‘Halo’: Who Are the New Spartans Saluting Kai? Spartan III Program Explained

Halo Who Are the New Spartans Saluting Kai in Episode 5 Spartan III Program

We’re more than halfway through Season 2 of ‘Halo’ and Episode 5 was kind of a filler with only a few important things revealed. One of the notable subplots of the episode was Kai’s disappearance and the fact that it was later revealed that she was with Ackerson this whole time. In the last scene of the episode, Kai is seen standing in front of the army of what look like Spartan soldiers, so who or rather what are they?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • The Spartans that Episode 5 introduced are ONI-designed and belong to the Spartan-III program.
  • The program is led by Ackerson and is both a successor and supplement to the SPARTAN-II program.
  • The main difference between SPARTAN-II and SPARTAN-III programs is the fact that there are plenty of SPARTAN-IIIs as they rely more on sheer numbers than expensive augmentations and gear to see things through.

Ackerson & ONI were developing the SPARTAN-III program, Master Chief was in the way

Back when we first met Ackerson we quickly realized that he held quite disdain for Spartans and didn’t exactly see them as humans. He was hellbent on destroying Master Chief’s reputation and getting him as far away from the field of action as possible by spreading rumors that he was emotionally unstable and trying to sabotage his authority. He was successful in a way since nobody believed John even when he was telling the leadership of UNSC the blatant truth. Ackerson also had no qualms regarding the sacrifice of Spartans since we saw what he did to the Cobalt Team.

There’s also the fact that Ackerson took the MJOLNIR armor and evacuated it from the reach leaving Spartans unarmed and barely stronger than regular humans. We were also wondering where Kai was while Reach was under attack, we never saw her evacuated or die in combat, in fact, the last person that we saw her with was Ackerson when she was trying to turn her against Master Chief, and he seemingly succeeded.

The last scene in episode 5 is Kai, and she is standing in front of the army of Spartans who are saluting her, who are these new Spartans?


15 Strongest Spartans In Halo Ranked (Including Master Chief)

SPARTAN-IIIs were a lot more expendable than SPARTAN-IIs

SPARTAN-III program and Ackerson’s plan in general were best described in the books.

The SPARTAN-III program, led by the ONI, aimed to create affordable and disposable supersoldiers to fight the Covenant’s attacks on the Outer Colonies. Operating from 2536 to 2552, Spartan-IIIs played a major role in key battles at the time of the Human-Covenant War and won some victories that did somewhat manage to put humanity up ahead when it came to the war.

The SPARTAN-II program was highly successful, with its soldiers becoming legendary for their feats against the Covenant. However, their numbers were too limited to significantly impact the war. Halsey’s delay in training new Spartan-IIs, despite plenty of suitable candidates only made things worse.

SPARTAN-III Program was started to alleviate some of the biggest flaws of the SPARTAN-II program, like the high mortality rate when it came to trained children, expensive gear, and augmentation. ONI needed a lot more supersoldiers and it needed them now and needed them to be cheap, this is where Ackerson swooped in.

The SPARTAN-IIIs were created to be cost-effective and disposable soldiers, trained in large groups with rigorous training. They took the hardest missions beyond the abilities of elite troops. Despite high casualty rates, these missions were seen as strategic wins by ONI, trading lives for time against the Covenant. ONI aimed to increase their numbers substantially over time but faced limitations due to budget constraints and compatibility issues with augmentations.

But despite SPARTAN-IIIs being incredibly successful, it was only later that it was revealed that most of the missions that they were sent on were in fact, suicide missions, which is why the program was legendary for unprecedented casualty rates. The program was eventually replaced with the SPARTAN-IV program.

Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments