Senior Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez is a legendary UNSCDF (United Nations Space Command Defense Force) Non-Commissioned Officer. Responsible for training the recruits of the SPARTAN-II and SPARTAN-III programs as well as it being suggested that he himself was a SPARTAN-I from the Orion Project. Throughout his long career he earned numerous medals and commendations fighting against both the Covenant and the Insurrection.
Major Story Arcs
Fall of Reach
He was the SPARTAN-II's training leader during their first years on Reach in 2517 until 2525. He trained them in the aspects of combat as hard as the standard O.D.S.T. (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper) when they were only at the age of 6-7. His military training was punctuated with in-class strategy sessions with Deja, an intelligent Artificial Intelligence.
In the beginning of their training, Mendez and his training instructors used electric batons to discipline trainee, or used pistols/rifles with tranquilizer (and sometimes stun rounds) to incapacitate trainees, as well as some SPARTAN-II candidates that attempted to escape early on in the experiment. Eventually, the SPARTANS grew to look up to Mendez as a solid, unmovable force in their life. They had great respect for him, often even to the extent of seeing him as a father figure.
After the first class of SPARTAN-II's training was completed, he was reassigned to train the next class of SPARTANS, and watched the first generation of SPARTAN-II's depart, and this was when he saw Master Chief for the last time, and vice versa.
Ghost of Onyx
After the SPARTAN-IIs graduated, Mendez was slated to train the next class of Spartan-IIs, but the program was delayed by Dr. Halsey due to issues with viable candidates. Mendez requested reassignment to active duty. Over the next six years, he fought the Covenant on five worlds, won two more Purple Hearts, and was promoted to Senior Chief Petty Officer. Mendez was then recruited by Colonel James Ackerson to assist Kurt Ambrose, formerly known as Kurt-051, in running the SPARTAN-III program (extremely ironic since Mendez originally was training Kurt). He trained three SPARTAN-III companies at Camp Currahee on Onyx from 2531 until 2552. He was originally skeptical of the job, comparing the behavior of the trainees to that of the schoolchildren in Lord of the Flies.
When he arrived to train Alpha Company, Kurt Ambrose mentioned that Mendez had aged very well, that he had a trim chiseled body from "ironwood", with hair that was now silver, deep creases around his eyes and that a set of ragged scars that ran from brow to chin. By 2552, Kurt still found him to be surprisingly fit and agile, noting he moved like a soldier thirty years younger and wondered what kind of Spartan he would have made.Battle of Onyx
While training the final batches of SPARTAN-III Gamma Company in 2552, Mendez and the other UNSC forces on Onyx came under attack by Sentinels re-awakened by the destruction of a Halo ring (thanks to John-117). He, along with SPARTAN-III Team Saber, Tom-B292, Lucy-B091, and Kurt Ambrose were virtually alone on the planet, and were forced to hide from Sentinels for several days, until Kelly-087 (a SPARTAN-II) and Dr. Halsey eventually arrived, followed shortly by Blue Team, Fred-104, Will-043, and Linda-058. Mendez assisted them in fighting all the way to the core of Onyx, where he eventually evacuated to Shield World 006, held in a slipspace bubble in Onyx's core, along with the other survivors.
At the funeral for the Spartans who died in combat, he read an excerpt from his favorite book: A Soldier's Tale : Rainforest Wars. While in the shield world, Mendez began to reflect upon his role in training the Spartans. He also took note of Halsey's discomfort with the SPARTAN-IIIs he had helped train, confronting the doctor about this on several occasions
After Mendez and the other survivors had reconnoitered the sphere for some time and established a base camp in an ancient Forerunner city, in which Lucy-B091 found Huragork, which helped the human survivors contact the ONI ships outside the slipspace bubble and eventually bring the sphere into normal space. Mendez and the others were then taken to a debriefing in HIGHCOM Facility Bravo 6, aboard the UNSC frigate : Port Stanley. Mendez, along with the surviving SPARTAN-IIs, were present in the Voi Memorial in 2553.
Powers and Abilities
Franklin Mendez was a member of the SPARTAN-I program on Orion, and is slightly enhanced (although not nearly to the extent of any SPARTAN-II or SPARTAN-III), and is above peak human. On top of that, he is a respected, and legendary UNSC Marine and Drill Sergeant. He is also an experienced hand-to-hand combatant, having trained SPARTAN-II/SPARTAN-III's, and is an expert marksman, adept in human and Covenant weaponry, and has a physique of a 30 year old man despite his age. Another trait of his is his great leadership, obviously expressed in his trainees.