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Special Operations Commander of the Covenant: Misc



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Special Operations Commander
Species and equipment information


Political and military information
Mission types

Special Operations


Commander of Special Operations

Notable members

Rtas 'Vadum


Covenant, later Covenant Separatists

Were you looking for the Special Operations Officer or the Special Operations Elite?

Special Operations Commander of the Covenant[1] is a high Covenant Sangheili (Elite) position that commands all Special Operations forces.



Special Operations Commander is a high position/office among the Elites, which probably holds more authority than that of a Ship Master. It is speculated that only one individual can hold this rank at a time, similar to the Human rank of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. From what is gathered from the name, holders of this rank are believed to be in command of all the Special Operations Forces within the Covenant, but often lead attacks themselves.[2] This is assuming, however, that the title is meant to refer to one's authority and not one's origin (example: Julius Caesar of Rome). This trend of personal leadership may be due to Sangheili nature, mainly their high sense of honor. It appears that the Special Operations Commander is clad in armor similar to standard Ultras, although not exactly identical.

Since no Special Operation troops are seen in Halo 3, it is unlikely that the Loyalists appointed a Jiralhanae to such a high position.


The only known Elite of this office thus far was formerly Rtas 'Vadum, who wore white armor with silver colored trimmings in Halo 2. In Halo 3, his armor was a white and silver colored mix of an Assault Harness and Combat Harness.


Most of the time, Special Operations Commanders are seen wielding Energy Swords, but they can utilize any Covenant or UNSC weapon. They can also drive or operate any Human or Covenant vehicle. It should be noted that, in-game, Rtas 'Vadum is invulnerable to any weapon, like Sergeant Johnson, because he is a key character.



Halo 2

Rtas 'Vadumee

This is a list of where 'Vadumee (later 'Vadum) appears in Halo 2.

  • The Arbiter - 'Vadum is the commander of the Special Operations force (Thel 'Vadam, Special Operations Elites and Special Operations Grunts) that storms the Gas Mine and coordinates the attack from the safety of a Phantom.
  • The Oracle - 'Vadum joins in on the attack, fighting the Heretics and the newly-released Flood. At a later point, however, he and his men withdraw, leaving Thel 'Vadam to fight off the enemies to kill the Heretic Leader. Later, 'Vadum appears to exfiltrate Thel 'Vadam from the Gas Mine in his Phantom.
  • The Sacred Icon - Near the end of the level, when Thel 'Vadam reaches the Spec Op Elites' Base Camp, he meets up with Rtas 'Vadum, who is in charge of the troops in the camp. Together, Rtas 'Vadum, Thel 'Vadam, and the other SpecOps Elites defend the area until a Phantom arrives, clears the area, and drops a Spectre.
  • Quarantine Zone - Special Operations Elites assist Thel 'Vadam in forging a path to the Library. About at the two-thirds mark, 'Vadum sends a Phantom with another Spectre and more Spec Ops Elites to assist. When the Covenant forces reached the Gondolas, further Elites defended the Gondola from Flood attacks. When it halts, Elites wait on board the Gondola to protect their sole exfiltration craft. 'Vadam retrieves the Sacred Icon. It is likely that the Brutes slaughtered the remaining Commandos that were defending the Gondola - one of the first acts of the Covenant Civil War.
  • The Great Journey - Rtas 'Vadum escorts the Arbiter to the mouth of the Brute fortress before leaving. Thel 'Vadam kills the Chieftain Tartarus as 'Vadum moves ahead to retake a Brute-held CCS-class Battlecruiser in Extreme Low Orbit (E.L.O.).

Halo 3

Rtas 'Vadum

  • Floodgate - 'Vadum appears in command of the Shadow of Intent and his accompanying Fleet, showing the high amount of power he holds. He quickly aids in the latter end of the Battle of Voi, helping to recover the recording of Cortana, and then proceeds to stop the Flood infection by glassing the area immediately.
  • The Ark - After the Elite Fleet and the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn jumps through the portal, 'Vadum immediately begins eliminating the larger Brute Fleet with superior training, showing his obvious hatred for Brutes. The tactics of his Fleet were effective, attaining them total victory.
  • The Covenant - During the assault of Truth's position, he leads a bombardment of the Prophet's shielding, then prepares to finally destroy him with a plasma blast. But his ship is struck by a chunk of High Charity as it comes out of Slip-space, crippling the vessel and forcing him to abort the attack.
  • Halo - He is only heard once, as he prepares to move away from the Ark and back through the portal, carrying both his Elites and the Humans who traveled with them to the Ark.
  • Epilogue - He is in the cut scene prior to the credits, in which he talks to Thel 'Vadamee about the end of the Prophets and returning to Sanghelios. He openly relinquishes his command of the carrier to Thel 'Vadam and they travel home on the now-repaired Shadow of Intent.

Known Spec Ops Commanders

Related Links


  • Rtas 'Vadum is the only known Special Operations Commander.


  1. Halo 3, director's commentary
  2. Halo 2, level The Arbiter (Level)
Sangheili Ranks
High Council Councilor
Temporary/Prominent OssoonaArbiter
Fleet Commander Fleet MasterSupreme CommanderImperial Admiral
Zealot Officers Field MasterShipmasterFleet MasterSupreme Commander
Special Operations Spec-OpsSpec-Ops OfficerSpec-Ops Commander of the Covenant
Honor Guard Sangheili Honor GuardsmanHonor Guard UltraLight of Sanghelios
Specialists StealthRangerAscetics
Regular AristocratMinorMajorUltra
Civilian KaidonOracle Master
Heretic Heretic Sangheili MinorHeretic Sangheili MajorHeretic Leader

This article uses material from the "Special Operations Commander of the Covenant" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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