"You got something to say 'bout the Mobile Infantry?"
The Mobile Infantry has a very basic philosophy when it comes to the recruitment and education of its troopers – make life as tough as possible during training and make it incredibly easy to quit. This ensures that all those unable or unwilling to give their all to the Federation are weeded out very early and only the toughest and, more importantly, the most dedicated will earn the privilege of citizenship. Even past training, it is relatively easy for a trooper to leave the service and return home as a civilian. As a result, the Mobile Infantry is composed of highly motivated individuals, willing to put the good of the Federation before their own personal safety.
Unlike other armies of past history, everyone fights in a Mobile Infantry regiment. This includes the officers, cooks, tailors and surgeons – all will fight alongside the common trooper. This unique structure allows the Mobile Infantry to place its full weight upon the enemy during a drop. Transported across the galaxy by the mighty Fleet and supported by Military Intelligence, the Mobile Infantry has the tools, the skills and the manpower to defend humanity against the worst of alien races in the struggle for dominance of the galaxy.
One should always keep in mind the motivating factor behind the Mobile Infantry that makes it superior and different from any other fighting service in history – it is entirely comprised of volunteers. There are no conscripts. There are no drafts. There is not one trooper that, even before a drop begins, cannot quit immediately, be paid his accumulate wages and mustering out benefi ts and be sent home as a civilian on the next available transport.
In the Mobile Infantry, everybody works and everybody fights. The pay is menial, the hours are never-ending and a career military man can look forward to only a swift death on the field or retirement and a citizen-only job back in the Federation. For a trooper, nothing else is needed. To live, to fight and to defend one’s home; the Mobile Infantry is the Army. It has a long and glorious heritage.
The Mobile Infantry is a finely disciplined fighting force composed of civilian volunteers from across Federation space. From the day these volunteers step into the recruitment office they are are confronted with a relatively unorthodox recruitment strategy - they are actively dissuaded by their recruiter. Recruiters are often M.I. veterans as well, most with substantial battle injuries or missing limbs. It is not uncommon for recruits to believe they are unwelcome - and most of them aren’t, in some way. This serves two purposes; the primary of which is that no one is expected to join and no one should for any reason other than to serve the Federation as well as meet their own personal ambition of becoming a citizen. Secondly, a military organization can only be as strong as its weakest member. If anyone were to join the M.I. for the wrong reasons and then backed out later down the road, they would be a waste of Federal resources.
If the volunteer decides to continue and further pursue a career in the military, they will give the Military Service Oath and be awarded 48 hours of leave to prepare themselves. If they fail to report in after the oath is given, or at any time afterwards sign their PRO-1248 form (resignation) the civilian will be prevented from ever volunteering for Federal service again and thus will never become a citizen - aside from that, there is no punishment. After the oath, recruits that pass this point will face extensive psychological and medical tests that will discern whether or not they are mentally stable, and clear of medical conditions that would prevent Federal service. At this time, the recruit will then be slotted into a career. They may elect ten different possible positions, of which they will be placed into one. As a side note, those with college educations would likely not be joining the Mobile Infantry. Any person with a substantial education would be slotted into the most relevant position based on their mental acuity.
Basic training for the M.I. is regarded as a grueling, brutal, and physically draining course designed to weed out the weak, foster teamwork, harden and train the body and mind, as well as apply a strict doctrine of rigid discipline. One hundred out of a thousand recruits will graduate in any given recruitment batch, many simply signing their PRO-1248, though some will succumb to training fatalities at the hands of other recruits or the conditions experienced during training - full military honors are awarded to any volunteer that dies during training due to no fault of their own.
Once basic training is complete troop assignment will take place. Troopers do not have a choice where they are sent, as this is done at a higher level. No reviews or cancellations of an assignment can be made, however a trooper can request a specific assignment - however there is no guarantee that request will be honored. Most troopers will see several units during their two year tour, more if they decide to voluntarily extend their service by another two or four years. This option is open to troopers six months prior the conclusion of their current tour. This will afford any trooper with a maximum of six years in service, unless their service is indefinitely extended by high command or if that trooper elects to ‘go career’.
Going career affords troopers with additional opportunities and perks such as making Officer Candidacy School open to them with permission from their commanding officer, as well as a moderate increase of pay. At this point, however, career troopers are no longer allowed to terminate their own service at will, and must serve a minimum of twenty years before retiring - and are more often than not opted for indefinite service by their commanding officers. OCS itself is known to be a strenuous program designed to produce the best officers possible - only career troopers are eligible, and only one shot at OCS is given to any trooper. It should go without saying by this point, most fail.
Role of the Mobile Infantry
The Terran Federation always has a military, even in peacetime. Someone has to man the borders, maintain the listening posts, and demonstrate to any outsiders that the Federation is ready to defend its own and to strike back against any aggressors. During peace, however, this is largely a formality. Not that soldiers are trained with any less severity or allowed any laxity – war could break out at any time, and the military must be prepared for it. But in peace the Federation has more time to consider each candidate and more freedom to dismiss soldiers who do not measure up. When the bugs attacked, all of that changed. Suddenly the Terran Federation was in a war, fighting for its very survival. Training regimens were shortened, and then shortened again. Bootcamp enrolment skyrocketed and sessions abbreviated. Soldiers graduated in half the time and often with half the knowledge, because the Federation no longer had time to wait for men to replace the dying. As a result, many new soldiers did not have full training and were not truly prepared for the horrors that awaited them.
All that comes later, however. The Terran Federation is constantly exploring, pushing the boundaries of known space. New planets are located, surveyed, explored and then claimed. The military helps secure these new holdings. It provides protection for colonists, researchers and scouts. Any time a colony or base is attacked, a ship is dispatched to examine the situation and render whatever aid proves necessary. Each such ship has at least one squad of Mobile Infantry on board. In some cases, the problem proves mundane – volcanic eruptions, tectonic shifts, strange atmospheric conditions and other natural anomalies. The Mobile Infantry still does what it can, lending aid in treating the wounded, locating and retrieving any missing civilians, scouting and studying the danger. If possible, the danger is eliminated. If not, the civilians are relocated to a safe area, whether that means a new camp in a different part of the same island or return to the nearest Federation base for reassignment.
In some cases, however, the danger is not so impersonal. Native animals may be tearing apart the colonists. Or, as has happened with the bugs, a rival starfaring race may be trying to claim the same planet, and killing anyone that gets in its way. In these situations, the Mobile Infantry wades in to cut down the attackers and pacify the area. Sometimes that is as simple as men in powered armour waiting for the oversized sixlegged leopards to attack and then slaughtering them. In other places it means sending the civilians away, summoning reinforcements and plotting a strategy to retake the planet from intelligent organised hostiles. Regardless, the Mobile Infantry is up to the challenge. This is why SICON continues to enlist and train new members, however – without them the military would soon be depleted, or spread too thin for effective use.
Roles within the Mobile Infantry
In the old militaries of Earth, military chaplains or padres used to stay in fortified bases rather than join their men on the battlefield. To a Trooper in the Mobile Infantry, this makes no sense at all. How can you accept spiritual advice from someone who will not join you in battle? Unlike the chaplains of old Earth, there is no particular religion or faith to be focussed on - rather they use their faith in the Federation itself to be their holy drive and the SICON regulation book to be their bible.
Wearing a brightly shined emblazon of faux-gold on each shoulder under any rank they may have achieved, the Chaplain Corps recruit fromt he most inspirational Troopers not looking to go career - as chaplains rarely leave the front lines, dying next to their brothers and sisters in arms.
On the battlefield, an engineer is every Trooper's best friend. He is the Trooper with the training to keep gear in good repair, fix broken power suits and recharge energy cells to get Marauders off the 'disabled' list and back into action. He can set up fortifications to keep bugs out and operate weapon emplacements to blast them all straight to hell. In an ever more complicated universe, engineers are the Troopers best suited to deal with whatever an enemy can throw at the Mobile Infantry.
Engineers are given some of the most detailed training of any Mobile Infantry Trooper, allowing them to tackle the complex areas of battlefield electronics, repairs of a highly technical nature while under heavy fire and perform minor miracles with little more than spit and a piece of bent wire. War is a complicated business and only the brightest troopers can hope to excel as a battleﬁeld engineer with the Mobile Infantry. Technical skills are as important to any war effort as tactical excellence; with both, we can never fail to keep Earth safe. While engineers may not be the most hardened and dangerous Troopers in the Mobile Infantry, they pull their weight and no Trooper with any sense resents having one assigned to his unit.
It takes real finesse to use a bomb effectively, as 90% of any explosive is wasted if it is not set properly and in just the right place. With skill, timing and the right equipment, a surprising amount of damage can be caused by a surprisingly small amount of explosive material. That is where a Mobile Infantry engineer comes in. Trained in the twin arts of planting explosives and removing them when they are planted by others, an engineer may not have need of his special skills very often but when they are needed no one else will suffice for the task.
While the field of demolitions is only a peripheral study for engineers, its relevance to battlefield situations warrants special mention and abilities not found in the repertoire of any other Mobile Infantryman.
In the wars of the Federation, death can take many forms. It can be the razor-sharp mandible of a warrior bug slicing through armour plate or being captured by Skinnies and dragged off to an unknown demise in the heart of one of their alien cities. No matter what its form, once a Trooper has bought his farm there is no coming back. Before they close on that purchase, however, they can count on a medic to try and spoil the deal and keep them fighting another day.
Field medics with the Mobile Infantry have an unenviable job; they are the professionals trained in the medical arts that have to try and patch Troopers up. From radiation burns to impalements, any injury must be treated quickly to prevent infection and get Troopers up and on their feet as quickly as possible. In the Mobile Infantry, everyone fights including field medics, but every member of a squad trusts that their lives are in the capable hands of their squad's 'doc'. If anyone can pull them through, it's them.
Marauders reside in the curious grey area between vehicle and powered suits, nevertheless they are the last thing many enemies of the Federation ever see in battle. With the ability to carry firepower ranging from pintle-mounted machine guns to tactical nuclear missiles, Marauders can easily take on platoons of tanks and win without suffering anything more than superficial damage. In a universe at war, the Marauder suit is a vital weapon and a valued ally.
Marauder drivers are experts at using their weapons, sensors and communications equipment to their fullest in battle. Any member of the Mobile Infantry can use a Marauder suit, but Marauder drivers can forge a special bond with their equipment and really get the maximum performance these hulking collections of steel and firepower are capable of granting. In a Marauder suit, there is very little in the galaxy a trained specialist cannot take on. The Fleet can glass a planet from orbit, but only Marauders can accomplish a planet-side mission requiring something less than total destruction.
In the eyes of the Federation, the only thing more dangerous than a Trooper with his Morita is a Pathfinder with his. These elite forces are the crème de la crème of the Mobile Infantry ground forecs. Using an array of experimental weapons and ammunition that may eventually get into the hands of common MI, the Pathfinders are SICON's best resource for deep deployments and hostile reconnaissance.
A Pathfinder is a one man killing machine, gladly facing the bugs on their own turf with nothing but his Morita and a smile. They are commonly trained with a variety of weapons aside from the common Morita, allowing a squad of these dauntless soldiers a wide scale of tools to kill the bugs with. There is a rumour that the bugs do not feel fear at all, but if they did... they would fear the Pathfinder.
Once a recruit ﬁnishes boot camp, he is given his ﬁrst assignment and awarded the non-commissioned rank of private. This ofﬁcially marks his entry into the military and confers the full beneﬁts of SICON membership upon him. From his ﬁrst day as a private in the military and for the rest of his life, a trooper never needs to worry about a place to live, employment or a gainful income. While troopers never get rich off a SICON pay voucher, they can count on never being without funds. Even after retirement or ending his tour of duty, a member of the Mobile Infantry has a signiﬁcantly smaller but continuous source of income in the form of a military pension.
A trooper’s ﬁrst assignment is usually to a unit that requires the individual trooper’s speciﬁc training or has openings to ﬁll. The Mobile Infantry has a strict policy where platoons are concerned – the One Fourth rule. Down to one quarter strength, a platoon is replenished with new recruits; below one quarter and the remaining troops are sent to other platoons to ﬁ ll in holes in their manpower. This often scatters squad mates, but such a disbanding is typically beneﬁcial.
The logic behind scattering squad mates is that each one can carry the lessons and wisdom he has learned from time spent in the ﬁ eld with them to other units. This balances out the fact that many holes in a platoon’s membership will also be ﬁlled with raw recruits and novices to real combat. While a given trooper fresh out of boot camp might get assigned with several others to a new unit, the unit is generally well experienced and capable of bringing him up to speed with a minimum of effort. This is not always as effective as it could be, but commanding ofﬁcers in the Mobile Infantry usually handle new recruits quickly and efﬁciently.
Once a trooper is assigned to a unit, he usually remains with it until he has to be reassigned for reasons of ﬁeld losses or a greater need for his speciﬁc skills. This rarely happens during peacetime, but war can make troop rosters vary a great deal over a short period of time. The degree of shufﬂing is minimised by the uniform level of training that each trooper receives and the broad combat ability each trooper is expected to master.
A given trooper might have the skills and specialty training, but he is also a ﬁghting machine and a very effective part of any squad. Once assigned, he remains with his unit until he is reassigned by high command. Troopers cannot refuse reassignment, nor is the process open to review; such things occur without his consultation or the approval of the unit’s commanding ofﬁcer.
Unit assignments are designed to maintain an effective ﬁghting strength in as wide an area of the Federation as possible. Troopers are allowed to request a given assignment, but there is no guarantee of compliance with that preference. If a neodog handler requests assignment as part of the Europa garrison but a unit patrolling the Skinny Quarantine Zone needs his skills, he is sent to deep space instead. A trooper must go where SICON needs him. Protests can be ﬁled and made a part of a trooper’s military record, but these are rarely acted upon at an administrative level.
Federal Military Service Oath
“I, being of legal age, of my own free will, without coercion, promise, or inducement of any sort, after having been duly advised and warned of the meaning and consequences of this oath, do now enroll in the Federal Service of the United Citizen Federation for a term of not less than two years and as much longer as may be required by the needs of the service. I swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the Federation against all its enemies on or off Terra, to protect and defend the Constitutional liberties and privileges of all its citizens and lawful residents of the Federation, its associated states and territories, to perform, on or off Terra, such duties of any lawful nature as may be assigned to me by lawful direct or delegated authority, and to obey all lawful orders of the Commander-In-Chief of the Terran Service and of all officers or delegated persons placed over me, and to require such obedience from all members of the Service or other persons or non-human beings lawfully placed under my orders - and, on being honorably discharged at the completion of my full term of active service or upon being on inactive retired status after having completed such full term, to carry out all duties and obligations and to enjoy the privileges of Federation citizenship including but not limited to the duty, obligation and privilege of exercising sovereign franchise for the rest of my natural life unless stripped of honor by verdict, finally sustained, of court of my sovereign peers...
So help me God.”
Surveyed reasons of Recruits joining the Mobile Infantry
Why do people join the military?
According to some cynics, it is simply to wear a pretty uniform and impress the girls (or boys). But is that the real reason?
Most young adults have one or more of the following reasons for joining the military:
Many young adults discover that their parents have planned their whole lives already: where to go to college, what to study, what job to take when they graduate. The wealthier the family, the more likely this is. These youths have just graduated high school. They are sick of being told what to do. The first real choice they have once they turn 18 is whether to enlist. Their parents cannot stop them. These young adults march eagerly into the enlistment centres and demand to sign up. They get angry when told to wait, and want to rush through the process, as much out of nerves as from a fear that their fathers will catch them and drag them home again.
Not everyone has the opportunity to go to college. Some cannot afford higher education or do not pass the entrance exams, and without it their career options are limited. The military does not care how much money someone has. It provides food, lodging, clothing, and equipment for all its members, and trains them as well. For the poor youths, the military may be the only way they can guarantee eating every day, or having clothes that fit, or learning skills that could lead to a real job later. These young adults are often both hesitant and angry. Their poverty embarrasses them and the idea of enlisting is terrifying, yet strangely comforting. They resent anyone asking them to reconsider, or suggesting that they do not belong, and angrily agree to everything without really listening.
Some enlist not because they have to but because they want to. These idealistic youths believe that the Terran Federation is the greatest government in all history and are proud to be a part of it. They want to support the system in any way possible, including dying for it. These youths enlist because they feel the government needs them and because they want to do their part. Patriots are rare and think little of themselves – everything is about the government as a whole. While enlisting these young adults are quiet and serious but filled with an obvious enthusiasm. They are respectful but eager and accept any delays but clearly chafe under them.
Most young adults are interchangeable – the same age, roughly the same height, all in good health, all high school graduates. Each youth has lived less than two decades and so has not yet formed a distinct personality. They are still children and some of them realise this. These young adults wake up one morning understanding that they have no personality, no depth and no colour. They are blanks, faceless mannequins waiting to be moulded by their experiences. The military offers a clear path to provide an identity. During basic training, all of the baby fat is boiled away, revealing the man or woman beneath. Those who survive the training and become soldiers have undergone ordeals that shaped them, and they know who they are now. Each soldier has the same basic skills but a unique personality, forged in part during the training process. These young adults desire that more than anything else. They need to know that they are individuals, not faceless members of the crowd.
The Terran Federation makes no attempt to romanticise the military or its activities. But that does not stop civilians from doing so on their own. Soldiers are considered heroes even in peacetime, because they would lay down their lives to protect others. Many youths grow up with this notion and consider soldiers to be like medieval knights, men and women of chivalry and honour who battle evil and make the world safe for lovely admirers, wise rulers and handsome children. These youths want to be part of that tradition and enlist thinking that they will undergo a cleansing and relaxing ritual. They assume that training is more spiritual than physical and it quickly rids the body of fat and sluggishness, transforming each recruit overnight into a veritable killing machine. These youths stand in the line without even noticing and sign the forms without reading them. Their eyes see other worlds, worlds where they are already soldiers and heroes.
The military will not accept anyone who has a criminal record. But it does take people who have had minor brushes with the law and those in danger of becoming criminals. Though the military is not the ideal way to escape a life of crime, it is sometimes the only alternative. In some cities criminals are offered the chance to commute their prison sentence into military service, though only suitable candidates are given this opportunity. Youths can be reckless and headstrong, however, and some have done things they regret and cannot face. The military protects its own and when someone joins the military their slate is wiped clean. For some young adults – and some older ones – this is the only way to escape being labelled a criminal and punished for one or more crimes.
Finally, many young adults join the military to gain citizenship. Most of the people who live in the Terran Federation are not technically citizens – the Federation relaxed strictures against resident aliens long ago and made true citizenship an elite privilege. People can live their entire lives as resident aliens and never experience any difficulties from their status – many of them grow wealthy and respected. Yet they can never have the full respect of true citizens. Citizenship can be gained in several ways, but the easiest and best known is through military service. Anyone who completes a full term of service in the military becomes a citizen of the Terran Federation. That status does not bring any money, but it does carry respect and can lead to far better job opportunities. For some, being made a citizen is the only way they can hope to survive or prosper.
Music in the Mobile Infantry
Caissons: Marching song at Camp Arthur Currie, one of many SICON training camps.
Le Regiment de Sambre et Meuse: Marching song at SICON training camps.
Marsellaise: Marching song at SICON training camps.
Mademoiselle From Armentieres: Marching song at SICON training camps.
Madelon: Marching song at SICON training camps.
‘Légion Étrangère’: Marching song at SICON training camps.
Halls of Montezuma: Marching song popular at SICON training camps.
Gentlemen Rankers: Marching song popular in Ofﬁ cers Candidate School.
Dirge for the Unmourned: Music played at Mobile Infantry hangings.
Alamein Dead: Common bagpipe song performed by boot camp bands.
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Pages in category ‘Mobile Infantry’
The following 11 pages are in this category, out of 11 total.