"Most of the officers we had during the war, they rented the lockers and moved up. No one wanted to go out for too long; it was a death sentence. When Serpico came along, nobody wanted him to rent the locker. He spent six years with the Regiment, going out into the field and coming back with his troops. In all of the leaders I served with, he is the one I always remember."
―Former Command Sergeant Major Samara Barakat on Colton Bryson.
Colton Bryson is a retired UNSC Army Lieutenant Colonel who served during the Human-Covenant War. Serving as an enlisted soldier and later an officer, Colton was known for being one of the top Special Operation Officers throughout the Unified Special Warfare Command and UNSC Army Rangers. Colton enlisted into the UNSC Army in 2527 and had a goal of becoming a UNSC Army Ranger.
Becoming an Army Ranger, Colton deployed alongside a Reconnaissance Surveillance and Target Acquisition team for nearly six years. Colton rose to the rank of Sergeant and became an officer where he spent nineteen years as an officer. Colton rose as a Platoon Commander for the 1st Cavalry Division, Company Commander for the Rangers, and then as a Troop Commander for the covert Regimental Reconnaissance Operational Detachment. With an impressive record as a Ranger, Colton joined the Unified Special Warfare Command.
For the remainder of the war, Colton served as a Task Force Operations Officer, Advance Force Operations Officer, Chief of Staff and, Commander of Deployed Operators. Colton's ability to command and execute missions that were vital to the defense of humanity placed him into a commanding position as a senior officer. During the Sustained Defense of Mars and Earth, Colton directed special operation forces and capable troops to defend the two planets. By the end of the Human-Covenant War, Colton was considered one of the top senior Special Operations Officers within the UNSC Armed Forces.
Retiring after 25 years of combat service, Colton resides on Sundown where he works with veterans of the special operations forces to have a fluid transition from their retirement to another job. Colton's business has allowed him to stay connected with the military as well as make a difference in those who ask him for help. Colton also serves as a speaker on post-traumatic stress and combat withdrawal for many veteran foundations. Turning down offers from the UNSC Armed Forces, Colton refuses to rejoin and claims he had served for long enough.
UNSC Army Training
Colton enlisted into the UNSC Army as an 11B Military Occupational Specialty, where he wanted to become a Ranger and pass the conventional fighting army. Instead of heading to Reach or Mars for training, Colton attended Army Basic Training at Fort Benning on Earth in the URNA. Conducting his first initiation into the UNSC Army, Colton learned about how to transform from a civilian into an Army soldier. As one of the college graduates who was becoming an enlisted soldier, Colton found himself slowly rising as the leader of a group of people within his training class. Excelling through Basic Training, Colton graduated from his first school in the UNSC Army and began his next step to become a Ranger.
Going through Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, Colton attended Infantry School which taught him how to be an infantry soldier for the UNSC Army. Taught basic tactics and strategies on how to conduct himself in the field of battle, Colton took the valuable lessons he learned and began to create his means of doing himself as a soldier in the area. Punished for not following protocols, Colton faked his attempt of listening to the instructors even after they told them that they had not fought the Covenant. Reading more about the Covenant and the Human-Covenant War, Colton felt his instructors were out-of-date and looked for alternative training programs to help him become a better soldier in the future.
Passing Infantry School, Colton transferred out to Reach in the Epsilon Erandi system where he attended UNSC Army Airborne School for Ranger candidates. Going through the three phases of Airborne School, Colton learned how to perform a combat airborne jump as well as tactics on the ground following a successful jump. Excelling at his ability to jump, Colton was noted for being fearless as the first one out of the aircraft. However, Colton moved to the back of the jump, where he spent more time helping people get ready for the task. Once passing Airborne School, Colton spent one day off before he underwent his training to become a UNSC Army Ranger.
Taking the UNSC Army Air Assault School, Colton learned how to infiltrate an area via an airborne vehicle as well as perform tasks aboard an aircraft to prepare others for the infiltration. Colton took classes that helped him with extractions and what the priority of loading was, he soon found himself an expert at extractions with an aircraft and began to specialize in the field. Learning about night and day operations, Colton learned how to conduct himself in a manner that was going to ensure the survival of himself and his unit when they extracted from the field. Graduating from Air Assault School, Colton became an expert in nighttime exfiltration for his platoon.
Signing up for Basic Military Mountaineer Course, Colton found his calling as a mountain warfare specialist. Colton learned how to rock climb, navigate a mountain and, set up positions where his unit was in the advantage against the enemy. With years of rock climbing and hiking under his belt, Colton continued to showcase a natural ability to move around the mountains with a group of people. Colton quickly became a point-man during exercises and later his platoon. Graduating from Basic Military Mountaineer Course, Colton ranked as one of the top graduates in his class.
Colton went on to UNSC Army Sniper School where he began his training as a sniper for the Army Rangers. Learning to handle a sniper rifle in a variety of situations, Colton learned what it meant to be a sniper for the Rangers. Colton spent his time working on long-range target acquisition and target reconnaissance to become one of the top snipers in his class. Due to his hunting background, Colton was able to take what he had learned as a hunter and applied to his sniping techniques. Colton learned how to handle a sniper mission as well as coordinate with his partner to ensure they were going to be successful in the field. Graduating from Sniper School, Colton was a sniper and spotter who returned to his unit with a well-rounded task to handle in the field.
Throughout his years as an enlisted Ranger, Colton spent his time sharpening his skills in many theaters of combat he was going to deploy into during the Human-Covenant War. He honed his skills of Mountain Warfare taking Advanced Military Mountaineer Course, learned about cold weather operations in Cold Weather Indoctrination Course, and became a student of jungle warfare during the Jungle Warfare Indoctrination Course. Throughout his focus, Colton wanted to become the best soldier to employ into any situation to win against the enemy. Colton wanted to have a diverse background to help him become a top Ranger in the means of planning and conducting operations in the field.
Colton also focused on educating himself on sniper warfare and other focuses. He returned to Sniper School, where he attended the High Angle Sniper Warfare Course then the Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course. Before moving to an officer, Colton earned the title Master Sniper which marked him as the lead sniper of his platoon. An expert in sniper warfare and conducting target reconnaissance, Colton was able to transform himself into an exceptional Ranger that was capable of completing tasks that were hard on both the mind and body.
In terms of leadership, Colton graduated from the Basic Leader Course and went straight to Ranger School where he graduated. Once graduating from Ranger School, Colton was able to lead teams within the UNSC Army Rangers as a Corporal and Sergeant. After six years of being an enlisted Ranger, Colton attended Officer Candidate School, where he graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant. Attending Special Warfare Officer School, Colton learned to employ unconventional warfare tactics while leading as well as managing an operation. Colton had to go through Ranger Assessment and Selection Program Two where he proved himself as a capable officer within the UNSC Army Rangers organization.
The rest of Colton's career followed with taking leadership courses in Cold Weather, Mountain, and Jungle Warfare. Airborne operations such as Free-fall Parachutist Course taught Colton how to conduct High Altitude Low Opening, and High Altitude High Opening jumps. Underwater Operations allowed Colton to infiltration by the usage of boats or scuba diving. Advanced Driving showed Colton how to handle a vehicle in an offensive and defensive means while in a dangerous situation. In between deployments, Colton took a variety of courses to keep his skills and tactics up to speed with the Rangers he was deploying into combat alongside.
UNSC Army Rangers Deployments
Extortion of Eridanus II
Battle of Jericho VII
Battle of Leonis Minoris
As a newly promoted Captain, Colton, and a Long-Range Penetration (LRP) Company for the 3rd Ranger Battalion of the 72nd Ranger Regiment deployed into the Leonis Minoris system to combat against the Covenant. Learning that the Covenant were attacking a colony named New Kabul, Colton elected for his company of Rangers to conduct LRPs against the Covenant forces that deployed to the surface. Getting the green light, Colton began to prepare his Rangers for insertion to conduct missions deep behind enemy lines. Colton linked up with a Major at Fort Miller to discuss the current situation and where his Company of Rangers was needed. Colton learned about the Stetbridge Valley, being one of the focal points the Covenant were using to invade another colony in the same system. Due to a tight location to reach as well as limited support for UNSC troops, Colton elected his Rangers and Company for the mission. Along the way out, Colton mapped out locals he was going to talk with to build an alliance to conduct foreign internal defense alongside.
"We were going deep into enemy lines. We already lost one planet in the Leonis Minoris system; it's up to us to stop it. Once we set up our outpost in the area, we'll coordinate more deep strikes against the Covenant ground forces."
―Colton's notebook, 2537.
Pushing into the Stetbirdge Valley, Colton was able to gather an Air Force Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) team detachment to assist with his team's advancement to set up a firebase to conduct operations. Moving many of his LRPs into position with two TACPs, Colton began to collect intelligence on a Covenant firebase that had been set up in the Area of Operation. Launching direct action missions against the Covenant, Colton and his Company was successful in engaging and wiping out the Covenant troops with active artillery fire, air support, and unconventional warfare tactics. Meeting with the locals who had been Insurrection troops, Colton worked a deal with them to battle against the Covenant troops that remained.
However, the UNSC lost control of New Kabul's orbital front to the Covenant, which allowed the Covenant to conduct orbital bombardment. Colton and his Rangers were unable to pull out and left on the planet as the rest of the ships fled. While the UNSC abandoned the colony, Colton worked with those around him to hold out and continue fighting against the enemy. As the orbital bombardment came down in Colton's area, he moved his teams to different locations in the valley where he prepared for the Covenant to set up more bases on the ground. Connecting with a Force Reconnaissance team from the Marine Corps, Colton took command and moved back into the valley where he saw Covenant troops setting up a forward operations base. Wasting no time, Colton worked with Insurrectionists, Force Recon, Rangers, and TACP teams to shut down the Covenant.
As Colton prepared to move up in his career, he learned about the Regimental Reconnaissance Operational Detachment, which held the nickname The Regiment. As a former NCO and current officer, Colton felt he had a shot at becoming an officer within the Regiment. Colton attended Assessment and Selection where he underwent a month-long process of being interviewed, tested, and pushed to the limits by Rangers of the Regiment. Once Colton learned that he had passed Assessment and Selection, he went on to the Operator Training Course which transformed him into an entirely different officer. Taking in a new variety of skills, Colton became an officer who was apart of an elite group. Graduating from the Operator Training Course, Colton became an officer for The Regiment.
Assigned to A Squadron, Colton learned that his Squadron was a special reconnaissance and close-target reconnaissance element. Due to deploy behind enemy lines, Colton was to conduct operations that updated Unified Special Warfare Command about Covenant movement as well as disrupt their operations. Colton also learned about the Advance Force Operation functions of his Squadron and quickly went to educate himself about what an AFO was to do in the field. With the Regiment, Colton learned he was not going to fight on a front, but in the backyard of the enemy to ensure they failed in capturing a planet. Throughout his time with the Regiment, Colton served as A Squadron's Troop Commander and Squadron Operations Officer.
Battle for Alluvion
Alluvion became the first test for Colton as a squadron troop commander in 2542. The Covenant invaded the planet when A Squadron was on alert status, and Colton began his immediate deployment to the Battle for Alluvion. On the flight to the colony, Colton learned about the situation on the ground and what his squadron orders were. Covenant troops were massing in the thousands near a location called the Gallantague Valley. The Valley had become an Area of Interest to the Covenant due to an ONI Research Base embedded into the ground. Colton and A Squadron were tasked with conducting missions behind enemy lines to prevent Covenant troops from attacking the ONI Research Base. By the time Colton arrived at Alluvion, the Research Base was abandoned, but Colton was still ordered to conduct operations behind enemy lines in the Gallantague Valley.
A simulated view of the Gallantague Valley that Colton received on his way to Alluvion.
Colton got situated at Fort Powell and began to prepare his squadron for insertion into the valley. Coordinating with the 1st Armored Division, Colton was able to grab a platoon from the 1st Cavalry Armored Regiment and 2nd Squadron, that specialized in Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition. Merging A Squadron with Hotel Platoon, Colton created Task Force C-92 and prepared to move out with A Squadron and the Armored Reconnaissance Platoon. The combination of armor and Rangers had become a tactic that Colton depended on when navigating across a large plot of land that the Covenant were bound to be hunting across. Once getting the green light to conduct his mission, Colton began his insertion into the Gallantague Valley with a little over 120 troops under his command. Using the cover of darkness and alternative routes, Colton was able to set up a firebase and start his further planning inside of the valley.
Farmer: "We are not leaving our land. Your attempts to evacuate us will be futile, it's nothing we have never seen before."
Colton Bryson: "Well, if you're too stubborn to leave, then help me."
―Colton working with the farming community to try and beat the Covenant.
Linking up with a farming community who refused to leave, Colton embedded many of his troops with the families to defend their land against the Covenant. Colton also gathered routes the farmers used that his assets were able to use in case things went south. The Armored Platoon positioned themselves around major chokepoints in the valley. Getting help from an Engineer Company, Colton found a way to create escape routes for his armor to drive on in case the Covenant troops ever targeted them. Learning that the Covenant had made their way into the valley, Colton received constant updates from the Task Force to adjust and change what he needed to do to predict the Covenant's movement. Staying a step ahead of the Covenant, Colton worked on preparing a series of ambushes. By the time Covenant troops walked into the trap, Colton had unleashed a series of assaults against the Covenant. Scouting parties were taken out and some of the armor the Covenant were traveling with had been taken down.
While the Covenant took note of their losses, Colton moved his armor and troops to different locations. Covenant reinforcement arrived a day later and was met with another ambush by Colton's task force. Colton reported his results to Unified Special Warfare Command where Unified Command saw a chance to use conventional forces in the valley. Pushing a battalion from the 10th Mountain Division into the valley along with an Armored Battalion, Colton transformed his Task Force into an Advance Force Operation Task Force to help the conventional forces. Embedding deeper into the valley, Colton worked with Colonels and Generals to update them on his findings as well as any news he gathered in the past 12 hours. Colton's Rangers saw that the Covenant were moving in reinforcement from the west and he shifted his troops to cover the area. Colton conducted another series of ambushes that prevented the Covenant from using the area to their advantage.
Colton Bryson: "Status Ironhead."
Samara Barakat: "They right on top of us Serpico."
―Colton learning of a Covenant advance from the south.
A diversion fire created by A Squadron to cover the tracks of their escape out of the valley.
A Crèche moved in from the south which caught Colton off guard, and he began to prepare for an assault. Colton learned the Covenant were not preparing to assault but to hold the line, a CPV-class heavy destroyer inserted itself over the valley and Colton called for the evacuation of the valley long before he saw the destroyer preparing to do whatever it intended to do to his troops. Setting fire to the valley in the north, Colton forced the enemy to investigate the area while he prepared for escape and evade from the Covenant. Using trails and roads the farmers built as escape routes, Colton was able to get all of the troops out but forced to leave the armor behind that engineers destroyed. Once out of the valley, Colton knew he lost the valley but forced the Covenant to waste more resources on the area than they intended. Making it back to Fort Powell, Colton got the remaining status of Alluvion. The usage of ships to conduct orbital bombardments began to crush the UNSC's ability to push back against the Covenant.
"We know we can hang with them on the ground, I been able to prove that with myself. But, space is becoming harder to hold. I know we got the tactics in our favor, but I have a feeling the Covenant are just stronger in ship-to-ship combat."
―Colton's notebook, 2542.
Evacuating from Fort Powell, Colton and A Squadron arrived on Reach where they informed leadership that Alluvion lost to the Covenant. Going over the results of the missions, Colton was noted for being an innovative battlefield thinker that didn't stop thinking about how to get the battle into his advantage. A Squadron was taken off of alert status and took some time following a covenant response to a battle. Colton worked with leadership to cut down how long he spends on a planet against the Covenant to prevent mission burnout and psychological fatigue. Settling in on Reach, Colton began to work on learning more about the Covenant along with tactics they were using in the field and how to counter.
Investigation of Draco III
Colton responded to Draco III which had been invaded by the Covenant. A Squadron deployed into the system where Draco III was located and learned about the current situation on the planet, Colton moved his Squadron to assist with the defense of the colony. Colton coordinated with an ODST Radio Reconnaissance Drop Jet Platoon who were stationed on the same vessel to go down onto Draco III and perform rescue operations behind Covenant lines. Meeting with his Lieutenant Colonel, Colton received a green light to insert onto Draco III and conduct services against the Covenant troops while rescuing civilians. Taking command of the ODSTs, Colton merged them under his A Squadron and ensured they were going to be helpful in the field.
Samara Barakat: "What's that stench?"
Colton Bryson: "Burning bodies, let's move."
―Samara and Colton commenting on the smell of Draco III.
Landing outside of Karnak, Colton and A Squadron gathered as much information about the city before attempting to do anything else. Covenant troops continued to patrol the area, looking for humans to kill while Colton remained a distance away to prepare for his rescue mission. Using the ODST RRP, Colton learned that there was nobody alive inside of Karnak, all of the civilians were killed by the troops that had pushed through the colony. Running another sweep, Colton learned that one family remained alive on the outskirts. Dispatching Alpha, Bravo, and Delta Team, Colton ordered his Rangers to bring the family back if the circumstances allowed for them to attempt the rescue. Once seeing his teams come back with the rescued family, Colton moved them to an extraction point and went to the next sector to gather survivors.
New Albany, one of many Covenant Hunting Grounds.
The arrival of SPARTAN-IIs a few days later proved to be a problem for Colton because the Covenant troops worked on killing more humans. Colton learned that the Covenant were using New Albany as a hunting ground, which also meant that the SPARTAN-IIs were active in hunting the enemy. Rescue missions became impossible for Colton because the SPARTANs were already working their way through locations that Colton had marked for attempted rescues. Arriving at the site, Colton only saw dead civilians and grew furious at the SPARTANs and their inability to save innocent lives. Despite his growing frustration for the current situation, Colton left New Albany and went to another Covenant Hunting Ground location for his attempts to protect the civilians before the SPARTANs arrived. Colton's determination to beat out the SPARTANs helped him elevate A Squadron and the ODSTs to secure and save as many people.
A Draco III cargo ship crashed outside of Karnak.
Rescuing only a handful of civilians, Colton and A Squadron moved away as the SPARTAN-IIs continued their rampage against the Covenant troops. Colton still learned that there were civilians inside of the city and attempted to save them, but was late again. Seeing that there were no more rescue missions to conduct, Colton turned to Karnak where the Covenant remained as a strong presence in one of their final hunting grounds. Colton learned that the Covenant troops were quickening their hunt, leaving him little time. Turning A Squadron into an assault squadron, Colton authorized direct action raids against the remaining Covenant troops and secured the city with no survivors. Doing battle damage assessment of the town, Colton saw how the Covenant troops mutilated, performed cannibalism, and played with human corpses before burning the bodies. Colton and A Squadron left Draco III where they decided to not speak of what happened on the planet's surface.
"SPARTAN-IIs arrived, and they destroyed more than help. We need to reevaluate how we handle operations alongside augmented personnel, this acceptance for their mistakes is far too great that we often overlook."
―Colton to The Regiment's Colonel, 2545.
Draco III became one of the most psychologically scarring experiences Colton experienced. The Covenant troops showed no mercy for the human species, which forced Colton and A Squadron to see the dark reality of what the Covenant planned to do on future worlds. Arriving on Reach, Colton informed the leadership of Draco III and did not dive into the details of what happened. The rest of A Squadron followed the same line thought of Colton to prevent themselves from having vivid flashbacks to what they saw on the colony. As a result, Colton was taken off of active duty for some time and underwent psychological evaluations before being deployed into the field again.
Cyrus VII Infiltration
Following the Covenant's invasion of Cryus VII in 2547, Colton and A Squadron was the alert squadron and deployed to Fort McChrystal where he learned of Army Rangers used as Long-Range Penetration and Reconnaissance Teams. Assessing the situation and where the Covenant were building up forces, Colton prepared Task Force A-82 which consisted of RROD, LRP, and LRR Rangers who were going to deploy into Grade IV and V mountains to conduct special reconnaissance and interdiction operations. Covenant forces were using scout teams to find a way around the UNSC front where they were able to move armor, and it was up to Colton and Task Force A-82 to stop the Covenant from finding a suitable path — inserting into the Bronze Peaks Mountain Range via vehicle convoy, where he set up Combat Outpost Charlie-Seven to command the Task Force.
"We had about 80 to 90 Rangers; aged from 17 to 48, all of them had seen action against the Covenant. And now, we're going into a dangerous place that the Covenant want to use as a means to defeat the UNSC. Our job is to ensure that they never accomplish their mission."
―Colton's notebook, June 2547.
A computer-generated image of the Bronze Peaks Mountain Range in 2547 that Colton used to prepare operations for in the coming weeks.
Launching the LRP teams first, Colton worked on gathering intelligence on crucial passes the Covenant were scouting as well as other locations that were potential routes. Setting up Forward Observation Outposts with the LRP teams, Colton then moved LRR teams into positions to cover an area where the Covenant scout teams were active. Getting actionable intelligence from the Rangers that were set up in mountain FOOs, Colton then used A Squadron as a means to engage and eliminate the Covenant scout forces if they were to get too close to an outpost. Seeing more of a Covenant presence insert at the mouth of the mountains, Colton began to coordinate missions that allowed him to know precisely where the Covenant was and where they planned to move.
More Covenant forces entered into the mountain pass while Colton prepared to conduct a terrain denial mission. Shifting from FOOs to Mission Support Sites, Colton set up his snipers into Final Firing Positions along with a radio operator. LRPs and LRR teams began to encircle the Covenant force where they were not looking, using the peaks and ridges as a means to cover their movements. As Colton worked on cutting off the entrance and exit of the mountain pass, he learned that the Covenant were moving in armored vehicles. Executing the terrain denial, Colton was able to shut down the Covenant's ability to push out of the mountains and around the UNSC's frontlines. After some time, the Covenant learned that they were trapped in the mountain pass.
Colton Bryson: "I need you to lead a hunter-killer recon team along the Alpha Sector of Bravo Papa. Don't get burnt out."
―Colton informing Viktoria about leading a hunter-killer recon team.
Turning LRR teams into hunter-killer reconnaissance teams, Colton paired his Rangers with the recon teams to ambush Covenant scouting parties that were looking for alternative ways out of the mountain pass. LRP teams deployed mines and traps that killed and wounded Covenant troops while the hunter-killer recon teams were able to engage then take out the already exhausted Covenant troops. Also with hunter-killer recon teams, Colton set up three Mission Support Sites where hunter-killer snipers were able to engage Covenant troops that were leading. LRP teams began to close off the back end of the mountain pass and trapped the Covenant troops within the mountain pass. Colton authorized psychological attacks where his teams were to engage specific targets to weaken the morale of the Covenant troops.
Colton was able to repel the Covenant air support by using M19-B surface-to-air missile launchers while destroying the Covenant armored vehicles with M41 SPNKRs. LRP teams continued to move throughout the mountains and left behind dead drop locations which were set up ambush locations for hunter-killer recon teams to engage the Covenant. Reinforcement by the Covenant trekked in, and Colton continued to run his plan against the fresh troops who walked into his death trap. With more Covenant troops coming into the mountain pass, the UNSC was able to find a weak hole in the Covenant lines and punched through. Colton learned that the Covenant were growing more eager to try and push through the mountain and launched another set of missions. Colton conducted another terrain denial mission which split the Covenant into two groups who were unable to support one another. With JTACs already calling in precise airstrikes, Colton began to work on another team to assist with destroying the Covenant better.
"Our JTACs and anyone who was able to use a radio, called in strikes. It was good, but they were off. Once I got the controllers in, then we saw a real boost in our damage assessments. I need to buy them something when we get out of here."
―Colton's notebook, October 2547.
UNSC Air Force surgical airstrike on a Covenant position within the Bronze Peaks Mountain Range.
Gaining access to an Air Force Combat Control Team, Colton placed the combat controllers within the three MSS to conduct precise airstrikes against large Covenant camps that were below. Coordinating precise strikes with the Rangers, Colton was able to wipe out the Covenant troops before they were able to call for medical evacuations of their wounded. If medical evacuations came, Colton used the troop transports as a target to engage rather than the ones already on the ground. The Combat Control Teams continued to direct air support around the clock as they received targets from the LRP teams and quickly engaged them before the Covenant troops were to move to another location. Colton spent little time for the Covenant to recover and began his final push to wipe out the remaining forces that continued to linger.
Turning his LRP teams into Fire Support Teams, Colton was able to reinforce stronger attacks against the Covenant troops. Hunter-Killer recon teams continued their hit-and-run tactics while MSS sniper teams were eliminating the Covenant leadership. Covenant troops were unable to handle the fighting conditions as well as an enemy they were not able to fight. Colton continued his relentless campaign against the Covenant until he was sure every single enemy was killed. Once securing the mountain pass, Colton worked with Army Engineers to reconstruct the road for UNSC troops to use the recently acquired mountain pass to their advantage. Not long after, the UNSC used the mountain pass as a means to collapse on the remaining Covenant forces. Colton and Task Force A-82 pulled out of the Bronze Peaks Mountain Range and returned to Fort McChrystal.
"They called it an excellent usage of tactics and military thinking to defeat the Covenant. I found it to be another day in the office. We went out, did our job, and went back home. We lost Cryus VII, but they seem to hook onto this victory."
―Colton's notebook, April 2548.
During Colton's After Action Review, he learned that he had lost no Rangers and only a few were injured. Taking out two Covenant Legions, Colton was awarded for his ability to use unconventional tactics to dwindle the Covenant using everything to his advantage. After some time of hunting the Covenant, Colton was transferred back to Reach where his squadron was taken off of alert status and told to take a break. Colton continued to follow the Battle of Cryus VII where he learned that the UNSC was able to battle against the Covenant for a longer time. Despite Colton's best efforts, the UNSC lost the space battle against the Covenant, and the UNSC ground forces were forced to evacuate as the Covenant Navy started their orbital bombardment.
New Beijing Campaign
As the Parisian Front continued to be ravaged by the Covenant, Colton and A Squadron deployed to New Beijing. Taking note of the situation on the planet, Colton learned that the Covenant were cutting their way through the Emfi Rainforest to collapse the lines of the UNSC Armed Forces that were protecting a valuable passageway to the remaining cities on the continent. Army Engineers had worked on denying the Covenant the chance by littering mines across the area, but the Covenant were able to detect and evade the traps the UNSC had set. Seeing no alternative to the problem, Colton and A Squadron deployed to the Emfi Rainforest. Requesting another minefield drop, Colton prepared for the Covenant troops to walk into his trap.
"We had two enemies inside of the Emfi Rainforest, the Covenant and the wildlife. I think we lost more to the wildlife than to the Covenant. At one point, I think we were working with the Covenant to kill the wildlife; damn animals knew how to hunt."
―Colton's notebook, 2548.
Emfi Rainforest, one sector where Colton battled the Covenant troops.
Arriving at the Emfi Rainforest, Colton prepared for the Covenant to walk into his trap after he saw the enemy detect and evade the minefield. Setting up a command center, Colton pushed his teams to combat outposts where they prepared for Covenant troops to entire their crosshairs. Utilizing a Ranger company, Colton moved food and water to the combat outposts to ensure his Rangers were able to operate for longer than three days. Before the Covenant arrived, Colton learned he lost a Ranger to a predator. Tapping into his hunting background, Colton moved to set up animal traps to ensure the lurking predators did not interfere with his plans. Despite his best efforts, Rangers were injured and killed by the territorial predators lurking in the area. As the Covenant troops arrived, Colton utilized the situation he was in and turned it into his favor.
Covenant troops were attacked by animals who were not expecting them, Colton used the moments of chaos to engage the unprepared enemy. Stalling the push, Colton found that he had a lock on Covenant positions and began to conduct artillery fire. Using artillery fire along with hit-and-run techniques, Colton stalled the Covenant advance then launched more minefield deployments to trap the enemy. Covenant troops attempted to clear the minefields, but only attracted more artillery fire in their direction. Colton pushed his Rangers into places where they engaged the already frantic Covenant and denied them the chance to get out of the area with little problem. Covenant troops pushed forward into Colton's position and were picked off by sniper fire and precise artillery attacks. Seeing the weakened Legion lose its fighting strength, Colton continued to pressure the enemy till they all died.
"Plasma Bombardment! All troops, break and withdraw!"
―Colton ordering escape and evade for A Squadron in 2548.
The burning of Emfi Rainforest, seen from space by a UNSC Navy frigate.
Colton learned another legion pushed towards his location, burning the rainforest to prevent the enemy from using it to their advantage. Understanding the situation, Colton prepared to hold out for as long as he could, before calling all of his teams back. Seeing the fire come right at him, Colton called in artillery strikes to prevent the fire from getting closer. Getting the flames stopped, Colton watched as the Covenant conducted a plasma bombardment then ordered his entire squadron to escape and evade. Wasting no time, Colton abandoned his position and regrouped with his Rangers at the artillery battery he used for the past months. Gathering his Rangers, Colton prepared to reinsert back into the jungle and flank the Covenant troops that were pushing forward. Unified Special Warfare Command called for Colton and A Squadron to pull off of New Beijing and return to Reach to debrief command on the situation.
With no other option, Colton pulled off of New Beijing with four dead and eighteen of his 40 Ranger Squadron that deployed into the Emfi Rainforest. More of the causalities were a cause of the conditions and wildlife rather than the Covenant. Arriving at Reach, Colton debriefed his senior leaders on what happened on the ground on New Beijing and what else needed to be done to prevent the Covenant from gathering more land. While A Squadron was taken off alert status, Colton saw a shift in his career. Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Colton became the Squadron Operations Officer for A Squadron as well as a senior officer that worked for the Unified Special Warfare Command. Still deploying with A Squadron, Colton prepared to step back further from the field.
Unified Special Warfare Command
Assignment and Focus
After spending two years as a Squadron Officer and Regiment Officer, Colton transferred to the Unified Special Warfare Command where he handled operations and campaigns that the Command was undertaking on the remaining colony worlds which were under siege by the Covenant. Assigned into Operations and Tactics, Colton took command of Unified Special Operation Packages (USOP) that included black special operation forces combined with white special operation forces. Due to Colton's extensive background of leading AFO and SR operations, he began to focus on deploying and managing assets that were operating behind enemy lines for the majority of their deployments.
Colton focused on breaking up Covenant infrastructure that deployed onto planets under siege. Using Army Rangers and Marine Corps ODSTs, Colton built up operations where he was able to engage the enemy on fronts they were not anticipating. Due to his success, Colton worked on conducting Task Force operations behind enemy lines that allowed him to take out Covenant leadership using a variety of assets within the USWC. Displaying a rare ability to play his cards right, Colton showcased that he was able to produce results and gave the UNSC Defense Forces the breathing room they needed in critical times.
Battle of Fumirole
Epsilon Eridani Campaign
Mars Sustained Defense Campaign
Covenant forces began their invasion of the Sol System where other planets were already under siege, Colton deployed to Mars with A Squadron of the Regiment along with an ODST Shock Troops Company from the 105th Shock Troops Division. Embedding around Lake Komeno, Colton created Task Force Z-109 which worked on defending a UEG water power plant for the citizens on Mars to survive. Working with Task Force Z-109, Colton was able to create many scouting points in case the Covenant attempted a slow assault while getting air defenses online to prevent a cruiser to position overhead. Covenant troops used an all-out assault technique that Colton prepared for and kicked off the Battle for Lake Komeno. Utilizing the lake to his advantage, Colton was able to take command of civilian boats and used them as a means to insert his troops behind enemy flanks.
Covenant troops continued to fail on their assault, giving Colton the time he needed to weaken the Covenant ground forces. ODST reinforcement deployed behind Covenant lines where they were able to split the Covenant ground troops down the middle while an Air Force Special Operations Squadron conducted precise bombing runs with the help of JTACs giving strike coordinates. A UNSC Navy Ship was able to move into a position where they engaged and destroyed the Covenant ship. The brief victory provided Colton a chance to reorganize his troops for another assault by the Covenant troops that remained. Launching his attack, Colton destroyed the remaining enemies and secured Lake Komeno from falling into Covenant hands. UNSC Army troops moved to set up a perimeter and defend the area while Colton moved to another location on Mars to support another defense.
Colton Bryson: "What are you waiting for?"
Company Captain: "Orders sir."
Colton Bryson: "You're reinforcing my Task Force. Your tank company and my boys are going to hit the Covenant from the side."
— Colton taking command of a Tank Company during the Defense of New Manila.
Arriving at New Manila, Colton and Task Force Z-109 quickly went to work to support the Defense of New Manila. Working with an Armored Company of the reserves, Colton quite a few tanks and led a flank against the Covenant troops that were assaulting the city. Dropping a building on the road, Colton bought valuable time for the UNSC to reinforce their frontlines as the Covenant figured a way around. Colton engaged the Covenant troops who were looking for a way around and halted the main advanced against New Manila. Buying more time for civilians to retreat, Colton was able to lead a Covenant Armored Column away from the city where he engaged in maneuver warfare to quickly destroy the Covenant tanks. Using the tanks to his advantage, Colton led a surprise ambush against the Covenant ground troops. Colton was successful in his assault, forcing the Covenant's grasp of New Manila out of their hands.
A mixture of UNSC Army and Marine Corps divisions led an assault through New Manila which liberated the city from Covenant troops. Setting up on the high ground, Colton provided actionable intelligence to the ground force commanders and where they were to expect contact from Covenant troops. With the success of securing New Manila, Colton learned about the capture of Colonel James Ackerson and how D Squadron of the Regiment was tasked with rescuing an Army Colonel. Requesting updates on D Squadron and their findings, Colton moved out to the Olympus Highlands where Covenant troops were trying to secure the area. Learning about the Olympus Highlands, Colton knew about the strategic location that it proved for both UNSC and Covenant leaders. Keeping his tank company along with Task Force Z-109, Colton prepared for another battle against the Covenant who were planning to hold out till death against the UNSC. Arriving on-site four days later, Colton joined the Battle of Olympus Highlands.
"The Battle of Olympus Highlands was probably the hardest. The mental and physical toll it took on us was horrendous. But we continued to fight, for the survival of others."
―Colton's notebook, October 2552.
Forced to hike up into the Olympus Highlands and abandon the tanks, Colton worked on a way to get them up into the fight without using a Pelican or other air support vehicles. Seeing there was no other option, Colton let the UNSC Navy and Air Force air-lift the tanks up to the Highlands and start providing security for the ODSTs and Rangers hiking up. Once making their way to the tanks, Colton learned that seven tanks were lost after being shot down on their way up. Working with what he had left, Colton pushed Task Force Z-109 to a crucial outpost that was under siege by Covenant troops. Meeting with a General in command of the situation, Colton told him about the problems that were going to arise if they continued to sit in their position. Upon hearing that the General refused to move, Colton set up his outpost and MSS to fend off Covenant troops that continued to try and take the position. Covenant air support began their bombardment, and Colton lost soldiers, forcing him to decide on staying or evacuating.
General Vondezts: "I'll use my artillery to cover your escape. You better get moving kid."
Colton Bryson: "You what that means for your position?"
General Vondezts: "I'm aware Lieutenant Colonel. Now, you got more work to do."
— General Vondezts sacrificing his spot for Colton.
After two weeks of constant bombings and Covenant troops who were trying to make their way up, Colton had no choice but to escape and evade from the situation upon hearing that the ODST Headquarters needed support. The General used artillery units as a means to provide a shield for Colton and his Task Force to escape with limited casualties, leading to his position overran by the Covenant troops. Making it to safety, Colton learned that the Mars Sustained Defense Campaign was not going into the favor of the UNSC. D Squadron was unable to save Colonel Ackerson and nearly got wiped out in the process, Colton blocked out the bad feedback and continued to focus on his tasks ahead. Arriving at Kenoseba five days later, Colton took command within the ODST Headquarters and worked on providing safe evacuations for the leadership. Using Rangers and ODST heavy breachers, Colton created his path to an evacuation point.
"ODSTs jump feet first into hell but Rangers lead the way."
―A message inside of the ODST Headquarters.
The evacuation of ODST Headquarters proved to be successful by Colton. Once the leadership was safe, Colton turned to secure the city with Task Force Z-109. Setting up many sniper positions, Colton worked on taking out Covenant Generals while ODST and Ranger joint teams ambushed Covenant troops from buildings and moved. Slowing down the Covenant's attempt to capture the city, Colton worked with a variety of soldiers to ensure the defense of Kenoseba at all costs. Artillery became Colton's friend as Army artillery units moved in and began to attack Covenant positions that were marked by his Task Force. A Marine Corps Expeditionary Force reinforced what Colton had already set up; a Marine General relieved Colton of command and learned he was needed on Earth for the Earth Sustained Defense Campaign. Rotating A Squadron to Earth, Colton began to prepare for his next steps.
Earth Sustained Defense Campaign
Arriving on Earth to support the Earth Sustained Defense Campaign, Colton traveled with A Squadron and SPARTAN-III Non-Company Red Team to Irkutsk, Russia. There Colton prepared to conduct a ground operation to flank the Covenant troops who were moving around the Arctic Circle at the time. Getting as much cold-weather gear, Colton made his team move out and push the Covenant troops to the sea. Linking up at Baikal-Lena Nature Reserve, Colton commandeered an ODST Special Operations Company under his command to continue his push further into Northeast Asia. Engaging Covenant outposts and scout vehicles, Colton kept his troops covered with the incoming cold and struggle to see farther than 50 meters with eyesight. Colton authorized Red Team's leader, Lieutenant Commander Oriana-A058, to conduct a forward reconnaissance mission with A Squadron.
"Ever since Echo Team nearly wiped out of squadron in 2549, I've had a hard time trusting these Cat-2 officers. I know A will not do everything she asks, they're smarter, and they're my Rangers."
―Colton's notebook, November 2552.
Hearing the reconnaissance gave little to no information about enemy movement, Colton made it to Larventiya, Russia, with no casualties and continued to push forward to the Bearing Sea. Learning that Covenant troops were amassing in the north, Colton sent Red Team to scout and gather intelligence. Oriana returned with two of her SPARTANs and one less nuke saying that they wiped out a Covenant Legion that had been preparing to launch an offensive against their position. Understanding the situation, Colton continued to press on and ran into another Covenant Legion. Ordering the ODSTs and Rangers to shoot and run, Colton utilized the Warthogs as barriers of cover in the open. A JTAC called in air support and took out the Covenant troops while Oriana used Red Team to draw the majority of fire from Colton's soldiers. Colton engaged the enemies that were not facing his troops and wiped out the Legion with active air support and fire missions. Making it to Naukan, Russia, Colton prepared to cross the Bearing Sea and move across Alaska.
Colton Bryson: "Who were the two Spartans that died back in the north?"
Oriana-A058: "They didn't die."
―Colton and Oriana talking about the death of her two teammates.
Landing in Wales, Colton continued to track and engage Covenant troops. Assisting in the Battle of Anchorage, Colton utilized his troops to wipe out the weakened Covenant troops and proceeded south. Colton learned that Oriana lost another one of her SPARTANs to small-arms fire but continued to take point. Hearing of action on the Vancouver Islands, Colton deployed his soldiers and wiped out the Covenant troops trying to set up a valuable base to coordinate orbital bombardments. Denying the Covenant the chance, he pushed into Vancouver, which also found Covenant troops trying to raid an ONI office. Colton deployed his troops to take out the enemy forces and secure the information within the ONI officer. With the area secured, Colton began his trek to Moscow, Idaho, where Covenant troops were in search of a Forerunner artifact. Wiping out the Covenant troops in Moscow, Colton continued down to Boise, where he met up with a Colonel who gave Colton a status report on the URNA Southwest Campaign.
Covenant troops began their fortification around New Phoenix, Arizona, the UNSC was pushing the Covenant down, but pockets kept popping up behind friendly lines. One location, St. George, Utah, Covenant troops were trying to set up a base, and Colton elected to engage the area with his forces. Moving out, Colton reached St. George and had successfully liberated the city using his vehicles as a means to outmaneuver the enemies he was engaging. Pushing down into Arizona, Colton pushed the enemies into an area called free-fire area OZONE, which continued to use WMDs to eliminate Covenant leadership, trying to activate a Forerunner artifact. Covenant forces attempted a final assault on Colton's position, he repelled the attack at the cost of one SPARTAN and saw that Oriana was the only remaining SPARTAN of Red Team. By the start of December, Colton had assisted with the Covenant's last chance to hold out a position on Earth. As Colton finalized his battle location in Arizona, the UNSC had won the Human-Covenant War.
"It was the end, for now. Sangheili and Humans are working together to defeat the leadership elsewhere. Some of us still have a war to fight of our own."
―Colton's notebook, 2552.
Following the end of the Human-Covenant War, Colton saw the SPARTANs become the heroes of the battles alongside the ODSTs. Returning to a makeshift Ranger Compound, Colton learned from Clayton Frommenwiler that Oriana-A058 was relieved of Red Team's command for no longer being a suitable leader for commanding troops. It didn't take long for Colton to realize that other areas were soon to become Areas of Interest for the Rangers. Electing A Squadron to be the second alert status squadron, Colton prepared for what came next against the UNSC and UEG. Quickly realizing that it was the perfect time to attack, Colton made his Rangers ready for conflicts against Covenant splinter factions or Insurrectionists who wanted to try and take a stab at the weakened UNSC.
Following the end of the Human-Covenant War, Colton served as a Selection and Training Commander to rebuild the Regiment following the devastating war. Put into consideration for Colonel of the Regiment, Colton lost to C Squadron's Lieutenant Colonel who Colton found to be a better fit for leadership in the years to come. Along with his tasks inside of the Regiment, Colton worked with the Unified Special Warfare Command to conduct joint branch exercises. Throughout the rest of December, Colton continued to oversee efforts to rebuild the Regiment.
In January of 2553, Colton saw the arrival of a SPARTAN-IV program recruiter at his base and trying to talk to his Rangers. Ordering the recruiter to leave, he refused, and Colton attacked the man for trying to take his Rangers away. Due to his actions against the SPARTAN-IV recruiter, Colton was suspended for a week and attended a lecture about how to control violent outbursts. The Regiment began to see a divide in its ranks when the prospect of working with Spartan Operations came about later in January. Colton became a strong advocate against working with SPARTANs based on his experiences and studying their actions in the field as leaders. Bringing up that the current Spartan Commander on the UNSC Infinity was a former ODST Lance Corporal, Colton told his Colonel that he was going to retire if they moved forward to work alongside Spartan Operations.
In February of 2553, Colton retired from the UNSC Armed Forces, one week before the UNSC Army announced their alliance with Spartan Operations. Serving 25 years in the UNSC Army Rangers, Colton was known for being an exceptional officer that walked the compound of the Regiment. In private, Colton's retirement was seen as a protest against the UNSC Army's alliance with Spartan Operations. One that many saw in the Unified Special Warfare Command, and brought debates within their branches of how extensively they were going to allow Spartan Operations to work alongside which units. Leaving the UNSC Armed Forces, Colton moved to Sundown to get away from the UEG and UNSC to rebuild his life as a civilian for humanity.
Personality and Traits
Colton was known for basing his leadership off three fundamentals he learned from a Ranger officer after becoming a 2nd Lieutenant. The first concept revolved the Rangers he was working with, trusting their judgment when in the field as well as during a combat situation. Ranger non-commissioned officers proved to be some of the greatest thinkers in the UNSC Army that were not afraid to speak their mind. Having the Rangers on his side and willing to share their opinions allowed Colton to make the right decision when conducting a mission.
The second concept focused on the mission and what each aspect entailed. Colton knew that missions were going to be dangerous, but he ensured they had actionable intelligence and that his Rangers understood their tasks. If it felt wrong to Colton, he was going to gather more information or discuss with leadership to clearly understand what he needed to accomplish. Colton's constant pestering made him an annoyance for many in the intelligence sector, but he did it to save those he was serving. If the mission was not good, the Rangers were not going to follow him in to conduct their job.
The final concept revolved around Colton himself; he needed to prepare for the hardships of leadership and the consequence of his actions. Making decisions based off analytics and the others around determined if he was going to be on another deployment with A Squadron or his fellow Rangers. Having himself prepared for anything, Colton found a way to block out everything that didn't matter except his Rangers, the mission and himself. The three core concepts had supported many life experiences Colton had throughout his time as a leader. Many included his failures in terms of his personal life while others were successes in his military career.
"They're teenagers! Put into command of combat veterans who have more experience combined than their entire time alive! You expect me to follow them into battle? An entire company was wiped out because of their inability to handle a larger force! They are NOT capable of being leaders!"
―Colton voicing his opinion on the inability of Cat-2 officers and their leadership capabilities.
Throughout Colton's career, he had been an advocate for not turning SPARTANs into officers that commanded unaugmented troops on the ground. Colton often used the reasoning that SPARTANs were specialists in their field and excellent team leaders, but unable to command a platoon or company due to their elite training and disconnect from basic soldier connections. Hearing about the Cat-2 officers, Colton pushed back heavily and cited that they were going to lose more Rangers and ODSTs than they needed to during operations that SPARTAN teams were going to handle. Being the voice of the minority, Colton was pulled aside and told to focus on his command rather than deal with the SPARTANs. Colton later learned that the SPARTAN teams were going to be assigned to the UNSC Army and use Rangers as detachments for their missions.
As Colton saw his fellow friends come back in coffins more often than alive, he did everything to prevent his squadron from being deployed alongside SPARTAN teams. Unified Special Warfare Command continued to assign detachments to the SPARTANs, which depleted the Ranger's numbers throughout the Human-Covenant War. Colton watched SPARTAN helmet footage where he concluded that the SPARTANs were unable to keep the Rangers alive in the field of battle due to the advantages of armor and augmentations the SPARTANs had compared to the Rangers Colton served alongside. Many of the senior officers that commanded Colton felt he had a vendetta against the SPARTANs, where he was pulled aside to cool his head or kicked out of the Regiment. After his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, Colton deployed alongside a SPARTAN Cat-2 team where he witnessed the near annihilation of his squadron.
By the end of the Human-Covenant War, Colton learned about the new SPARTAN-IV Program and how recruiters were going around the UNSC Armed Forces to recruit candidates. The arrival of a SPARTAN-IV recruiter to Colton's base resulted in a brawl where Colton knocked out the liaison officer and assaulted the staff. Sitting down with the leadership of the Regiment, Colton told his commanding officer he was going to quit if he had to work for Spartan Operations. Two months later, Colton retired from the UNSC Army when he heard that the Rangers were going to conduct missions alongside Spartan Operations in the future. His retirement was seen as a protest by many within the Regiment, where many followed suit after and refused to follow more SPARTANs into combat.
Colton took an extremely long time to mature past his vendetta against the SPARTANs. They were teenagers who found themselves placed into a position they were not prepared for and had no idea what the right call was for them to make. In 2556, Colton decided to face the officer he grew to hate the most, Oriana-A058. Working with her and using his experiences, Colton trained the former Cat-2 officer to become a better Special Warfare Officer in her Area of Responsibility. Colton began to alter his view that only certain SPARTANs should become officers, based on an array of tests and situations rather than how it was done on Onyx and currently being done in the newest branch of the UNSC Armed Forces, Spartan Operations.
Skills and Abilities
Career Service Record
Awards, Badges, and Commendations
UNSC Army - Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Medal (4), Distinguished Service Medal (2), Bronze Star Medal (9), Purple Heart (7), Commendation Medal (2), Achievement Medal (4), Presidental Unit Citation (3), Valorous Unit Award (4), Meritorious Unit Commendation (3), Good Conduct Medal (9), Space Duty Ribbon (2), and NCO Professional Development Ribbon.
Joint Branch - Defense Distinguished Service Medal (4), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal (2), Joint Service Achievement Medal (3), Navy and Marine Corps Presidental Unit Citation (4), Joint Meritorious Unit Award (5), Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal (2), UEG Defense Service Medal, Human-Covenant War Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Harvest Campaign Medal, Parisian Front Campaign Medal, Reach Campaign Medal, Mars Sustained Defense Campaign Medal, Earth Sustained Defense Campaign, and Human-Covenant War Expeditionary Medal.
Army Badges - Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Air Assault Badge, Military Freefall Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, Special Operations Divers Badge, UNSC Army Rangers Combat Service Identification Badge, UNSC Army 1st Cavalry Division Combat Service Identification Badge, UNSC Army Special Operations Command Service Identification Badge, and Unified Special Warfare Command Service Identification Badge.
Service Bars - 9 Service Bars
Education and Training
Basic Combat Training, Infantry School, Airborne School, Ranger Assessment and Selection Program One, Air Assault School, Basic Military Mountaineer Course, US Army Sniper School, Advanced Military Mountaineer Course, High Angle Sniper Warfare Course, Cold Weather Indoctrination Course, Basic Leader Course, Ranger School, Assault Military Climbers Course, Jungle Warfare Introduction Course, Reconnaissance and Surveillance Leaders Course, Officer Candidate School, Basic Officer Leaders Course, Basic Armor Officer Leaders Course, Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Reconnaissance Course, Pathfinder School, Ranger Assessment and Selection Program Two, Special Warfare Officer School, Mountain Planners Course, UNSC Army Combatives School, RROD Assessment and Selection, RROD Operator Training Course, SERE School Level C, Freefall Parachutist Course, Advanced Driving Course, Underwater Special Operations School, Jungle Warfare Leader Course, Forward Observers Leaders Course, Cold Weather Leaders Course, Protective Security Detail Leaders Course, and Military Mountaineer Leaders Course.
UNSC Army Command and General Staff College - School of Advanced Military Studies
UNSC Marine Corps Command and General Staff College - Advanced Warfighting Course
UNSC Army Command and General Staff College - School of Advanced Leadership and Tactics
Nicknames and Callsigns
Goat - Being an avid rock climber that was able to climb anything he set his eyes on, a Sergeant remarked that Colton climbed like a goat during Basic Military Mountaineer School. Throughout his enlisted years, Colton was known for being an expert in mountain warfare which only gave more reason he had the nickname Goat. However, when he became an officer, Goat was retired.
Serpico - Earning the nickname Serpico when he became an officer for the UNSC Army Rangers, Colton became notorious for his nickname. Colton earned the nickname after talking down to a Colonel as a 2nd Lieutenant based on the Colonel's weak projections. Throughout the rest of his career, Colton was known for being truthful and sincere about the odds he faced.
Ranks and Promotions
Date of Promotion
July 27th, 2548
February 3rd, 2542
September 19th, 2537
October 21st, 2534
June 14th, 2533
January 23rd, 2531
April 9th, 2529
November 3rd, 2528
Private First Class
May 14th, 2528
Private Second Class
December 30th, 2527
August 23rd, 2527
"Accept the fact Colt, you failed the family when you missed every significant event in our lives for the past 25 years. Weddings, funerals, birthdays, Christmas, and the birth of your sister's kids. We moved on without you, and we were doing just fine, why should we let you back in now?"
―Colton's mother in 2553.
At the end of the Human-Covenant War, Colton had destroyed all of the relationships he had within his family. Colton had missed so many family events that he was not invited to, while his family also decided to no longer including them in updates about each other. Colton tried to reach out to his family but met with silence that many of his other fellow Rangers and ODSTs were receiving as well. Understanding the situation, Colton began to slowly rebuild the bridge that he had destroyed with his family. Taking steps to restore the relationships, Colton reached out to his sister first.
Colton struggled to find common ground with his sister; she had become a successful businessperson with a steady marriage while he destroyed almost every relationship possible. Missing nearly 25 years of her life, Colton was able to breathe easily that her entire family had survived the Human-Covenant War while also learning the harsh reality that the family didn't care for him. Colton was determined to change their minds and began to build a good streak of hitting family events even if he was thrown out. Colton's family noticed that Colton was trying to improve and decided to open one door to see if he was willing to fix all the damage he had done.
As Colton continues to restore the relationships with his family, he admits to himself he still has a long way to go after the progress he made. Not even looking at marriages yet, Colton had to repair nearly 25 years of damage from the people who loved him unconditionally.
After three failed marriages, Colton had two children with his first wife who later died in the Battle for Alluvion in 2542 after their divorce in 2539. Learning that he lost two of his kids to the Covenant only fueled his desire to deploy more to conduct operations against the enemy. Colton struggled to maintain a relationship with his children during his first marriage due to his attention being focused more on the Rangers rather than his family. Following the death of his first family, Colton attempted to rebuild another relationship.
With his second wife, Colton had one son who was severely disabled and brought significant problems within the relationship in 2544. With Colton not being able to be the emotional support for his wife during the years of raising their child, she divorced him and moved to Earth, where she was able to get better care. Colton was able to have a semi-functional relationship with his son despite him refusing to acknowledge existence for being a bad father. Regardless of his son's feelings, Colton continues to keep in touch with his son to ensure he is doing well in life with his mom and friends.
In his third marriage, Colton had two daughters in 2551 on Reach, but the marriage ended when he learned that they were not his kids in the same year. Even with information that he was not the biological father, Colton learned that his third ex-wife died during the Fall of Reach and the two girls were residing with their parents. After getting out of the military, Colton filed for custody but lost in court due to not being a biological parent. Colton struggled to find the reasoning in why he wasn't allowed to be the father of his daughters despite him not being the biological parent. In 2558, Colton was able to win the custody of his daughters after the current guardians were sexually abusing them daily.
Erica and Grace moved to Sundown where they were able to start over in their lives following the tragic home life they were trapped in back on Earth. They are the only children that Colton has been working to raise even after the numerous failures he had as a father in the previous years.
Colton: "There's New Manila, lost about 50 people there. Covenant bombed it pretty well. Mount Sharp, we almost lost everyone but battled back for the time, till they were wiped out."
Tessa: "Thank you for trusting me to show me this."
―Colton pointing out where he commanded troops during the Mars Sustained Defense Campaign.
Colton's fourth wife, Tessa Dandfort.
Tessa Dandfort is Colton's fourth wife, following his retirement from the UNSC Army Rangers. Tessa was successful in dodging the draft to the UNSC Armed Forces but contributed to the Human-Covenant War by being a photojournalist who embedded with the UNSC Army troops. There, she produced films and worked with journalists to show the public about the Human-Covenant War and the devastations to the colonies. At first, Tessa did not suspect Colton was an officer of the UNSC Army, much less, even an officer that commanded some of the top troops during the height of the Human-Covenant War. Tessa later learned about Colton being an officer in the UNSC Army when he was talking to an old friend.
Upon learning the true fate of Colton, Tessa wanted to learn more about what he did and how he handled the war. It nearly ended their relationship due to her constant pestering about memories he tried to ignore. Tessa learned about her mistakes in an argument they had then waited for him to open up to her when Colton felt it was time. Over the years of their relationship development, Colton slowly opened up to Tessa about the reality of war he saw. The constant attending of funerals, selecting new candidates, and clearing out lockers became the norm as the special operations took a significant hit throughout the war.
In 2557, Tessa proposed to Colton and asked him to marry her. Agreeing, the two married in a private ceremony nine months later. Keeping extremely private and elusive, Tessa continued to use her maiden name when producing work for the general public. Colton also saw that Tessa wished to no longer report on the theaters of wars and began to develop documentaries about veterans of the Human-Covenant War and the suicide rates of each branch. The two continue to reside on Sundown where Tess assists with running Colton's business that helps Human-Covenant War veterans find jobs.
"His mind is a Pandora Box of military strategy and tactics. I am only grateful to be a student of his before returning to active duty as a SPARTAN."
―Oriana speaking on Colton in 2557.
Colton has known Oriana since she was a Non-Company Team Officer for Red Team throughout the Human-Covenant War. She is the reason he buried a lot of his friends in the Regiment and another reason that Colton has a disliking of SPARTAN soldiers becoming officers. In 2556, Colton received a letter from Clayton Frommenwiler about Oriana and how she was unsure of returning to active duty after getting married. Colton decided to see how the Spartan he grew to dislike turned out in 2556, where he learned that Oriana had slowly overcome the hard decisions that led to a mountain of bodies under her successes in the Human-Covenant War.
Seeing that Oriana wanted to go back, but not leave her husband, Colton became an advisor for Oriana on how to handle both home life and military life. Pulling from all his past mistakes and failures, Colton began to build a foundation for Oriana that allowed her to become confident in handling herself as a wife and as a SPARTAN. Colton also spent his time teaching Oriana unconventional warfare tactics as well as leadership tips that helped her enhance her ability to lead in the field. Still having his worries that Oriana was an officer, Colton pushed them down and worked on developing a top officer for the UNSC to ensure she was not going to send more Rangers, Helljumpers and, Airmen to an early grave.