General Van Zandt was an officer in the United Nations Space Command Marine Corps during the Human-Covenant War. After the war, he served as a representative of the Marine Corps to the Office of Naval Intelligence on at least one occasion.
During the war, Van Zandt was one of a minority of people who believed that the only hope for ending the conflict and ensuring humanity's survival was through diplomatic means, and so he lobbied for years to engage the Covenant in peace talks. He contended that the Covenant were far too advanced and powerful to be defeated through feats of arms, leaving diplomacy as the only viable solution to the crisis, even as the Covenant were engaged in systematic genocide on a galactic scale. Zandt's advocacy received very little support and was not adopted by UNSC leadership. However, the events of late 2552 would ultimately prove Zandt to have been correct, and the UNSC and Swords of Sanghelios subsequently concluded a formal peace treaty in early 2553.
By 2555, he had been appointed as a representative of the Marine Corps to the Office of Naval Intelligence. In March of that year, Zandt was among the officers and scientific consultants present at an emergency ONI conference held at HIGHCOM Facility Bravo-6 after it was discovered that all intact Halo Installations were counting down to activation. After Dr. William Iqbal advised that the countdown could only have been activated from Installation 00, the Ark, the conference decided to send an expedition there to attempt to deactivate the array. Zandt voiced his opinion, supporting that of Lord Hood, that the Sangheili's help, specifically that of the Arbiter, would be instrumental to the success of the mission, overriding Serin Osman's objections. Consequently, a joint UNSC-Swords of Sanghelios operation was dispatched to the Ark; it would ultimately be successful in its mission.
Personality and traits
Van Zandt's advocation for peace with the Covenant did not make him particularly popular with his fellow officers during the war, nor did his eventual vindication. After the war, he was also among the few officers who, like Lord Hood, could let go of their prejudices and grudge towards the Covenant and were willing to work together with the Sangheili. His foresightedness and unorthodox, nonconformist thinking likely lead to his appointment as a liaison to the Office of Naval Intelligence during the turbulent post-war era. At any rate, Zandt's attitudes and disposition set him in marked contrast to his UNSC Army counterpart, General Crystal Speakman, an aggressive field commander who had fought ferociously against the Covenant and still harbored resentment and disgust towards the former Covenant client species. Zandt and Speakmen were indeed polar opposites, for whereas CINCONI Serin Osman believed that Speakman could be easily pegged and leveraged, Zandt proved himself able to contend Osman on important issues.
Zandt is described as having white hair, suggesting that he may be an older man.
"Van Zandt" is a surname of Dutch origin, being a habitational name referring to several locations in Gelderland, Friesland, South Holland, and Zeeland.
List of appearances