Ned Rich was born in 2491, but his hair had turned gray before he was 40 years old. By 2531, Rich was the Covert Operations commander of ONI Section Three, in charge of every field operation by ONI, save the SPARTAN-II program headed by Dr. Catherine Halsey. He was opposed to the SPARTAN-II program because the project had achieved a level of success he never could have with his own projects.
In 2531, he, Captain Gibson, and Vice Admiral Margaret Parangosky met with Colonel James Ackerson aboard the UNSC Point of No Return to discuss the creation of the SPARTAN-III program. Rich approved of the program, seeing it as a cheaper alternative to the SPARTAN-IIs. In 2537, Rich and Parangosky authorized the members of Beta Company to be recruited and trained, following the death of the entire Alpha Company SPARTAN-IIIs in Operation: PROMETHEUS.
Personality and traits
Rich was a somewhat irreverent officer, making use of mild profanities in staff meetings and drinking whiskey on duty. He would also address his superior, Margaret Parangosky, by her first name, even in the presence of subordinates.
Rich may have been killed before October 20th, 2552, as his name appears on the memorial at ONI Alpha Site in New Mombasa. However, as a number of individuals known to have been alive at the time are also listed, it is possible his name in the memorial is simply an Easter egg; indeed, the memorial lists every ONI member who had been named in the fiction at the time of the release of Halo 3: ODST, including several who have since been show to still be alive, such as Admiral Parangosky.
List of appearances