The SPARTAN Programs are a series of UNSC projects designed to create generations of physically, genetically, technologically, and mentally superior "supersoldiers" as a special fighting force within the UNSC Military.
The basic concept for the SPARTAN program has been around since the late 22nd century when the first bioengineering protocols were developed for interplanetary war. Since the establishment of these protocols humans have been using performance enhancing equipment and augmentations to make them stronger and faster than previously thought possible. These super soldiers have been deployed numerous times throughout human conflict, leading up to and during the Human-Covenant war. The SPARTAN program first arose as a brilliant plan to enhance normal human soldiers into powerfully augmented special operations commandos. Initially the three separate programs were humanity's various attempts to create the perfect soldiers, in order to patrol the colonies, protect civilian and government populations, crush uprisings in their infancy and ensure others didn't rise up as a result.
The SPARTAN soldiers of the UNSC are named after the ancient Spartans of Greece, specifically during the time of the Persian invasion led by Xerxes I. The wars between invading Persians and defending Greeks would be known as the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from 499-448 B.C. During this war, the famous Battle of Thermopylae occurred. 300 Spartan soldiers leading 2,000 other Greeks, postponed a force of approximately 1 million Persian warriors. All of the Spartans were eventually killed, but they successfully slaughtered 20,000 Persians, allowing Greece precious time to prepare defenses. Catherine Halsey had three reasons to choose SPARTAN, rather than many other suggested code names. She believed the story of Thermopylae continued to be well-known and cherished throughout the 26th century. Coincidentally, the project was originally funded for 300 applicants. The Spartans' fierce reputation resulted from their legendary training, which began at the age of 6. Dr. Halsey planned to recreate a training system similar to the Spartans' in order to create the ultimate warrior. Spartan culture was based primarily off of warfare, destroying newborns unable to meet strength and fitness requirements. Although considered barbaric during the modern era, Dr. Halsey arranged similar demands