. He was later killed in action and received the "Wounded Lion" postumous.