Andrew Del Rio
Andrew Del Rio (service number 90302-75627-AD) is a popular senator of the Unified Earth Government. Formerly a senior officer in the UNSC Navy, then-captain Del Rio served throughout the Human-Covenant War and in the years following the conflict. Del Rio served as the commanding officer of UNSC Infinity from 2552 until July 2557. After UNSC Fleet Command relieved Del Rio of his command, he began a political career and was elected into the senate.
Assignment to Infinity
During the construction of UNSC Infinity, Andrew Del Rio served as the project manager. Admiral Margaret Parangosky, Commander-in-Chief of the Office of Naval Intelligence, noted that Del Rio is more of a manager than a leader. She considers him unable to inspire those under his command. She conceded to making him captain of the UNSC Infinity only because Commander Thomas Lasky was assigned as his executive officer. A few years prior to the end of major hostilities in the Great War, Del Rio was leading the military personnel assigned to maintain, repair, and protect the Infinity; he had received this assignment for his status as a seasoned naval line officer and because he could drop off the grid with little trouble. Later, he would be given the honor of being the first commanding officer of the UNSC's largest and most advanced warship to date. Del Rio and the sailors and Marines under his command would take Infinity out for her first space trials in mid-2553. At one point, Del Rio avoided promotion to admiral to retain his command of Infinity.
Rebel incursion on Infinity
In early 2553, a group of insurrectionists belonging to the "New Colonial Alliance" attempted to commandeer the UNSC Infinity. The group, led by defector Ilsa Zane, snuck aboard Infinity disguised as a construction crew and took Del Rio hostage. They immediately went to the bridge where Zane took Aine, the ship's temporary AI, offline and proceeded to take control of the ship. From the confines of the Captain's ready room, Del Rio, along with Lieutenant Ryder and the rest of the bridge crew, attempted to override the ship's lockdown. With the help of Jun-A266 and the other Spartan-IV's, Commander Lasky was able to input his half of the override codes, which gave Del Rio and the other officers access to the bridge. After Sarah Palmer and Edward Davis cleared the bridge, Del Rio brought Aine back online, who then activated the ships containment doors to send Zane and the remaining insurrectionists into space.
During an inspection of the ship by Admirals Terrence Hood and Margaret Parangosky, he pointed out the ship's Huragok working after they had been transplanted from Trevelyan. Talking with Lasky, Parangosky told Del Rio to choose a top-level AI. At the request of the Admirals, Del Rio took the ship into Slipspace to aid Thel 'Vadam in the Blooding Years on Sanghelios. Parangosky purposefully played on his nerves as he came into space above Sanghelios, as Del Rio was running a high-profile operation with high commanders on board. Soon, the Sangheili insurgent ship Defender of Faith began attacking Vadam Keep and the UNSC Infinity. In its first real scenario weapons test, Del Rio destroyed the ship and beat back the Servants of Abiding Truth. Overall, Del Rio succeeded in saving 'Vadam and his keep from the well-organized opposition.
Following the disappearance of a science team on Ivanoff Station in 2557, the UNSC Infinity went to assist, and Del Rio picked up a distress call from the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn, sent out by John-117 and Cortana. Del Rio then found the Forerunner shield world of Requiem and began to approach the planet, sending out transmissions to try and contact John. Eventually Cortana was able to respond to Del Rio's transmissions, but they continued to be garbled. Not fully hearing Cortana's warnings not to approach Requiem, Del Rio guided the Infinity to the entrance portal and was pulled in the planet, crashing in the jungles of Requiem. In response, Del Rio sent out Lasky, Commander Sarah Palmer, and a contingent of Spartan-IVs and Marines to try to find the coordinates of the gravity well. Del Rio believed the Infinity could provide covering fire and defend itself, however, it failed in both, as Covenant remnant forces led by the Didact forced their way to the bridge. Only John, who had recently encountered what remained of the scouting party, was able to save the ship by activating the defenses using a Mantis. With Infinity's defenses reactivated, the ship was able to destroy two CRS-class light cruisuers and drive off the Didact's Cryptum.
Meeting with John and Cortana on the bridge, Del Rio discussed the hostile Promethean response on Requiem. He sent John and Gypsy Company to disable the gravity well keeping the ship on the planet as he wanted to leave immediately. Del Rio showed disrespect for the Spartan, and refused to give him optimal intelligence on the mission, though he did provide a Mammoth Del Rio referred to the mission as a Blowthrough Op to John and Cortana's disgust as Del Rio's haste made him refuse to send in Force Recon to check out exactly what they would be facing.. However, Covenant forces eventually began attacking the Infinity. John managed to disable the gravity well and defeat the Covenant. Back aboard Infinity, John tried to convince Del Rio not to leave Requiem, citing his encounter with the Librarian AI. Del Rio did not believe him, believing him and Cortana to be delusional. He instead ordered that the vessel retreat to Carinae Station, prompting an outburst of anger from an increasingly rampant Cortana. Del Rio ordered Lasky to immediately remove her for decommissioning per UNSC regulation. Before Lasky could comply, John took Cortana himself. Furious, Del Rio demanded John surrender Cortana, but the Spartan calmly refused. Del Rio ordered Palmer to arrest John, but everyone on the bridge ignored the captain, prompting John to walk away. Del Rio sent Lasky to stop John from leaving; instead, Lasky provided the Master Chief with a means to escape.
Del Rio then returned to Earth aboard Infinity. Some time before the Didact reached Earth, however, FLEETCOM, Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood, and the rest of the UNSC Security Council disagreed with his decisions on Requiem, especially his abandonment of the Master Chief. He was relieved from Infinity's command and replaced with Thomas Lasky, and Del Rio was to undergo an investigation to judge his actions. Though initial investigations decided that his analysis to abandon John-117 was proven correct by the failure of the UNSC Home Fleet to slow or stop Mantle's Approach from composing New Phoenix, it mattered little with the return of the Master Chief and his victory over the Didact.
With no prospect of a new command, while the UEG and UNSC continued to investigate the New Phoenix Incident, Del Rio decided to retire. By 2558, Del Rio had utilized his connections and accumulated favors to begin an obscure, though rewarding, political career on one of the Jovian moons and eventually replaced a deceased senator of the Unified Earth Government Senate. In the Senate, Del Rio proved to be popular and a remarkably able politician and bureaucrat. After the events on Biko, Del Rio called a press conference at the Congressional Plaza, praising the SPARTAN-IV program and calling for the decommissioning of the remaining Spartan-IIs, as well as the arrest of John-117—calling him a "false Spartan" and a "broken bastardization of a soldier". After the UEG released additional security footage of the attacks, revealing the Master Chief's innocence, Del Rio recanted his earlier condemnations and stated that John-117 was a hero. After praising the Spartan, Del Rio took a brief leave of absence, claiming it was due to unrelated family matters.
Personality and traits
While his ability as a bureaucrat and administrator had gotten him command of UNSC Infinity, and despite Infinity's performance assisting Arbiter Thel 'Vadam's forces at Sanghelios in 2553, Del Rio proved to be an inadequate field commander, consistently overestimating Infinity's capabilities during military operations authorized by him during the Battle of Requiem. While the ship was under attack, he sent his executive officer with a recon Pelican flight, believing there was nothing present that could seriously threaten Infinity. When the ship came under attack, and Lasky made contact with Infinity, he angrily ordered the officer to return to Infinity to help defend it. Even when Infinity had the advantage, Del Rio failed to adequately deploy his forces. During the attack on Forerunner artillery pieces, he refused to send in force reconnaissance to gauge enemy strength and positions before the main assault, insisting that the mission was a "blow-through op." More damningly, Del Rio refused to support the Master Chief's attempt to stop the Didact from leaving Requiem, instead ordering Infinity to leave and report to FLEETCOM from Carinae Station, a decision that caused FLEETCOM to relieve him of command and appoint Lasky as his successor.
Del Rio performed poorly under pressure. During the Battle of Requiem, he became increasingly frustrated and became angry when others questioned his orders. When directly challenged, he was reduced to a screaming rage, demanding the arrest of the Master Chief for refusing to surrender Cortana for decommissioning, though it was an order nobody on the bridge followed through on.
Vice Admiral Margaret Parangosky believed that he was the type of commander who was more of a manager than a leader and as a result would be one that was followed more begrudgingly than a well-respected commander who had the devotion of his crew. This could easily be seen as true with Del Rio's crew choosing to side with the Master Chief over him, starting with the bridge crew blatantly ignoring his orders to arrest the Master Chief and continuing with Lasky helping the Master Chief to escape with a Pelican rather than stopping him as Del Rio ordered. Even the soldiers in Infinity's hanger bay would choose to ignore Del Rio's orders and allow the Master Chief to escape rather than try to stop him.
For whatever reason, Del Rio bore an intense dislike of Spartan-IIs and believed they were outdated and ready to be retired. During the Battle of Requiem, Del Rio repeatedly rejected the Master Chief's suggestions and questioned his mental competence. Much later, when the Master Chief appeared to have turned traitor, Senator Del Rio used the opportunity to praise the SPARTAN-IV program and condemned the Spartan-IIs as obsolete. He was forced to recant this after the Master Chief was vindicated, and subsequently took a leave of absence, likely to escape political blowback from his condemnation.
American actor Mark Rolston, best known as the Colonial Marine smartgunner Private Drake in the 1986 film Aliens, voices Del Rio in Halo 4 in addition to serving as the model for his face; Rolston portrays Del Rio in live action in The Commissioning. Whereas Rolston's eyes naturally have a bluish tint, as seen in The Commissioning, those on the captain's in-game model are light brown. Facial motion capture for Del Rio in Halo 4 was provided by American actor Allen Perada.
Del Rio's awards as seen in Halo 4 appear to be modeled from modern awards and decorations of the United States Army. While some of these awards may still be in use during the 26th century, several, like the Iraq Campaign Medal, would not. Furthermore, Del Rio's awards are Army oriented as opposed to Navy and are distinctively low in precedence for a person of his importance. The apparent awards, in order, are: Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Overseas Ribbon, and what appears to be an Army Overseas Training Ribbon.
List of appearances