Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

Graphic Halo Halo Alpha has a collection of quotes related to Avery Johnson on its quotes page.
Oh, I know what the ladies like.
— Sergeant Johnson replying to Cortana.[4]

Sergeant Major Avery Junior Johnson (SN: 48789-20114-AJ)[5] was a Human senior non-commissioned officer who served with the UNSC Marine Corps during the Insurrection and Human-Covenant war. Avery Johnson was a highly trained Marine, serving with various combat units of the Naval Special Warfare Command, including the highly classified ORION Project.

Johnson played a vital role during the course of the Great War and fought at major battles such as Harvest, Reach, Earth, and the events at Installation 04, 05, and at the Ark. He was key in forming an alliance between the Humans and Sangheili following the Great Schism and the outbreak of the Flood in November 2552. Ultimately, Johnson was killed in an attempt to prematurely activate a replacement Halo by 343 Guilty Spark. He was honored by Fleet Admiral Sir Terrence Hood twice, first with the Colonial Cross just prior to the invasion of Earth; then just months later, alongside his fallen comrades, at the Hillside Memorial in Voi, Kenya.

He was best known for his typical "gung-ho" attitude towards life, personal goals, and as a leader to his fellow Marines. This earned him a reputation, respect, and admiration from his subordinates and superiors alike. He also took a liking to "flip music," a style of music similar to the heavy metal from the 21st century. Avery Johnson is also noted as being one of a select few outside of the SPARTAN-II Program to befriend Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, whom he fought alongside multiple times throughout the final months of the Human-Covenant War; ultimately dying in his arms after being critically injured.



Avery Junior Johnson was born in the sprawling industrial section of Chicago, Illinois near the Great Lakes in the United States of America.[6] His family broke up when he was six years old and he was placed in the care of his aunt by Zone Protective Services.[7] One situation that Johnson had fond memories of was his first day of church, as his Aunt tried her best to get the large shoes and small clothes of his cousins to fit him. Her religious beliefs were carried on by Johnson and often made him question his own decision to kill other human beings, even long after her death. However, he had no qualms about fighting the Covenant and fought actively in several campaigns to protect humanity from their threat.

Early Military Career[]

Page 122

Files on Operation: KALEIDOSCOPE.

Main article: NavSpecWar

Johnson enlisted in the UNSC Marine Corps when he was nineteen and was soon thrown into the Insurrection.[8] His name was dubiously associated with dozens of black operations and programs, including assignment to the highly classified combat unit called ORION Project, which performed "enhancement" procedures on volunteer troops, which would later retroactively be renamed SPARTAN-I. Johnson was also known to have participated on missions codenamed TANGLEWOOD and KALEIDOSCOPE.[9]

The files that contain the records of his involvement with the ORION Program were subsequently covered up by ONI Section Zero, and anyone who tries to access them is automatically sent a fake file marked "\P_BS48789-2011-AJ.txt," also known as the "Paris/BS Spoof" File.[5] He was a graduate of the Naval Special Warfare Sniper School, where he exceeded the expectations of his superiors, and received training in Human Entry Vehicle orbital drops,[10] and CQB (Close Quarters Battle), while serving in NavSpecWar. He also served as a Squad Leader on many black operations missions during the Insurrection.[11]

In 2524, Johnson participated in Operation: TREBUCHET, leading Alpha Squad and a platoon of NAVSPECWAR Marines alongside Staff Sergeant Nolan Byrne. Their squads used Hornets to conduct air assaults on multiple targets in efforts to eliminate Rebel bomb making factories. However, when a rebel (armed with a bomb) was cornered in a Jim Dandy restaurant, Byrne told Johnson to fire an M99 Special Application Scoped Rifle, (aka Gauss rifle), at an Insurrectionist holding a child hostage. Sgt. Johnson did not have a clear shot at the rebel, and his hesitation led to a civilian (the child's father trying to rescue his son) tackling the female rebel, who then detonated her explosives, which destroyed the Jim Dandy restaurant, along with all of the Marines in Byrne's squad (except Byrne himself), and thirty-eight civilians. Byrne would hold a great deal of animosity towards Johnson for quite some time as a result of this incident.

After the incident, Johnson came home and found his Aunt Marcille dead of natural causes, and soon went on a massive drinking binge. He started a brawl with bouncers at a Chicago club, and ended up in a gutter until he was found by Lieutenant Downs, a UNSC Marine Corps recruiter. He was reassigned to planet Harvest by Jilan al-Cygni.

Human-Covenant War[]

SSgt Avery Johnson, UNSC Marine Corps

Staff Sergeant Avery J. Johnson passing a field with the Harvest Colonial Militia.

Main article: Human-Covenant war

Johnson was reassigned to train the Colonial Militia on Harvest. They were assigned to a secret mission to create a covert anti-insurgency unit, and to lay an ambush on insurgent forces suspected in the disappearances of DCS freighters around Harvest. However, while lying in wait on a bait freighter, he and Sergeant Byrne, who was also assigned to the position, fought and defeated four bird-like extraterrestrials in the first official battle between the UNSC and the Covenant. Johnson and Byrne (with the rest of the militia of Harvest) were also present at the initial negotiations between the Jiralhanae and the Humans. They also fought Jiralhanae Chieftain Maccabeus, his nephew Tartarus, and several Unggoy. He aided Staff Sergeant Byrne and ONI operative Lt. Cdr. Jilan al-Cygni in repelling the Jiralhanae ship Rapid Conversion long enough to allow most of the planet's population to escape into the Tiara, a station attached to seven different space elevators stationed on the planet. Later, he would have a romance with al-Cygni after escaping from the planet. Although Johnson and al-Cygni seemed quite taken with each other it is unclear whether they formed a relationship, or how long it lasted.

Operation Silent Storm[]

 "The SPARTAN-II program succeeded where the ORION project failed." "This old failure has been getting the job done for two decades". Dr. Halsey and Johnson.

On March 7 of 2526, Johnson was recalled to the UNSC Everest to participate in a gathering of officers, including admiral Preston Cole and Dr. Catherine Halsey to plan Operation: SILENT STORM. There he found out for the first time the SPARTAN-II Program and gave his advice about the Covenant's forces and tactics. After the gathering, he was assigned to Blue Team as advisor, meeting for first time John-117. His experience, especially about relationships with their officers, helped to reduce frictions with ODST forces, who also participated in SILENT STORM, an operation against the Covenant's logistic bases.[12]

Johnson fought alongside Blue Team in an assault against an insurrectionist base in Biko's moon, and later, in the assault of the Covenant's main logistical base. There, he assisted Colonel Crowther to arrest an Insurrectionist leader, Captain Nyeto. However, he could not prevent the colonel from being murdered by the late Captain's crew. [13]

When Nyeto's forces attempted to attack the SPARTANs, Johnson activated his emergency beacon, attracting the Covenant forces to fight Nyeto's. He was forced into a last stand, but was eventually rescued along with the ODSTs.[14]

Paris IV[]

Main article: Siege of Paris IV

When the Covenant attacked Paris IV, Johnson fought valiantly; during the battle, he repossessed a crate of Covenant plasma grenades and used them all against the enemy troops to keep them at bay so his fellow soldiers could evacuate. He received a commendation for bravery, and a twelve-hundred-rad cumulative dose of radiation as an unanticipated "bonus" from all the plasma detonations.[15][5][16] During the UNSC evacuation of Paris IV and the Paris system, Johnson managed to rescue a little girl named Molly Patel from a crashed car in Cochineal Pass.[17] Molly would grow up viewing Johnson as a role model, hoping one day to be the hero she viewed in him.[18]

Fall of Reach[]

Main article: Fall of Reach

"You have two choices, private! You can die screaming like a little girl! Or you can die fighting like a Marine!" -Johnson in Reach Station Gamma.

After the Siege of Paris IV, he was assigned to Reach Station Gamma, an orbital station above the planet Reach, one of Humanity's biggest and most important colonies. While he was stationed there, a massive Covenant armada arrived, starting one of the largest engagements of the Human-Covenant War. During the battle, Johnson led a search and destroy team aboard the station, made up of PFC Wallace Jenkins, and Privates Bisenti and O'Brien. They were surrounded and outgunned by the attacking Kig-Yar and Sangheili, but were saved from annihilation by the unexpected arrival of SPARTAN-IIs, Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, and Petty Officer Second Class Linda-058. They boarded a Pelican, going to the core of the station, with Johnson piloting it. The marines assisted the Spartans in the realization of their key mission: to deny the Covenant a path to Earth.[19] Later, all escaped onto the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, which fled the battle into Slipspace.

Battle of Installation 04[]

Anniversary Avery-1-

Sergeant Johnson on the UNSC Pillar of Autumn.

Main article: Battle of Installation 04
“Men, we led those dumb bugs out to the middle of nowhere to keep them from getting their filthy claws on Earth. But we stumbled onto somethin' they're so hot for that they're scrambling over each other to get it. Well, I don't care if it's God's own anti-son-of-a-bitch machine or a giant hula hoop, we're not gonna let 'em have it! What we will let them have is a belly full of lead and a pool of their own blood to drown in!”
Staff Sergeant Avery Junior Johnson[20]

When coming out of Slipspace, the Pillar of Autumn came across a Forerunner creation known as Halo. The Covenant, cautious not to damage the ring world by firing at the Autumn in space, began boarding actions to neutralize the Autumn. On board, Johnson helped defend the Autumn from the invading Covenant boarding troops, but like everyone else, was forced to abandon ship when Captain Jacob Keyes issued the order. Johnson was reported to be the last to leave the ship, ensuring that as many of the ship's crew - Marines and Navy personnel alike - made it off the Autumn as possible.

Sergeant Johnson’s escape pod and his squad successfully landed on the ring with most of his Marines alive. However, as soon as they geared up, Covenant strike teams viciously attacked them. With his platoon scattered all over the valley, he was glad to see John-117 coming up to assist in the nick of time.[21]

Johnson and Fire Team Charlie were evacuated by Captain Carol "Foehammer" Rawley, and remained at Alpha Base for some time until asked to join a mission, led by Captain Keyes, into the inner workings of Installation 04. The crew intercepted a Covenant transmission detailing the transport of numerous weapons to somewhere in the swampy regions of Installation 04. This, as well as a captured Sangheili's testimony of a large weapons cache located in a swamp, prompted Keyes to investigate. Johnson, being an experienced and respected Marine Sergeant, accompanied the Captain along with his squad.

HCN Johnson Flood

Johnson and a fellow marine being attacked by Flood.

Shortly after they were dropped off, the squad came across a structure leading underground. As they ventured further into the facility, they came across several Sangheili corpses with scrambled innards. Passing them off as friendly fire, they proceeded deeper into the facility until they entered a seemingly empty room. Irritated by Private Manuel Mendoza's paranoia, Johnson shrugged off the situation until massive numbers of Flood Infection Forms broke out of the nearby holding cells and attacked the squad. As each Marine fell, save for himself and Private Bisenti, Johnson was forced to attack and kill a few of his own men, who were mutating before his eyes and would have killed him if he had done otherwise, but eventually fought his way out of the nightmare. He was presumed dead after John-117 found a helmet recorder entry from Private Jenkins, showing the gory details of the Marines' fates (cutting out after an infection form attacked Jenkins, knocking off his helmet), but later escaped after John-117 found Corporal Lovik and the remains of his Marine team.

The Flood attempted to infect Johnson but he was able to shrug off the effects due to the complications of his Boren's Syndrome.[22]

Operation FIRST STRIKE[]

Main article: Operation: FIRST STRIKE
“Don't look like any 'uneven elephant' to me - more like two squid kissing.”
— Johnson on the appearance of Unyielding Hierophant.[23]

Johnson met up with Lt. Elias Haverson, Cpl. Locklear, and PO2 Sheila Polaski, after escaping Halo's destruction in a Pelican, moments before it collapsed in multiple explosions. Polaski piloted the dropship away from the ring, meeting up with a C709 Longsword-class Starfighter carrying John-117 and Cortana, who had also escaped the Flood and Halo. Having seen Jenkins’ video himself, SPARTAN-117 was alarmed by Johnson’s appearance and promptly pulled Johnson's own M6D Pistol and pointed it to his head. Johnson had expressed no objection, and assured the Spartan that he was fine and not infected by the Flood, although it took Cortana's intervention to convince John that Johnson was still human.

Without a viable way to return to the nearest safe outpost, it was decided that the new crew would take over the nearest Covenant ship in the vicinity, the Ascendant Justice, a Covenant capital ship. John-117 assumed command due to his higher-priority mission, although Lieutenant Haverson was the ranking officer, and Johnson assisted John-117 by helping him assert control over Corporal Locklear and Haverson. After they boarded the Ascendant Justice, Johnson and the others made their way through the ship towards the bridge, where he witnessed a showdown between John-117 and a Sangheili, where he brought down the alien’s shields in order for SPARTAN-117 to push the Sangheili into an escape pod and send it away from the ship.

After they had captured the Covenant ship, not being able to return to Earth because of the Cole Protocol, John-117 suggested they return to Reach to regroup. They proceeded with this plan despite protests that Reach was almost certainly a dead world. When they arrived at Reach, the planet was almost completely glassed, except for a small portion. Using a Covenant dropship, they traveled to the surface of the desecrated planet, where Johnson was becoming nervous. After they landed, they found the surviving SPARTAN-IIs and Dr. Catherine Halsey. Johnson was the first to realize that they were surrounded by thousands of invisible Covenant, and pointed it out to Vice Admiral Whitcomb before their dropship walked into the trap.

After a harrowing escape, Johnson accompanied the new and growing crew as the ship moved through Slipspace. Unknown to him, Dr. Halsey and John-117 were reviewing his medical files. They matched Johnson’s survival against the Flood to his Boren’s Syndrome. Flood DNA was present in Johnson’s blood, but it was dormant and non-infectious. Halsey also confirmed that Johnson had gained some unique regenerative abilities as a side effect from the attempted assimilation back on Halo when they accidentally opened the Flood Containment Facility. Halsey had prepared two separate documents for ONI Section Three to review:

  • All relevant data on Halsey’s analysis and the possible technology to counter an initial Flood infestation, as well as Jenkins’s and Johnson’s mission logs and Johnson’s medical files, focusing on the interaction between Flood super cell and Boren's Syndrome.
  • The file above, minus any reference to Avery Johnson or his encounter with the Flood.

Halsey placed the decision of which data crystal to give to ONI in John's hands. If he gave them the first crystal, ONI would probably have dissected Johnson in an attempt to figure out how he resisted the Flood, killing the Sergeant. John had thought at first that the first crystal held the better solution, despite it essentially being a death sentence for his friend, but later decided to save Johnson's life by crushing the first crystal.

Although Johnson's involvement in Operation: FIRST STRIKE was minimal, he came up with the idea to attack the Covenant space station Unyielding Hierophant in order to delay the Covenant from finding Earth. Johnson continued to be of assistance when the Spartans began the mission, staying behind with Cortana in the damaged UNSC Gettysburg while they charged head-on into the Covenant ship after the operation.

End of the War[]

Invasion of Earth[]

Sergeant Major Avery Johnson is presented with The Colonial Cross along with Master Chief John-117.

Main article: Battle of Earth
“The message just repeats. "Regret, Regret, Regret."”
“Catchy. Any idea what it means?”
— Commander Miranda Keyes
“Dear Humanity; we regret being alien bastards. We regret coming to Earth. And we most definitely regret that the Corps just blew up our raggedy-ass fleet!”
— Avery J. Johnson
— Pelican Pilot and Co-Pilot[4]

Most of the crew returned to Earth safely, and they were given time to rest and were debriefed on their experiences. Aboard Cairo orbital station, Johnson was promoted to Sergeant Major and was awarded the Colonial Cross by Lord Terrence Hood for his actions on Halo. During the ceremony, a Covenant excavation fleet, led by the Prophet of Regret, arrived at Earth, sparking the Battle of Earth.

Johnson aided in the defense of the Cairo along with John-117. As the Spartan led the human forces deeper into the station, Johnson and Commander Miranda Keyes, the daughter of the deceased Jacob Keyes, boarded the UNSC frigate UNSC In Amber Clad.[24]

As they arrived on the surface, Cortana intercepted data that pointed towards one of the Covenant’s spiritual leaders being present in the invasion. Johnson led Pelicans full of marines into battle, but they were shot down by a Covenant Scarab before they got close to the CAS-class assault carrier that carried the High Prophet of Regret. Wielding a sniper rifle, Johnson fought in the residential district of the city, providing cover fire and serving as a lookout. As John-117 went on to find Marines from another downed Pelican, Johnson stayed back and joined the rescue units to provide cover. Viewing the Scarab as a threat to the mission, he returned to UNSC In Amber Clad to bring a Scorpion tank for John to use in a front line assault against the Covenant invasion force.[4]

“Then listen up! Usually the good Lord works in mysterious ways... but not today! This here is 66 tons of straight up HE spewing dee-vine intervention! If God is love, then you can call me Cupid!”
— Sergeant Johnson talking to a frightened Marine at the Battle of Mombasa.[4]

After the destruction of the Scarab, Johnson picked up John and brought him back into In Amber Clad, which pulled up next to the massive Covenant ship just as it took off into Slipspace, the human vessel being close enough to "piggyback" along on the same jump.[4]

The Great Schism[]
“Whoa...it's like a postcard: Dear Sarge, kicking ass in outer space, wish you were here.”
“I heard that, jackass!”
— Avery J. Johnson

Coming out of Slipspace, Johnson was shocked to learn that there was another Halo, nearly choking on his ever-present cigar. Determined to find and capture the Prophet of Regret, Commander Keyes ordered SPARTAN-117 to clear a landing zone and the Sergeant to take two flights of Pelicans and land on the ring. Johnson carried out the orders and followed John and a small detachment of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers onto the surface, providing artillery and troops by means of dropships to fight the Covenant stationed in the ring’s ancient temples.[25]

During the mission, Cortana translated a message from Regret being broadcast on the Covenant network, and learned that Regret planned to activate the Halo, which would wipe out all life in the galaxy. Pulling information gathered from the first Halo, Keyes found the location of Delta Halo’s library, housing the Index which was needed to activate the ring. She ordered Johnson to extract his troops and return to In Amber Clad for reassignment.

Johnson and a group of his best Marines joined Commander Keyes on a search for the Index. As they neared the center of the massive structure, the small unit was attacked by a large amount of Flood. They dug in and fought the creatures off, finally locating the Index. Johnson helped Keyes grab the key, but before they headed out, they were attacked by Thel 'Vadamee, the Covenant Arbiter, who had activated his camouflage to hide from the Humans. Johnson was quickly incapacitated and captured by the Jiralhanae Chieftain Tartarus, and brought to the Covenant capital city, High Charity.

Johnson and Keyes were held in the Covenant city of High Charity, until the High Prophet of Truth instructed Tartarus to activate the ring and initiate the Great Journey. Tartarus ordered his Jiralhanae to split Johnson, Keyes, and the captured Oracle into two different Phantoms. Johnson was joined by Staff Sergeant Marcus Banks and Gunnery Sergeant Marcus Stacker for an execution by a pack of Jiralhanae. Moments before their deaths, the Arbiter and his squad burst out of the nearby structure and attacked the Jiralhanae, distracting them long enough for Johnson and his Marines to board the nearby Scarab walker.


Johnson commandeering a Scarab before the Arbiter.

After the executioners were killed, Johnson and his Marines commandeered the Scarab, and confronted 'Vadamee. They both agreed that Tartarus needed to be stopped. Johnson suggested that 'Vadamee commandeer a Banshee to provide air support. After that, they joined forces and traveled through the canyon towards the Control Room. Knowing the brute strength of the Scarab's main weapon, Johnson fired at the heavily armored door, shattering it with ease. Arming himself with a Particle Beam Rifle, Johnson followed the Arbiter inside alone.

“Please... Don't shake the lightbulb.”
— Avery J. Johnson

He arrived during the Arbiter's confrontation with Tartarus. He aimed his Beam Rifle at the Jiralhanae’s head, keeping him from forcing Keyes to insert the Index. Tartarus threw 343 Guilty Spark at Johnson, knocking him over. Swiftly, he forced Miranda Keyes to insert the Index into the control panel, starting the firing process. The Arbiter and his squad of Sangheili challenged Tartarus, and Johnson provided backup, using his Beam Rifle to bring down the chieftain’s shields. With his shields down, 'Vadamee was able to kill Tartarus, thereby allowing Keyes to grab the Index and stop the Halo array from firing.

With the remainder of the Sangheili squad keeping the area secure, 343 Guilty Spark explained to Johnson, Keyes, and 'Vadamee that the other Installations were in a sort of "standby mode," still ready to fire. This is a fail-safe if one of the Halo installations misfires. This allowed them all to be activated remotely from the Ark.[26]

“The Brutes. The bastards who put bombs on your buddies and killed millions of my people... they're digging a mighty big hole. You're gonna tell me exactly what they're looking for. And then, you're gonna help me stop 'em.”
— Johnson, to Vergil.[27]
Johnson & Vergil

Vergil lights a cigar for Johnson.

While most of the Fleet of Retribution remained to maintain the quarantine of High Charity, Johnson, Commander Keyes and the Arbiter returned to Earth on one of the fleet's vessels and arrived before the Forerunner dreadnought with John-117 on board.[28]

During the Arrival of Truth's Fleet, an ODST Squad managed to capture a Huragok. Avery Johnson, with clearance from Lord Hood interrogated the Huragok to find out what Truth was searching for in New Mombasa, as he was "digging a mighty big hole."[27]

When John-117 crash-landed on Earth, he was met by Johnson, the Arbiter, and a squad of Marines. After a few minutes of hiking through the jungle, he and his squad split off from John-117 and the Arbiter after encountering enemy Phantoms, reasoning that they would be safer apart than together. Johnson and his team proceeded to continue through the woods, and arrived at the evacuation site several moments before the Arbiter and John-117. However, enemy Banshees soon discovered the awaiting Pelicans, and he was shot down, crash landing about a kilometer away. He and the surviving Marines were forced to flee pursuing Jiralhanae. At some point Johnson and his men were captured. After being freed by John-117 and the Arbiter, he grabbed the nearest weapon and helped fend off incoming Covenant until Hocus, a Pelican pilot, came to the rescue. Hocus eventually arrived, destroying two Phantoms that were pinning Sergeant Johnson, John-117, the Arbiter, and the surviving Marines down. Johnson was evacuated along with the others.[29]

The group was brought to a UNSC base codenamed Crow's Nest, deep underground in the African jungle. There, they linked up with Commander Miranda Keyes, who briefed them on the situation. Midway through the briefing, while they were being told of Commander Keyes' plan of attack by Lord Terrence Hood on a video monitor, the Prophet of Truth shut down the base's power and started speaking on the video monitor, telling the group that they would all, including their Demon (John-117), die. After the Prophet's tirade ended and the power came back on, Commander Keyes ordered the base evacuated. Johnson and some Marines stayed behind to defend the ops center, which had an armed bomb in it, while John-117 and the Arbiter went off to secure the perimeter. After much fighting, they were forced to return to the ops center, as Jiralhanae had overrun it. They stormed the ops center, re-armed the bomb, then quickly traveled through the base to an elevator that would take them to Johnson. Unfortunately, the bomb exploded before they could reach him.

Johnson warned John that the Covenant had uncovered what he thought was the Ark, and that the Humans had to get to it. Johnson provided air support for John-117, the Arbiter and Marine survivors, dropping off Warthogs so they could break through the Jiralhanae blockades. At one point, he dropped off several Mongoose ATVs to assist them in destroying a Covenant Scarab. Johnson remained in a Pelican dropship for most, if not all of the Battle of Voi, dispersing armor and troops throughout the city as necessary to help push the Covenant back. He was present when John-117 retrieved a message from Cortana, who had been left behind on the Flood-infested High Charity. Johnson was one of the Marines that followed the High Prophet of Truth to the real Ark, which was located past the portal generated by the device the Covenant uncovered on Earth.

Assault on the Ark[]
“Shall I help you choose a vehicle, Reclaimer? This one seems in very good condition, primitive armor notwithstanding.”
— 343 Guilty Spark
“A tank's a tank, lightbulb.”
— Avery J. Johnson[30]

Johnson descended to the Ark with a half a dozen Pelicans along with John-117, and helped him secure a landing zone and stop the construction of an AA battery. He later brought in a platoon of Marines lead by Gunnery Sergeant Stacker, and some tanks from the frigate, helping throughout the mission, until the location of Truth was discovered from the Cartographer.[30]

He then went on to command the second squad in taking down the third tower that was projecting the shield barrier protecting Truth in the Citadel. There, he, along with his squad, were overrun and captured by overwhelming Jiralhanae, Hunter and Drone forces. Johnson's squad was killed, and he was brought to the Citadel.[31]

The Prophet of Truth attempted to use Johnson to activate the Ark, and set off the Halo array, but he only taunted the Jiralhanae, in particular a Chieftain, in hopes of angering the Jiralhanae to the point where he would kill him, and deny Truth the ability to activate the array. Miranda Keyes attempted to rescue him by crashing a Pelican through a large observatory window. Keyes was able to kill one Jiralhanae, a Chieftain, and fatally wounded another, but was surrounded. Realizing what the Prophet of Truth wished to use them for, Johnson told her that she should kill them both so they could not be used. While Keyes hesitated, Truth shot her in the back with a Spiker, killing her instantly. The disheartened Johnson was then forced to activate the Array. Johnson was rescued by John-117 and Thel 'Vadam, along with a horde of Flood. After John-117 deactivated the array, the Flood turned on the three, and while Johnson managed to escape on Keyes' Pelican with her body, John and the Arbiter were knocked off by the Gravemind, forced to fight their way back through the Flood.[31]



343 Guilty Spark mortally wounds Johnson as John-117 looks on.

“Send me out...with a bang.”
— Avery J. Johnson's last words, said to John-117[32]

After it was discovered that a Halo was located within the Ark, a plan was developed to activate that ring, which would destroy the Flood on the Ark, including the Gravemind, ending their threat once and for all, while simultaneously sparing the rest of the life in the galaxy. This was possible because Cortana still held within her the code to the Index from Installation 04, the first Halo. After John-117 invaded High Charity to recover Cortana, destroying the city on his way out,[33] Sergeant Johnson helped John-117 and the Arbiter fight through hordes of Flood to get to the control room of the new Halo, providing cover fire with a Spartan Laser. Johnson tried to activate the ring despite 343 Guilty Spark's suggestion that they wait for it to be finished, which could take several days. Realizing that "his" ring was about to be destroyed again, the Monitor turned on his allies, firing his sentinel beam into Johnson's front armor piece and fatally wounding him.[32]

While John-117 fought the rogue construct, Johnson used the last of his life and fired his laser, rendering Spark vulnerable. With a few choice words ("Kick his ass") he handed John his weapon and fell unconscious. After the rogue AI was destroyed, Johnson gave John-117 the chip containing Cortana, and told him, "don't ever let her go." Despite John's promise that they would not leave him behind, the dying Johnson knew that he wasn't going to make it, requesting that John "send me out with a bang" before dying of his injuries. Following his wishes, John-117 left his body in the Control Room as the ring activated, its unfinished state meaning that the activation sequence tore itself apart. Johnson's body was disintegrated in the explosion while Chief and Thel 'Vadam took Johnson's Warthog to escape on the Forward Unto Dawn. Johnson's death brought condolences from Cortana and Thel 'Vadam, whom Johnson aided in his fight against Tartarus.[32]

On March 3, 2553, a picture of him was seen among the fallen on the Hillside Memorial.[32]


“Dear Humanity, we regret being alien bastards, we regret coming to Earth, and we most definitely regret that the Corps just blew up our raggedy-ass fleet!”
— In response to Miranda Keyes.[4]

Avery Johnson's behavior seems to be eccentric, often delivering outlandish speeches to boost the morale of those serving under him.[20][4] However, when it came down to it, he was a no-nonsense NCO, who, although caring deeply for his troops, pushed them hard during training.[34]

Another seemingly peculiar aspect of his behavior is that he never considered John-117 or any of the other SPARTAN-IIs "Section Three freaks" or "inhuman cyborgs." He had a large amount of respect for them, and appeared to respect every human fighting for humanity, as well as the Sangheili, once they joined forces with the UNSC in. In return, Thel 'Vadam respected him as well, before and after his death, saying sorrowfully to John, "I am sorry, Spartan" and "Even in death, your Sergeant guides us all."

Johnson also has the tendency to give his enemies and enemy objects nicknames. Examples include: Guilty Spark being called Lightbulb and Tinkerbell, Tartarus being called Mr. Mohawk, and Unyielding Hierophant being called "Uneven Elephant."

In Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, Johnson seemed energetic and well humored, often cracking jokes, puns, and insults at the expense of the Covenant or even in response to UNSC transmissions, as shown in the above quote.

In Halo 3, his serious and more "straight-to-the-point" side is seen more often, and he seems to fight more for the sake of getting it done, rather than enjoying himself as he did in. This may be due to age, his encounters with the Flood, the Human-Covenant War finally taking its toll on him, or a combination of the three.

Johnson seems to not be as tolerant of enemies or violent individuals as John-117, often comparing what the SPARTAN will do to them will be a "sweet sweet mercy compared to what [he'll] do to them."

Johnson was known to have "chronic" nightmares, usually about his last mission.[34] This is one of the many symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.[35]

Due to his rather eccentric behavior, it is quite uncertain whether or not Johnson fully retained his aunt's Christian beliefs. However, it is indeed possible that Johnson inherited his aunt's religious backround.


Johnson has received three known medals in his service: The Medal of Honor,[32] the Colonial Cross[24] and the Purple Heart.[36] There is an additional medal attached to his picture on the Hillside Memorial, which appears to be the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.[32]

Johnson was not awarded any medals during his time with the ORION detachment, due to the sensitive nature of its missions.


Halo 3: ODST[]

Halo 3: ODST is the only game to have Johnson as a playable character. He is unlocked for Firefight via a code that came with pre-ordered copies of Halo 3: ODST.

Halo: Reach[]

Johnson's voice is usable in Halo: Reach's Firefight mode for 100,000 cR.[37]

Halo Wars 2[]

“Sergeant Major Avery Johnson, a hero of the Covenant War, geared up for battle. He's a dangerous adversary due to his powerful mechs and solid command.[38]

Johnson is a playable Leader in Halo Wars 2.


List of Unique Cards[]
  • Units
  • Powers
    • Bunker Drop - Drops in a permanent garrisonable structure that counts against the population cap.
    • Mech Overcharge - Temporarily increases the speed of friendly mechs, while also making them invulnerable.
    • Siege Turret - Calls in a temporary artillery turret.
    • EMP MAC Blast - MAC rounds are shot at specified target. Includes an EMP round that stuns all vehicle units in radius.


  • Unique Units
  • Active Powers
    • Bunker Drop - Drops in a permanent garrisonable structure that counts against the population cap.
    • Pelican Transport - Calls in a D77-TC Pelican to move units quickly to another location.
    • Restoration Drones - Calls in drones to heal units.
    • EMP MAC Blast - MAC rounds are shot at specified target. Includes an EMP round that stuns all vehicle units in radius.
    • Siege Turret - Calls in a temporary artillery turret.
    • Mech Overcharge - Temporarily increases the speed of friendly mechs, while also making them invulnerable.
  • Passive Powers
    • Remote Sensors - Structures and captured points have a longer line of sight.
    • Digging In - Reduces the cost of defensive turrets and orbital call ins (Bunkers included).
    • Digging in Deep - Makes all standard building slots completely free.


  • Sergeant Johnson first appeared in a short video shown to kick off the Halo Launch Party held in Chicago on November 10, 2001.
  • Johnson made multiple non-canon appearances in the Halo franchise. He promoted the sale of the Halo PC when a player quit Halo: Combat Evolved Trial, made a cameo at the beginning the Halo 2 E3 Demo, and introduced Firefight in the Halo 3: ODST ViDoc: Bip. Bap. Bam and as a Leader in Halo Wars 2 in the Sergeant Johnson Leader Pack.
  • Johnson was the first human to kill a member of the Covenant. He also witnessed Truth's death, making him the only human to have witnessed both the beginning and the end of the Human-Covenant war.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, the popular Sangheili quote "Wort, wort, wort!" is actually a slowed-down reversal of Johnson saying, "Go, go, go!"
  • Johnson prefers Sweet William Cigars, like SCPO Franklin Mendez, Captain Ponder, and Captain Jacob Keyes.[39]
  • Sergeant Johnson is partially based on the character Gunnery Sergeant Al Apone from the film Aliens, with whom Johnson shares many character and physical traits, as well as some dialogue.
  • It was originally thought that Sergeant Johnson's Boren's Syndrome and immunity to the Flood infection were caused by over-exposure to plasma. However this medical problem was a side effect of his SPARTAN-I augmentations. UNSC officials created Boren's Syndrome as a cover story, claiming it was caused by radiation exposure.[40]
  • Avery Johnson is a SPARTAN-I.[41]
  • "Send Me Out... with a Bang" is the Achievement granted for completing the final mission of Halo: Reach and were the final words of Johnson.
  • In all three games of the Halo trilogy, some of Johnson's lines were changed depending on the set difficulty.
  • While Johnson's voice is equipped for firefight in Halo: Reach, he will sometimes yell "the only good bug is a dead bug." This is a reference to the movie Starship Troopers.
  • On Halo 4 (Xbox 360) if Master Chief kills his teammates in the mission Shutdown, a man who looks and sounds very similar to Sergeant Johnson will appear, and attack Chief.
  • Completing the Halo: Combat Evolved or Anniversary levels The Maw on Legendary displays an extra, non-canon cutscene with a Sangheili and Johnson fighting over an MA5B Assault Rifle and then hugging once the Pillar of Autumn begins to explode.
  • On the last level of Halo 3, the player(s) can glitch Sergeant Johnson's AI and make him stay outside of the control room. After the cutscene following the battle, Johnson's AI will move around and actively fire at the attacking Flood combat forms. However, it is likely that Johnson will not leave the control room, as he will probably be killed, and even infected by, the Flood. On a few occassions, players have gotten Johnson through to the Warthog and driven to the end of the level. Despite this, Johnson does not appear in the level's final cutscene.


Halo: Combat Evolved[]

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary[]

Halo 2[]

Halo 2: Anniversary[]

Halo 3[]

Halo 3: ODST[]

Halo: Reach[]

Halo Graphic Novel[]

Halo Legends[]




  1. Halo: The Essential Visual Guide - Page 102
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named EVG
  3. David Scully at IMDb.com
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Halo 2 - Levels: Outskirts & Metropolis
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Halo Graphic Novel - Page 122
  6. Halo: Contact Harvest - Page 37
  7. Halo: Contact Harvest - Page 42
  8. Halo: Contact Harvest - Page 45
  9. Halo: Contact Harvest - Page 47, Quote: "The Lieutenant's eyes widened as a long string of meritorious citations and battlefield commendations cascaded down the monochromatic screen. ORION, KALEIDOSCOPE, TANGLEWOOD, TREBUCHET. TREBUCHET was his most important. Dozens of programs and operations, most of which Downs had never heard of."
  10. Halo: Contact Harvest - Page 350
  11. Halo: Contact Harvest - Page 76
  12. Halo: Silent Storm - A Master Chief Story - p.58
  13. 'Halo: Silent Storm - A Master Chief Story - p.323
  14. Halo: Silent Storm - A Master Chief Story - p.389
  15. Halo: First Strike - Page 244
  16. Halo Encyclopedia - Page 81
  17. Halo: Legacy of Onyx - Chapter 1, Page ???
  18. Halo: Legacy of Onyx - Chapter 2, Page ???
  19. Halo: The Fall of Reach - Pages 325-328 & 349
  20. 20.0 20.1 Halo: Combat Evolved - Level: The Pillar of Autumn
  21. Halo: The Flood - Pages 68-69
  22. The Halo Graphic Novel - Breaking Quarantine
  23. Halo: First Strike - Page 328
  24. 24.0 24.1 Halo 2 - Level: Cairo Station
  25. Halo 2 - Level: Delta Halo
  26. Halo 2 - Level: The Great Journey
  27. 27.0 27.1 Halo 3: ODST - Level: Coastal Highway
  28. Halo Waypoint, "The Long Road Home"
  29. Halo 3 - Level: Sierra 117
  30. 30.0 30.1 Halo 3 - Level: The Ark
  31. 31.0 31.1 Halo 3 - Level: The Covenant
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 32.4 32.5 Halo 3 - Level: Halo
  33. Halo 3 - Level: Cortana
  34. 34.0 34.1 Halo: Contact Harvest - Page ??
  35. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General
  36. Halo 2 - Level: The Armory
  37. Bungie.net: Bungie Weekly Update: 07.16.10
  38. Halo Wars 2 - Description: Blitz/Decks/Sergeant Johnson
  39. Halo: Contact Harvest Epilogue
  40. Halo Encyclopedia, page 80-81
  41. Chat Transcript
    • Guest-17: (to both Joe and Brian) "Who is your favorite SPARTAN from the Halo books?"
    • Joe-Halo: "As long as we're counting SPARTAN-Is...I'd have to go with Avery Johnson!"