"For me, my life as a Spartan is a living hell to me. However, out of all the vast arrays of nightmares that I've had to endured, this nightmare is one that I got to chose for myself. I go forward with hatred in my heart and with one goal in mind: Retribution."
There was no verifiable records of the Spartan's early life and the only known details came straight from the Spartan himself. After he was orphaned during the initial Battle for Arcadia, Derek Grace was enlisted into the SPARTAN-III program, a top-secret project that would produce cheap and expendable supersoldiers to hold off the massive tide of the Covenant armada. The Spartan was originally an Alpha Company candidate whose performance so impressed his superiors that he was reassigned immediately after his training before the bloodbath known as Operation: PROMETHEUS.
After his participation and death in PROMETHEUS was falsified,A224 would be covertly conscripted into the Asymmetrical Action Group (AAG), an unconventional warfare unit that operated within the Office of Naval Intelligence's Beta-5 Division. From there, Derek would work as a covert special warfare operator, as he engaged in efforts that would disarm, disrupt, and dissolve any Covenant and Insurrection activities. Derek would also participate in the Battle of Reach and the Earth Sustained Defense Campaign along side a fireteam of Spartans, and he would distinguish himself in those final battles of the war.
In the aftermath of the war against the Covenant, Derek would go on to continue his work as a special warfare operator on behalf of Naval Intelligence. Derek would conduct several operations against the Insurrection. the remnants of the Covenant, and other opposing forces during this time. However, soon before the Created Crisis, Derek would commit desertion during a counter-insurgency mission in the distant systems.