Companion is the name the Taelons gave themselves when they arrived on Earth. They meant to say they were companions to Humanity. In common parlance, "Taelon" and "Companion" were interchangeable terms. Within Taelon society, "Companion" specifically referred to those individuals appointed by the Synod to serve as the ambassador to a particular region of Earth. Large geographic areas that corresponded to individual countries, such as America or Australia, were given dedicated Companions, while smaller regions with many countries, such as Europe, were given overarching Companions. The United Nations also had a dedicated Companion, although for the first three years of the Companions' presence on Earth, this position was held by the same Taelon who served as the American Companion.