Special Operations Officer

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A standard Special Operation Officer Sangheili employing the Gheocin-pattern combat harness.

"Out of darkness, these blades will light our way."
— Special Operations Officer Sangheili's mantra[1]

Special Operations Officer is a title held by select Sangheili serving within the Covenant and the empire's remnants.[2][3] Within the Covenant military, Special Operations Officers served in the Special Operations group.[4] In the post-war era after the Covenant fell, many of the group's veteran ex-members have sought to establish similar special operations units within other factions, including the Banished and the Swords of Sanghelios among others.[5]


Roles and responsibilies[edit]

Special Operations Officers are the Sangheili members of the Special Operations division of the Special Warfare Group. Sangheili of this rank are picked from the most elite warriors of the regular Covenant military, with personnel selected to serve in Special Operations requiring exceptional skills in close-quarters combat and marksmanship.[6] When Sangheili troops are brought into the Special Operations division, any Unggoy under their command will also be unwillingly recruited into the organisation too.[7] The bridge of a starship (such as Ceudar-pattern heavy corvette) was sometimes seen to be crewed mainly by Special Operations Sangheili under the command of a shipmaster.[8]


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Special Operations Officers were widely utilized by the Covenant during its genocidal campaign against the human race. When the Hierarchs betrayed the Sangheili, casting them out of the Covenant, many Special Operations Officer Sangheili along with the rest of their species fought against the now Jiralhanae-led Covenant forces on High Charity.[9] After the war, some Special Operations Officers became mercenaries and joined the Banished. Some were privately employed by individual Banished commanders to eliminate rivals and quell uprisings.[10] Other Special Operations Officers joined the Swords of Sanghelios.[11]

Known Special Operations Officers[edit]




Swords of Sanghelios[edit]

In-game information[edit]

Main article: Elite Spec Ops
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Production notes[edit]

In Halo: Combat Evolved, Special Operations Sangheili are clad in a glossy black Combat harness[12]; in Halo 2 a deep purple combat harness[13]; in Halo 3 a steel Assault harness[14]. In Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and Halo Infinite they wear an Infiltration harness in dark maroon[15], black[16], and purple[17] respectively. In Halo 2, Halo: Reach, and Halo Infinite their harness is embedded with active camouflage.

Special Operations Sangheili are similar to Stealth Sangheili, as they both possess active camouflage technology. However, the two are different and should not be confused: Stealth Sangheili have armor that has little or no shielding, and they are permanently cloaked until they are killed, whereas Special Operations Sangheili have stronger shielding and can appear both cloaked and uncloaked.

In Halo Infinite, Spec Ops Sangheili are armed exclusively with energy swords and plasma grenades.


Banished Spec Ops Elites are referred to as Zealots in Halo Infinite's game files.[18]


Concept art[edit]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Halo: Reach
  2. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2011 edition), page 133
  3. ^ Halo: The Flood, chapter 8
  4. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 242
  5. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 429
  6. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Library: Spec Ops Elite
  7. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Library: Spec Ops Grunt
  8. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level Long Night of Solace
  9. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Gravemind
  10. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 429
  11. ^ Halo: Battle for the Blood-Moon
  12. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved
  13. ^ Halo 2
  14. ^ Halo 3
  15. ^ Halo: Reach
  16. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  17. ^ Halo Infinite
  18. ^ Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder - Foundations: "Those rad-looking purple Sangheili in the sleek armor? They’re classified canonically as Spec Ops, not Zealots. It’s important to remember that oftentimes enemy or character tags that you might find within game files are development shorthand and not necessarily final." (Retrieved on Jan 12, 2022) [archive]