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SUBJECT: UNSC NAVY
- Main Index
- UNSC (Miscellaneous Personnel)
- The Covenant
- UEG Civilians
- Other Factions
The backbone of the UNSC military, the Navy is primarily responsible for spaceborne operations, making it the main line of defense for Earth's colonies.
- Badass Navy: They may have been far outmatched on a ship-to-ship level during the Human-Covenant War, with most of their weapons only able to deal Scratch Damage to most Covenant ships (which in return could one-shot most human ships), but the Navy's skilled commanders, pilots, and crews (plus nukes and MACs) meant that it often held its own even against overwhelming odds.
- Cool Spaceship: Many, but the Prowlers, the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, and the Infinity are among the coolest.
- Magnetic Weapons: Outside of its nukes, the Navy's Magnetic Accelerator Cannons (MACs) are humanity's most powerful weapons, capable of potentially one-shotting most unshielded Covenant ships, with their main weakness being an incredibly long recharge time after each shot. The MACs equipped on Orbital Defense Platforms are even better, with enough power to one-shot shielded Covenant capital ships, and five second recharge times due to massive power generators located planetside.
- Pyrrhic Victory: While the Navy certainly made the Covenant work for each planet taken, their own victories against the Covies tended to be this, with even military geniuses like Admiral Cole often taking far more casualties than they inflicted due to the aliens' superior tech.
- Space Navy
- The Battlestar: Most UNSC ships carry at least a small complement of fighters, and even dedicated carriers are armed to the teeth. The Infinity takes this even further by carrying not just fighters, but multiple frigates. Almost all UNSC ships also have a very impressive array of point-defence guns in addition to their standard armament.
- Space Fighter: Several, with the Longsword being the most notable during the war.
- Standard Human Spaceship: Everything except for the ONI Prowlers.
- Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: They are basically this.
- Took a Level in Badass: By the Halo 4-era, due to tremendous technological advancements allowing them to close the gap with the Covenant.Thomas Lasky: "For too many years, humanity was on the backfoot. Reacting to threats, rather than preventing them. Rest of the galaxy was bigger than us. Stronger than us. We were mice, hiding in the shadows, hoping the giants would not see us. No more. Humanity is no longer on the defense. We are the giants now."
Fleet Admiral Lord Terrence Hood (07960-48392-TH)
- Badass Baritone: Courtesy of Ron Perlman.
- Bald of Awesome: As revealed in Escalation.
- Big Good: By Halo 3, he's effectively the de facto leader of what's left of humanity. His power has lessened in the post-war era, but he's still the most prominent individual among those opposing ONI's efforts to further dominate the UNSC, as he was the only person who stood up to Parangosky and got away with it.
- Cincinnatus: Despite his political standing at the end of the Human-Covenant War, he's been a key figure in the effort to phase out the UNSC's emergency powers and cede power back to the civilians of the UEG.
- Despair Event Horizon: He seems to almost reach it after the Battle of Earth, when Earth was saved from the Flood by sheer luck.
- Determined Defeatist: Still he's ready to fight to the bitter end against both the Covenant and the Flood.
- Four-Star Badass: Like the other major UNSC admirals during the war.
- Hero of Another Story: While Master Chief and crew are at Delta Halo and The Ark, Hood is leading the defense of Earth.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Was this back during the Bungie era (as seen here◊), but his H2A redesign got rid of the resemblance.
- Mission Control: Provides some of this for the Chief in the original trilogy.
- My Greatest Failure: Halo: Escalation reveals that Lord Hood's first command was to recover the log left by the Spirit of Fire at Arcadia without engaging Covenant forces. However, by that point a young Captain Hood was fed up with retreating from the Covenant, so he ordered his ship Roman Blue to attack a pair of Covenant destroyers. Hood was ultimately forced to retreat without recovering the log. Hood blamed himself and spent years supporting both Cutter's wife and daughter, and his mistress and illegitimate son.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Despite being a British nobleman, he has no trace of a British accent.
- Officer and a Gentleman: He is a nobleman, after all.
- Old Soldier: As befitting of a Navy veteran who's seen the worst of the war.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Willing to listen to Chief's advice to go into the Portal, even though he's personally very skeptical about it.
- Supporting Leader: Particularly in Halo 3, where he's coordinating the last of Earth's defenses.
Captain Jacob Keyes (01928-19912-JK)
The captain of the Pillar of Autumn, Keyes is legendary for his unorthodox tactics and skill. He assisted Dr. Halsey in selecting candidates for the Spartan-II program, and later had his daughter Miranda with her. In 2552, he was selected to transport the Spartan-IIs on a mission to capture the Prophets, but the mission is scrubbed by the Fall of Reach, with the Autumn forced to make a blind slipspace jump that sends it to Halo.
- A Father to His Men: A caring man to those under his command.
- Becoming the Mask: The beginning of Halo: The Fall of Reach has him and Halsey posing as husband and wife. Guess what happens later.
- Body Horror: When he gets infected by the Flood and turned into a proto-Gravemind.
- The Captain: Pretty much no one can match him in single-ship combat, even if they're commanding a ship much more powerful than his.
- Commanding Coolness: When he's introduced in The Fall of Reach.
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: An heirloom of his grandfather. He often likes to hold it and put it between his lips as a kind of Character Tic that helps him think. Regulations prevent him from lighting it on the ship, though he is known to bend them a bit when he is in command.
- Heroic Willpower: Part of how he resists being mind-raped by the Flood.
- Mercy Kill: Received one from the Master Chief.
- Military Maverick: He comes up with tactics no one else can, and while he won't always follow orders and follow regulations, count on him to always do the right thing that will save the most lives. He does note at one point that if a student had proposed a maneuver like the Keyes Loop when he was a teacher at the Academy, he would have given it a C+ due to the sheer risk.
- Mr. Exposition: In Combat Evolved.
- Parents as People: Clearly cares about his daughter, but due to his job, he's unable to be as close to her as he'd like.
- Oral Fixation: Will chew on his grandfather's pipe.
- Out-of-Character Moment: His execution-by-proxy of Dowski in Halo: The Flood is a total 360 from his earlier actions in The Fall of Reach when he finds that he doesn't have the heart to court-marshal Lieutenant Jaggers, even though both were guilty of A) insubordination and B) being morons (specifically, Dowski was continually trying to pester the rest of the crew into surrendering to the Covenant, who are generally not the prisoner-taking sort).
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's very much the type of commander who's more than willing to listen to his subordinates and give them a chance to change his mind, at least outside of the heat of battle.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: It's against regulations to smoke on a UNSC vessel, but Keyes does it anyway if he's in command of it. But he never does it on the bridge.
- The Strategist: Possibly the best one in the UNSC Navy besides Admiral Cole.
- Survival Mantra:Keyes recites his name, rank, and service number constantly to resist Mind Rape by the Flood, which is stripping away his memories systematically. It works for a while, but he eventually is forced to forget his own name.
- Veteran Instructor: After being injured during a Covenant ambush, he was temporarily reassigned to a military academy on Luna before being brought back to the frontline.
- You Are in Command Now: Back when he was still a lieutenant, he was forced to take command of the UNSC Midsummer Night after his CO was killed by an Innie sympathizer among the bridge crew.
Commander Miranda Keyes (15972-19891-MK)
The daughter of Jacob Keyes and Catherine Halsey, Miranda followed in her father's footsteps and joined the UNSC Navy, rising to the rank of Commander by 2552. When the Covenant attacked Earth, Miranda followed the Prophet of Regret's ship back to Delta Halo, where she forged an alliance with The Arbiter to stop the activation of the Halo Array. Upon returning to Earth, she joins the resistance against the occupying Covenant forces, leading a Human contingent through the portal at Voi to find the Ark.
- Action Girl: Surprisingly good at handling herself in a firefight, and fairly athletic as well.
- Badass Normal: Takes down two Brutes by herself and wounds several others with just a shotgun and a pistol, and even briefly holds her own against the Arbiter.
- Calling The Old Lady Out: One of her last letters to Halsey was basically this.
- Character Death: In Halo 3, courtesy of Truth shooting five Spiker rounds into her back.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Tartarus, who is probably very good at it, threatens her with it to try and force her to activate Halo. She ignores him.
- Commanding Coolness: Her first engagement against the Covenant had her defeating a destroyer with an outdated and unarmed science vessel (though she was technically still a lieutenant back then).
- Dual Wielding: She wields two sub-machine guns against the Arbiter in Halo 2, and a shotgun and a pistol against Brutes in Halo 3.
- Dies Wide Open: Johnson closes them.
- Heroic Bastard: Is the daughter of Keyes' tryst with Halsey.
- I Am Not My Mother: Follows in her father's footsteps in large part to distance herself from Halsey, with whom her relationship is incredibly strained.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Though Miranda first appeared in 2004's Halo 2, it wasn't until the release of Halsey's journal in 2010 that we learned her mother is Catherine Halsey.
- Military Brat: Which sometimes got her accusations of nepotism.
- Murder-Suicide: Subverted. She was about to give Johnson a Mercy Kill and then commit Heroic Suicide, in order to prevent the Covenant from forcing them to activate the Halos. However, Truth manages to kill her first.
- Most Common Superpower: Combined with a rather tight uniform...
- Over Ranked Soldier: While an effective officer, she is way too young to have achieved her rank under normal circumstances. This can probably be chalked up to the UNSC being extremely low on manpower.
- Parental Issues: Halsey mostly stopped being involved in Miranda's upbringing after sending her to live with Jacob when she was six; Miranda strongly resents her mother for this. For her part, Halsey kept her distance because she felt she wasn't fit to be the mother her daughter deserved.
- Ramming Always Works: How did she defeat that destroyer with just an unarmed science vessel? By ramming it into the surface of a nearby planet through a fiery atmospheric descent while setting the engines to explode.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Like any commander worth their salt, she's willing to listen to both Chief and Cortana.
- Shed the Family Name: Changed her surname from Halsey to Keyes.
- Statuesque Stunner: Her official height is five-foot-ten.
- The Strategist: Just like her dad. She even served on Lord Hood's strategy team before being given command of the UNSC In Amber Clad.
- Turn Out Like Her Father: Halsey did her best to dissuade Miranda from following her father into the frontlines of the Human-Covenant War, even using her influence to forcibly assign her to a non-combat position. Obviously, that didn't quite work out.
- "Well Done, Daughter" Gal: Halsey believes that she joined the UNSC Navy and changed her last name to Keyes to impress her father, who was one mostly responsible for raising her. On Jacob's end, we know relatively little about how he felt, save for a few glimpses of what seemed to have been a reasonably loving and respectful, if inevitably distant, relationship when she was ten in Halo: The Cole Protocol.
Captain Andrew Del Rio (90302-75627-AD)
The captain of the UNSC Infinity, the most powerful warship ever built by humanity. Del Rio is known as being a competent by-the-book captain, but not being very good at inspiring loyalty among his crew. In 2557, Del Rio commands the forces of the Infinity after it crash lands on the Forerunner shield world of Requiem and finds Spartan John-117 fighting a radical faction of the Covenant and Forerunner Prometheans. After returning to Earth, Del Rio retired from service and became a UEG Senator representing the Jovian colonies.
- 0% Approval Rating: None of his subordinates like him, to the point where when the Master Chief straight-up ignores Del Rio's orders right to his face, the Infinity's entire crew refuses to listen to their captain's order to detain the Spartan. As an added insult, when Infinity makes it back to Earth, Del Rio is instantly removed from command by the Security Council for picking a fight with a war hero. Even ONI doesn't think much of him, which is really saying something. He's significantly more popular as a senator, though even then it's implied that he suffers a severe dip in popularity after his statements about the Chief are proven wrong.
- Badass Bureaucrat: Despite his flaws as a field commander, he did do a solid job as project manager during Infinity's construction, and is considered one of the UEG Senate's most competent bureaucrats.
- The Captain: A subversion of the typical type; he's an excellent administrator and bureaucrat, but not a particularly adept leader of men in battle.
- Dirty Coward: He is more focus on escaping Requiem than following John's words about the Diadect's master plan, dismissing the SPARTAN's warnings as a result of hallucination.
- Fantastic Racism: According to his political speech, Spartan-IIs are pieces of obsolete, malfunctioning, clanking relics that should be all executed immediately, while Spartan-IVs are direct upgrades and amazing super soldiers. He obviously has not heard of the IVs that have actually joined the Insurrection.
- General Failure: Cortana and Chief not only repeatedly question his tactical decisions even before they meet the guy, but are proven right at every turn as Del Rio's orders continually produce more needless loss of life. This culminates with his decision to flee Requiem, which lets the Didact reach the Composer and use it to wipe out both an entire UNSC research station and a whole city in North America.
- Hate Sink: Is very much this in Halo 4, where he's presented as a far more hatable figure than the actual Big Bad. He retains this role after becoming a senator by the time of HUNT the TRUTH, where he launches an anti-Chief campaign following Chief's alleged attack on the Biko peace conference; just listen to his speech, which had the whole fanbase frothing in rage.
- Jerkass: Jacob Keyes, the man is NOT. The man seems to have immense trouble being civil the moment he's remotely challenged.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He wants Cortana dismantled due to her rampancy, believing her a risk to the entire crew. As Cortana comes back as a megalomaniac obsessed with conquering the galaxy, he's proven totally correct.
- Karma Houdini: Despite losing his position as captain, Del Rio was promoted to UEG senator, giving him the power to launch a propaganda against all Spartan-IIs as well as bad mouthing Chief, calling him a "false Spartan" and "broken bastardization of a soldier."
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: His main role in Halo 4 seems to be merely getting in the way of John-117 and Cortana saving the day.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He refuses to listen to the Master Chief about the threat the Didact represents and instead leaves Requiem to return to Earth for orders, abandoning the Chief and Cortana to stop the Didact on their own. FLEETCOM is not happy with his decision, and promptly removes him from command.
- Sleazy Politician: After being removed from command, he spins his connections into a comfortable political career in the Jovian colonies. A good working example of his sleaziness is how quickly he changes his tune when the Chief is found to be innocent of the Biko massacre.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Del Rio has absolutely zero respect for the Chief's proven tactical expertise, despite the fact that virtually every UNSC commander worth their salt understands that you ignore a Spartan-II's advice at your own peril.
Captain Thomas J. Lasky (77698-41073-TL)
The executive officer of the UNSC Infinity in 2557, Lasky was an officer cadet at the Corbulo Academy of Military Science in 2526. While initially unenthusiastic about being part of the UNSC military, Lasky's life was changed when the Covenant attacked the academy, resulting in an encounter with Spartan John-117. After surviving the Human-Covenant War, then-Commander Lasky became the executive officer of the Infinity, and fought alongside John-117 once more on the Forerunner shield world of Requiem. Afterwards, he was promoted to Infinity's captain.
- Ace Pilot: During the early years of the Human-Covenant War, he served as a fighter pilot for the fleet.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: With just a shotgun in Episode 7 of Spartan Ops, he holds his own against Prometheans.
- Badass Normal: He's a good close combat combatant.
- The Captain: After Del Rio is removed from command of the Infinity, Lasky is promoted and given the ship.
- Career Ending Allergy: Lasky almost gets this while attending Corbulo Academy, as he turns out to be allergic to an important fluid needed for the cryosleep process. His superiors offered to release him from the academy on a medical discharge, but the Covenant attack the academy before he can make a decision. Because of the Covenant, though, he decides to remain in the Navy, taking the pain of his allergy every time."Apparently I'm allergic to war."
- Chekhov's Gunman: First mentioned offhand in the short story "Petra" (from the 2010 Halo: First Strike reprint), two years before his first actual appearance.
- Commanding Coolness: Before being promoted to the captain's seat himself.
- A Day in the Limelight: Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn serves as his Origin Story.
- The Good Captain: He's a lot nicer and more reasonable than his predecessor, and is something of an idealist to boot.
- Good Is Not Soft: He's probably the nicest character in the entire franchise. And when he loses patience with Halsey, he decides to stick her in a cryotube.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: The death of his brother Cadmon is implied to be one of the main causes of his lackluster scores at Corbulo.
- Hero-Worshipper: Towards John-117, due to their meeting at Corbulo Academy.
- The Lancer: He is this to Captain Del Rio by the time he is assigned to the Infinity, so much so that Parangosky herself only conceded to making Del Rio captain of the UNSC's most powerful warship after Lasky had been assigned as Infinity's executive officer. After Del Rio's actions at Requiem, Lasky is immediately made his permanent replacement.
- Leeroy Jenkins: During training at Corbulo Academy, at least when he's not in charge of his squad.
- Military Brat: His mother was an important Marine colonel.
- Military Maverick: He's mostly a professional, but he will disobey orders that he believes are just plain wrong. In Halo 4, he disobeys Del Rio in order to help the Chief and Cortana accomplish their mission, and in Spartan Ops, he disobeys his orders to kill Halsey; instead, he sends in Fireteam Majestic to rescue her.
- Missing Mom: His mother was not around often due to her duties as a colonel.
- Nice Guy: Apart from having a strong moral compass, Lasky is just plain friendly to almost everyone; this is especially apparent when he and John-117 meet again in Halo 4.
- Number Two: To Infinity's captain Andrew Del Rio. That is, until Lasky is given full command of the Infinity after Del Rio is arrested.
- Officer and a Gentleman: He is one of the most honest characters in the Halo universe, and strongly dislikes ONI thanks to their utter lack of a moral compass, to the point where he refuses to do their dirty work.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Infinity's Spartan Commander Sarah Palmer; even after Lasky is promoted to Captain, the two still speak with each other in familiar terms.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Even before he replaces Del Rio as the captain of the Infinity, Lasky is much more reasonable with listening to John-117, and even helps him against his captain's orders. This continues after he takes charge, actively helping him to infiltrate the Didact's ship to save Earth.
- Reluctant Warrior: As a cadet, he really did not want to fight the Innies, thinking that they had legitimate complaints against the UNSC. This was in large part due to his brother Cadmon being killed while fighting them. He's still a good strategist and warrior despite this.
- The Strategist: Forward Unto Dawn shows how he really is a good commander in the field.
- Tragic Keepsake: His brother's and Chyler Silva's dogtags.
- You Are in Command Now: Due to his position aboard the Infinity, he's the only individual available to take up command of the ship after Del Rio is relieved of command.
Captain James "Jim" Gregory Cutter (01730-58392-JC)
A well-respected naval officer and a veteran of fighting against the Insurrection, Cutter was placed in charge of the UNSC Spirit of Fire during the campaign to retake the colony of Harvest. He was also charged with investigating Covenant activity on the planet and protecting Professor Ellen Anders, which led to a discovery that sent him pursuing a Covenant fleet across the galaxy.
- A Father to His Men: Even walking the ship at night to check on his crew.
- Badass Armfold: When he confronts Atriox in the Halo Wars 2 "Know Your Enemy" trailer.
- Badass Beard: He grows one in the sequel that is combined with his mustache.
- Badass Mustache: The only major Navy officer in the games with one.
- The Captain: To the point where he sometimes uses archaic nautical terms (despite having never seen a waterborne military vessel in his life).
- Happily Married: Has a wife and daughter who both live on Reach. Whether they survive the war is unknown.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Played with. He agrees to sacrifice the Spirit of Fire's slipspace engine to destroy Shield World 0459 before the Covenant can use its stored Forerunner fleet against humanity, despite this effectively dooming him and his crew to being stranded in space. They ultimately survive the experience, though.Serina: "That's the weak part of this plan, if you ask me. We've no way home without that reactor."Cutter: "One problem at a time, Serina. If the Covenant get their hands on these ships it will mean the end of the war. We'll take our chances here, to give humanity some hope."
- Ink-Suit Actor: In Halo Wars 2.
- Legally Dead: The UNSC officially considers the Spirit of Fire "lost with all hands".
- Limited Advancement Opportunities: It's specifically noted that his lack of personal ambition is the only reason why he hasn't been promoted to Admiral already.
- The Mentor: Lord Hood once served as the executive officer for the Spirit of Fire and regarded Cutter as his mentor.
- Officer and a Gentleman: He's more pragmatic than the typical example, though, given the enemy he's fighting.
- Old Soldier: Was already a seasoned veteran before the Covenant War began.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Is not only willing to listen to the advice of his noncoms, but enjoys "talking shop" with the enlisted.
- Uncertain Doom: He and his crew were stranded in space for 28 in-universe (and eight real-life) years between Halo Wars and Halo Wars 2.
- Your Cheating Heart: Had a mistress on Tribute, with whom he had a son.
Admiral Preston Jeremiah Cole (03956-26127-PC)
The most brilliant UNSC Admiral, Cole was Earth's greatest hero during the early years of the Insurrection before being forced to retire in disgrace after the discovery of his second wife's true identity. He was asked to return to active duty when the Covenant began their war against humanity, leading the largest UNSC fleet ever assembled in countless battles against the Covenant, becoming the only fleet commander to routinely win against the alien menace. His fight came to an end at the Battle of Psi Serpentis, where his tactics destroyed around three hundred Covenant ships at the cost of his vessel and life.
- Badass Boast: "Listen to me, Covenant. I am Vice Admiral Preston J. Cole commanding the human flagship, Everest. You claim to be the holy and glorious inheritors of the universe? I spit on your so-called holiness. You dare judge us unfit? After I have personally sent more than three hundred of your vainglorious ships to hell? After kicking your collective butts off Harvest - not once - but twice? From where I sit, we are the worthy inheritors. You think otherwise, you can come and try to prove me wrong."
- Badass Bookworm: Kept up on his reading on theoretical physics and military history while retired.
- Big Good: He was this to the UNSC for many years, until his likely faked death at the Battle of Psi Serpentis.
- The Chains of Commanding: The stress of being the main man the UNSC was counting on to defeat the Covenant would eventually start to overtake him, to the point where he likely faked his death to get away from it all.
- Combat Pragmatist: His highly unconventional and often lethal tactics in the heat of battle have certainly been responsible for some of humanity's greater victories against the Covenant.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: He lures the Covenant fleet at the gas giant Psi Serpentis to attack his flagship, then nukes the core so that the planet explodes into a brown dwarf star, destroying the entire fleet. AND there are hints he may have survived that!
- Faking the Dead: The ONI report which compiled his biography and the events of Psi Serpentis all but confirm that Cole faked his death and fled with his estranged second wife to a colony outside UNSC and Covenant space. ONI is currently searching for him to ask him to once again return to the UNSC following the end of the Human-Covenant War.
- Famed In-Story: While he was the UNSC's greatest admiral, he's perhaps even better known for his "Cole Protocol", a directive designed to prevent the Covenant from discovering the location of human core worlds, particularly Earth.
- Four-Star Badass: He was this before the Human-Covenant War. Afterward, he got even more badass.
- Good with Numbers: Despite being an indifferent student as a child, his mathematical skills were undeniable. In fact, it was him formulating a new way of calculating slipspace input parameters that got him accepted to Luna's Officer Candidate School in the first place.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Upon learning that his second wife, who was pregnant with his child, was the captain of an Insurrectionist ship that Cole had spent years hunting.
- I Surrender, Suckers: How he made his initial fame: after the ship he was serving on was crippled and the rest of the bridge crew killed or incapacitated, he surrendered to the attacking Insurrectionist ship, but sent a Archer missile through the docking tube they extended to gut them from the inside out. Indeed, Cole's faked distress signal was both a stroke of genius and breach of protocol so severe that UNSC CENTCOM dithered over whether to award him the Legion of Honor or to have him court martialed. Ultimately they did neither, to avoid setting precedent. However, from that point on Cole resolved to never again send a distress signal in enemy territory; no one would believe it. As he stated in his personal log: "Surrender, quite literally, is no longer an option for me.”
- The Lancer: To the entire UNSC Navy, so much so that his checkered past means nothing to them once the Covenant first emerged, and he is immediately called back for active duty and goes on to lead humanity's charge during the entire first half of the nearly thirty-year conflict. Indeed, the number of aliens he has killed rivals that of the entire Spartan-II program.
- Military Maverick: A highly unconventional tactician/strategist, to the point where committing an incredibly severe breach of protocol was key to his first notable victory.
- Old-School Chivalry: While he would certainly hit (and even kill) a girl, he had a lifelong habit of refusing to do or say anything that would incriminate the women in his life, much to the detriment of his career.
- Old Soldier: Was already an aged veteran of the war against the Insurrectionists when he was recalled to service during the Covenant War.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Though several UNSC officers had reservations about Jacob Keyes helping the Rubble's Insurrectionist-leaning inhabitants evacuate to an Inner Colony, Cole himself fully supported Keyes's decision (despite it being a potential violation of his own namesake protocol); in fact, it helped convince him to promote the man from Lieutenant all the way to Commander. Additionally, the Halo Wars in-game timeline states that Cole was the one who stood up for Forge when the latter was being charged for fighting a superior officer who had assaulted Forge's daughter.
- Retired Badass: After his wife was revealed to be an Insurrectionist captain. He was convinced to return when the Covenant threat was discovered.
- Shotgun Wedding: Twice, but the first time he wasn't actually the father.
- The Strategist: The UNSC's greatest.
- The Unfettered: His military career was marked by a perfect willingness to sacrifice himself and any number of subordinates and ships in order to achieve a greater victory.
Vice Admiral Hieronymus "Harold" Michael Stanforth (00834-19223-HS)
The head of ONI Section Three from 2512 to 2530, he resigned his post at ONI to fight on the frontlines against the Covenant fulltime. It was partly under his direction the Spartan-II project came about, and Section Three was at is busiest under his command. He was killed during the Fall of Reach.
- Dirty Business: Comes with the territory of working at ONI, and he was still involved in some pretty shady business even after he left the organization. His own feelings about this can be summed up in this message to Parangosky:"Some days I really get the feeling that we’re going to burn in hell for the things we do."
- Four-Star Badass: One of the few admirals to have some success fighting the Covenant.
- Killed Off for Real: He died along with most of his fleet at Reach.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He tried to help salvage Admiral Cole's reputation after the latter's wife was outed as an Insurrectionist, and managed to prevent him from being court-martialed.
- Supporting Leader: In Halo: The Fall of Reach, he's Halsey's main overseer during the early years of the SPARTAN-II Program, and is the one leading UNSC naval forces at the battles over Sigma Octanus IV and Reach.
Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb
The Deputy Chief of Naval Operations in 2552, Whitcomb was trapped on Reach when the planet fell. He sought refuge with a group of surviving Spartan-IIs, directing hit-and-run raids on occupying Covenant forces until they were rescued from the planet by John-117. Also, he claims to be descended from Russian Cossacks, despite speaking with a Texas drawl.
- A Father to His Men: Made particularly apparent when he orders Halsey to remove a badly injured Kelly off the bridge, because he's so worried about her condition he can't concentrate on the battle.
- Badass Boast: Two: The first is a transmission to the Covenant fleet after crashing the Ascendant Justice into Unyielding Hierophant. The second one is delivered posthumously:
- "We're here in the middle of your fleet with your 'holy of holies'. Come and get it!"
- "This is the prototype NOVA Bomb, nine fusion warheads encased in lithium triteride armor. When detonated, it compresses its fissionable material to neutron-star density, boosting the thermonuclear yield a hundredfold. I am Vice Admiral Danforth Whitcomb, temporarily in command of the UNSC military base Reach. To the Covenant uglies that might be listening, you have a few seconds to pray to your damned heathen gods. You all have a nice day in hell..."
- Badass Mustache: A salt-and-pepper one that dangles all the way down to the edge of his chin.
- Badass Normal: Survived for three weeks on Reach after it fell, despite being the only non-Spartan in his group of survivors. Later, just before the Unyielding Hierophant blows up, the Chief sees a feed of Whitcomb fighting off dozens of Elite boarders with just an SMG.
- The Chains of Commanding: He knows that his primary duty is the UNSC first and foremost, but the suffering and death his subordinates and allies have to endure because of it constantly wears on him. When he's forced to abandon the Insurrectionists at Eridanus Secundus to the Covenant, he still believes that doing so is unforgivable:"Duty be damned. I am still going to Hell for this."
- Four-Star Badass: A highly accomplished leader whose feats and heroics were studied by the Spartans themselves.
- Heroic Sacrifice/Dying Moment of Awesome: On the way back to Earth, he and Haverson crash the Ascendant Justice into the just-about-to-self-destruct Unyielding Hierophant, using a Forerunner artifact to lure in a Covenant fleet of over 500 ships. When the station explodes, only twelve Covenant ships survive.
- No One Gets Left Behind: Tries to live up to this ideal as much as he can; when Haverson questions his decision to try to rescue what's left of Red Team instead of immediately heading back to Earth, he responds:"I won't leave a single man or woman behind on this planet for the Covenant to tear apart for sport. No way."
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He and Red Team don't start off on the greatest of terms, but Whitcomb turns out to be a pretty straight example; he approves of the Master Chief's request to initiate Operation: FIRST STRIKE once they come up with a way to execute it without jeopardizing Whitcomb's main mission. In fact, Whitcomb later decides to sacrifice himself in order to ensure FIRST STRIKE's success.
- The Smart Guy: Was in charge of a number of high-tech R&D projects, including the HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL projects (which produced both the Mark 1 Prototype and Mantis Mini-Mechas) and the planet-destroying NOVA bombs. He even had some involvement in the SPARTAN-II Program.
- You Are in Command Now: After the Covenant destroys Reach's UNSC HQ, Whitcomb is forced to assume command of all remaining ground troops on the planet. He tries his best, but terrestrial warfare is clearly not his forte.
Rear Admiral Musa Ghanem (formerly Musa-096)
A former Spartan-II candidate, Musa was permanently crippled by the augmentations, but found his place as an officer in the Navy. After the end of the Human-Covenant War, he founded the SPARTAN-IV program, with himself as head of the newly created "Spartan" branch.
- Almighty Janitor: Had enough pull even as just a commander to openly call out his superiors in the Admiralty and turn his Spartans into an independent branch.
- Benevolent Boss: Often comes off as stern, but will go out of his way to have a personal conversation with his Spartans if he needs to set their minds at ease.
- Foil: To some degree, he seems to be what Serin might have become had she not fallen under Parangosky's sway.
- Genius Cripple: Rose to the rank of Rear Admiral before he turned 50.
- Good Counterpart: To Osman; both are Spartan-II washouts who detest Halsey and rose through the ranks to eventually lead their respective military branches. However, unlike Osman, Musa believes in interspecies cooperation and seems to rather disdain ONI's amorality (much of his motivation for making the Spartan branch independent was to get them away from ONI); he indicates to Buck at the end of Halo: New Blood that he wants the IVs to be human enough to be able to show mercy even to their foes.
- The Mentor: Has a little bit of this dynamic with Buck in New Blood, despite being about the same age.
- Rank Up: Is a commander when we first see him in Initiation and New Blood, but by the time of Halo 5: Guardians, he's been promoted to rear admiral.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Is willing to overlook people disobeying his orders if they had an understandable reason for it, and can tolerate backtalk as long as he gets the final say. When Buck requests to not lead a fireteam after the Talitsa mission, Musa easily grants it despite his own plans to eventually promote him.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez (22926-11908-FM)
The man who made the Spartans what they are. Mendez was recruited by Dr.Halsey to train the Spartan-IIs, and became a legend among them. He later was called back to train the Spartan-IIIs alongside Kurt-051, and assisted him in doing whatever it took to keep as many Spartans alive as possible. He came to hate himself for ever getting involved in the Spartan program, but still regards it as having been necessary.
- Badass Grandpa: Born in 2492, by 2552 he was still capable of keeping up with the Spartans, who have come to the conclusion that regular Marines and Army troopers a quarter of his age couldn't keep up with him.
- Badass Mustache: His appearance in Halo: Blood Line and the animated version of The Fall of Reach.
- Badass Normal: He is just a regular man, but he can more than hold his own when fighting alongside his Spartans.
- Bald of Awesome: Shaves his head.
- Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: The "Sergeant Rough" in both the II and III programs, with Mendez's role as hardass drill instructor contrasting both Halsey's role as Motherly Scientist and Kurt's role as fatherly commander.
- Cool Car: A custom rocket warthog.
- Determinator: He is not the type of man who surrenders. And he made sure the Spartans were the same.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: But only because it's his job. Though it's occasionally suggested he enjoys the role.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Was a decorated NAVSPECWEP operative before becoming a drill instructor.
- Living Legend: Among the Spartans.
- Memetic Badass: In-universe, to the Spartans.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Eventually develops a great amount of regret towards his own role in the Spartan programs.
- Old Soldier: Joined the military when he was 16, and didn't retire until he was older than 60.
- Parental Substitute: To the Spartan-IIs, being the closest thing they have to a surrogate father.
- Retired Badass: Played with. He left the service after the war due to both pressure from the UNSC and his own guilt about his role in the Spartan programs, but was uncomfortable with retirement and decided to become a civilian contractor. A civilian contractor who's in charge of all of security for one of the biggest joint-research projects between the UNSC and the Swords of Sanghelios.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Especially with the Spartan-IIIs. The first thing he has the candidates for Alpha Company do is a night jump from a Pelican. Bear in mind that they were on average between four and six years old!note
- Smoking Is Cool: Like a lot of other characters in the franchise, he enjoys Sweet William cigars.
- The Stoic: Rarely displays much in the way of genuine emotion.
Commander Richard Lash
The acting commander of the prowler UNSC Dusk in late 2552, Lash was one of the few humans to witness the beginning of the Covenant's Great Schism.
- The Chains of Commanding: Feels overwhelmed by his new responsibilities as the Dusk's commander, but refuses to let his nervousness show, no matter how much of a fraud he feels like.
- Greek Chorus: He and his crew primarily play the role of outside observer in both the Great Schism's opening salvos and the battle between Battle Group Omnicron and Voro Nar 'Mantakree's Sangheili fleet. They do play a brief but major role in the latter by laying nuclear mines.
- Military Brat: Sort of; his father was a wielder on the UNSC refit station Cradle.
- The Sneaky Guy: He and his crew have this role once joining up with Admiral Patterson's Battle Group Omnicron.
- Stealth Expert: Like all good prowler commanders, Lash is a master of keeping his ship hidden.
- Tragic Keepsake: An old-fashioned spring-and-gear wristwatch given by his father, who was killed during the battle of Sigma Octanus IV.
- You Are in Command Now: The only reason he's in command is because the Dusk's actual commander, Captain Iglesias, had to undergo radiation treatment.
Jacob Keyes's Bridge Crew (Dominique, Ellen Dowski, Hall, Aki Hikowa, Jaggers, William Lovell)
The men and women who served under Jacob Keyes on the UNSC Iroquois during the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV, with the remaining members later transferred along with Keyes to the Pillar of Autumn. Lieutenant Dominique is the communications officer, Lieutenant Hikowa is the weapons officer, Lieutenant Hall is the operations officer, and Lieutenant Jaggers was the navigation officer before being replaced by Ensign Lovell, with Ensign Dowski joining the crew by the Fall of Reach.
- The Ace: Keyes initially notes Dominique to be the most impressive officer by far, though he's later even more impressed by Lovell.
- Agent Scully: Dominique proposes that Halo might be a naturally occurring phenomenon.
- Almighty Janitor: Despite being a mere ensign, Lovell becomes Keyes's navigation officer; as it turns out, Lovell actually has a lot more combat experience than the higher-ranking members of the crew, with his troubled past being the only reason why he's not been (re)promoted to a higher rank.
- Boom, Headshot!: The fates of Lovell and Dowski, courtesy of the Covenant.
- Communications Officer: Dominique.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Lovell was a highly promising officer who displayed remarkable talent and bravery early in his career, but eventually broke under pressure and ended up being demoted several times for insubordination and gross incompetence.
- Decoy Protagonist: A lot of attention is given to William Lovell's reassignment to Keyes, and you'd expect him to be an important character. He dies unceremoniously with the rest of the bridge crew on Installation 04.
- Doomed by Canon: In Halo: The Flood, since we already knew by the book's release that almost none of the Autumn's crew will make it off Alpha Halo.
- Dismotivation: When we first meet Lovell, his sole motivation is to not get in trouble with either the Covenant or his superiors. He grows out of this after being reassigned to Keyes's command.
- Dirty Coward: Both Dowski and Jaggers prove worthless in dangerous situations.
- The General's Daughter: Lovell was involved in an incident with a civilian woman whom Keyes suspects was the daughter of a vice admiral.
- Hate Sink: Jaggers is bad at his job, cowardly, and is given no redeeming features at all.
- Karma Houdini: Jaggers's reward for being a Dirty Coward, freaking out, and committing borderline mutiny? A transfer to a safe location that saves his life.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: We never do find out what Hikowa was going to do to Dowski in response to the latter betraying the rest of the crew to the Covenant.Hikowa: You little bitch! I'll—
- My Greatest Second Chance: Lovell clearly regards his reassignment to Keyes as this, and does his best to prove himself worthy of his captain's faith.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Dowski seems genuinely horrified when her actions result in the Covenant executing the rest of the bridge crew.
- Number Two: Dominique is given control of the bridge when Keyes is off-duty.
- Reassigned to Antarctica:
- What happens to Jaggers after he loses his nerve during the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV.
- Before being assigned to the Iroquois, Lovell had previously reassigned himself to a remote sensor outpost, taking up a relatively safe job watching for Covenant activity.
- Remember the New Guy?: Dowski suddenly turns up in The Flood, despite being nowhere to be seen in Halo: The Fall of Reach.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Dowski betrays the rest of the Autumn's bridge crew to the Covenant in the hopes that the Covies will choose to keep them all alive as prisoners. Instead, the Covenant execute everyone except Keyes, with Dowski herself receiving a bullet to the head.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Hikowa might be this; Keyes wonders if her unenthusiastic demeanor and tendency to move with "all the deliberation of a sleepwalker" is the result of "battle fatigue" from surviving several battles against the Covenant. She regains some of her spirit after the UNSC's victory at Sigma Octanus IV.
- Sole Survivor: Jaggers is probably the only one of them still alive after the events of Halo: Combat Evolved.
- The Stoic: Dominique is all business and almost never cracks a smile.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Despite being relatively important supporting characters in The Fall of Reach, all of them are killed off with relatively little fanfare near the beginning of The Flood.
- Team Prima Donna: Hall is initially a downplayed version of this; she's so eager to impress Keyes that she's not averse to showing up her fellow officers. She grows out of this by the time the crew is reassigned to the Autumn.
- Token Minority: Hikowa, who's of Japanese descent.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The final fates of Dominique, Hall, and Jaggers are never disclosed. While Dominique and Hall are almost certainly dead, Jaggers' fate is a true mystery.
Petty Officer First Class Healy
A hospital corpsman with a lighthearted demeanor and a fondness for jokes, Healy is one of the soldiers assigned to help train Harvest's Colonial Militia, and is responsible for providing medical care to anyone injured during training.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: As much of a irreverent clown as he may be, he's a capable medic.
- The Face: Friendly and sociable, he's by far the most personable of Harvest's UNSC trainers, quickly becoming well-liked by the recruits.
- The Medic: Responsible for the health of the Harvest recruits, and saves many lives during the Covenant invasion.
- Mr. Vice Guy: A pick-up artist who's fond of alcohol, but is ultimately a well-meaning guy who proves himself a hero when Harvest is attacked.
- Plucky Comic Relief: In-universe; while Johnson and Byrne are Drill Sergeant Nasties to the recruits, Healy prefers to keep their spirits up with jokes.
- The So-Called Coward: Johnson initially dismisses him as a "navy squid who has never been once shot at", but Healy ends up showing significant courage under fire.
Corpsman Ngoc Benti
Benti is a medic stationed aboard the UNSC Prowler Red Horse, and often accompanies Sgt.Lopez's Marine squad on missions, including one to the prison ship Mona Lisa.
- Action Survivor: Holds her own alongside her squad despite being a medic.
- Cloudcuckoolander: A bit of one.
- Horrible Judge of Character: She is the only one who finds Clarence to be fine and trusts him completely, and he turns out to be a ONI Section 3 operative.
- The Medic
- Multiethnic Name: Vietnamese and Italian.
- Odd Friendship: With Clarence, whom the other squad members find creepy.
- Taking You with Me: After being infected, she tackles Clarence before he can shoot her and knocks them both into a group of Flood to give Lopez and "Henry" a chance to escape.
- Zombie Infectee: She becomes infected by the Flood during the escape attempt from the Mona Lisa.
Commander Tobias Foucault
The commanding officer of the UNSC Prowler Red Horse, Foucault reluctantly follows ONI's directive to investigate the prison ship Mona Lisa in the debris field of Installation 04.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He gained his command through being a excellent Marine and creative use of extreme tactics.
- The Chains of Commanding: He wishes he were a private again so he could just shoot his problems instead of having to hold the lives of others in his hands.
- Commanding Coolness
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: He is clearly on the verge of one after Rebecca reveals the existence of the Flood to him and he realizes that he will likely have to sacrifice the lives of all the marines he sent aboard the Mona Lisa.
- No One Gets Left Behind: He holds this opinion and is about to send reinforcements to rescue Lopez's squad on the Mona Lisa despite his orders, but then Rebecca showed him videos of what the Flood can do and he reluctantly agrees that he cannot risk sending another ship to help them.
Captain Carol "Foehammer" Rawley
A Pelican pilot and flight officer in the 23rd Naval Air Squadron who flew Echo-419 during the events of Halo: Combat Evolved, working closely alongside the Master Chief.
- Danger Deadpan: Almost always maintains a professional tone.
- Gunship Rescue: Pulls this off this several times in Combat Evolved. Except at the very end, when she's shot down by Banshees while trying to rescue John from the exploding Pillar of Autumn.
- Mauve Shirt: The only Pelican pilot in Combat Evolved to have characterization of any kind.
- No Name Given: In the game; it's given in the novelization Halo: The Flood.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Only referred to as "Foehammer" in the game.
- Sassy Black Woman: Well, she sounds like one, anyways.
- The Voice: You see her Pelican plenty of times, but Foehammer herself makes no direct appearance in CE.
A Pelican pilot who flew Kilo-023 during Halo 3.
Petty Officer Second Class Shiela Polaski
A Pelican pilot in the 23rd Naval Air Squadron, Polaski was one of the few survivors of Installation 04, joining up with Master Chief during the events of the novel Halo: First Strike.
- Ace Pilot: And not just with a Pelican; while piloting a Longsword, she manages to evade the fire of both the Covenant carrier Ascendant Justice and its fighter escort, and successfully board the former. Later, she learns how to fly a Covenant Spirit dropship pretty well too.
- Badass Normal: She did survive Halo, which says something. At one point, she even manages to beat an Elite in a Quick Draw pistol duel, despite infantry work not being her forte.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Variation. She volunteers to fly the Spartans to fix Ascendant Justice, despite the huge risk to her life, because she knew it would increase the chance of success. It does get her killed when a stray Covenant plasma charge hits her dropship while she's providing cover for the Spartans attempting to repair the Ascendant Justice.
- Nerves of Steel: Is as levelheaded a pilot as one could wish for.
- Nice Hat: She's mentioned to have a pilot's cap a few times.
- No Body Left Behind: The plasma charge completely vaporizes her.
- Ship Tease: Between her and Locklear. Too bad they both die.
A member of the Colonial Military, he became fast friends with Gage Yevgenny and Felicia Sanderson. He fell into a coma after suffering brain damage in an Innie bombing in 2524, waking up five years later and learning of the Human-Covenant War and the glassing of his home planet. He became a Pelican pilot and was eventually reunited with Gage and Felicia, and plotted with them and other CMA veterans to steal a vault of gold on New Jerusalem as the Covenant attacked it.
- Ace Pilot: Survived 18 years of constant war as a Pelican pilot.
- Doomed Hometown: Madrigal was one of the many colonies to fall to the Covenant during the war.
- What You Are in the Dark: He fails, betraying Gage and Felicia in order to side with the other rogue ODSTs instead of rescuing the civilians hiding in the bank.