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UNSC Navy[1]




Catherine Halsey: "Blue Team, Commander Yao."
Yao: "As you were."
— Dr. Halsey announces Commander Yao's entry.[1]

Commander Yao was a UNSC Navy officer stationed aboard the Halcyon-class light cruiser UNSC Persian Gate at the start of the Human-Covenant War.[1]


Commander Yao was aboard the Persian Gate on December 1, 2525 when it was orbiting Chi Ceti IV with a complement of Spartan-IIs.[1] On December 3, having left Chi Ceti behind them, Commander Yao joined the four Spartans selected for Blue Team in its ready room aboard the vessel. She spoke up as she entered, just as Dr. Catherine Halsey finished congratulating the teenagers for recently proving the Covenant could be beat. Yao informed them that due to their demonstrated success, they were here now in order to prove themselves again. She had Nora, the shipboard A.I., display a map of the Alpha Corvi system and began to fill them in concerning a Covenant incursion on Alpha Corvi II that had begun just three hours prior. Dropships had landed on the colony's surface and its largest city, Jamshid, was under attack by ground forces. Yao told Blue Team that their job was to drop near the city's outskirts and then fight to provide relief of the marines defending Jamshid. She stated that they were not to contact the marines. She finished by giving the order for the young warriors to suit up before walking away to let Halsey finish briefing them.[1]

While Blue Team and the UNSC Marine Corps did battle on the surface, Yao struggled to rally the fleet to the colony's defense in orbit. Outnumbered and outgunned, Yao was faced with a worsening tactical situation where the odds of success against the invading fleet were rapidly evaporating. Meanwhile, the defense of Jamshid had resulted in unsustainable casualties, forcing Yao to order the evacuation of all UNSC forces from Alpha Corvi. Yao deployed numerous dropships to evacuate the planet while the fleet renewed their attack. However, she did not place priority on the evacuation of non-UNSC personnel from the planet, instead leaving them to fend for themselves while instructing all ships to avoid firing on any non-military vessels departing from the surface. Dr. Halsey requested Yao to deploy a Pelican to evacuate Blue Team from Black Reef, a request Yao granted when contact was reestablished with the Spartans.

On Black Reef, Yao ordered Tango 807 to hold position while Blue Team and their allies in the United Rebel Front cleared a landing zone for extraction, and told the flight crew to refuse entry to the rebels once Blue Team had boarded. The Spartans were forced to abandon the rebels to their fates, and Yao was confronted by John-117 who was outraged at the needlessness of their deaths. Yao shot the Spartan's protests down, insisting that the lives of the rebels were expendable in the larger war being waged around them, and that the survival of the Spartans was all that mattered. After this heated exchange, Yao stormed off of the bridge and ordered the Persian Gate to retreat from the Alpha Corvi system.

In June 2526, during Operation: OBLIVION, the Spartans believed that Lieutenant Commander Amalea Petrov's plan to abandon the Castoffs on Netherop was even worse than what Yao did.[2]


Yao is an ancient Chinese surname.


List of appearances[edit]