WarningCurrent State of the Galaxy: Imperial Military
The following contains information from the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion.
Though both armies have been crippled by resources demanded by Zakuul during the long conflict with the Eternal Empire, they are in a period of recovery following the collapse of Zakuul and The Alliance with the Commander at the head posing as the new major power in the galactic landscape. With Iokath becoming the new conquest for power and supremacy, the Empire has send a large force to try and take over the strange, alien world and combat the Republic's attempt to do the same. Even as both Empress Acina and the leaders of the Republic attempt to ally with The Alliance, the war wages on.
((With the choices available to the player character in Iokath, this has been left intentionally vague and operates under the assumption Empress Acina still holds control.))
After 30 years of war brought about by the return of the Empire and The Great War, the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant officially ended the war between the Republic and the Empire though the truce was a tense one for both sides. The terms of peace were harsh and the Republic ended up surrendering several worlds to the Empire. As tensions mounted across the galaxy, war became an inevitable reality and the war of information became a secretive arms race. Balmorra's rebellion and joining back into the Republic was a tipping point and the dominos began to fall with increasing action in Voss and finally Corellia.
With the forces of the Empire and Republic once more falling into a power stalemate, both planets set their sights on Makeb and though the Republic made initial contact with the planet as it tried to buck it's Hutt leaders, the Empire had already moved covertly into position to take advantage of the strife and make use of the Isotope-5 in the galactic arms race. Once the cooperation of Yavin 4 ended, the Imperial Military once more turned to viewing the Republic as their long-time enemies rather than situational allies. And yet the exposure to the Republic Military and the Jedi that assisted wouldl be a benefit to the Empire as it allowed for a closer look at how the enemy operated in a combat situation. With the war picking up in earnest, the Empire's focus remained momentarily on refocusing their forces and regrouping after the losses suffered in combat against the Revanites, and after the tragedy on Ziost.
The conflict between Republic and Empire was once more interrupted by the arrival of the Eternal Empire into contested space and despite the power that both armies possessed, both the Empire and Republic were overtaken and defeated. Despite attempts to defy Arcann, the Eternal Fleet made any attempt to shake off the yoke of the Eternal Empire impossible. With no way to defeat Arcann, Empress Acina instead turned the focus of the Imperial military against their old Republic foes in pursuit of a war they might win rather than chase an impossible victory against the Eternal Empire.
When the Eternal Empire of Zakuul fell and The Alliance rose to take over the forces and property that had once fallen under Zakuul's flag, the Empire has turned it's attention once more to military gains. Both the Republic and the Sith Empire turned their attention to the technologically alien planet of Iokath and conquest of the resources there in order to gain a tactical advantage as well as replace some of the resources that were drained away by tithing to Zakuul. Despite The Alliance and the uncertainty of their goals and motivations, the Sith Empire continues to combat the Republic for whatever gain they can find.
The Sith are, and will always be, the ultimate masters of the Empire. But this does not mean that people born without an affinity to the Force can never advance to the highest echelons of Imperial society. Those who show merit rise above the rest, whether it's on the battlefield or in determining the most efficient method for transporting supplies. With constant warfare and expansion, there is always room for promotion and plenty of opportunities to prove one’s worth. Advancement brings with it influence and prestige, with full dynasties emerging as successive generations continue to bring further honors to the family name. Still, no matter how high a family may rise in stature, their children cannot coast on past success. Only continuous outstanding service can ensure that a powerful family will remain at the top tiers of imperial society.
Fear is not the only motivator within the ranks as many would believe. Honor, duty, and sacrifice form the tenants of Sith society and - given the survival-of-the-fittest mentality of said society - this applies ten-fold to their military. Imperial troops can be extremely proud of their service as it gives them the chance toward a higher purpose in spite of Force Sensitivity. They serve with absolute devotion to their cause, faith in their commanders' leadership, and stop at nothing short of victory. As a result of their service, the average Imperial citizen is disciplined, dedicated, and highly invested in the success of the Empire. Though not every citizen acts as a frontline soldier or starship crewman, the military mindset is ingrained in every level of society. No one is poor, and no one is idle. Everyone serves.
At the highest tiers of power as with anything else in the Sith Empire, Sith Lords are at the top. Military powers are split into three Spheres of Influence of the Dark Council, but all three work in unison toward their goals:
- Sphere of Defense of the Empire
- Sphere of Military Offense
- Sphere of Military Strategy
Below their Sith masters are those within the Ministry of War, headed by the Minister of War, an appointed position selected from the Empire's elite corps of commanders, Moffs with the Grand Moff as the epitome of service. Moff is not so much a rank as it is a position; they are placed at full command over all other Imperial officers and govern whole regions of space.
The Imperial Military is divided into multiple branches:
- Army - Ground forces (occupation, assault, defense, etc.)
- Navy - Space forces (ship-to-ship combat, starfighter operations, invasion logistics)
- Marine Corps - Infantry forces that serve as security aboard capital ships; equipped and ready to respond to crises around the galaxy within moments; participates in planetary assaults in tandem with the Army.
- Imperial Reclamation Service - Archaeological discovery, collection, and research.
- Special Forces - Elite units devoted to clandestine "black" operations, usually working closely with Imperial/Sith Intelligence (IE: LT Pierce's Black Ops Team)
WarningThe following ranks are not established as canon in any way, and therefore your mileage may vary. They have been created by using existing British military ranks due to a limited canon rank listings, with a Star Wars flair where appropriate.
|Imperial Army||Imperial Air Force||Imperial Navy||Imperial Marines|
Command Sergeant Major
Warrant Officer Class 1
Station Warrant Officer
|Warrant Officer Class 1||Corps Regimental Sergeant Major/|
Warrant Officer Class 1
|First/Master Sargeant||Company Sergeant Major/|
Warrant Officer Class 2
|(No Equivelant)||Warrant Officer Class 2||Warrant Officer Class 2|
|Sergeant First Class||Colour/Staff Sergeant||Flight Sergeant/|
|Chief Petty Officer||Colour Sergeant|
|Staff Sergeant||Sergeant||Sergeant||Petty Officer||Sergeant|
|Private 1st Class||Lance Corporal||Lance Corporal/|
|Able Seaman||Lance Corporal|
|Private 2||Private (1-3rd) Class||Senior/Leading Aircraftman||Able Seaman 2nd||Marine|
|Private||Private 4th Class||Aircraftman||Seaman||Marine|
|Imperial Army||Imperial Air Force||Imperial Navy||Imperial Marines|
|Lieutenant Colonel||Lieutenant Colonel||Wing Commander||Commander||Lieutenant Colonel|
|Cadet||Officer Cadet||Officer Cadet||Officer Cadet||Officer Cadet|
- I don't know anything about the military, where should I start?
Military RP is not terribly difficult to get into as a beginner as long as you keep a few things in mind. Soldiers are disciplined, they follow orders and they respect their leaders. While this is not true 100% of the time, it is a good place to start. Imperial Military service is compulsory so your character may not have wanted to be there, but that doesn't mean they can tell people off, ignore orders, or do whatever they want without consequences. That doesn't make a good soldier character. While it might be fun to play "a rebel", nobody wants a whole military unit full of them. Actions come with consequences. Create a personality and a character and then have them follow orders, interact with unit mates and be respectful and you'll be treated like a good soldier. Be a bad soldier, and get treated like one as well. Be advised that most Military RP Guilds take their theme seriously and military RP in a guild setting may not be a good fit for everybody.
- What are reasons my character might have joined the military?
As mentioned before: service in the Imperial Military is compulsory. All Imperial-World citizens are expected to serve for a measure of time. So this is an easy way your character can be a soldier: it was simply their time. There are other reasons too. From a contested planet? If your character prefers the Empire, perhaps they joined the military to show their support and help their world fall under ordered Imperial control. If they don't like the Empire, perhaps they were pressganged into service as a prisoner fighting force or cannon fodder.
- Are aliens welcome in the Imperial Military?
Though considered 'lesser races' by most in the Empire, non-humans/purebloods are still able to serve. Though they were likely kept to lower military ranks before, the wartime cost on personnel and Darth Marr's guidance have both allowed for openings for aliens at higher ranks than were available before. It would still be rare to see a non-human in a position of total leadership however and most are likely still considered as less than their human counterparts, likely to be looked down upon by human Moffs.
- What about Purebloods?
Non-Force Sensitive purebloods are an interesting situation in the Empire. Seen as a waste by force-sensitive purebloods, they are generally looked down upon as failures since they will never be sith. That does not mean they can't rise to power within the military though, and due to their species-heritage are able to go toe to toe with humans when it comes to leadership rights though earning the respect due to them may be more difficult when dealing with Pureblood Sith.
- My soldier is X-years old, what ranks are open to him?
Military ranks are heavily determined by two things. Time in Service is the overall time that your character has been a soldier since their enlistment. Time in Grade/Rank is the time that they have spent in that particular rank. Both are factors when figuring out what rank makes sense for your character to have. This applies to both enlisted and officer ranks. In line with the real world is that you have to be 17-18 to join the military, and this will play into the rank. Discounting Chiss, you won't see 15-year old official soldiers.
Younger soldiers are going to have lower ranks simply because they have not spent as much time in the military and you need experience to qualify for higher ranks. A character in their mid-20s may be anything from a private to a sergeant in the enlisted ranks, but will likely only be an ensign, lieutenant or captain as an officer. Older characters (40's - 60's for example) will be very rare to see in lower ranks, but would be more fitting for higher ranks like a sergeant major, colonel or moff.
Here are some articles that pertain to the US Military and may help to understand the real-world applications of TIS (Time in Service) and TIG (Time in Grade). In both Enlisted and Officer flavors.
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