The Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST) are a special operations capable organization of the UNSC Marine Corps that specialize in orbital-dropped shock infantry and special warfare tactics. The ODSTs are one of the primary Special Operations units of the United Nations Space Command, and is under the supervision of Naval Special Warfare Command. ODST primary HQ is located at Kenosha, Mars.

Overview and Background


Specialty Structure, Weaponry and Equipment

Unlike the Covenant, the different colors do no equal rank but instead mark the specialty of each ODST.

Specialty Image Description
Red The demolition specialists of the ODSTs
Gold/Yellow Heavy weapons
Blue Sharpshooters and Marksmen of the ODST. They are commonly seen with silenced SMGs and silenced BRs.


Human-Covenant war

Main Article: Human-Covenant War

Reach and Installation 04

During the initial invasion of Reach, a large contingent of 3,200 ODSTs participated in the Battle of Viery, assisting the UNSC Army in repelling the Covenant forces from the planet. Throughout the course of the battle, the UNSC formed joint forces to combat against the overwhelming Covenant forces. Some time during the event, several battalions were stationed on UNSC Pillar of Autumn. As the planet fell to the Covenant onslaught, the vessel made a blind Slipspace jump away from the Epsilon Eridani system, discovering the long-abandoned Installation 04. During the Battle of Installation 04, shock troopers led by Major Antonio Silva and First Lieutenant Melissa McKay, operated as a guerrilla force by conducting hit-and-run operations against the forces of the Covenant's Fleet of Particular Justice.


The ODSTs perform highly specialized, small scale, high-risk operations including:

  • Deep Ground Surveillance or Long Range Reconnaissance: Patrols in small groups, in uniform, usually far behind the enemy lines. While DGS units may direct air or artillery strikes against enemy positions, they strive to be unobserved, and have only self-defense, not DA, capability. Groups engaging in surveillance deep behind enemy lines, are commonly known as "Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols" or LRRP's.
  • Direct Action: Short-duration strikes and other small-scale offensive actions conducted as a special operation in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments and which employ specialized military capabilities to seize, destroy, capture, exploit, recover, or damage designated targets. Direct action differs from conventional offensive actions in the level of physical and political risk, operational techniques, and the degree of discriminate and precise use of force to achieve specific objectives.
  • Unconventional Warfare: Military and paramilitary operations, normally of long duration, predominantly conducted by indigenous or surrogate forces who are organized, trained, equipped, supported, and directed in varying degrees by an external source. It includes guerrilla warfare and other direct offensive, low visibility, covert, or clandestine operations, as well as the indirect activities of subversion, sabotage, intelligence gathering, escape and evasion.
  • Counter-Terrorism Operations: The response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.
  • Counter-Contraband Operations: Missions undertaking the recapturing of smuggled/stolen goods.
  • Personnel and Special Equipment Recovery/Capture: The recovery/medical treatment of friendly personnel in combat environments, as well as the capability of capturing high valued individuals and any equipment.

Gameplay Information





Developer Information



  • The ODSTs were heavily influenced by the novel Starship Troopers.
  • The Orbital Drop Shock Troopers have been referred to by Bungie as a futuristic successor to the American Marine Force Recon and the British Special Air Service.