The SPARTAN-III Program was an Office of Naval Intelligence, Section-III, Beta-5 Division program to produce cheap and expendable super soldiers to fight for the survival of Humanity and the UNSC colonies.
The SPARTAN-III Program was the successor and replacement to the Spartan-II Program. Engineered by Colonel Ackerson of the Office of Naval Intelligence, the SPARTAN-III soldiers (S-IIIs) were to be the next generation of super soldiers. Composed primarily of vengeful orphans from fallen colonies,  they would be cheaper to arm, train, and produce; chosen from a wider pool of candidates, and more numerous than their SPARTAN-II predecessors. They would rely on superior battle tactics, teamwork, and stealth rather than technology and equipment, to achieve their effectiveness.
The SPARTAN-II program had been a dazzling success for the UNSC. Tales of Spartan super soldiers fighting off thousands of Covenant attacks had become tales of legend. Unfortunately, there were too few Spartan-IIs to turn the tide of the war. Even worse, the director for the program, Dr. Catherine Halsey, had postponed the training of new Spartan-IIs for years due to the extremely specific genetic requirements for the children to be selected (this was one of Ackerson's issues with the program).
The SPARTAN-II program also had several problems and deficiencies which overshadowed its success to ONI. Firstly, the high mortality rate of the children during augmentation was counterproductive to the purpose, drive, and ambition of the program. Next, funding the Spartan program, plus their MJOLNIR Armor and training for the Spartans cost as much as a Battle Group, at least according to Captain Rich. Third, there were far too few of them for them to turn the tide of the war. Finally, the Spartan-II program had gone public for morale. Even though it was a huge morale boost to the UNSC, it was a problem for most of ONI. ONI operated in secrecy, and anything that shone light on their operations was seen as detrimental to their efforts.
The Spartan-III's were designed to be better trained, cheaper, and expendable. They would be trained in companies of 300 to 330 at a time, and then sent on suicide missions that the UNSC could not accomplish even with the elite ODSTs. Though the casualty rates of the S-III's stood at 100 percent on some missions, to ONI, all the operations were successes. They were trading lives for time against the larger and technologically superior Covenant Empire. ONI hoped that in time, enough Spartans would survive to train more and more future Spartans, swelling the ranks of available super soldiers from only thirty Spartan-II's in 2531 to a hundred thousand S-III's within ten to twenty years.
On December 27, 2531, the first group of Spartan-III's, known as Alpha Company, were sent to Onyx to be trained. Of the 497 candidates conscripted, only 300 became Spartans. This class of Spartans all survived the augmentations and was activated in November of 2536. Their record was at first exemplary, as they saw action at the insurrection of Mamore, the Battle of New Constantinople, and the Bonanza Asteroid Belt. Nine months after they were activated, they were massacred in Operation: PROMETHEUS. All of the three-hundred Spartans on the mission were supposedly killed. The only fire team mentioned for Alpha Company is Team Wolf Pack.
Beta Company was approved right after Operation: PROMETHEUS in 2537. 418 candidates were conscripted in 2539, but only 312 became Spartans. Kurt-051 was disheartened at the loss of his first Spartans, and trained this group in unit cohesiveness along with a tougher training program. Though they were even better trained than the previous Spartans, they were similarly massacred in Operation: TORPEDO in 2545. Only two members from the entire company survived the battle.
Gamma Company was trained with the help of the only two surviving Spartan-IIIs from Beta Company: Spartan-B292 and Spartan-B091. Gamma Company was said by Kurt to be the finest of the Spartan-III companies ever. 330 candidates were selected, on average only six years old; and at the request of Kurt, all 330 were approved. Every one of them survived the augmentation procedures. Gamma Company received deployment orders only a few weeks after the Battle of Reach, and most left Onyx before the Battle of Onyx. Left on Onyx were only fifteen Spartan-IIIs who were competing for top honors. By the time the Battle of Onyx was over, seven had been killed in action. Teams Gladius and Katana were not present in the early stages of the battle, leaving only Team Saber. Team Saber was the only Spartan-III unit to fight alongside the Spartan-II unit Blue Team. With the help of their older, more experienced counterparts, they successfully fought off a Covenant attack along with destroying a Sentinel manufacturing facility. In the end, the surviving Spartan-IIIs had to escape to the Shield World.
Delta Company was proposed, and Camp Currahee was being prepared for their arrival when the Battle of Onyx occurred in 2552. With the death of Spartan-051 and the disappearance of SCPO Mendez and Dr. Catherine Halsey, as well as the immediate concerns of the Battle of Earth and the partial destruction of the Onyx Shield World, it is unlikely that Delta Company will ever be trained.
Headhunters are SPARTAN-III Special Operations squad. Only SPARTAN-IIIs that had survived two or more specially assigned training missions would be evaluated. These SPARTAN-IIIs would go onto missions far behind enemy lines and would more than likely be expected to die in combat. They are described as secrets even to their peers, and, once selected, candidates for the program would be separated from their fellow Spartans.
Noble Team is a Special Operations squad of Spartan-IIIs from both Alpha and Beta Companies. Composed of five Spartan-IIIs and an additional Spartan-II, Noble Team employs special tactics and equipment such as MJOLNIR Armor. So far, they have only been seen in combat in the Battle of Reach. The team is commanded by Carter-A259, with Kat-B320 as the second in command.
The Operational History of the Spartan-III Program has been marked by success and tragedy. Many of the operations undertaken by the soldiers were suicide missions, but were listed as successes by the UNSC.
Semi-Powered Infiltration Armor, colloquially called "SPI Armor", was a powered armor system used by the Spartan-IIIs. Though far more advanced and far more powerful than the ODST Body Suits, it was less advanced and less powerful than the MJOLNIR Armor used by the Spartan-IIs. Its main benefit was that it was drastically cheaper to produce than the MJOLNIR armor.
This armor was designed with an emphasis on stealth rather than raw power. It featured photo-reactive panels that mimic the surrounding textures, which was developed by UNSC scientists. It has been described as "part legionnaire mail, part tactical body armor, and part chameleon." It lacks the energy shielding of the Mark V and VI MJOLNIR armor designs, and a single "splash" from an enemy plasma weapon melts the suit's photo-reactive panels, rendering its camouflage capabilities useless.
The Spartan-IIIs underwent enhancement procedures similar to those of the Spartan-IIs, but with higher success rates and much better final results due to the advances in technology. The rate of survival went up from 44% for the Spartan-IIs to 100% for the Spartan-IIIs.
|Alpha Company||Jane • Robert • Shane|
|Beta Company||Adam-B004 • Lucy-B091 • Min-B174 • Tom-B292 • SPARTAN-B170|
|Gamma Company||Holly-G003 • Ash-G099 • Dante-G188 • Mark • Olivia|
|Headhunters||Jonah • Roland|
|Noble Team||Emile-A239 • Carter-A259 • Jun-A266 • Catherine-B320 • SPARTAN-B312 • Thom-293|
|SPARTAN Related Topics|
SPARTAN-II MIA Protocol • Spartan-II Training • Spartan Neural Interface • Spartan Signals • Oly Oly Oxen Free