|This article, 10th Shock Troops Battalion, was written by Spartan-091. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
- "Hell if I know what to call 'em. Heroes just seems to be overused too much these days. But then again, with half the shit they do, I wouldn't even know if they were fit to bear the title. Damn, it's hard to describe Special Operations, 'specially ODSTs. 'Specially this unit. If I had my way, every goddamn one of them would earn a medal and a court martial."
- ―Lieutenant Colonel Matthew "Maddog" McDonnell, on his own unit
The 10th Shock Troops Battalion, colloquially known as the "10th Shock", or "Watchers" was an ODST special warfare battalion of the Naval Special Warfare detachment. The battalion was a distinguished unit with a valiant history, conducting hundreds of special operations and fleet-support actions during the Human-Covenant War, the Insurrection that had preceded it, and the conflict with the Remnant that followed on its heels.
It was commissioned in 2521 and its current commander is Colonel Matthew "Maddog" McDonnell.
The 10th Shock Troops Battalion was officially activated on January 22, 2521, as part of the then-experimental 105th Shock Trooper Division. Its battalion nomenclature is unusual, but it was reasoned by High Command that the legacy of the North American airborne unit was important to maintain positive morale amongst the all-volunteer members of the battalion. The unit was first deployed on a test drop over the military world of Reach with the newly-released Human Entry Vehicle pods. The test went relatively successfully, with only three troopers killed by the heat of re-entry. Shortly afterward, the unit was deployed on specially-augmented UNSC ships and thrown against the Insurrectionists, used as a quickly-inserted teams of Special Warfare operators. They were utilized to great extent in engagements where hostages were present or the use of rapid y-axis assault was required. When the Covenant raised its ugly head, the 10th was already battle-hardened and ready for anything. During the early stages of the Human-Covenant War, they were deployed in numerous circumstances, often to hold the line so that a few more refugee ships could be evacuated or to turn the tide of battle in favor of the Marines. They participated in many small confrontations, but the one that they are most remembered for is the defense of Manheim.
Battle of Manheim
The 10th was stationed aboard the Leonidas-class battleship UNSC Myrmidon, which participated in the protracted Battle of Manheim. The UNSC Myrmidon was the only UNSC vessel to survive the withering contact with Covenant naval forces, and a number of its naval crew, including Sylvie Grey, and the Marine special forces of the 10th Shock, managed to evade Covenant capture and hosted a spirited resistance movement on Manheim's surface, provoking the Covenant occupation force. The arrival of SPARTAN-091 bolstered the UNSC resistance, which had been previously led by the ODSTs of the 10th. Soon, however, this resistance became unnecessary; the Great Schism and the Battle of High Charity led to the rebellion of the Sangheili-led Covenant Separatists against the Covenant Loyalists. Separatist forces on Manheim, led by visionary Sesta 'Laram, offered a truce with the UNSC guerrillas and a chance for Elites and humans to walk side by side to burn down the Brutes. The exhausted crew of the Myrmidon, outnumbered and overwhelmed by their unconventional warfare, gladly accepted. The surviving 10th contingent, led by SSgt. Miles Jaeger, assisted SPARTAN-091 and the Separatists in a lengthy search-and-destroy mission to wipe out all traces of the Loyalists in the Manheim Theater of Operations. The bravery of the ODSTs in their struggle to wipe out the Brutes convinced many Elites of the fineness of the Human race. The ODSTs were joined by their counterparts, commandos from the Sangheili special forces, and the two were the principal forces responsible for the Loyalist defeat on Manheim. Some of the ODSTs, including Jaeger, managed to survive the battle. However, the ODST detachment had suffered substantial losses; first, in the crash-landing of the Myrmidon, then in the rigorous and bloody guerrilla warfare to follow, and finally in the final frontal assault on Loyalist forces. Jaeger was chosen by SPARTAN-091 to become a new ODST platoon commander, and received a field commission to the brevet rank 2nd Lieutenant (O-1).
Second Battle of Earth
The new UNSC / Separatist alliance forged over Manheim held fast in strong bonds of fellowship, and the Elite battle group, after learning of the Siege of Earth, commenced the long Slipspace journey to Earth, arriving right before the dispatching of the Shadow of Intent / UNSC Forward Unto Dawn task force to the Ark's location. When the ODSTs of the 10th learned of the tragic UNSCSOCOM casualties at the Battle of Cambridge at Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lieutenant Jaeger and SPARTAN-091, despite their exhaustion after months of terrible warfare, immediately volunteered to commence a search-and-rescue mission to retrieve their UNSCSOCOM comrades. The extraction team came under heavy fire, but managed to evacuate the NAVSPECWAR Six operators of Flurry Troop, the Recon Marines of Delta Troop, and a large convoy of civilians, rescuing the majority of the survivors from their war-devastated city. However, they were unable to reach Ranger 38/6 C in time, and the Ranger Corps company sacrificed themselves to ensure the success of the extraction.
The Sangheili Special Forces quickly found out from one of Flurry Troop's survivors that two NAVSPECWAR snipers, CMDR Kawika Son and PO1 Katrina Woodbury had stayed behind to hold off the Brutes while the rest of their platoon was rescued. In a noble and heroic gesture of interspecies cooperation, Sesta 'Laram took it upon himself to lead a small Sangheili special operations detachment into Cambridge. The second desperate search-and-rescue for the two UNSC special warfare operators ended up being quite bittersweet. By the time 'Laram's men arrived, it was too late for Woodbury, who was overrun, captured, mutilated, and decapitated. Thankfully, 'Laram's men managed to save Commander Son, who had been grievously wounded but was still alive, and spirit him to safety.
Shortly after the successful extraction of Flurry and Delta Troops and the civilians, Fleet Admiral Hood diverted SPARTAN-091 and Jaeger's ODST platoon to the Chicago Industrial Zone, where other 10th Battalion forces were fighting and surgically "burning out" entrenched Brute positions in the thick urban cityscape. There they distinguished themselves further, although the incursion of heavy losses forced them to eventually hold position. They were relieved of their post when the rest of the Sangheili fleet arrived at Earth and drove the Brutes off, and placed on temporary humanitarian duty.
On October 21, 2553, the 10th Battalion was officially taken off of active duty, and its members were given extended leaves of absence to visit their surviving family members or grieve for those who had been lost. Unsurprisingly, in four months the unit was reactivated to deal with the resurgence of the Insurrectionist movement on several Outer Colony worlds. After an extended campaign, these uprisings were deemed sufficiently quelled, and the UNSC placed many of its forces in a state of peacetime operations. Many of the Human-Covenant War survivors retired at this point, to raised families and settle down. On June 15, 2558, the 10th was officially placed on standby, still recruiting and training new members, but not in a state of emergency. Not much changed for a long stretch of time, and the 10th eventually faded back into obscurity, known only to military history buffs and the occasional investigative reporter. Rumor had it that ONI had placed these ODSTs into a special category of selection and service, but the unit was only officially heard from again in 2586, when it was "reactivated" and thrust into the hunt for remaining Covenant Loyalists on the fringes of UNSC and Sangheili space.
The "Dark Watchmen" order of organization follows standard UNSC Naval Special Warfare Command format, with four "short" Shock Trooper Special Operations Companies (ShoTSOCs) of three Shock Trooper Special Operation Teams (ShoTSOTs) each.
- Alpha Company (18/10 ST)
- Bravo Company (19/10 ST)
- Charlie Company (20/10 ST)
- Delta Company (21/10 ST)
Chain of Command (As Of 2610)
- Battalion Commander: LtCol. Matthew McDonnell
- Battalion XO: Maj. Benjamin Compton
- Battalion S1: Capt. Gerald Ryder
- Battalion S2: Capt. Erica Hargrave
- Battalion S3: Capt. Frederick Otto
- Battalion S4: Capt. Khaled Al-Tahari
- Battalion S5: 1st Lt. Juba Wassatendu
- Battalion Command NCO: SgtMaj. Tsai Chung
Notable 10th Shock Troops Members
- 2nd Lt. Miles Jaeger
- 1st Lt. Jennifer Wolf
- GnySgt. Gordon Lydecker
- 1stSgt. Spencer Booth
- SSgt. Lee Deacon
- Sgt. Madison Carson
- SgtMajMarCor. Arnold Leroy Lewis Junior
Unit Heritage and Culture
The 10th takes its "short" insignia from the famed helmet flash of the ancient United States' 101st 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment's World War II helmet flash. This small flash appears in white on the helmets and chest pieces of all 10th members, usually close to the logos of their companies that are present on the chest plating. The skull, being the official insignia of the majority of ODST units, is present to provide a sense of uniformity between the battalions, but is also there because of popular demand; the Troopers of the 10th like to think of themselves as luck-blessed death-bringers, and feel that the skulls prove to their Covenant enemies that they are unafraid of death, and a force to be reckoned with. As it turned out, this logo, which was designed by an unknown ODST and later adopted after his death, is a very popular tattoo request amongst newcomers to the unit. Usually, it is accompanied by a drop tally or kill-markings, in the form of skulls, drop pods, or bullets.
The march of the 10th, Shock Trooper's Lament, is based upon a traditional Scots-Irish tune that was passed down through several hundred generations. It can be traced back to a song penned during the ancient First World War that lamented the death of a Scotch noncommissioned officer, but beyond that, all information on it has been lost. The lyrics, having been changed several times over, are not original, but a new and adapted version created by ONI's PSYOPS Division of Morale Modification. They are as follows:
Drop me down to the cold, cold ground
Where before many men have gone.
Drop me down to the cold, cold ground
Where before many men have gone.
And when they come, I will stand my ground,
Stand my ground; I'll never be afraid.
Thoughts of Home take away our fear,
Sweat and blood paid my bill of tears
Once a year, we'll say a prayer for thee
Close our eyes and remember thee
Forevermore shall we see the sun
Though I may fall, we shall have won
Drop me down to the cold, hard ground
Where before many brave have gone
Drop me down to the cold, hard ground
Where before many more have gone
Where before many more have gone.
The melody, a lead role of which is played on bagpipes, sounds similar to this
The 10th's Navy Blue markings are another ploy designed primarily by Section II psychological experts. Blue is a favorite color amongst a wide variety of peoples, and it is known for its calming effect upon human beings. Studies having shown that exposure to the color lowers a subject's heart rate and stress level considerably were among the leading evidence that prompted ONI to suggest the color to Naval Special Warfare Command. However, there are also symbolic applications behind the color selection. Dark and Navy Blue is widely recognized as a representation of power, skill, and integrity. It is a serious, businesslike color that implies strength, knowledge, and precision, all qualities that an ODST unit would desire. When combined with the black/gray of ODST armor and fatigues, it presents an aggressive and fearless appearance, psychologically boosting Troopers' morale by a small amount. All-in-all, it gives off an air of mystique, prestige, and strength, all key motivators to psychological healthiness.
Behind the Scenes
- The 10th Shock Troops Battalion was modeled after the renowned real-world U.S. 101st Airborne Division and the United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.
- The 10th was originally the 101st, but its title was changed after new information rendered such a designation not canon friendly.