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The Covenant Military are the armed forces branch of the Covenant Empire, incorporating the Covenant Navy, Covenant Army, and Covenant Special Operations divisions. Prior to the collapse of the Covenant, it was the largest military force in the known Milky Way galaxy.
The Council of Deed and Doctrine is the governing force behind the Covenant military and aids the Hierarchs with military tactics and strategy. During major engagements, the Council of Deed and Doctrine creates a Council of Masters to directly oversee the operation. The majority of the Covenant utilizes a caste type ranking system based on the color and type of armor worn for Sangheili, Mgalekgolo and Unggoy, shield color for Kig-Yar, accessories for Jiralhanae, and weapons carried by the Yanme'e. The San'Shyuum are part of the Covenant religious caste and so have their own ranking system.
In the early centuries of the Covenant, the Writ of Union established Sangheili personnel as the sole military force, with the San'Shyuum having little part in its day-to-day operation. As the Covenant conquered and assimilated various new species, members of each race were incorporated into the Covenant military to perform different functions, adding their own unique advantages and disadvantages.
In the early stages of the Human-Covenant War, Covenant technology was far more advanced than that of the United Nations Space Command due to their adoption of Forerunner technology. Covenant warships were notorious for glassing any worlds belonging to the UNSC, leading to billions of deaths. The United Nations Space Command soon adopted Forerunner technology as well, allowing them to fight on a more even level with the Covenant.
- Sangheili - formerly commanding officers of the military and the protectors of the Prophets before the Great Schism
- Jiralhanae - the dominant military caste, the primary enforcers of the Covenant, the new leaders of the military, and the new protectors of the Prophets after the Great Schism.
- Mgalekgolo - personal guards for Ship Masters, shock infantry, heavy weapons platforms
- Yanme'e - airborne infantry, combat engineers
- Kig-Yar - scouts/snipers, police force
- Unggoy - majority of infantry, "cannon-fodder"
- Huragok - combat engineers, medics, and suicide bombers
- Navy - responsible for the coordination of the Covenant's numerous fleets and naval personnel. Primarily staffed by Sangheili with Unggoy, Yanme'e, and Huragok maintenance staff. After the Great Schism, the Hierarchs have taken direct control over Covenant military operations.
- Army - responsible for most ground-based combat operations, incorporating most of the Covenant's client races. Mostly comprised of Unggoy, Yanme'e, and Kig-Yar infantry, with Sangheili or Jiralhanae officers.
- Special Warfare Group - responsible for small-scale, high-priority high-risk operations against specific points of interest. Organizations with this group included Special Operations and Fleet Security. Its status after the Great Schism is unknown.