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UNSC Marine Corps

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Marines redirects here. For other uses, see Marine Corps (disambiguation).

UNSC Marine Corps
UNSC Marine Corps


Since 2163








“When I die, please bury me deep! Place an MA5 down by my feet! Don't cry for me, don't shed a tear! Just pack my box with PT gear! 'Cuz one early morning 'bout zero five! The ground will rumble, there'll be lightning in the sky! Don't you worry, don't come undone! It's just my ghost on a PT run!”
— UNSC Marching Song
“They're the best of the best, but they're only human.”
Halo: Combat Evolved Manual

The UNSC Marine Corps is a branch of the UNSCDF that is responsible for land-based military operations, as well as the protection of Naval vessels and installations from attack.

A rugged and diverse assortment of well equipped and well trained men and women, one of the Marine Corps's most notable conflicts was fighting a losing war against the Covenant's highly superior technology and numbers.



The UN Marine Corps (predecessor of the UNSC Marine Corps) were one of the primary combat groups fielded by the UN in the Interplanetary War, and were the first military organization deployed offworld in 2163. After the United Nations claimed victory in 2164, it reorganized into the UNSC, thereby changing the UN Marine Corps to the UNSC Marine Corps. Later, the UNSC Marine Corps would be responsible for dealing with Insurrectionist uprisings among UNSC colonies star systems.

Human-Covenant War

Main article: Human-Covenant war

During the course of the Human-Covenant War, the Marines played a central role in maintaining a defensive stand as well as assaulting several Covenant base of operations. The battles of Harvest, Arcadia, Sigma Octanus IV, and Earth saw fierce fighting between Marines and the Covenant Army.

First Encounter

Contact Harvest
Main article: First Battle of Harvest

The first contact was aboard a shipping vessel. Staff Sergeants Avery Johnson and Nolan Byrne were waiting, expecting to find Insurrectionists boarding the vessel, only to see four Jackals raiding the ship. The first casualty was Staff Sergeant Byrne, who was stabbed in the leg with an energy cutlass. The wound was minor, however, and he survived.

The UNSC Marine Corps' second encounter with the Covenant was the First Battle of Harvest in 2525. At the event, only three Marine officers were present, training the planet's Colonial Militia. During the battle, Captain Ponder became the Corps' second casualty of the war.

Outer Colonies

Main articles: Harvest Campaign and First Battle of Arcadia

Not long after the First Battle of Harvest, the Corps experienced its first major encounter with the Covenant at numerous engagements throughout the Outer Colonies, including the Harvest Campaign, eventually lasting from 2526 to 2531. At the final stages of the campaign, the Marines quickly established a base of operations in Harvest's arctic region. A reconnaissance force led by Sergeant John Forge was deployed to survey the area. However, during the patrol, Covenant forces under the command of a Covenant Arbiter overran and nearly destroyed the base. Forge rallied scattered marines, who quickly retook it from the Covenant. After receiving reinforcements and repairing the base, the Marines fought through a sizable Covenant garrison force in an attempt to secure a mysterious Forerunner structure in the region.

The First Battle of Arcadia saw the UNSC Marine Corps holding the defensive line around the planet's major population centers to allow the evacuation of the civilian population with the assistance of the SPARTAN-II Red Team. Successfully keeping Covenant forces from occupying the population centers, the Corps began launching multiple assaults on the Covenant's base of operations to reclaim the planet.

The UNSC Marine Corps would take part in numerous campaigns against the Covenant on many of the Outer Colonies in the years that followed. Unfortunately, they were hopelessly outmatched by the superior Covenant forces, and the Corps would suffer tremendous losses in what eventually saw the near-destruction of the Outer Colonies.

Battle of Sigma Octanus IV

Main article: Battle of Sigma Octanus IV

The Corps experienced another encounter with the Covenant on the colony world of Sigma Octanus IV. Upon landing, the Marines' hardware and equipment were rendered useless due to the planet's harsh environment. In the first stage of the battle, during a naval engagement, a Covenant carrier was able to land a large contingent of troops on the northern pole of the planet. The Marines set up Alpha Headquarters, which was quickly destroyed by Covenant forces. The Covenant were able to take Côte d'Azur, a major population center. Fortunately almost all of the civilian population was evacuated beforehand, but the UNSC Marine Corps' General Kits launched a failed assault to retake the city- almost all 1600 Marines were killed. Despite all this, the over-all Pyrrhic Victory was accomplished by the Marines.

Fall of Reach

Fall of Reach 1
Main article: Fall of Reach

The UNSC Marine Corps maintained a sizable presence on Reach when the Covenant stormed the planet; they bypassed the defense fleet in orbit, as well as the MAC Gun platforms, and made a considerable landing of soldiers on the North and South Poles. During the early hours of the battle, the Covenant had overrun FLEETCOM HQ on Reach, destroying the perimeter and swarming the Marine defenders with Banshees, Wraiths, and battalions of infantry. The situation became severe and critical when the Marines were forced to defend the Orbital Defense Generators against a massive Covenant assault, using every available armored vehicle and defensive position from available bunkers. The Battle of Reach became one of the most devastating defeats for the UNSC Marine Corps in the Human-Covenant War.

Battle of Installation 04

Main article: Battle of Installation 04

The surviving Marines from the Battle of Reach served an important role in the Battle of Installation 04, taking part in such engagements as securing the UNSC Pillar of Autumn crash site, launching multiple guerrilla assaults on Covenant convoys and base of operations and rescuing captured Pillar of Autumn's personnel from a Covenant Battlecruiser. Initially, the Marines were part of a special operation consisting of a sizable Orbital Drop Shock Trooper special forces detachment and a standard Marine detachment to infiltrate Covenant High Command and kidnap a Covenant Prophet.

Battle of Earth

File:ODST Screenshot 7.jpg
Main article: Battle of Earth
“Dear Humanity, we regret being alien bastards. We regret coming to Earth. And we most definitely regret that the Corps just blew up our raggedy-ass fleet!”

The UNSC Marine Corps remained on Earth and its geosynchronous Orbital Defense Platforms, and were mostly prepared to repulse a relatively small Covenant invasion, when fifteen Covenant capital warships, two Assault Carriers and thirteen Covenant cruisers, entered the Sol System. They then played a significant role in the Covenant ground assault on Earth where they defended multiple major population centers from the Covenant's occupation such as those in New Mombasa, Cleveland, and Havana.

Several Marine detachments achieved a turning point during the course of the Battle of Earth when they managed to retake the cities and maintain temporary ground control for UNSC reinforcements to arrive. Such Marine detachments were the 405th Marine Infantry Division, which was able to engage the Covenant ground forces in Mombasa, Kenya as the Covenant Assault Carrier landed Phantoms and Orbital Insertion Pods, and used its Gravity lift to directly deploy reinforcements.

The Marine Corps had also partaken in a major assault alongside the UNSC Navy in Voi. As ground forces, the Marines were to engage in the Battle of Tsavo with John-117 by eliminating anti-air vehicles and batteries, as well as destroying temporary Covenant outposts to allow UNSC reinforcements to refortify the area.

Battle of Installation 00

H3 E3 Orbital Battle
Main article: Battle of Installation 00

The Marines fought in the war's last battle at the Ark. Starting with their deployment in an operation codenamed Operation: BLIND FAITH,[1] the Marines launched numerous attacks on Brute strongholds, including an attack on the Ark's cartographer. After fighting on foot and in heavy vehicles, the Marines drove off the Covenant. They then joined forces with the Elites and attacked three Barrier Towers protecting the Ark's Citadel. After capturing the first tower with the help of John-117, Marines and UNSC Pilots defeated the Covenant Air Force. Once the third tower was deactivated, they staged an attack on the Citadel. After fighting two Scarabs, they were evacuated back to the fleet while John-117 and the Arbiter killed Truth. The surviving Marine forces fell back to Earth through the Portal on board the Shadow of Intent before Installation 04B was activated.


Dress Uniform

Main article: UNSC Marine Corps Dress Uniform

The Marine Corps Dress Uniforms are similar to those worn by their 20th and 21st Century predecessors in the US Marine Corps. However, UNSC Marines wear what appears to be a modified and stylized version of the United States Marine Corps emblem on their collars. Furthermore, white jackets and blue trousers are worn instead of the blue dress uniforms of the United States Marines.[2] However, in 2525, the uniform apparently consisted of a blue jacket and trousers, similar to that of the USMC.[3]



Main article: UNSC Marine Corps Battle Dress Uniform
Halo 3 Marine

A Marine in the jungles of Kenya.

Marines have no bio-augmentations and usually wear passively camouflaged armored uniforms. They wear dark-colored metal-alloy armor to shield them from gunfire. Marine helmets are mounted with holographic text-displaying eyepieces and helmet recorders, as observed in Halo: Combat Evolved, when John-117 watches footage from PFC. Wallace A. Jenkins' helmet. As well as helmets, Marines on field operations in more humid locales, such as Installation 04, sometimes choose to wear boonie covers, or those in colder environments don visored and thicker helmets, as observed in Halo Wars.

Marine NCOs are easily recognized by the cap that they wear, complete with the UNSCDF insignia, although they often substitute this soft cap for a more practical protective helmet.

Marines on Installation 04 sported gray fatigues, and over that, pieces of brown armor plating covering the head, torso, shoulder, and shins. Some only wore their utilities and soft body armor, even forgoing helmets and body armor plating in hazardous combat operations. Others substituted their helmets for boonie covers and sometimes bandannas. However, since they had to get off the UNSC Pillar of Autumn, they probably didn't have time to grab their gear. Some Marines had small medical packs built into their back armor plating.

The standard Marine battle armor seen during the early stages of the Battle of Earth and the Battle of Installation 05 appears to be woodland-pattern camouflage utilities, along with an olive drab load-bearing armored vest. The standard-issue armor is more of a uniform than the body armor issued to the Marines on Alpha Halo, as the Marines no longer appear as a rag-tag group of survivors, but as a unified force. They no longer wear boonie covers and are never seen in combat without rigid armor. In game, the only time Marines were seen without any armor was during the awards ceremony aboard Cairo Station; where many Marines were forced to repel boarders in their white dress uniforms, lacking time to change into more practical battle dress uniform.

Another variation of Marine armor, used during the later half of the Battle of Earth, is an evolution from that mentioned above, with heavier and well-articulated olive-drab full body armor (armored vest, shoulder plates, elbow pads, and knee pads) over woodland camouflage utilities, allowing them to passively camouflage well in jungle terrain. Marines sometimes don small helmet communication microphones or black-phased sunglasses on their helmets, while others carry backpacks. Marines have been seen to wear black gloves, probably to protect their hands and improve their grip on their weapons. Some marines sport orange visors which attach to the brim of their helmets.

Marines operating in cold environments wear environmentally-tailored armor, with insulated snow camouflage utilities and full body armor as well as insulated and visored helmets with something similar to a balaclava.[4]

Special Forces

Main article: ODST Ballistic Battle Armor

Orbital Drop Shock Troopers sport heavy and articulated black battle armor, which also double as an armored g-suit that allows for safe transport in small ships during turbulent atmospheric entry, allowing 15 minutes of air in vacuum, this armor is far more sturdy than the standard BDU. Their helmets are fully-visored, completely cover the head, and can withstand multiple shots. This armor, overall, provides ODSTs with more protection than standard marine armor.



File:Marines hw.png

Infantry Weapons

The standard issue weapon for UNSC Marines Corps is the MA5 series of assault rifles. Most Marines were issued the MA5B variant until its replacement in late 2552 by the BR55HB SR and MA5C. Suppressive fire was provided by the M247 GPMG during the Battle of Earth, presumably replaced by the AIE-486H Heavy Machine Gun by the time of the Battle of Voi. Special forces and vehicle crews are issued M7 and M7S Submachine Gun variants, with personal sidearms such as the M6 Series.

Snipers operate the SRS 99 AM, SRS 99C-S2 AM and SRS 99D-S2 AM sniper rifle variants for anti-materiel and anti-personnel operations, with the M99 Special Application Scoped Rifle used as a dedicated anti-materiel weapon. Standard UNSC sniper teams consists of two operators; a spotter and a sniper.

Anti-armor fire is provided by the M19 and M41 rocket or missile launchers and the W/AV M6 G/GNR Spartan Laser directed-energy-weapon. Anti-air fire is provided by the M19-B SAM Missile Launcher, capable of destroying Banshees and damaging Seraph fighters.

Ground Vehicles

The UNSC Marines Corps' standard vehicle is the M12 Warthog LRV, used for armored patrols and personnel mobility. The M12G1 Warthog LAAV is used as an anti-armor vehicle, mounted with an M68 Gauss Cannon, as well as the M12A1 Warthog LAAV mounted with a 102mm SC-HE Rocket Turret, firing 102mm shaped-charge high-explosive rockets. For heavy engagements, the Marine Corps operates the M808B Scorpion Main battle Tank, and uses the Wolverine in an anti-air role.


1209088826 Marines 3

Marines in a forest on Earth.

The Corps' most common aircraft is the Pelican dropship, either the D77-TC or, in late 2552, the D77H-TCI variants, as multirole aerodynes which are capable of carrying a mixture of Scorpion anti-tank rockets and Anvil II air-to-surface missiles, and equipped with either chin-mounted 7.62mm machine guns or 70mm autocannons.

The UNSC Marine Corps also operates the Longsword as its primary fighter for tactical bombardment, the Hawk as a close air support gunship, the Shortsword as a short-range bomber, the Hornet aerial support vehicle, and the SkyHawk VTOL strike fighter. Marine air units are intended usually to support ground forces or to drop off vital equipment for the Marines, either in close-air-support or air interdiction roles, with the UNSC Navy or UNSC Air Force taking on the dedicated air force role.[5]

Miscellaneous Equipment

Rank Structure

The rank structure of the UNSC Marine Corps is based around that of the United States Marine Corps.


  • The equipment and armor used by UNSC Marines resembles the modern-day US Army's Future Force Warrior Program, and conceptually may have been inspired by it.
  • Bungie went to great lengths to ensure that the Marines reflected the diversity of Earth; some Marines look and sound American, while others appear Asian, African, Australian, Hispanic and European. Many were also modeled on members of Bungie's own staff members to provide further diversity in the universe.
  • In the Halo: Combat Evolved level Truth and Reconciliation, Captain Keyes tells a Marine to "Stow your bellyaching soldier -- remember, you're a leatherneck!" Leatherneck was a nickname earned by U.S. Marines in the era of the Continental Marines. The Marines would wear leather collars to provide protection from slashing attacks as they boarded enemy ships. Although an appropriate reference to Marines, the term "Leatherneck" and "Soldier" are viewed by their respective service members as being incompatible, and a means of differentiating between service in the Marine Corps or Army.
  • All of the armor pieces sported by Marines in Halo: Reach's campaign can be purchased in The Armory. The Marine armor includes a right UA/Base Security shoulder pad, a left GUNGNIR shoulder pad, the Recon chest plate, Military Police helmet, a Tactical/SOFT CASE or UA/NxRA, and GUNGNIR knee guards, along with brown primary and steel secondary colors.
  • In 2007, Bungie hired an actual Marine, Christian Allen, who served with the US Marines from 1995 to 1999, as a Design Lead.
  • Note: Do not confuse the UNSC Marines and the UNSC Army troopers in Halo: Reach.
    • The two can be distinguished by their armor color. Marines have brown armor compared to the Army's primarily khaki.
  • Marines make a small appearance in Halo: Reach during the level Pillar of Autumn. They are seen fighting the Covenant throughout the dry docks.
  • The Marine female's haircut is a lot shorter compared to Army female's, due to the fact that you can see ponytails on the Army troopers and a shorter hair due on female Marines.
  • The Marine's armor in Halo CE greatly resembles the armor of the protagonist of Bungie's earlier game, Marathon.
  • Over the Halo games the Marines (and Army Troopers) have more face models.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, the Marines wear a grey uniform and all the other installments they wear a green uniform.
  • Marine corpses placed in Halo CE and Halo 2 have set death positions. Halo CE bodies of marines are lying face first with their left arm under their body. In Halo 2, placed corpses are the death pose of a marine being thrown around in Halo CE. Arms out front and legs apart. It's easy to tell the difference between an already dead marine or an AI marine, killed by unknown/enemy reasons.
  • Marines in the Halo Wars Cutscenes appear to have a lot of Physical strength, this is shown in the opening cutscene when a Marine Punched an Elite minor onto the Ground.



Graphic Halo Halo Nation has a collection of quotes related to UNSC Marine Corps on its quotes page.

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