- "We are the chosen of the Emperor, whose wisdom made us whole; we are the sons of the Primarch, whose flesh gives us life; and we are brothers of the Chapter, whose honour makes us Astartes!"
- — First Chant of the Neophyte
A Neophyte is the term used for those adolescent recruits of a Space Marine Chapter who have been accepted to become Initiates of the Chapter but are still in the process of undergoing the transformation into superhuman Astartes through the implantation of the gene-seed and the genetically-engineered Astartes organs. Before the process begins, these recruits are known as Aspirants.
The Neophyte receives the title upon being judged worthy and capable of becoming an Astartes of the Chapter after completing his Chapter's version of the Aspirant Trials. Upon completing the physical metamorphosis into an Astartes and the necessary psychological and mental conditioning, a Neophyte is accepted as a full Initiate of the Chapter and is assigned to his first combat duties. This is usually as a Scout Marine in Codex Astartes-compliant Chapters.
The term Neophyte is also used by the Astartes of the Black Templars Chapter for those recruits who are organised as part of a Fighting Company where they train and learn from the veteran Initiates who are in charge of them. As such, the Black Templars do not maintain a standard company of Scout Marines. A Neophyte will learn quickly from his tutor or die if he cannot. When his supervising Initiate and the Chapter's Chaplains deem that the Neophyte has proven himself satisfactory in courage and skill, he is himself elevated to the rank of Initiate and takes his place in the Fighting Company and in a Crusader Squad. Should the Initiate in charge of a Neophyte die before the Neophyte's training is complete, his training and instruction will be taken over by another Initiate, if that Initiate finds the Neophyte worthy of his tutelage.
The Neophytes of the Space Wolves, like so much else about that Chapter, do not follow the standard path of Adeptus Astartes advancement. Space Wolves Neophytes, after undergoing the first stage of their genetic transformation, are assigned to Blood Claw Packs (Squads), and are encouraged to vent their youthful enthusiasm on the enemy under the tutelage of more experienced Grey Hunters.
- Codex: Black Templars (4th Edition), pg. 37
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 25
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition), pp. 10-11
- Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pg. 25