UNSC Special Forces

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

The Special Forces comprise the special operations units of the United Nations Space Command.[1] By March 2555, the UNSC Special Forces is headed by Captain Annabelle Richards, who reports directly to the Office of Naval Intelligence's Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Serin Osman.[2]

Naval Special Warfare Command[edit]

SPARTAN-II Blue Team in combat with the Covenant

Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM) is a major special forces division under the oversight of UNSC Naval Command. The branch includes the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, operatives of the now defunct ORION Project, and most of the SPARTAN-IIs. The SPARTAN-IIIs also served under NAVSPECWARCOM until early 2553, when they were folded into the independent Spartan branch. NAVSPECWARCOM specializes in covert operations, assassinations, and conducting high-priority, high-risk operations against enemy forces.

NAVSPECWARCOM also includes Naval Special Weapons (NAVSPECWEP), under which the ODSTs[3][4] and the SPARTAN-IIs serve.[5][6] Some NAVSPECWEP units fall under the operational supervision of Section Three within the Office of Naval Intelligence.[7] The group has a large amount of operational and command flexibility. Although this office is technically subordinate to both the UNSC Naval Command and the Unified Ground Command, UNICOM primarily has oversight of NAVSPECWEP special forces.[8]

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Spartans are the most skilled and disciplined soldiers in service to the UNSC. SPARTAN-II and SPARTAN-III personnel took part in intense training from childhood; most saw combat by their early teens. The SPARTAN-IIs wear performance-enhancing MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor, whereas most SPARTAN-IIIs wore Semi-Powered Infiltration armor. After the Spartan branch's establishment, NAVSPECWARCOM still maintains operational command over Blue Team.[9]

Known units[edit]

Orbital Drop Shock Troopers[edit]

UNSC Marine Shock Troopers of the 7th ODST Battalion during the Battle of Installation 00 in the Human-Covenant War.
7th Battalion troops heading toward an enemy position on the Ark.

The Marines Corps' Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST) are an important part of the UNSC's offensive operations. Disciplined and skilled, they drop into the most hostile areas via SOEIV drop pods. They attempt to complete some of the most difficult tasks in hostile areas, such as clearing enemy ground forces or establishing landing zones for incoming dropships.

Known units[edit]

Unified Special Warfare Command[edit]

Unified Special Warfare Command (USW[10] or UNISPECWARCOM) often simplified as Special Warfare Command (SPECWARCOM), is a special forces division under the authority of Unified Ground Command.[11][12] It maintains oversight of special operations carried out by the UNSC Army,[13] alongside the ability to provide tactical oversight of personnel deployments in the Spartan Operations division (something shared with NAVSPECWARCOM).[11]

Given UNICOM's authority over the UNSC Marine Corps on the whole,[14] it is possible that USW also oversees Marine special force units apart from the ODST, who fall under NAVSPECWAR's authority.

Known units[edit]

Within the UNSC Army, UNISPECWARCOM is divided into a number of "Special Warfare Groups", with at least three such units in existence. Each Special Warfare Group is commanded by a Colonel, with a strength likely equivalent to a brigade. Overall, USW has the strength of a division.[12]

List of appearances[edit]



  1. ^, The M90A Shotgun (Retrieved on Jun 8, 2020) [local archive] [external archive]
  2. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, Preview
  3. ^, Halo 3 ODST : Field Guide - ODST (Retrieved on May 25, 2013) [local archive] [external archive]
  4. ^ Halo Waypoint: ODST
  5. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 175 (2003)
  6. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 121
  7. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach, page 224 (2003)
  8. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2009 edition), page 65 (2011 edition)
  9. ^ Halo Waypoint Forums, John-117 is no longer blue leader (Retrieved on Dec 29, 2019) [local archive] [external archive]
  10. ^ Halo: Reach manual, page 1
  11. ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 74
  12. ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 98: "Directly attached to the USW division...."
  13. ^, Re: Just checked out the Essential Visual Guide (Retrieved on Apr 30, 2023) [archive]
  14. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2011 edition), page 54-55