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- “Your mistake is seeing SPARTANs as military hardware. My SPARTANs are humanity's next step--our destiny as a species. Do not underestimate them.”
The SPARTAN-II Program, originally known as the ORION Project Generation II, was part of the SPARTAN Program, an effort to produce elite soldiers through mechanical and biological augmentation. The SPARTAN-II program would be the first in the series to meld advanced exoskeleton technology with the soldiers' superior physiques.
- 1 History
- 2 Personnel
- 3 Equipment
- 4 Trivia
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Sources
- “You know what I did to create the Spartans. All in the name of the greater good.”— Dr. Catherine HalseyIn the years following the deactivation of the ORION Project in 2506, the effectiveness of small special forces units at combating the insurrectionists had diminished as the Insurrectionist movement became too large for the UNSC to manage. As insurrectionists became more effective and the military's responses consequently become more forceful, the need for large scale military campaigns became more and more obvious. In 2517 the Office of Naval Intelligence began to re-examine the Carver Findings, which had warned of instability in the Outer Colonies years earlier. The report concluded that the instability would continue to escalate, and unless drastic military measures were taken, would result in a massive war between the Inner and Outer Colonies. ONI's own projections at that time and up to 2525 reached the same conclusions as Dr. Carver's report. The SPARTAN-II project was conceived by Dr. Catherine Halsey of ONI Section III's Special Projects Division as the successor to the ORION Project and the best possible solution to end the widespread insurgency that raged throughout UNSC space. The project was created with several goals in mind. The first was to create a group of elite soldiers meant to subdue insurrections in their infancy, without substantial military casualties. The second goal was to minimize civilian casualties and avert civil war. The third goal was to substantially reduce the cost of conventional means of pacification.
Halsey's proposal for the project detailed radical changes in many different fields. The first and most controversial was the subjects themselves, who were selected by a gene-candidate pool, and fit into a certain age restriction protocol (six years old). They also possessed superior physical and mental attributes when compared to other children their age. This narrowed the candidates down to children who would be raised and taught in the art of warfare and military values from a young age, which cannot be taught to older enlisted personnel. Using such questionable means of creating a soldier meant that the project would have to be carried out under the highest levels of secrecy.
Though conventional body armor had served to protect soldiers for centuries, the SPARTAN-II project's second radical change involved integrating the subject with a new powered exoskeleton device, designed to help keep its user safe and provide a powerful means of combating enemy forces. The drawback of this new armor is its requirement for augmenting the subject, effectively turning the SPARTANs into human guinea pigs.
Despite the tremendous risk and the unethical means of creating new soldiers, the SPARTAN-II project got the green light by the top brass within the Office of Naval Intelligence, who concluded that the lives that could be saved far outweighed the risks involved. The project was initially granted funding for 300 candidates, though funding was later reduced to half this number. By 2517, 150 suitable candidates had been identified through DNA gathered from the CAA's Outer Colony vaccination program, but funding was further reduced to support again, only half that number. A grand total of 75 children, five or six years old, were kidnapped by ONI recruiters. In order to preserve the program's secrecy, the children were replaced by flash clones which would perish soon thereafter due to numerous medical complications associated with flash-cloning a human being.
- “First we taught them how to be silent. Then we taught them how to be Spartans.”— Dr Catherine HalseyThe SPARTAN-II candidates, after being abducted and sedated, were taken to the colony world Reach, and began their training under Chief Petty Officer Mendez. To marginalize the civilian lives they had once led, their callsigns were a combination of their first names and numbered service tag, with second names being discarded. The SPARTANs endured a great deal of hardship during their first years of training: they were placed into situations and drills that pushed their abilities to their very limit and beyond. Their hard training was complemented with high-level education, which included mathematics, science, physics, reading, writing, and military tactics. Although his training methodology was tough, even brutal and violent in some aspects, Chief Petty Officer Mendez always instilled discipline, honor, and respect into the SPARTANs. He taught the SPARTANs how to kill, but at the same time he taught them the difference between right and wrong. Mendez trained the SPARTAN's until 2525 when, at the age of fourteen, they would go through the toughest part of their training: the biological augmentation procedures, which would kill 30 of the 75 conscripted children and render 12 more, who would "wash out" of the SPARTAN-II program, paralysed. Additionally, while the procedures were taking place the subjects were unconscious, a state where they should have felt no pain, the Spartans felt enormous pain throughout the process, with each augmentation having its own type of pain. Subsequently, some of those which were adversely affected by the augmentation process went on to join the Office of Naval Intelligence, while others were given an honorable or medical discharge; aside from the 33 which survived the procedures with no physiological deformities. The bodies of those candidates who died were placed in cryo-suspension, in the hope that they could some day be resuscitated. At least some of the candidates who were crippled were eventually rehabilitated. Several elements of the candidates' training were kept secret from Halsey that only Professor Agnes and Professor Mike (who worked on the project with her) knew about.
The Human-Covenant war marked a drastic change in objectives for the program; originally intended to quell rebellions, the SPARTANs were now forced into battle against a superior opponent: the Covenant. This new threat accelerated the SPARTANs' training into its final phase: Project MJOLNIR. With the Mjolnir Armor, the SPARTANs would be the first major UNSC response to the alien threat. The SPARTANs continuously proved highly effective against all threats; their heroic rearguard and delaying actions saved countless human lives from the genocidal Covenant onslaught. Their prowess was well known among the Covenant, who came to fear the SPARTANs as Demons. In 2547, the SPARTAN-II program was revealed to the public in an effort to boost morale among the UNSC. Even in the Outer Colonies Spartan-IIs were heard of, demonstrated by Shane, a Spartan-III. He refers to Kurt Ambrose as "The Green Knight."
Inevitably the already small number of SPARTAN-IIs dwindled as casualties were sustained. As the exploits of the SPARTANs were a major propaganda boom to the UNSC, Section II of the Office of Naval Intelligence issued Directive 930, which stated that SPARTANs killed or wounded would be listed as "Missing in action" (MIA) or "Wounded in action" (WIA), thus maintaining the illusion of the SPARTANs' invincibility. In late 2552, all except a few of the remaining active SPARTANs rendezvoused at Reach to receive new orders for Operation: RED FLAG, an operation that HIGHCOM hoped would end the war. (There were three who worked behind enemy lines and Spartan-052, who served with Noble Team.) They would commandeer a Covenant vessel, locate the Covenant homeworld, and return with captured Covenant leadership to force a ceasefire. The Artificial intelligence construct Cortana, carried within John-117's Mark V Mjolnir Armor, would serve as the strike force's hacker and technology specialist.
However, all preparations were interrupted and subsequently canceled by the Covenant's invasion of Reach. In the ensuing disaster, most of the SPARTAN-IIs were killed, while some took shelter in ONI's CASTLE Base. Two escaped aboard the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, one of whom was place in cryostasis aboard the ship after sustaining life-threatening injuries during the battle on Gamma Station. The Pillar of Autumn soon arrived at Halo Installation 04, which John-117 ultimately destroyed to prevent the spread of the Flood. Following the Battle of Installation 04, the survivors returned to Reach and were able to rendezvous with the remaining SPARTANs. The survivors then carried out a raid that resulted in the destruction of a Covenant fleet anchorage, stalling a Covenant plan to invade Earth. SPARTAN-IIs would go on to play pivotal roles in the Battle of Earth, the Battle of Installation 05, the Battle of Onyx, and the Battle of Installation 00.
Scientists and Trainers
Beyond the candidates, there were many different personnel who oversaw the entire program. This included:
- Dr. Catherine Halsey
- Senior Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez
- Dr. Graham Alban
- Professor Agnes
- Professor Mike
- “Die? Don't you know? Spartans never die.”— Kurt-051 upon his death.The true identities of the SPARTANs, including their full names, have been deleted from all official military records. Only Dr. Halsey has the original SECRET files containing the full names of all the SPARTANs on Reach; unfortunately, the records were destroyed after the planet was glassed. However, unknown to Dr. Halsey, Admiral Margaret Parangosky had made copies of the files. Publicly, only their first names and service tags are known with their current status.
The following is the list of all currently known SPARTAN-II subjects conscripted in 2517.
- SPARTAN-005: James - Listed as MIA. Most likely KIA during the Fall of Reach.
- SPARTAN-006: Jai - Active as of 2558 with the rest of Gray Team.
- SPARTAN-008: Li - Listed as MIA during Slipspace anomaly battle. Assumed KIA due to nearby plasma torpedo detonation.
- SPARTAN-010: Naomi - Active as of March 2553. Currently part of Kilo-Five.
- SPARTAN-011: Leon - Last seen at the Battle of Arcadia alongside the rest of Team Omega, but known to have survived the Human-Covenant war.
- SPARTAN-023: Daisy - Listed as MIA, confirmed KIA after being impaled by Needler rounds while trying to save a Pelican and its occupants from enemy fire.
- SPARTAN-025: Robert - Last seen at the Battle of Arcadia alongside the rest of Team Omega, but known to have survived the Human-Covenant war.
- SPARTAN-029: Joshua - Listed as MIA, assumed KIA during the Fall of Reach due to a direct hit from a Covenant cruiser's plasma weaponry.
- SPARTAN-030: Vinh - Listed as MIA, assumed KIA after the Fall of Reach.
- SPARTAN-031: Otto - Listed as MIA, confirmed KIA on Installation 03, July 25, 2557.
- SPARTAN-034: Samuel - Listed as MIA, confirmed KIA due to destruction of the Covenant ship they had boarded. First to destroy a Covenant ship in a non-ship to ship battle.
- SPARTAN-037: Randall - Listed as MIA after the Battle of Vodin. Re-integrated into UNSC Colonial Militia as a Colonel assigned to the planet Sedra. Confirmed KIA on fragment of Installation 04, February 2556.
- SPARTAN-039: Isaac - Listed as MIA, assumed KIA after the Fall of Reach.
- SPARTAN-042: Douglas - Listed as MIA, Active aboard UNSC Spirit of Fire during the Battle of Installation 00.
- SPARTAN-043: William - Listed as MIA, though confirmed KIA by Hunter pair during the Battle of Onyx
- SPARTAN-044: Anton - MIA during Slipspace anomaly battle, assumed KIA due to nearby plasma torpedo detonation.
- SPARTAN-047: Keiichi - Presumably listed as MIA at Reach. Last seen during the Harvest Campaign.
- SPARTAN-051: Kurt - Listed as MIA, confirmed KIA after the detonation of two FENRIS nuclear warheads at the core of Onyx.
- SPARTAN-052: Jorge - Listed as MIA, confirmed KIA after initiating an improvised slipspace bomb to destroy Long Night of Solace during the Fall of Reach.
- SPARTAN-053: Margaret - Listed as MIA, confirmed KIA on Installation 03, July 25, 2557.
- SPARTAN-058: Linda - Active as of 2558. Clinically KIA during the Fall of Reach but later resuscitated after the Battle of Installation 04.
- SPARTAN-059: Malcolm - Listed as MIA, confirmed KIA during the Fall of Reach.
- SPARTAN-062: Maria - Retired.
- SPARTAN-065: Sheila - Listed as MIA, though confirmed KIA during the Battle of Miridem.
- SPARTAN-069: Solomon - Listed as MIA. Confirmed KIA by Covenant antimatter charge decoy during a SPARTAN mission to rescue Dr. Catherine Halsey.
- SPARTAN-079: Arthur - Listed as MIA. Confirmed KIA by Seraph-class starfighters during SPARTAN mission to rescue Dr. Catherine Halsey.
- SPARTAN-087: Kelly - Active as of 2558.
- SPARTAN-092: Jerome - Listed as MIA, Active aboard UNSC Spirit of Fire during the Battle of Installation 00.
- SPARTAN-093: Grace - Listed as MIA. Confirmed KIA during Operation: FIRST STRIKE on Unyielding Hierophant.
- SPARTAN-099: August - Last seen at the Battle of Arcadia alongside the rest of Team Omega, but known to have survived the Human-Covenant war.
- SPARTAN-101: Victor - Listed as MIA, confirmed KIA on Installation 03, July 25, 2557.
- SPARTAN-104: Frederic - Active as of 2558
- SPARTAN-111: Adriana - Active as of 2558 with the rest of Gray Team.
- SPARTAN-117: John - Active as of 2558.
- SPARTAN-120: Mike - Active as of 2558 with the rest of Gray Team.
- SPARTAN-122: Joseph - Status unknown, last seen in 2552. Assumed KIA during Fall of Reach.
- SPARTAN-129: Oscar - Status unknown.
- SPARTAN-130: Alice - Listed as MIA, Active aboard UNSC Spirit of Fire during the Battle of Installation 00.
- SPARTAN-137: Carris - Status unknown. Presumably KIA during the Fall of Reach.
- SPARTAN-141: Cal - Listed as MIA, confirmed KIA during an assassination operation.
- SPARTAN-143: Roma - Listed as MIA, confirmed KIA on Installation 03, July 25, 2557.
- "Beta Red Actual" - Listed as MIA. Confirmed KIA during the Fall of Reach.
- "Red-Fifteen" - Listed as MIA. Confirmed KIA during the Fall of Reach.
- Unnamed Spartan (Harvest) - Listed as MIA. Confirmed KIA during the Harvest Campaign.
(Caleb-095 was available for being a Spartan, but was never conscripted.)
These were Spartans who became too wounded to continue active service or died after failed augmentation procedures. They have been permanently reassigned within the Office of Naval Intelligence, although Dr. Halsey stated that some might make a full recovery with rehab and re-enter service as fully functional SPARTANs.
- SPARTAN-018: Kirk - Discharged. Possible rehab mentioned by Halsey.
- SPARTAN-019: Serin - Protege to Admiral Margaret Parangosky, head of the Office of Naval Intelligence.Discharged due to failure in augmentations, ONI operative as of March 2553 in Kilo-Five
- SPARTAN-066: Soren - Discharged due to failures in augmentation process Listed as MIA on Reach after being shot down in a GA-TL1 Longsword-class Interceptor.
- SPARTAN-073 - Died due to failures in augmentation process.
- SPARTAN-075: Cassandra - Discharged due to failures in augmentation procedures, currently residing in the M25L Recovery Station.
- SPARTAN-081: René - Discharged. Possible rehab mentioned by Halsey.
- SPARTAN-084: Fhajad - Discharged, sent to work for ONI. Suffered uncontrollable muscle spasms due to failures in augmentation.
- SPARTAN-096: Musa - Discharged, years later proposed the SPARTAN-IV program.
- SPARTAN-103: Ralph - Discharged following psychological break. Renlisted in the UNSC Marine Corps after recovery, confirmed KIA in the Harvest Campaign.
Soon after the graduation of the first class of SPARTAN-IIs in 2525, Dr. Halsey began planning for the next wave of Spartans; her efforts, however, ran into problems. There were too few candidates that were in sync with her age restriction protocol and the majority of the Spartans' funding was being diverted towards the development of Project MJOLNIR and the maintenance and construction of armor systems; this left little room for continued training efforts. By 2531, a significant portion of the funding had been redirected to the SPARTAN-IIIs altogether, and she was forced to postpone the effort indefinitely.
Around six years later, however, it seems that enough candidates within the right age group were numerous enough to begin a second class, though Halsey had already departed from the class-II generation due to her personal beliefs that the available candidates simply wouldn't be on par with the first generation. Six year old Yasmine Zaman was abducted and replaced by a flash clone just like the Class-Is, and taught in a similar way; she, however, died during augmentations.
If the second class of SPARTAN-II candidates were conscripted in 2537, and if they had received eight years of indoctrination in the same manner as the first class, this would make them operational by 2545, with seven years of combat experience prior to the Battle of Reach. If a number of, or the remainder, of the second class was integrated with the first prior to 2552, then it is possible that this could fix the discrepancy in the amount of SPARTANs available to be deployed by the UNSC Pillar of Autumn to Reach's surface. (see below)
There is some confusion concerning the number of SPARTAN-IIs throughout the series. For example, in Halo: The Fall of Reach, it is cited on page 46 that there are 75 children on board a pelican for a training mission; however, on page 47, it states that there were 67 children on the training mission out of 75 that were originally on board. No mention is made of the whereabouts of the missing eight. However, this discrepancy was fixed in the 2010 reissue of the Halo: The Fall of Reach. After the augmentation process all 75 reappear, with 33 surviving, 12 surviving but crippled, and 30 being killed as a result of the procedures.
In Halo: The Fall of Reach, it is stated that all of the 33 surviving SPARTAN-IIs, with the exception of Gray Team who had been "...on a mission far outside the confines of UNSC space, now missing for over a year.," as well as Noble 5, were gathered at Reach. Dr. Halsey states that in the last decade, prior to 2552, only three SPARTAN-IIs had been confirmed KIA between 2542 and 2552, and one had been wounded too severely to continue active duty. This ostensibly places the number of surviving SPARTAN-IIs at 28, with only 25 assumed present at Reach. However, this assumption does not take into account possible KIAs, MIAs, or WIAs for the time between Samuel-034's death in 2525 and 2552. In Halo: First Strike, three SPARTAN-IIs were diverted from defending Reach's Orbital Defense Generators to destroying the navigation database of the UNSC Circumference while the rest of the SPARTAN-IIs proceeded to the surface of Reach. Later in the book, it is revealed that a total of 27 SPARTAN-IIs headed for Reach's surface. This puts the number of SPARTAN-IIs present at Reach at 30. This is consistent with Halo: Fall of Reach's number of active SPARTAN-IIs that were said to be present on Reach but, again, does not take into account of the KIAs, MIAs, or WIAs that occurred between 2525 and 2552. The status and number of active SPARTAN-IIs is muddied further in the later novels. For example, Kurt-051 is listed as missing in action presumed dead in 2531 when, in reality, he was recruited into the SPARTAN-III program until his actual death in 2552 on Onyx. Three SPARTAN-IIs designated Gray Team were said to have been on "fields of battle too distant to be easily recalled" and apparently had made no contact with the UNSC prior to the Fall of Reach. Jorge-052 served on Reach with Noble Team.
Halo Wars' timeline mentions that a total of 25 out of 28 surviving SPARTAN-IIs were present at Reach. The three absent SPARTAN-IIs are the members of Gray Team. This timeline also confirms that five SPARTAN-IIs were no longer in active duty since the augmentation of the SPARTAN-IIs. Samuel-034, Kurt-051, Randall, Sheila, and another SPARTAN-II mentioned to be "too wounded to continue active duty" are part of this count. The wounded SPARTAN-II could be Maria-062, who, by the Battle of Earth, had "retired" with the intent of starting a family. It should be noted that Samuel-034 died in 2525, and Kurt-051 and Randall went missing in 2531 and 2532, respectively. This does not line up with Halsey's statements about the SPARTAN-IIs that no longer serve because of events between the years of 2542 and 2552. Although the Halo Wars timeline feature appears to clear up the confusion, the plot of the game causes a new discrepancy, as three new SPARTAN-IIs are introduced: Douglas-042, Jerome-092, and Alice-130. These SPARTAN-IIs were aboard the UNSC Spirit of Fire, which was declared lost with all hands in 2531. To maintain the number given in the timeline, all three of these SPARTAN-IIs would have had to have made their way back to Reach by the time of the battle.
The status of the SPARTAN-IIs is even further skewed by Halo Legends. In the anime series, seven (excluding Ralph, who was discharged from the program) SPARTAN-IIs are introduced: Cal-141, Solomon-069, Arthur-079, Daisy-023, Joseph-122, and two unnamed SPARTANs. Seven of the eight SPARTAN-IIs are killed in their respective episodes: Cal-141 is killed by a Jiralhanae chieftain in The Babysitter, putting her death between 2540 and late 2551. Solomon-069 and Arthur-079 are killed in a mission that takes place in 2544, as seen in The Package. The two unnamed escapees from the SPARTAN-II Program commit suicide in 2525. Daisy-023 and Ralph-103 are killed during the Harvest Campaign between 2526 and 2531, but at this time Ralph was no longer a SPARTAN. Joseph-122 is recaptured into UNSC custody, although he is not mentioned again during the episode. This completely contradicts Halsey's statements about about three SPARTAN-IIs being KIA between 2542 and 2552, and it further skews the total number of SPARTAN-IIs present at Reach.
If Samuel-034, Randall, Sheila, Kurt-051, Maria-062, Douglas-042, Jerome-092, Alice-130, Cal-141, Solomon-069, Arthur-079, Daisy-023, the two unnamed SPARTANs who committed suicide, and the three members of Gray Team are removed from the count of 33 surviving SPARTAN-IIs mentioned in The Fall of Reach, only sixteen SPARTAN-IIs could have been present at the Fall of Reach. Furthermore, because Jorge-052 served with Noble Team during the Fall of Reach, the Pillar of Autumn could have deployed no more than fifteen SPARTAN-IIs: three to Gamma Station and the remaining twelve to the surface of Reach.
In her personal journal, Dr. Halsey there notes, "That lie about all the Spartans gathered here, save for Gray - will that come back to haunt me?" This strongly hints to the existence of SPARTAN-IIs not deployed to Reach. In addition, she notes that the candidates who were killed by the augmentations were cryonically frozen and may have later been resuscitated. She expresses her fear for what the Office of Naval Intelligence might do with their own "secret" SPARTANs, seemingly suggesting the origins of Team Black. She also notes that some of the SPARTANs who were crippled later had their injuries healed, enabling them to return to active duty, possibly fixing the "Reach" discrepancy. In Halo: Reach and Halo: First Strike, 11 unnamed SPARTANs of Team Beta are killed during the Fall of Reach. It is unknown if these 11 SPARTANs make up currently known SPARTANs or previously unknown SPARTANs. If so, this would bring the number of SPARTAN-IIs on Reach to 27. It is not impossible that a number of the SPARTAN-IIs present (and not present, according to Dr. Halsey) during the battle originated from the shrouded Class-II. Had a number, or the remainder, of the Class-II been integrated with the first prior to 2552, it is possible that this would fix the discrepancy.
- Main article: Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor
The MJOLNIR Armor was created in parallel to the SPARTAN-II project and is the most technologically advanced piece of hardware in human hands; it can provide a SPARTAN-II with an incredible amount of protection and strength. The on-board computer system relays basic tactical information including IFF tags, a motion sensor, weapons information and health and energy shield level readouts. The MJOLNIR system is capable of carrying a starship grade A.I which can provide tactical data on the fly. While MJOLNIR Armor has all these advantages, only SPARTANS are capable of controlling it. The speed and power behind it is too great for a normal human being. During the testing stages on Chi Ceti IV a number of scientists were injured or killed testing the armor
Specialized Neural Interface
- Main article: Spartan Neural Interface
A specialized version of the Neural Interface is implanted into the skull of a SPARTAN-II. This allows a ship grade A.I to be carried on board the Mjolnir Armor. The standard Neural Interface along with the newer specialized version also provide the neural link between the SPARTAN-II and the Mjolnir Armor.
Spartan Augmentation Procedures
- Main article: SPARTAN-II augmentation procedures
One of the essential and most dangerous aspects of the SPARTAN-II Program is the augmentation procedures that a Spartan must endure. The process consists of many injections and surgeries, including serum injections every two weeks following the events of successful augmentations. Only a small percentage of subjects survive the process and fully recover.
- The SPARTAN-II Program was incorrectly referred to as the first group of supersoldiers ever made by Humanity on the back cover of Halo: The Fall of Reach. The SPARTAN-I Program was an element of Project: ORION, which occurred decades earlier.
- Halo 4 level Prologue
- Halo Encyclopedia page 81
- Dr. Halsey's personal journal
- Halo 5: Guardians level Before the Storm
- Halo Encyclopedia, page 34
- Halo Encyclopedia page 44
- Halo: The Fall of Reach page 58
- Spartan Ops - Episode 3: Catherine
- Sybex Halo PC Strategy Guide Page 2
- Halo: The Fall of Reach (2010), Bonus Content
- Halo: The Fall of Reach page 103
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx page 139
- Halo: First Strike page 249
- Halo: The Fall of Reach page 240
- Halo Waypoint - News, Know-Scope
- Hunt the Truth - The Twin
- Halo: Evolutions Pariah page 42
- Halo: Evolutions Pariah page 55
- "Halo 4 'Scanned' Trailer
- Conversations from the Universe page 10
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx page 45
- Halo: Glasslands, Page 72–73 ("She'd already given up on the Spartan program because she didn't think her next tranche of candidates was good enough.")
- Axon Clips Chapter 12
- Halo: Ghost of Onyx, page 221
- Halo: First Strike, page 3
- Halo: First Strike, page 7
- The Babysitter - Taylor H. "Dutch" Miles, who enlisted in September 2540, witnessed Cal's death. Cal wears Mark IV MJOLIR armor; the Mark V was introduced in November 2551.
- Halo Story Page: SPARTAN II Roster
- Halo: The Fall of Reach – page ??