Jake was the leader. Unanimously decided by the rest of the group that he was best suited for the job. It is revealed at the end of the series he is only 13 years old when this happens.
A boy who was the unwilling leader of a band of guerrilla fighters. A small handful of other children, who never fought to win. They never kid themselves that they could actually win. They just knew they couldn’t not fight. and thought maybe, just maybe they could hold back the enemy forces just long enough for the good guys to come and save them…
Despite being reluctant and secretly second guessing a majority of his decisions, it becomes quite clear early on that he was best suited for the job.
“A leader may be just as weak or scared or doubtful as anyone else. But he isn’t allowed to show it. People say they want leaders to be just like them, but I don’t think do. People want leaders to act the way people wish they could act themselves.” ~ Jake #16
It also didn’t take Jake long to understand his team, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and then use that to his advantage.
“But he’d been leader for a long time now, he’d learned to say what he needed to say” ~Tobias #33
He’s only reason to fight, his motivation to stay and do it instead of giving up was to save his brother, who was taken by the enemy. That is all he ever really wanted to do. He just wanted to save Tom.
After 3 years of fighting, he didn’t. He couldn’t save Tom. In fact one of those final impossible decisions he had to make was the final game changer. He ordered his beserker of a cousin to kill his brother. He directly ordered his brothers execution.
It won them the war, but lost Jake his soul. and not only his brother’s life, but also his cousins. After the war, after so many impossible decisions he suffered from really severe depression and PTSD. He withdrew into a deep hollow black hole.
And post war he was forever known as …
Jake the Yeerk-killer