Unggoy of this rank are part of the Special Operations Division, of the Covenant. Normally, Grunts are poorly trained in combat and are usually deployed in massive numbers as cannon fodder. However, if Grunts are given proper training they can acquire specialized roles and provide excellent support to Spec Ops teams. Generally tougher, smarter, and certainly more aggressive than their lesser brethren, Spec Ops Grunts are always deployed with Spec Ops Elite team leaders and specialized equipment and sometimes will be lead by Ultra Grunts. These resilient, loyal, and dangerous operatives are not to be underestimated under any circumstances. If a Spec Ops Grunt's leading Elite is killed, rather than panicking and fleeing, they will often seek revenge, finding cover and sending grenades and plasma bolts accurately at the opponent who killed the Elite. They are also much more accurate than their counterparts, and their armor is much more resilient to damage than other types of Grunt. A number of these black-armored Grunts assaulted the Heretic Gas Mine. They were successful at aiding the Arbiter Thel 'Vadamee take down the Heretic Leader, Sesa 'Refumee.
Special Operations Grunts are denoted by their signature jet-black armor, which matches the black armor of their Elite commanders. In Halo 2, they are occasionally equipped with Active Camouflage. Spec Ops Grunts are the only Covenant caste, other than the Elites, who have the distinction of using this technology. Although, in the level of Regret passing in the subterranean area where you can find the massive holograph of the Prophet of Regret, there have been sightings of Major Grunts and Minor Grunts wearing camouflage. They are only hard to kill when they are carrying a Needler, since the Needler does not generate a glow unlike Covenant plasma weapons.
They are only called in during special combat situations, and hold a unique amount of respect for a member of their race. They are highly trained and only commanded by the skilled Special Operations Elites. Unlike most Unggoy, they are vehicle drivers. They have slightly more health than Grunt Heavys but about the same as Ultras.
SpecOps Grunts almost never panic during combat, as the Minor and Major Grunts almost always do when their leader is killed. They often wield Needlers, Fuel Rod Guns, Plasma Grenades and occasionally Plasma Pistols. The biggest concern of facing a Spec Ops Grunt, however, is that a Spec Ops Elite is more than likely nearby. Spec Ops Grunts are not to be underestimated, though. Sometimes if the highest ranking Elite is down, the Spec Ops Grunts will run, but to better cover and will usually send you deadly accurate barrages of plasma grenades. This can be fatal on the higher difficulties. Like earlier, they are not to be trifled with and must be taken down with precision and speed to allow you to survive the Legendary difficulty.
They usually move in teams of two or three, with one Spec Ops Grunt wielding a Fuel Rod Gun while the others cover him with Plasma Pistols and Needlers. In Halo 1, it is best to target the one holding a Fuel Rod Cannon as his teammates may be killed when it explodes, and also since the Grunt fires the fuel rod gun very rapidly which can prove fatal even on Easy difficulty. In Halo 2, throwing grenades at them can be effective, especially when sticking them with plasma grenades.
In Halo: Combat Evolved, all but one Spec Ops Grunts wields either a Needler or a Fuel Rod Gun. In Halo 2, Special Ops Grunts can wield the following weapons:
A large amount of Spec Ops Grunts were called in to cleanse the Flood on Installation 04 once it was discovered. They were seen in the last three levels, Two Betrayals, Keyes and The Maw. They, along with a number of Spec Ops Elites, join other Covenant survivors to destroy the Flood on the Icy terrains near the Control Room, inside and below the damaged cruiser the Truth and Reconciliation and on the crashed UNSC Pillar of Autumn, all wielding Needlers and Fuel Rod Guns. (Exception: The Thirsty Grunt). It is most likely that all of them perished when the Installation was destroyed by John-117.
A team of Spec Ops Grunts under Rtas 'Vadumee and Kusovai were sent to the Infinite Succor to deal with the Flood infestation. The Grunts brought in heavy weapons, such as Fuel Rod Guns and resorting to using weapons they gained from the bodies of stricken Flood afterward, but it seems they were all eventually infected or killed by the Flood and all were killed when the ship was destroyed by crashing into a star.
Spec Ops Grunts are seen in the Halo 2 levels The Arbiter and The Oracle as allies to the player(s) helping to put down the Heretic rebellion, the Grunts are far superior than Heretic Grunts they fight. They are often helpful, however the Spec Ops Elites are much more powerful than they are. They will use Plasma Rifles if given to them by The Arbiter, and normally begin with portable Plasma Turrets, Needlers, Fuel Rod Cannons and occasionally Plasma Pistols. Spec Ops Grunts are effective in killing Heretic Grunts, as well as Infection Forms. Several Grunts can take down a Combat Form, however at least one will normally be killed. The only level where Spec Ops Grunts are encountered as enemies is Gravemind where they are attempting to aid the Elites in the fight against the Brutes on High Charity. On this level if you look closely you will see that their armor, unlike in the levels where they are your allies, is a lot more weathered and have a lot of stains/markings on it, particularly on the chest plates.
Special Operations Grunts also appear in Halo 3 as the highest confirmed ranked Grunts. The Active Camouflage that was their trademark in Halo 2 seems to have disappeared from use, though they remain tougher to kill and more aggressive than their lower-ranked compatriots by far. Initially, there was some confusion over their name, since their armor is lighter in color than previously - however, the score tracking system of Bungie.net considers them to be Special Operations Grunts, rather than the Ultra's they are confused for. When the Thunderstorm Skull is activated, most (as a few Minors have been known to appear) Grunts except for Gunners become Special Operations.
|Known Grunt Ranks
|Minor· Major· Heavy· Spec-Ops· Ultra|