Charles "Charlie" Campion is a minor but pivotal character in the first book of The Stand. In the miniseries, he is played by Ray McKinnon.
Charles Campion is a soldier in the United States Army, stationed at the Project Blue research facility in the California desert. His wife and baby daughter LaVon lived with him on the base, where he worked as a guard.
In the miniseries, Campion is specified as a member of the Army's military police (who perform all security and guard duty functions on Army posts). His rank insignia shows him as an E-4 Specialist.
When the Captain Trips virus started to spread within the facility, Charlie Campion panicked and deserted his post. He raced to his home on the base, hastily gathered his wife and daughter, and escaped seconds before the base locked down.
Unknown to Campion, it was already too late. Though he and his family did get away before the lockdown, they took an extremely deadly virus with them, infecting untold numbers of people on the the way to Arnette, Texas. The U.S. Army tried to track down Campion and his family, but Campion correctly guessed where they would put the roadblocks and evaded them, driving on numerous back-country roads. Campion drove almost non-stop, making efforts to catch him next to impossible once he was out of the immediate area surrounding the base.
It is impossible to know how may people Campion and his family infected directly. But even a dozen or more people at different gas stations on the way would have gone on to infect hundreds around them, then thousands, then millions. Had Campion not made it off the base before the lockdown, the Army might have been able to stop the superflu from escaping into the outside world. Campion's drive to Texas made that containment impossible.
By the time he had driven to Arnette, Texas, Campion was a sick and bloated man, barely able to think or speak. His wife and baby daughter were already dead- unknown to Campion, who had driven onward in a desperate attempt to get them help. Campion died before an ambulance could arrive, but not before telling Stuart Redman about "Project Blue," his escape from the base, and "the Dark Man".
In the novel, Campion mentions having been in the tower control room when the outbreak begins, barely escaping before its sealed shut which is presumably how he got infected. However, in the miniseries, it's far less clear how Campion became infected. In the miniseries, Campion is depicted as a gate guard working in a guard booth on the surface. There is no clear point in time where Campion could come into contact with the virus spreading through the underground base unless it had somehow gotten out and was airborne.