The Orbital Drop Shock Troopers are one of many Special Operations Forces in the UNSC Defense Force. The ODSTs are under the operational authority of the Government Special Warfare Command/US Forces Special Weapons their methods of operation allow them to conduct missions against targets that more conventional forces cannot approach undetected. ODSTs are recruited from the Special Operations Groups of all the nations of Earth and is a strictly a military force. Potential ODSTs are selected because of their performance in their chosen MOS; every ODST candidate is a veteran from another Special Operations outfit and therefore have already gone through at least two layers of screening and months of intense training — not counting the years of training received before volunteering for the ODSTs. There is no age or gender bias — as long as the candidate meets the physical and mental requirements they are guaranteed the opportunity to try out for the ODSTs. Once in the ODSTs, a candidate's training continues - its entrance requirements serve as a third layer of screening upon two more, where applicants would have theoretically failed to pass. Candidates would, therefore, already have extensive experience in conducting the types of high-risk missions that the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers typically perform.
ODST units are not embedded within conventional forces, they do however participate in joint operations, and tend to be force multipliers - increasing the effectiveness, willingness, and morale of those they fight alongside. ODST combat teams usually consist of six to eight - with each combat team specializing in a particular mission set, but they are expected to be flexible enough to adapt to any given situation. These combat teams however can vary from company to company. Each combat team also consists of ten to fourteen operators, each of whom has a specific function on the team. ODSTs are known for their unusual methods of insertion, dropping from orbit onto terrestrial environments. Similar to their Infantry counterparts, the ODSTs maintain units of varying strength aboard many Navy vessels, USAAF Co-pilot aircraft and US Army, Marines, and Sangheili Marine Installations.