"Headhunter" and "Headhunters" redirect here. For the Halo: Evolutions story, see Headhunters (short story). For other uses, see Headhunter (disambiguation).
The Headhunters are a covert group of Spartan-III special operations squads, later reorganized to include Spartan-IV operatives as well. Two Headhunter teams participated in a failed mission on an unidentified Covenant-occupied moon, with notable members including Jonah-B283 and Roland-B210.
Only Spartan-IIIs who had survived two or more specially assigned training missions would be evaluated for induction into the Headhunters. Once an overall list of potential candidates was compiled, each soldier's personal files and mission reports were analyzed against a set series of parameters calculated by the top Office of Naval Intelligence specialists within the Beta-5 Division. Once selected, candidates were separated from their fellow Spartans and shipped to a special training facility on the far side of Onyx. After three months, the soldiers were broken into four two-person teams. These teams were chosen through a series of detailed evaluations and an intense interview process meant to devise the best possible pairings between members of the group.
For the next two years, the Headhunters would go through seven months of supervised field exercises, followed by six months of real-world wartime insertions. These Spartan-IIIs would then perform missions far behind enemy lines and would likely die in combat. At the height of the program there was a maximum contingent of six squads — six teams with a total of seventeen soldiers rotating in to fill gaps when one or both members of a team were lost.
The Headhunter program remains active following the Human-Covenant War, although changes to its structure have been made. Spartan Operations and ONI maintain a selective list of Spartan-III and Spartan-IV supersoldiers who may be deployed on highly classified missions, whether in two-person teams ("BINARY") or as single operatives ("LONEWOLF").
During the Human-Covenant War, at least two Headhunters wore a more advanced version of the standard-issue Semi-Powered Infiltration armor used by most Spartan-IIIs. This armor included motion trackers, energy shielding, VISR technology, and a prototype active camouflage module. The active camouflage system could be sustained for only three-and-a-half to four minutes and diverted power from other systems while it recharged.
Following the war, the Mjolnir [GEN2] WAR MASTER variant became the de facto standard among Spartan-IV Headhunters, with the WRATH variant developed to be specifically tailored to the needs of future Headhunter teams.
The concept of the Headhunters is similar to that of the SPARTAN-II program's Black and Gray Teams. All three groups are separated from their fellow Spartans and are sent far behind enemy lines for special covert operations. The Headhunters were a secret even to their peers, though the Spartan-IIs were aware of Black and Gray Teams' existence at one point or another.
List of appearances