UNSC High Command

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UNSC High Command
Escalation - SecurityCouncil.png

The leaders of High Command

General overview


Governing command[1]


Organizational overview


Unified Earth Government[1]

Part of:

United Nations Space Command[4]



HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6[2]

Historical overview


c. 2164[1]


UNSC High Command (HIGHCOM or HighCom) is the highest governing office of the United Nations Space Command,[1] a command that is ultimately in charge of all armed forces personnel, equipment, and facilities. It is sometimes colloquially referred to as "the Admiralty", which is a misnomer as its staff is composed of personnel from all branches, not just the Navy. High Command consists of less than twenty members that work very closely to plan missions, set objectives, to ensure that there are no disputes over resources or the command hierarchy among the lower echelons.[4]


In 2491, Doctor Elias Carver published his "Carver Findings" and presented them before High Command, where he theorized that a civil war would rip apart the Unified Earth Government unless the political situation in the colonies was stabilized, preferably by force. While Carver's theories were dismissed by many, they gained purchase within High Command and the Office of Naval Intelligence. Carver's predication proved true, as the Insurrection began several years later across human space, as High Command began to formulate strategies to deal with the insurrectionists for decades to come.[5] Following the bombing of the Haven arcology on Mamore in 2511, High Command was called upon by the public to investigate the individuals responsible and the Freedom and Liberation Party, though High Command failed to respond to all requests.[6]

When the Covenant attacked and glassed the Outer Colony of Harvest in 2525, High Command and ONI were not fully prepared for conflict against an advanced alien empire. High Command put the entire UNSC on full alert in preparation to the Covenant as the Human-Covenant War began, and ordered for the acceleration of the SPARTAN-II program to use the Spartan-IIs to combat the Covenant.[7] Although initially unpopular among High Command, the effectiveness of the Spartan-IIs against the Covenant saw that the Admiralty's reticence about the program vanish, with High Command making the Spartan-IIs public in 2549 to boost public morale.[8] On August 30, 2552, during the Fall of Reach, the Covenant destroyed the Reach High Command facility, one of the primary headquarters of High Command. Numerous high-ranking officers were killed in the facility's destruction, leaving Vice Admiral Danforth WhitcombDeputy Chief of Naval Operations—in command of all forces on Reach for the rest of the battle.

With the destruction of Reach High Command, the surviving members of UNSC High Command relocated to HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6 in Sydney, Australia on Earth.[9] Fleet Admiral Lord Terrence Hood served as the Chairman of the UNSC Security Council and leader of High Command's survivors.[10] After Reach's fall, under emergency security directives authorized by High Command, Lord Hood, and the UEG Security Council who gave their final approval, all remaining naval forces were grouped under the Home Fleet in the Sol system.[11]

During the Battle for Earth beginning in October 2552, despite the fact that Sydney was heavily damaged by the Covenant's assault, High Command's officers survived within HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6, with some members boasting that even the Covenant was loathe to attack the facility. While many High Command survivors took refuge in the facility, Lord Hood led the last of the UNSC military forces in orbit around Earth and eventually to the surface of the planet as the battle escalated.[10] After the end of the Covenant War, Lord Hood and High Command continued to direct the UNSC as it begun rebuilding what was lost in the war.[12]

During the Created's takeover of Earth, smart AI Black-Box was only able to warn Lord Hood and Admiral Serin Osman within High Command prior to the Created's subjugation of the planet, allowing the two to escape; whether any other members of High Command escaped is currently unknown.[13]

Organization and membership[edit]

"You'll note I didn't mention HIGHCOM, and that's because all ONI sections lie to HIGHCOM and tell it that it's the most powerful body on Earth, which generally works well at keeping the old buffers convinced that they make the decisions."
Black-Box, partly joking, speaking of High Command's relations to the Office of Naval Intelligence[14]

UNSC High Command is the executive body consisting of a small joint staff of senior military personnel[15] within the United Nations Space Command that plan missions, set objectives, and ensure that there is no internal disputes or conflicts over resources and command hierarchy among the subordinate commands. Though the UNSC is rather large and often bureaucratically unwieldy, the UNSC was designed for cross-discipline cooperation and joint-operations, with a great deal of overlap between operational commands and divisions. However, due to the nature of the UNSC High Command, this organization structure results in very few jurisdictional and protocol issues.[4] High Command has authority over planning, personnel, resources, and equipment within the UNSC,[16] and advises the Unified Earth Government on defense matters.[15]

UNSC High Command is split into two commands; the Unified Ground Command, coordinating the ground forces of the United Nations Space Command armed forces, and the UNSC Naval Command, in charge of the UNSC Navy and token expeditionary aspects of the UNSC Marine Corps.[4][17] High Command exercises local authority through regional Central Commands, which have responsibility over certain areas of Unified Earth Government space.[18] High Command is responsible for establishing numerous mandates and directives for the Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence, with many of the agency's orders coming directly from High Command. However, most sections of ONI often mislead or lie to High Command, while Naval Command is often blindsided by the organization.[14][19] High Command requires approval from the UEG Security Council, even during the Human-Covenant War when the UNSC held emergency governing powers.[11] High Command also utilizes Fireteam Osiris, a fireteam within Spartan Operations formed to execute challenging operations deemed persistently intractable by members of High Command.[20]

High Command is a small group of the UNSC's highest-ranking officers, including fleet admirals, admirals, and generals; members of High Command include the Chief and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations,[21] and the Commander-in-Chief of the Office of Naval Intelligence.[22] There is fewer than twenty members of UNSC High Command, all of which work closely together.[4] Top-level officers from every branch of the Armed Forces form the UNSC Security Council of High Command, an influential body that is in overall control of the UNSC. With headquarters on the planets Reach and Earth,[23] HIGHCOM has directed the strategy for the actions of the UNSC since its very beginning, from combating rebel forces such as the insurrectionists to the genocidal war waged by the Covenant.[24]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, p. 229
  2. ^ a b Halo: First Strike, p. 104
  3. ^ Halo: Official Spartan Field Manual, p. 114
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), p. 47 (2011)
  5. ^ Halo Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Halo Universe, p. 44 (2011)
  6. ^ Halo: Reach, Dr. Halsey's personal journal
  7. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, p. 93 (2010)
  8. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, p. 262 (2010)
  9. ^ Halo Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Halo Universe, p. 297 (2011)
  10. ^ a b Halo Waypoint: Lord Terrence Hood
  11. ^ a b Halo Legendary Crate, Data Drop #2
  12. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, p. 39
  13. ^ "Rossbach's World" – Halo: Fractures, p. 285-290 (Google Play edition)
  14. ^ a b Halo: Mortal Dictata, p. 199
  15. ^ a b Halo: Official Spartan Field Manual, p. 120
  16. ^ Halo Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Halo Universe, p. 361 (2011)
  17. ^ Halo: Fleet Battles, Core Rulebook, p. 6
  18. ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, p. 15, 34, 204
  19. ^ Halo Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Halo Universe, p. 67
  20. ^ Halo Waypoint: Fireteam Osiris
  21. ^ Halo: First Strike, p. 126 (2010)
  22. ^ Halo: Escalation, Issue #1
  23. ^ Halo: First Strike, p. 15
  24. ^ Halo: First Strike, p. 100
  25. ^ Halo: First Strike, p. 98
  26. ^ Halo: First Strike, p. 20-22