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Spartan-II Program

United Nations Space Command


UNSC Naval Special Warfare Command


Special Operations

  • Class I: 75 before augmentation; 33 after augmentation
  • Class II: unknown numbers

MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor


All major military honors except POW

"You have been called upon to serve, you will be trained... and you will become the best we can make of you. You will be the Protectors of Earth and all her Colonies"
Dr. Halsey to SPARTAN recruits

The SPARTAN-II Program 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.





In the years following the deactivation of the ORION Project in 2506 the effectiveness of small special forces combating the insurrectionists became too large for the UNSC to manage. As the Insurrectionist attacks were becoming more effective and the military's responses heavier, the need for large scale military campaigns was becoming more and more obvious. By 2517 the Office of Naval Intelligence concluded that the instability of the outer colonies would continue to escalate, and unless drastic military measures were taken it would result in a massive war between the inner colonies and the outer colonies. The SPARTAN-II project was conceived by Dr. Catherine Halsey of ONI's Section 3, as the successor to the original ORION project and the best possible solution to end the conflict with the Insurrectionists. The project was created with several goals in mind. First to create a group of elite soldiers meant to subdue insurrections in their infancy, without substantial military casualties. Second to minimize civilian casualties, and avert civil war. And third, 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 is the subjects themselves, who are selected by a gene-candidate pool, and must fit into a certain age restriction protocol. They must also possess superior physical and mental attributes. The trainees must be instilled with military value, and the understanding of war; something that cannot be taught to enlisted soldiers. 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. Using such controversial means of creating a soldier meant that the project would have to be carried out in the highest form of secrecy.

Though conventional body armor has protected 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 was approved by the top brass within ONI - who concluded that the lives that could be saved far outweighed the risks involved. By 2517, 150 suitable candidates had been identified, but for budgetary reasons only half that number could be "conscripted". Seventy-Five children, all six years old of both sexes, were kidnapped and, in order to preserve the program's secrecy, the children were replaced by flash clones which would die soon thereafter due to numerous medical complications associated with flash-cloning an entire human being.


Main article: SPARTAN-II Training History

The SPARTAN-II candidates after being 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 names became a combination of their given names and a number, with family names being discarded. The Spartans endured a great deal of hardship during their first years of training: they were placed into situation and drills that pushed their abilities to their very limit and beyond. Their hard training was complemented with a good education, from maths and science, reading and writing, to military tactics. His training methodology was tough, even brutal in some regards; 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 Spartans until 2525 when, at the age of fourteen, the Spartans would go through the toughest part of their training: the Augmentation Procedures, a process that would kill 30 of the 75 children conscripted, and cripple 12 others who would "wash out" of the SPARTAN-II program, going on to join the Office of Naval Intelligence or otherwise; only 33 survived the procedures to move on.

The Human-Covenant War

The Human-Covenant War marked a change in objectives for the program; originally intended to quell rebellions, the Spartans were now forced into battle against a superior opponent to the UNSC; this new threat accelerated their training to its final phase: Project MJOLNIR. With the MJOLNIR armor, the Spartans would be the first major UNSC response to the Covenant threat. During the course of the war though, the Spartans frequently demonstrated their superiority over human insurrectionists who, despite the Covenant threat, continued to erode the economic base in the outer colonies. Countless times throughout the war the Spartans proved highly effective against all threats they went up against, and heroic rearguard and delaying actions saved countless human lives from the genocidal Covenant onslaught. In 2547, The SPARTAN-II program went public, in an effort to boost morale among the UNSC.

Inevitably the small number of SPARTAN-IIs dwindled as casualties were sustained. As the exploits of the Spartans were a major propaganda boom to the UNSC, ONI Section 2 issued Directive 930 stating that Spartans killed or wounded would be listed as "Missing in Action" (MIA) or "Wounded in Action" (WIA), thus maintaining the illusion of Spartan invincibility. In late 2552, all except three of the remaining active Spartans rendezvoused at Reach to receive new orders for an operation that HIGHCOM hoped would end the war. They would commandeer a Covenant vessel, locate the Covenant home planet, and return with captured Covenant leadership to force a ceasefire. To this end the Spartans were slated to be re-equipped with MJOLNIR Mark V armor. The A.I. Cortana, carried within John-117's armor, would serve as the strike force's hacker and technology specialist.

However, all preparations were interrupted and subsequently canceled by the Covenant Assault on Reach. In the ensuing disaster most of the SPARTAN-IIs were killed. Only two escaped, aboard the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, one left in cryostasis aboard the ship after sustaining life threatening injuries from the battle, while the rest remained fighting for their lives on Reach. Following the events at Alpha Halo, the survivors returned to Reach and were able to link up with the remaining Spartans. They then carried out a strike that resulted in the destruction of a Covenant fleet anchorage which contributed to the UNSC tatical victory early in the Battle of Earth. SPARTAN-IIs would go on to play pivotal roles at the Battle of Onyx, the operations in the Battle of Earth, and the Battle of Installation 00 until John-117 activates Installation_04B and ends the war.


"Die? Don't you know? Spartans never die..."
—Kurt-051 upon his death.

The identities of the Spartans' full names have been deleted from all military records. Only Dr. Halsey has secret files that contains the full names of all the Spartans on Reach; unfortunately, the records were destroyed after the the planet was Glassed[1]. Publicly only their first names and service tags are known with their current status.

Class I

The following is the list of all currently known SPARTAN-II subjects conscripted in 2517.


These were Spartans who became too wounded to continue active service after failed augmentation procedures. They have been permanently reassigned within the Office of Naval Intelligence.

Class II

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 a majority of her funding was going towards MJOLNIR maintenance and construction; leaving little room for continued training efforts. By 2531, the majority of her funds had been diverted and she was forced to postpone the effort indefinitely.[5]

Around six years later, however, it seems that enough candidates within the right age were numerous enough to begin a second class. Six year old Yasmine Zaman was abducted and replaced by a Flashclone just like the Class-Is, and taught in a similar way. She however, died during augmentations.

Another girl, Janissary James, was selected as a suitable candidate for training. However, her father, an ORION Project member known now as "James James", killed the to-be kidnapper.[6]

SPARTAN-IIs Conscripted

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 8. 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: Fall of Reach, it is stated that all of the 33 surviving SPARTAN-IIs, with the exception of Gray Team which has been described to be "on a mission far outside the confines of UNSC space, now missing for over a year"[7], 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 who is too wounded to continue active duty. This places the number of surviving SPARTAN-IIs at an assumed number of 28, with only 25 assumed present at Reach.[8] However, this assumption does not take into account possible KIAs, MIAs, or WIAs for the time between Samuel-034's death in 2525, and 2542. In Halo: First Strike, three SPARTAN-IIs diverted from defending Reach's Orbital Defense Generators to destroying the UNSC Circumference's NAV database while the rest of the SPARTAN-IIs will proceed to Reach's surface.[9] Later in the book, it was revealed that a total of 27 SPARTAN-IIs in the Pelican headed for Reach's surface.[10] 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. The status of 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 drafted 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 Battle of Reach.[11][7]

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 a 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 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 Spirit of Fire, which was 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 SPARTAN-IIs are introduced: Cal-141, Solomon-069, Arthur-079, Daisy-023, Ralph-303 and two other unnamed. All seven 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 2552[12] Solomon-069 and Arthur-079 are killed in a mission that takes place between 2535 and 2552, as seen in The Package.[13] And the two unnamed Spartans are killed in 2525, with Daisy-023 and Ralph-303 are killed between 2526 and 2531, during the Harvest Campaign. This completely contradicts Halsey's statements about about three SPARTAN-IIs being KIA between 2542 and 2552, and it still 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, Ralph-303, the two unnamed Spartans and the three members of Grey Team are removed from the count of 33 surviving SPARTAN-IIs as previously mentioned in Halo: Fall of Reach, only 15 SPARTAN-IIs could have been present at the Battle of Reach. Furthermore, because Jorge-052 served with Noble Team during the Battle of Reach - assuming he is yet another "missing" Spartan - the Pillar of Autumn could have deployed no more than 14 SPARTAN-IIs; three to Gamma Station and the remaining 11 to the surface of the Reach. This poses a complicated non sequitur as we know of at least 16 Spartans by their individual names that were sent to Reach to defend the generators.

Bungie, along with Eric S. Trautmann, have said that these discrepancies only seem to be errors and that everything will be made clear in time.[14]



Main article: MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor

The MJOLNIR Armor was created in parallel to the SPARTAN-II project and is the most advanced piece of hardware in human hands; it can provide the SPARTAN-II with an incredible amount of protection and strength. The on-board computer system relays basic tactical information including IFF tags, a Motion Tracker, weapons information and health readouts. The MJOLNIR system is capable of carrying a starship grade A.I which can provide tactical data on the fly.

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 procedure that a Spartan must endure. The process consists of many injections and surgeries. Only a small percentage of subjects survive the process and fully recover.


  • The Marines refer to all Navy personnel as Swabbie, including Spartans. However, this has only been observed with John-117.
  • The Spartans are based on the ancient Greeks from Sparta, known for their military might and extreme training regiments. They were, at the time, the greatest infantry fighting force in the world. Similarly, it is also reminiscent of the Turkish Jannisary Corps, where sons of Christian families were taken and trained under strict discipline and in practically monastic conditions. They became the elite fighting force of the Ottoman Empire.
  • In Sparta, to become a warrior the child had to have no mental or physical disabilities. Training also began at an early age, usually at the age of 7. This is much like the SPARTAN-II's augmentations and training.
  • The SPARTAN-II Program was incorrectly referred to as the first group of super soldiers 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.
  • The games refer to John-117 as the last surviving - or sometimes "last active" - Spartan. This contradicts other sources.
  • In Halo Wars, if a Spartan is killed in front of other units of the same team, one may say "They can die!" showing that those units were told the Spartans were invincible. Additionally, some Spartans will say "Yippe-ki-yay" after killing an enemy, which is a reference to the Die Hard series (Bruce Willis' character, John McClane, says this after killing the antagonist in each film). Sometimes Spartans will shout, "For Samuel!" during battles in Halo Wars, as a reference to Samuel-034's death on the Covenant ship during the Battle of Chi Ceti 4.
  • The Spartan-II seal resembles the Presidential Seal of the modern day United States. It also has the Marathon symbol above the eagle. The Halo 3 Achievements "UNSC Spartan" and "Spartan Officer" both are represented by the official Spartan-II seal.



  1. Halo PC Strategy Guide Page 2
  2. Keiichi's only appearance has been on the Halo Wars interactive website Due to inconsistencies between the website and the game itself (i.e. Spartans in the Harvest Campaign), this particular appearance is of ambiguous canonicity.
  3. Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe Page 42
  4. Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe Page 55
  5. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx Chapter 2, Page 45
  6. Axon Clips Chapter 12
  7. 7.0 7.1 Halo: Ghost of Onyx, page 221
  8. Halo: Fall of Reach, page 240
  9. Halo: First Strike, page 3
  10. Halo: First Strike, Page 7
  11. Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 240
  12. The Babysitter - Taylor H. "Dutch" Miles, who enlisted in 2540, witnessed Cal's death.
  13. John-117 is addressed as "Master Chief" by the ONI commander; John achieved this rank at some point between the Battle of Jericho VII and the Battle of Sigma Octanus IV.

Related Pages

Class-I René-005Jai-006Li-008Kirk-018Daisy-023Joshua-029Vinh-030Samuel-034Isaac-039Douglas-042William-043Anton-044Keiichi-047Kurt-051Jorge-052Linda-058Malcolm-059Maria-062Soren-066Solomon-069Cassandra-075Arthur-079Fhajad-084Kelly-087Jerome-092Grace-093Frederic-104Adriana-111John-117Joseph-122Alice-130Cal-141Ralph-303JamesMikeRandallSheilaUnnamed (Halo Wars)Unnamed (Reach)Black-OneBlack-TwoBlack-ThreeBlack-Four
Class-II Yasmine Zaman
Non-canon SPARTAN-1337Nicole-458
SPARTAN Related Topics
SPARTAN-II MIA ProtocolSpartan-II TrainingSpartan Neural InterfaceSpartan SignalsOly Oly Oxen Free

This article uses material from the "SPARTAN-II Program" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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