Rear Admiral Musa Ghanem, formerly SPARTAN-096, is an erstwhile candidate of the SPARTAN-II program who was crippled by the biological augmentations he received as part of the project. He joined the Office of Naval Intelligence following his medical discharge and eventually developed substantial clout with the Admiralty. Musa oversaw the SPARTAN-IV program near the end of the Human-Covenant War and founded the Spartans' independent military branch in January 2553. Since then, he acts as the Commander-in-Chief of the Spartans (CINCSPAR).
Conscription and career
Musa was abducted and conscripted into the SPARTAN-II program by Dr. Catherine Halsey in 2517 when he was six years old. Musa was taken to Reach, where he was trained by the artificial intelligence Déjà and Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez along with the rest of the SPARTAN children. As a result of his body rejecting some of the augmentation procedures, Musa was forced into a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He held a grudge toward Dr. Halsey and the Office of Naval Intelligence not only for his own predicament, but also for the other candidates who were either maimed or killed by the augmentations. Even though he viewed the SPARTAN-II program as morally repugnant, Musa also recognized the importance of their accomplishments during the Human-Covenant War. He believed that Spartans were still necessary in the aftermath of the war and as a result, he proposed that more Spartans be created in the form of the SPARTAN-IV program.
Creation of the Spartan branch
With the aid of SPARTAN-III Warrant Officer Jun-A266, several UNSC personnel were recruited into the SPARTAN-IV program. Musa and Jun later witnessed a training exercise after the SPARTAN-IVs received the augmentation program with Sarah Palmer, Edward Davis, Vladimir Scruggs, Joel Thomas, and Yeong-hao Holst—without MJOLNIR armor—against a squad of Marines. During the exercise Palmer rushed ahead to accomplish the objective, but her teammates were disabled in the process. After Scruggs complained that the Spartans would have been more successful if they were donning their armor, Musa told them that he would have to earn the right to wear the armor. Jun and Musa berated Palmer for abandoning her teammates to complete the objective and Musa lectured the Spartans on the importance of Spartans working as a team. The five SPARTAN-IVs and Jun were later ordered to UNSC Infinity, where they succeeded in stopping the New Colonial Alliance's attempt at capturing the ship.
In January 2553, he brought together several admirals at HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6 to discuss the development and necessity of the new Spartan program as an independent branch within the UNSC. Musa stated that the Spartans were able to prevent the attack on Infinity and for exposing Admiral Mattius Drake and his rebel movement. Musa then boldly declared the Spartans as an independent branch.
Second class of Spartan-IVs
Due to the success of the first class of SPARTAN-IVs, Musa managed to secure funding for future classes. After the second class of Spartans was recruited, he headed their training at a space station orbiting a dwarf planet alongside Jun-A266 as well as Beta Company Spartans Lucy-B091 and Tom-B292 serving under him as instructors. Shortly after the new SPARTAN-IVs received their augmentations, Musa was informed that one of the trainees, Hideo Wakahisa, did not return from his training exercise. Jun and several medics found Wakahisa dead in the tunnels of the training arena furthest from the entrance, and Musa confined all Spartans to their quarters while Wakahisa's death was investigated. After limiting the number of suspects responsible for the murder, Musa and Jun confronted Spartans Edward Buck, Michael Crespo, and Kojo Agu in their quarters. Jun revealed that he had found a medallion belonging to Crespo, but the latter and his friends insisted that he was not responsible for the murder. Crespo noted that he kept the medallion in his locker—which he never locked—and he believed someone stole it from him. Musa ordered Jun to search the station's security footage of the locker room to find any further leads. Musa later had Jun assign the three Spartan trainees to a temporary quarters until the situation could be solved.
Further investigations soon proved that Spartan trainee Rudolf Schein was responsible for the murder. Musa, Jun, and Captain O'Day went to confront him, but Schein was waiting for them in the station's recreational room and threatened to blow up the entire station unless his demands were met. When Schein attempted to detonate the explosives he had placed around the station, Musa managed to turn off the station's artificial gravity, which caused the explosives' switches to falter and prevented all the explosives in the station from detonating. Jun charged at Schein and knocked the trigger out of his hand, but it still managed to detonate the explosives in the room, killing O'Day. Jun and Schein were pulled out into the vacuum of space due to a breach in the rec room's viewports; however, Tom-B292 and Lucy-B091 were able to rescue Jun while the rogue Spartan died.
While Jun, Tom and Lucy received treatment for their vacuum exposure, Musa restored the station's gravity. He later contacted Buck, Crespo, and Agu and informed them of the events that had just transpired. Musa also debriefed Tom and Lucy about the incident and once they had fully recovered, several days later, he offered the two Beta Spartans a new post as part of the security staff of the Onyx United Research Project, having received a request for Spartan personnel. While initially reluctant due to the Sangheili present at the project, the pair eventually accepted.
After Crespo defected to the United Rebel Front and was captured, Musa contacted Buck and congratulated him on how he handled the mission. Musa and Jun later reviewed the SPARTAN-IV candidate vetting procedures to prevent further defections from within the branch.
Hunting the Master Chief
Some time following these events but prior to October 24, 2558, Musa was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral. It was on this date that he also, along with Admiral Serin Osman, confirmed Fireteam Osiris' mission to retrieve Blue Team and ONI Acrisius.
Personality and traits
Musa is known for his ever-serious demeanor. In addition to his strategic know-how, he believed strongly in promoting diplomatic relations with the former Covenant species, and viewed joint operations a great way to increase cooperation between species and build strong alliances. Musa disagreed with how the SPARTAN-II and SPARTAN-III programs were created; he believed that Spartans should be human heroes instead of infallible weapons. However, Musa still held some pride in the older Spartan generations' abilities. Musa insists that all Spartans are equal and, as such, the Spartan branch does not have formal ranks; all personnel of the branch are ranked as Spartans.
List of appearances