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The GLADIATOR Project was a new project created by the Office of Naval Intelligence. It had many leading officers of both the program and the Gladiators themselves. Notable among the officers were Captain Jason Monroe, Commander Joseph Brown, General Damien-A263, Chief Petty Officer Scarlet-S151 ,and Sergeant First Class Jack-S153. The head doctor and overall creator of the project is Doctor Cameron Frazier.
The program had three separate companies. Each held 300 Gladiators at first, which later was reduced to 150. Each reduction was caused by the Trials, a dangerous non-simulated battle between the Gladiator trainees. Each was paired up randomly and the winner of the fight advanced to the Program.
Each company had a different home ship and was nicknamed after the ship they were set up on. 1st Company, or Wind Company, was on the UNSC Winter Winds. 2nd Company, or Invite Company, was on the UNSC Open Invitation. The 3rd Company, or Eagle Company, was on the UNSC Wounded Eagle. Due to the increased budget due to the Human-Covenant War ending, each company received 150 advanced MJOLNIR units.
- "So you hated sending the III's to their deaths, but now you're FORCING CHILDREN TO KILL EACH OTHER?!"
- —Michael Merrill expressing his sour thoughts towards the Trials
The Trials were battles that were set up to determine which children would become true members. Each Gladiator was paired up randomly with another on a war game deck. They were ordered to kill the other with only their bare hands. The winner would become a Gladiator. They took the Trials at age 12, augmentations following soon after.
This part of the Program was frowned upon by many high-ranking officials, including Vice Admiral Michael Merrill and Commander Joseph Brown. Brown, unfortunately, had to deal with it, being an important officer of the program. Merrill attempted a petition but failed.
The Gladiator Project had superior augmentations to the SPARTAN-III's, and equal to or better than the SPARTAN-II's. The success rate was 99.6% while the risk of permanent damage or death was at 0.4%. Without these augmentations, the Gladiators could not be able to move around in their armor, and lead to death if used by non-augumented personnel.
Upon the creation of the program, the UNSC went to work on making a new type of armor more efficient than Mark VI and even the new GEN2 armor used by Gladiators. The result turned out to be a superior variant of GEN2. Appearance was similar but combat capabilities were far better.
Most Gladiators at first recieved a model similar to Mark IV or Mark V, but very soon after they were given the new, shiny sets of armor. This armor increased speed, reaction time, and much more. Only one with the Gladiator augmentations could handle the armor.