In a previous report submitted by the Tied the Leader Institute for Combat Excellence, a full intelligence brief was delivered on the range of deadliness for Tail-Gunners. Based on countless hours of service in the field of the UNSC, the personalities and fighting styles of the rear-shooter was rendered into profiles.
Resounding feedback to this analysis revealed an enthusiastic demand for the same treatment to be given to the drivers that complete the Warthog Team. Thus, the following addendum has been compiled through a joint task force with the Halo 3 Wheelmen Department of Tactical Steerage. The contents of this report follow immediately:
This pilot is a crazy-brave daredevil – countermeasures be damned! A Cowboy drives straight into the mouth of hell, with guns blazing and a rebel yell. These pilots are without fear or restraint. Their lifespans are short, but they tend to make the big plays when they are needed most. They rush the SPARTAN Laser on Valhalla. They ride out to support and insure Banshee acquisition on Sandtrap. Know your Cowboys by their extended stretches of time spent guarding the motorpool, awaiting the delivery of their next Warthog.
Behold the stone cold killer. For any Tail-Gunner with an appetite for a Perfection Medal, the Ace Pilot is their most reliable sponsor. They are the Slayer Elite, wielding the Warthog like the weapon it was designed to be. An Ace can smell the Brute Chopper around any corner. They have an almost psychic link with their shooter. A dangerous asset to be sure; the Ace can prove to be a troublesome distraction when the combat objective is more complicated than straight up killing.
Pilots like these are the Suicide Kings of any fleet. Not the finest team player, a Kamikaze Pilot strives for the Splatter in any engagement. Personal glory will always outweigh collective achievement in their mind. The only attack vector they know is directly at their opponent. Highly susceptible to Road Rage, these maniacs take their Tail-Gunner right out of the equation, closing to an ineffective range on the would-be target every time. Kamikaze Pilots never learn. They are drawn to a Bubble Shield like moths to a flame.
Every squad needs a solid leader. The Quarterback commands a strike team from the driver’s seat of their vessel. They understand that the Warthog is the backbone of any coordinated blitz. Their eyes behold the battlefield as a maze of potential objective routes. Know this Wheelman by their fully-staffed craft, flanked by as many support vehicles as possible. This Pilot lives a thankless existence. Their finest glory is shepherding a Flag-Carrier safely home. A Quarterback dominates the team chat airwaves, calling the play and executing the mission.
Many combat authorities have expressed outright scorn for the selfish soul that leaves the base in a Warthog without a Tail-Gunner on board. The Lone Ranger is as far from genius as they are from their namesake. They regard the LAAV as their own personal shuttle, or shopping cart. This most crucial of all combat assets is wasted on delivering them unto their weapon of choice – most usually a Sniper Rifle. These Pilots are frequently brought up on charges of treason at the conclusion of a fight.
In what is perhaps the grossest betrayal of trust on the battlefield, the Imposter offers an empty promise to anyone will listen that they can drive. Once behind the wheel, their ineptitude for the Wheelman’s craft becomes tragically apparent to all who were foolish enough to climb aboard. Know these so-called pilots by their freelance status, as they almost exclusively join the battle as last-minute conscripts. Such is their only recourse, as anyone acquainted with them would betray them instantly before they could reach the motorpool.
A foil character to the Cowboy [see above], the Dangerphobe is the most conservative Pilot in the squadron. This Wheelman is best-served staying on Defense, since it is beyond their nature to put their Warthog in harms way. They are not unlike the collector who refuses to take the Ferrari out of the garage, for fear that an errant pebble from the roof of a truck will knick their “Precious”. In an amusing side-note, Dangerphobes are easily pranked. Playing a recording of the Missile Pod Lock Indicator in their presence will result in an involuntary loss of bladder control every time. Always gets a laugh in the mess-hall.
More artisans than warriors, the Trailblazer takes the Warthog where it was never designed to travel. They defy the laws of science and the rules of engagement in combat. Their chief weapon is surprise, as they exploit a flank once thought safe under traditional combat conditions. A Pilot from this stock is as unpredictable as they are cunning. While their peers may grow impatient with the low survival-rate of the Trailblazers tactics, the psychological dividends that are paid out in the event of success are considerable, as opponents adopt a crippling sense of paranoia that no corner of the warzone is safe.
While a sure-fire boost to troop morale, the Rodeo Clown is hardly a tactical asset. They live for the prosecution of Operation Sweet Jumps. Pilots that fit this profile think that the Warthog was manufactured to enable their own personal joyride. In any combat scenario, they will be unable to resist the temptation to catch air, take a roll, or execute a “sick wheely”. Their head is rarely in the fight. Know a Rodeo Clown by their fondness for extreme sports when watching the civilian network in the barracks.
It should be duly noted that profiling a Wheelman is a more daunting task than that of cataloging the various behaviors of a Tail-Gunner. While a Wheelman must select attack vectors based on ever-shifting battle climates, the only thing a Tail-Gunner needs to decide is in which direction they might shoot. Ergo, a Wheelman may find themselves adhering to several of the following archetypes throughout their illustrious career at the controls of the divinest machine of war.