Spartan Naming Conventions

Hey all!

I was wondering about different variations/styles of Spartan names, and as far as I see, there’s no WIki page on the subject.

SPARTAN-II’s are usually named {First name}-{three-figure number}, like ‘John-117’ or ‘Samuel-034’. In [The Fall of Reach], they are written as ‘JOHN-117’, ‘SAMUEL-034’, etc.
Presumably, they don’t know their own last names. Among each other, they seem to frequently use first names only.
John-117 is also known by his naval rank (Master Chief Petty Officer), which is seemingly always shortened to ‘Master Chief’. Are any other Spartans (frequently) addressed by their rank?
If I recall correctly, in Halo 3, John-117 identifies himself at least once as ‘Sierra 117’, ‘Sierra’ being used code for ‘S’ because he was talking over the radio, so you could say he identified himself as ‘S117’. Does that happen anywhere else? Was there any specific reason for John-117 to use that style for that situation? Did communication standards change?

SPARTAN-III’s have similar naming conventions, or so it seems. {First name}-{Letter designating company}{three-figure number}, like ‘Carter-A259’. Note the higher number than that of any SPARTAN-II, because of Alpha company’s larger size (300 versus the 75 SPARTAN-II’s).
The numbering for SPARTAN-III’s restarts with new companies. Hence ‘Lucy-B091’ and ‘Tom-B292’.

SPARTAN-IV’s are, as far as I’m aware, addressed by their full name?

Please correct me where I’m wrong! Otherwise I’m mostly interested to find out about any variations/styles I haven’t mentioned. I’ve only played CE/2/3/ODST/Reach/4, and read the first 6 books and the Forerunner trilogy.

The II’s probably known their last names since they were old enough to know their entire name. For example, Linda’s last name is Pravdin. Whether or not they were allowed to use them is a different story which I don’t know much about.

As for the IV’s, they were recruited from the general populace once they were already adults and had basically proven themselves worthy of an upgrade. Thus, since they grew up with their full names and since IV’s are more like advanced humans, I think they were not assigned numbers. Plus, there are just so many of them. This is more of a conjecture so I could be wrong about this.

Sierra is the code word for Spartan , so Chief was Identifying himself as “Spartan 117”. He was unaware of who exactly he was trying to contact , just any available ship and any radio operator would instantly recognize “Spartan 117” as a priority transmission and send it up the chain accordingly , where as “Master Chief” could literally be any officer of appropriate rank , and “John 117” wouldn’t be recognized as a military transmission at all.

The other Spartans almost always refer to each other by informal names unless in a combat situation or radio transmission , or in formal military protocol or around other non Spartan , military personnel. The other Spartans often refer to John as “Chief” or “Master Chief” in deference , as he was the defacto leader to most Spartan IIs if a higher ranking officer was not available. (Even to other Spartans of higher rank , as Fred is a Lieutenant and still defers to Master Chief in most situations).

The Spartan-IVs go by “Spartan” followed by their first or last name. They’re rank is Spartan.

> 2533275063920007;4:
> The Spartan-IVs go by “Spartan” followed by their first or last name. They’re rank is Spartan.

Short, sweet, and to the point, as it should be. Why rename someone who already has a name?

I know it’s been answered already but I just wanted to pop down my two cents for what it’s worth.

I imagine it could be put down in a number of different ways. Sierra is likely used to denote them being Spartans considering it followed by a tag, saying Sierra or Spartan are probably accepted as interchangeable. It keeps it more professional in a way, John is his first name after all and the military doesn’t tend to favour first names very often in formal instances.


  • John-117. (I see this as a more casual address for people who actually know them less than something they’d actively say.) - SPARTAN-117: JOHN. (What I imagine a Spartan file would have.) - SPARTAN-117 or SIERRA-117 (Most likely the professional use.) - Master Chief Petty Officer SPARTAN-117 / Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 (Professional use but likely in a more formal setting.)SPARTAN-III

  • Carter-A259. - SPARTAN-A259: CARTER. - SPARTAN-A259 or SIERRA-A259 - Commander SPARTAN-A259 / Commander Carter-A259SPARTAN-IV

  • Spartan Gabriel Thorne - SPARTAN THORNEMade an edit, adding in one more potential variation.

You’ve got the thrux of it. I do find it interesting that the S-IVs do not have a “S-###” designation, presumably since there are considerably more of them. I suppose standard UNSC Service Numbers along with SPARTAN designation suffice.