Beta Company was the second class of soldiers generated by the SPARTAN-III program. The formation of the company was authorized in 2537 and built upon experience garnered from Alpha Company. Ultimately, most of Beta Company was destroyed during Operation: TORPEDO in 2545. Beta Company was succeeded by Gamma Company.
The authorization and funding for Beta Company came in the wake of the destruction of Alpha Company during Operation: PROMETHEUS in 2537. While the loss of the lead company was unfortunate, Alpha's impressive combat record clearly made the SPARTAN-III program worth pursuing. Beta was projected to produce 1000 soldiers out of many marines. However, even using expanded selection criteria the number of candidates found with suitable genetic characteristics made this impossible. On the positive side, lessons learned from Alpha made it possible to graduate a larger proportion of recruits. As with Alpha, then-Lieutenant Kurt Ambrose and Senior Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez were again charged with training Beta.
418 candidates gathered at Camp Currahee, Onyx. The vetting process to select 300 for augmentation was ongoing in 2541. The Camp was supervised by the AI Deep Winter, replacing the previous AI Eternal Spring. After-action analysis of Operation: PROMETHEUS resulted in an increased emphasis on unit cohesion during training.
Unlike Ackerson, who was quite prepared to see every one of the Spartan-III's trained die if an appropriately high-value target could be found, both Kurt and Mendez tried to extract as many personnel as they could to stop them from being wasted on suicide missions, as almost the entire company would be in Operation: TORPEDO. SPARTAN-B312 was deployed alone immediately after training, although Catherine-B320 was more difficult to extract after Operation: CARTWHEEL.
Similarly, Kurt attempted to send SPARTAN-B170 and B091 on deep-space reconnaissance to avoid being sent as part of the TORPEDO assault force, although this attempt was unsuccessful in Lucy's case. All of these were of the SPARTAN-II genetic standards and were deemed too valuable to be wasted on suicide missions and were later equipped with actual Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor rather than the cheaper but less effective SPI, and deployed on missions more befitting their Spartan status, rather than the suicide missions they had been trained for. All of these extractions would result in Beta company Spartan-III personnel surviving to fight in the Human-Covenant war, outside of Ackerson's chain of command and completely unknown to him.
- Main article: Operation: TORPEDO
The 300 soldiers of Beta Company inserted successfully via drop pod onto Pegasi Delta on 3 July 2545 at 1135 hours. Their objective was to destroy a Covenant deuterium/tritium fuel refinery. Nine soldiers were lost immediately upon touchdown, killed by either the impact or by the Covenant.
The remainder proceeded toward the objective on foot, and were engaged by Covenant forces reacted with unexpected speed and strength. As the soldiers reached the refinery complex the source of the Covenant response became clear. Seven enemy cruisers were on station and had escaped detection by UNSC reconnaissance satellites. In the face of such overwhelming force, an Omega Three code was issued and Beta was ordered to retreat. Team Foxtrot ignored the order and continued to the objective and destroyed the refinery. The resulting explosion destroyed everything within a four kilometer radius, including all Covenant forces and the rest of Beta company. The only known survivors from Beta company were Lucy-B091 and Tom-B292 who leaped into the nearby ocean to escape the blast.
The destruction of Beta Company would drive Kurt Ambrose to greater efforts to perfect its successor. As a result, Gamma Company received illicit drugs during augmentation, and had a higher survival rate than Beta company.
- Main article: Project CHRYSANTHEMUM
Beta Company underwent similar augmentation procedures as Alpha Company. The drugs allowed the Spartans to have nearly unbreakable bones, night-vision, and super strength. The advances in technology between the SPARTAN-II and SPARTAN-III program allowed the casualty rate of the latter to drop to 0%, compared to 56% for the SPARTAN-IIs.
- Team Echo - KIA
- Team Foxtrot
- Team India - KIA
- Team Lima - KIA
- Team Romeo - KIA
- Team X-ray - MIA
- The 300 soldiers of Beta Company mirrors the strength of the 300 Greek Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae. Similarly, the 300 Spartan-IIIs of Beta Company only yielded a few survivors, just as two of the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae returned home to Sparta.