From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
An example of a Sangheili wearing the Ossoona harness; one of many types favoured by the Ossoonas.
Espionage, spywork and infiltration
Ossoona was a temporary title within the Covenant military granted to select Sangheili Stealth warriors within Fleet Security. They were given active camouflage and sent on espionage missions. The term "Ossoona" translates to "Eye of the Prophet" in the Covenant language.
Roles and responsibilities
Ossoona translates to "Eye of the Prophet"; a temporary role granted directly to a given Sangheili warrior to act directly as the Prophet's intelligence-gathering source within the battlefield, similar to an Eye. The concept dictates inserting experienced Sangheili officers into situations where intelligence can be gleaned, and early enough that high-quality information can be obtained. The role is assigned due to the Prophets' feelings that typical Sangheili deployments have a tendency to cause massive destruction - leaving little behind for intelligence-gathering operations.
Ossoona was considered a temporary assignment within the Covenant, with an experienced Major lifted out of his regular infantry unit to serve in the role as needed before being returned to normal duty. However, the often non-combat nature of the deployments left the personnel fulfilling them little honor to gain. The role was typically only granted for the duration of a single mission, though select circumstances did allow for the title to be retained should it be necessary.
Ossoonas are grouped under the wider grouping of Stealth Sangheili, under the Special Warfare Group, though report directly through Fleet Security. Ossoonas are typically lifted from personnel holding the rank of Major.
Given their mission, it is likely that Ossoonas are lifted specifically from Stealth Sangheili personnel holding this rank, rather than regular infantry as a whole.
Ossoonas were employed late during the Human-Covenant War. During the Battle of Installation 04, the Sangheili Isna 'Nosolee was granted the title of Ossoona by the Minister of Etiology during the boarding actions of the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. 'Nosolee was deployed onto the ship to attempt to capture the ship's AI and other critical command personnel, though was ultimately killed by Jacob Keyes after boarding the command lifeboat.
Despite the High Prophet of Truth expelling the entire Sangheili species during Great Schism, some Ossoona had committed actions that were deemed "traitorous" to other Sangheili rebelling forces. Because of this, many Ossoona were collectively branded as traitors of the keep and hunted down in the post-war era. While the reputation of the role had been tarnished, it continued to see usage in the post-Covenant era. Jul 'Mdama's Covenant faction notably made use of the Ossoona role during the Battle of Nuusra; during the conflict at least one Ossoona was employed to scout out Thel 'Vadam's camp, wherein he recommended that the Arbiter be assassinated.
The Ossoonas favoured several designs of Sangheili harness, including one eponymous variant. Ossoonas are equipped with active camouflage systems and energy shielding, though only minimal weaponry as befitting their role as intelligence-gathering scouts rather than assault infantry. One Ossoona, Isna 'Nosolee, deployed into battle armed only with a plasma pistol and half a dozen plasma grenades. Additionally, Ossoonas are equipped with Helmet recorder attached to their helmets. Other Ossoona may be deployed with no weapons at all.
A Sangheili employing the Ossoona harness in Halo 3 multiplayer.
List of appearances
- Halo: The Flood (First appearance)
- Halo 3 (Mentioned in Halo: The Master Chief Collection-only)
- Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
- Library (Mentioned only)
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder - Art of Wort (Retrieved on May 21, 2021) [archive]
- Halo: The Flood, chapter 1
- Halo 5: Guardians, Mission Intel: Covenant Attack Plan
- Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Library - Stealth Elite
- Halo Encyclopedia (2011 edition), page 112
- Halo 3, Armory: Ossoona harness - Armor Description "One of the harness patterns favored by the "Eyes of the Prophets," many who once held this title are now considered enemies of the keep for traitorous actions during the Great Schism."