Respected and Promoted
James Cutter was born in the Epsilon Indi system, where he stood up to the terrorists part of the Insurrection movement. At age 21, James joined the UNSC School of the North Star where he spent 4 school years. Showing his ability of leadership, James was sent to an Officer Candidate School where he learned to art of command and navigation. After more than 3 years of intense learning, James entered naval service as a Lieutenant on board the UNSC Brilliant Shores as a Junior Navigation Officer.
During his time on board the Brilliant Shores, James stood out as a navigator, and it was not long until he was given his promotion. Shortly after New Year's Day 2514, James was promoted to Senior Navigation Officer, on board the UNSC Final Summit. Here he also served without issue and, after a 5-year stretch, was given the rank of Commander when he was given command of the UNSC Glasgow.
The Glasgow would be James' stepping stone to greater things, as he was given the rank of Captain when he was given control of the UNSC Spirit of Fire in 2520. Sometime between this and the start of the Harvest Campaign, James was offered the UNSC Prophecy, but refused.
Fighting the Covenant
It is the very early start of the Human-Covenant war, the Covenant Empire's ship the Rapid Conversion had just started to attack Harvest and all its inhabitants. In an effort to retake the planet, Admiral Preston Cole was given control of the battle. Preston handpicked James Cutter to serve as a center of repair, supply, and forward deployment operations for Battlegroup D. As was James' custom, he fulfilled his role without issue. It took the UNSC a gruelling 5 years to retake Harvest, with heavy losses on either side. But even with the Covenant defeated, many people suspected a larger force would follow soon.
After the battle was over, the Spirit of Fire was still kept in the vicinity of Harvest, expecting the Covenant to come back. After an investigation by Sergeant John Forge, later verified by Professor Ellen Anders, a Covenant excavation at the planet's northern polar region was found. James then ordered a Base to be constructed and the site be taken. After clearing out the remaining Covenant forces, John and Ellen discovered a Forerunner star map, which pointed to the human colony Arcadia. After convincing the Captain to leave Harvest for Arcadia, James contacted the Admiral and the Spirit of Fire left.
As the Spirit of Fire made their approach, the ship's AI Serina noted that not only the Covenant was already there, they were also in a later stage of taking over the planet. Having constructed several energy shield domes, the Covenant was busy excavating Forerunner artefacts. James immediately John to use his experimental plasma-based "Rhino" tanks to take down these shields by concentrated fire. Using his Rhino tanks and the rest of the army John had at his disposal, the Covenant were quickly defeated and Ellen arrived at the place of the Forerunner artefacts. However, Ellen was taken capture by the Sangheili, Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee and brought aboard a Covenant ship.
Because Ellen's knowledge about humanity would pose a danger when in the hands of the Covenant, John immediately offered a rescue-mission, along with SPARTAN-II Jerome-092. However, James made the decision to pursue the Covenant ship, tracking Anders' signal.
Battle on the Shield World
James Cutter tracked Ellen Anders' signal all the way to Shield 0459, a Forerunner Shield Installation which was now under control of the Covenant. Although in full control of the installation, they were unable to access its most prised artefact, the Apex Site; the Apex site contained a fleet of many Forerunner ships. Only able to be activated by a Reclaimer, Ripa brought Ellen to the Apex Site, along with the Prophet of Regret, to the Apex site and used her to open the installation.
Cutter sent Forge down to the surface, where a parasitic lifeform was found to have infested the installation. After much battle with Covenant forces on the interior of the Shield World, Anders was eventually found by Sergeant Forge after she had escaped. She had gained knowledge of the fleet of Forerunner warships that the Covenant planned to use against humanity. Anders soon devised a plan to use the Spirit of Fire's FTL reactor to cause the artificial sun inside the Shield World to go supernova.
John and SPARTAN Red Team defeated Ripa and his guards, although the reactor core was damaged. John stayed behind to manually overload the reactor. James, using a dangerous slingshot manoeuvre around the expanding sun, managed to escape the explosion of the sun, after which the Spirit of Fire began a long journey home. Two weeks later, James forced Ellen into cryo-stasis, stating that she "..got all of [them] out of there alive." As the pod closed, Ellen reminded the captain that not everyone had survived.
After 25+ years in cry-stasis, in the year 2558, the UNSC Infinity was dispatched to rescue the Spirit of Fire after it was discovered in Jul 'Mdama's Covenant controlled space being threatened by the Sangheili terrorist Vata 'Gajat.