Marines held captive by Brutes.

James Ackerson in Halo Uprising

Col. James Ackerson held prisoner by the Brutes on Mars.

A Prisoner of War (POW, PoW, or PW) is a combatant who is imprisoned by an enemy force during or immediately after an armed conflict.[1]

Even in the 26th Century, the UNSC continued to take prisoners of war in their conflict against the Covenant,[2] often using them as manual labor to construct fortifications for defending against Covenant attack and digging graves for Covenant and UNSC dead.[3] After the destruction of Alpha Halo, multiple Sangheili were recovered in their lifepods by a UNSC-requisitioned prison ship, the Mona Lisa and experimented on by an Office of Naval Intelligence medical officer seeking ways to harness the Flood, either to find a "cure" or to use it as a weapon against the Covenant. The last survivor of these, "Henry", assisted the other human prisoners on the ship and was one of only two survivors, with him and Rimmer joining a UNSC Marine squad to try and escape.[4] For much of the war, the Covenant refused to take prisoners, executing any human personnel who were captured or who surrendered.[5] After the discovery that only human "Reclaimers" could activate the Halo Array, the Covenant changed that policy,[6] brutally torturing and interrogating captured humans. After the ascension of the Jiralhanae to the positions formerly held by the Sangheili, UNSC prisoners were routinely captured and butchered for food for the Jiralhanae[7]

The Prisoner of War Medallion is awarded to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have been recovered from, escaped, or released from capture by the enemy.

PoW's in the Halo GamesEdit

Though the Covenant have repeatedly been stated to never take prisoners, the games depict UNSC captives in Covenant custody multiple times.

List of AppearancesEdit


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Halo: The Flood, page 187
  3. Halo: The Flood, page 234
  4. Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, The Mona Lisa
  5. Halo: The Flood, page 74
  6. Halo 2
  7. Halo 3, Crows Nest (Level)
  8. Halo: Combat Evolved, Truth and Reconciliation (Level)
  9. Halo 2, Gravemind (Level)
  10. Halo 3, Sierra 117 (Level)