Jonathan Doherty

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Rookie redirects here. For the soundtrack, see The Rookie (music). For the achievement, see Rookie (achievement).
Jonathan Doherty
The Rookie Infobox (Cropped).png
Biographical information


Crisium City, Naniwa, Luna[1]


February 9, 2525[2][3]


January 3, 2554 (aged 28)[4][5]

Cause of death:

Fatally shot by Captain Ingridson

Personal details






186 centimetres (6 ft 1 in)[1][6][3]


88 kilograms (194 lb)[1][6][3]

Political and military information


UNSC Marine Corps


Lance corporal[1][3]

Service number:


Notable info:


"Not exactly green; no ODST is. But if I didn't think he could do the job I wouldn't have him on my six. He doesn't say much, but I don't care. I just need him to listen."
Edward Buck, 2552[7]

Jonathan Doherty,[3] nicknamed the Rookie, was a Lance Corporal (SN: 11282-31220-JD), who served with the UNSC Marine Corps during the Human-Covenant War and the post-war years.[8] He was trained as a member of the elite Orbital Drop Shock Troopers early in his career, serving with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Force at New Jerusalem and later Mount Haven. Later, he was picked by GySgt Edward Buck for his team, Alpha-Nine, to aid the Office of Naval Intelligence in New Mombasa, Kenya during the Battle for Earth.


Early life[edit]

Jonathan Doherty was born in Crisium City, Naniwa, Luna on February 9, 2525.[2] He enlisted in the Marine Corps on July 7, 2547,[8] and eventually advanced to the rank of Lance Corporal. Some time after, he volunteered and was accepted into the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, despite his initial lack of combat experience.[2]

Human-Covenant war[edit]

Battle of New Jerusalem[edit]

Main article: Battle of New Jerusalem

Shortly after completing ODST training, by July or August of 2552, Jonathan—now a Private First Class in the ODSTs—was deployed to the colony world of New Jerusalem in the Cygnus system with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Force, part of a Rapid Offensive Picket. He saw nearly all of his fellow troopers perish in the battle.[2]

Raid on Mount Haven[edit]

Main article: Raid on Mount Haven

"Sir, I can't just leave you..."
— Jonathan Doherty to an injured Gage Yevgenny

Weeks after the tragedy of New Jerusalem, Jonathan participated in an engagement in the city of Mount Haven on an unspecified colony.[2][Note 1] He deployed from the UNSC Chares with ODST reinforcements on orders to defend the transport of a Forerunner artifact. Shortly thereafter, he responded to a distress call requested by Gage Yevgenny, a veteran ODST who had gone against orders to save a crowd of civilian children. Gage's Pelican had been shot down by rogue ODSTs near the mountains outside the city, and was found mortally wounded by Jonathan, who had just arrived with Gage's reinforcements.[9]

Gage, who knew he was dying, told Jonathan his life story, right up until he crashed the Pelican. Jonathan, who had listened intently, promised to remember Gage and do whatever he could against the Covenant. Gage then told Jonathan that Covenant forces and the rogue ODSTs were on their way to the crash site, and warned him to get as far away as possible, as Gage was going to detonate a Shiva-class nuclear missile he had stolen, killing them all.[9]

Jonathan ditched most of his gear and ran until he reached the other side of the mountain, at which point Gage detonated the Shiva, killing himself, his renegade teammates, and thousands of Covenant troops. Jonathan, being one of the only survivors, hailed a Pelican and was informed that Reach had just been attacked,[10] and that the survivors of Mount Haven were retreating to Earth. Jonathan would not forget Gage Yevgenny, and his long and tragic life.[9] After this, he was promoted to Lance Corporal and transferred to a squad—then led by GySgt Edward Buck—as the replacement for an ODST who had died during the Fall of Reach. After a "friendly" suggestion by his squadmates, the new guy on Alpha-Nine adopted the callsign “Rookie.” Either in haste or because it was recycled, Jonathan‘s nameplate had Private, First Class (PFC) rank insignia instead of Lance Corporal (LCpl).[11]

Battle of Mombasa[edit]

Main article: Battle of Mombasa

During the Battle for Earth on October 20, 2552, Jonathan and his squad, along with a large element of the 65th Shock Troops Division,[1][12][13] were stationed aboard the UNSC Say My Name as part of a mission to assault the Solemn Penance above the city of New Mombasa. At the last moment before the drop, ONI operative Veronica Dare took control of the squad, with the intent to use them in a yet-undisclosed mission. Jonathan himself, however, was largely unaware of this as he was asleep at the time. He was awakened by Kojo Agu in a rather rude manner right before the drop.[14]

As the squad dropped toward the ground using SOEIVs, Dare changed the squad's course towards the ONI Alpha Site in New Mombasa. Unfortunately, moments before they were meant to hit the ground, Regret's Carrier jumped into slipspace, generating a massive shockwave and an EMP that scattered the squad's drop pods all around the city. Jonathan's pod was slammed into by Michael Crespo's pod, cracking the window of Jonathan‘s pod and sending it into free-fall. Despite this, Jonathan had survived, although he was knocked unconscious.[14]

Jonathan awakes and leaves his pod.

Six hours later, Jonathan woke up in his pod, which had been lodged into a building in the occupied city center of New Mombasa. The Superintendent had been monitoring him and waiting for him to wake up. As Jonathan dropped to the streets below and started to move on, the Superintendent provided him with valuable help, activating signs to guide him to safety and uploading a map of the city to his VISR database. As Jonathan explored the city, he tried to piece together clues to find out what happened to his squadmates while avoiding the numerous Covenant patrols in the city.[15] During his exploration of the city, Jonathan had also discovered audio logs that narrated Sadie Endesha's story, which detailed the account of a civilian teenager who attempted to find her father, Dr. Endesha, while the city was under Covenant attack. Through these audio logs, Jonathan learned that a creature had entered the city's data center and, in order to repair the Superintendent, combined itself with Vergil, a subroutine built into the Superintendent.[1]

After deducing the events of the previous six hours, Jonathan picked up a message from Dare, requesting assistance in the New Mombasa Data Center.[15] Upon reaching the Underground, Jonathan learned she was on Sublevel 09. After reaching a Data Stack, he ran into an NMPD officer attempting to check on his men; however, the Superintendent wouldn't let the officer onto the next level until Jonathan arrived at his location. The two fought their way through Covenant forces and reached Sublevel 09 together. However, the officer suddenly stopped their progress, and entered a nearby room for a "personnel issue". Even though the officer told him to stay outside, Jonathan entered the room and discovered the corpse of Dr. Endesha. The officer, infuriated, revealed that he was working for Kinsler; the NMPD's corrupt commissioner who was an enemy of Sadie Endesha, as Jonathan had learned through the audio logs. The Officer attacked Jonathan to tie up loose ends, but the more heavily armed and better-armored Rookie killed the police officer in self-defense.[16][Note 2]

After fighting through more Covenant, Jonathan finally arrived at Dare's location, much to her surprise. She finally told him of her mission: to retrieve the data the Superintendent recorded during the Prophet of Regret's attack on the city. Dare and Jonathan were forced to fight their way through an entire Drone hive, as well as other assorted Covenant. They found a defected Huragok called Quick to Adjust[17] holding the Superintendent's data. While Dare was initially hostile towards the creature, Jonathan, as he learned through the audio logs that the creature helped Endesha, was in fact friendly. He befriended it with just a single whistle, having learned from the audio logs that Vergil had been learning how to whistle to communicate with the creature. Dare learned that Quick was willing to reveal information about the Covenant.[16][Note 2]

Jonathan then reunited with Buck and proceeded to assist Dare and Quick in their escape from the Data Center.[16] After fighting past a Covenant outpost and up another elevator, the four arrived at the Waterfront Highway. Here, Jonathan and Buck used various Warthogs and a Scorpion to protect an Olifant containing Dare and Quick. While driving down the highway, they witnessed the Prophet of Truth's fleet arriving in force, and starting to glass the city. After encountering a Scarab, Buck decided to find a new location and hold position until Crespo arrived with a stolen Phantom. Once he did, the squad evacuated the city and watched as the Covenant glassed New Mombasa.[18]

At some point, it was revealed that Covenant forces attacked some of the home colonies on Mars and Luna on their way to Earth, killing most if not all of Jonathan‘s relatives back on Luna. He disliked talking about it, and when asked by Buck, he just gritted his teeth and stated that “There’s nothing left there for me now.”[19]

Respite and redeployment[edit]

Jonathan and his squad guarded the Huragok, now known as Vergil, in the ONI-appropriated Crimson Wing of the Quito Space Tether's terminus for the following weeks. Approximately one month after the battle, they watched as Sergeant Major Avery Johnson interrogated the Engineer.[20] Shortly after this, Alpha-Nine was redeployed in the field and fought in the concluding battles of the war.[21] One of these operations, known as Operation: JOINT MONITOR, consisted of biohazard containment in the Voi Exclusion Zone, at some point following the Battle of Voi.[22]


Draco III rebellion and death[edit]

Main article: Draco III rebellion

"It only takes one mistake, kid. You went a long time before you made it."
— Kojo "Romeo" Agu paying his respects at Jonathan’s funeral[23]

On January 3, 2554,[4] Alpha-Nine was deployed to Draco III's capital city of New Albany as part of the UNSC's response to an uprising instigated by the United Rebel Front. While the ODSTs were storming Draco III's capitol building, they were caught in an ambush in the legislature chambers. Buck ordered Jonathan to flank the rebels while the rest of the team provided cover. However, he was captured and beaten by the rebels, whose leader, Captain Ingridson, subsequently held him hostage on a shielded presidential balcony.[24] At the conclusion of a prolonged standoff, Michael Crespo charged the balcony and attempted to force Ingridson to stand down. This prompted the rebel captain to execute Jonathan with a pistol shot to the head.[5]

The UNSC won the ensuing firefight, with the remaining Insurrectionists killed or captured; Captain Ingridson was shot by Taylor Miles instantly after she killed Jonathan.[5] Jonathan was buried at sea from an old Albatross dropship, far offshore in one of Draco III's oceans with only the rest of Alpha-Nine in attendance. Taylor Miles was shaken by his death and decided to retire, while Crespo continued to harbor a deep-seated guilt over his failure to save him. His death would serve as one point of motivation for the remnants of Alpha-Nine to become Spartan-IVs. While talking to Buck, Jun-A266 confirmed that had he lived, Jonathan would have been offered the opportunity to become a Spartan alongside the rest of his team.[19]


Jonathan employed a late-war variation of the venerable ODST armor[25] Jonathan’s nickname was derived from a nickname given to him by Alpha-Nine and painted on his chest plate, alongside a hastily-painted (or leftover) Private, First Class rank insignia.[11] His helmet was painted with a white stripe, an identifying symbol of his old unit prior to Alpha-Nine.[26] He preferred a snug fit for his gear to prevent noise, and tightly secured equipment to his armor, and stashed snacks salvaged from otherwise-unpalatable meal packs in his hard-shell backpack.[27] His shoulder plates were painted in an urban camouflage scheme, and during the Battle of Mombasa he employed fingerless shooting gloves. To store equipment outside of his backpack, Jonathan employed whatever pouches he could salvage or borrow, and kept non mission-critical contents in two pouches on his right leg.[28] He used his thigh pouches to store extra ammunition, candy and restraining cable.[29]

Jonathan employed a fairly simple loadout on his belt, consisting of six grenades with optional spine, groin and upper thigh armor.[30] The back of his belt was fitted with a small cushion - handy for the marine's habit of sleeping wherever he could.[31] In combat, Jonathan favoured a standard loadout consisting of an M7S SMG and a M6C/SOCOM handgun.

In-game information[edit]

Jonathan Doherty serves as the default character for player use in Halo 3: ODST and its port in Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Armor Description Unlock requirements (Halo: 3: ODST) Unlock requirements (Halo: MCC)
H3ODST Rookie Helmet Icon.png
Halo 3: ODST: This Trooper recently transferred from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Force, part of a Rapid Offensive Picket that suffered near-annihilation at New Jerusalem, Cygnus. Like most ODSTs, his actions speak louder than words.

MCC: The strong, silent type.

Unlocked by default. Unlocked by default.

Production notes[edit]

Like John-117 and SPARTAN-B312, The Rookie is meant to be a largely undefined character with whom the player can easily identify. As such, his face is never seen and he never speaks. He is thus a true silent protagonist, in contrast to all other playable characters in the Halo series, who have dialogue at least in cutscenes. It is believed that his initials, J.D., are a reference to "John Doe," a placeholder name commonly given to a male who is as of yet unidentified. The 2022 edition of the Halo Encyclopedia would reveal Rookie's full name to be Jonathan Doherty,[3] which is itself likely a play on "John Doe".


  • His blood type is O+, as seen in his MEDREF.
  • Jonathan’s enlistment date is July 7, 2547. This is simultaneously a reference to the number seven and a reference to Bungie Day, which is held on July 7.
  • Jonathan is often seen asleep. Minutes before he was dropped into New Mombasa, he napped by his pod while the rest of the squad conversed. Upon crashing within the city, he remained unconscious for six hours. One month after his mission in New Mombasa, while the rest of the squad and Sergeant Major Johnson interrogated Vergil, he slept beneath a staircase.
  • An action figure was modeled after him by McFarlane Toys, the creators and manufacturers of the popular Halo action figures.[32] It was released alongside the other figures in the sixth series. They released another version of this figure with glow in the dark paint making it look like someone was looking at him in VISR mode in April 2010.
  • In Jonathan’s SOEIV, on Legendary, there is a picture of a woman.[33] According to Joseph Staten, this is Jonathan‘s "beautiful girlfriend", but is actually an edited image of Bungie engineer Chris Butcher.[34]
  • Jonathan’s backpack bears the Marathon logo.
  • When completing the "Good Samaritan" achievement, the player will unlock an ODST armor for the Xbox LIVE Avatar. The armor is similar to Jonathan‘s, but it has a "flame drop pod" decal, and the blood type label reads "A+" rather than Jonathan‘s "O+".
  • On September 23, 2020, 343 Industries released an official cosplay guide for the Rookie on Halo Waypoint.[35] A backup of the PDF file is hosted on Halopedia.


Developmental images[edit]

Promotional images[edit]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ It has been confirmed in a comment by Tobias Buckell here that the rookie character in Dirt is indeed The Rookie from Halo 3: ODST.
  2. ^ a b While there are two possible events in the game depending on the number of audio logs the player has collected, the Essential Visual Guide has confirmed that Jonathan did collect all of the Audio Logs and learned of Sadie's Story. Thus, the article assumes that the events that followed collecting 29 Audio Logs in the level Mombasa Streets are canon.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 160
  2. ^ a b c d e Halo Waypoint - Universe: Rookie
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 97
  4. ^ a b Jessica Shea's twitter: Today in Halo 1/3/2554
  5. ^ a b c Halo: New Blood, Chapter 11
  6. ^ a b c Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 61
  7. ^ Halo 3: ODST ViDoc: Desperate Measures
  8. ^ a b Meet the Squad
  9. ^ a b c Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "Dirt"
  10. ^ Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "Dirt", page 153
  11. ^ a b The Rookie Cosplay Guide, p.73
  12. ^ Halo Legendary Crate, Data Drop #2
  13. ^ Halo Waypoint: Into Hell 1
  14. ^ a b Halo 3: ODST, campaign level Prepare To Drop
  15. ^ a b Halo 3: ODST, campaign level Mombasa Streets
  16. ^ a b c Halo 3: ODST, campaign level Data Hive
  17. ^ Halo Waypoint - Is there an actual name for Vergil?
  18. ^ Halo 3: ODST, campaign level Coastal Highway
  19. ^ a b Halo: New Blood, Chapter 12
  20. ^ Halo 3: ODST, Epilogue
  21. ^ Halo: New Blood, page 81 (Google Play edition)
  22. ^ Halo 5: Guardians Limited Edition, Spartan Locke's Classified Orders
  23. ^ Halo: New Blood, page 99 (Google Play edition)
  24. ^ Halo: New Blood, Chapter 4
  25. ^ The Rookie Cosplay Guide, p.26
  26. ^ The Rookie Cosplay Guide, p.22
  27. ^ The Rookie Cosplay Guide, p.32
  28. ^ The Rookie Cosplay Guide, p.43-44
  29. ^ The Rookie Cosplay Guide, p.46
  30. ^ The Rookie Cosplay Guide, p.49
  31. ^ The Rookie Cosplay Guide, p.50
  32. ^ McFarlane Toys: Halo line
  33. ^ Screencapture of the girl in HEV
  34. ^ a b YouTube: Halo Fest 2011 - Bungie: Hatching the Cosmic Halo Egg Panel! PART 3
  35. ^ Halo Waypoint, Official Cosplay Guide: The Rookie (Retrieved on Sep 23, 2020) [local archive] [external archive]