A Chieftain of the Jiralhanae has requirements and functions beyond those of regular Chieftains. He represents the Jiralhanae as a populace and operates as a centric emissary on the Covenant's behalf, likely to the Ministry of Concert, and is also the Jiralhanae Commander in Chief of his entire race. Past Chieftains of the Jiralhanae have been given tasks deemed important by the Prophets - Maccabeus was tasked with recovering the "relics" at Harvest, and later, Tartarus was given the task of recovering the Index from Installation 05 and activating the installation.
It is likely that the title of Chieftain of the Jiralhanae is a title and designation that is passed through a specific "royal" family. The most recent Chieftain of the Jiralhanae, Tartarus, for example, inherited the title from his uncle, Maccabeus, who in turn inherited it from his own father; however, it could be a more Ape-like leadership, with one challenging the leader, for control of the family. And with a large number of clans, clan warfare for society roles would be common. Perhaps a leading family would be involved in feuds with itself and other families, with the assassin assuming control. This methodology is similar to the Sangheili Kaidon.
- Tartarus - Served as Chieftain from 2525, when he killed Maccabeus and took his position, until the end of the Battle of Installation 05 in November 2552, in which he was killed by the Arbiter while doing Truth's bidding.
- Maccabeus - served as Chieftain until 2525, when killed by his nephew Tartarus. Maccabeus was the first of the Covenant to discover humanity, and also was one of the first Jiralhanae to captain a Covenant ship.
- After the death of Tartarus at the hands of Arbiter Thel 'Vadam, it is unknown whether another Chieftain of the Jiralhanae was instituted, since the killer was not a Jiralhanae.
- It is possible (however unlikely) that the Chieftain who was with the Prophet of Truth in The Ark's control room in Halo 3 was the new Chieftain of the Jiralhanae, which would mean that he too was killed.
- The name is similar to the US army war time rank "General of the Army." Both are supreme military commander ranks.
- Halo 2
- Halo: First Strike (First appearance)
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- Halo: Contact Harvest
- Halo Graphic Novel
- Halo: Uprising