The Trooper Order, humanity’s protector and the sovereign government of Mars, is a military organisation founded in 3001 T.C by Colonel Utho von Rothhardt. Since its inception, the Troopers have acted as an army acting on behalf of all mankind. Its sovereign control over Mars, containing the largest human population in space, has allowed it to achieve much of this goal.
The Troopers have a varied structure throughout space. On Mars and the core worlds, Troopers are recruited from the population and trained rigorously in the art of modern warfare. On the frontier, the Trooper outposts and forces don’t have such luxury, and tend to resemble more a disparate militia than a highly trained and organised fighting force.
Troopers reward merit above all else. Promotion is completely dependent on combat experience on core worlds. While this same principle applies to frontier worlds and combat zones, each Trooper does have the ability to promote and recruit in relation to their own rank. This is due to a high turnover in dangerous areas, where formal promotion is unlikely and a chain of command needs to be maintained.
Trainee: A newly inducted Trooper, typically recruited informally on a frontier world. On a core world, a trainee would often be a student at a military academy.
Private: A formally inducted Trooper who has received basic training.
Veterans: Any Private who has seen documented combat is promoted to the rank of Veteran.
Corporal: On the field, a Trooper Corporal will act as a specialist within a squad. They have been trained for a role and have not necessarily seen action. Non-Veteran Corporals are technically lower ranked than Veteran-Privates.
Sergeant (within a squad): Will lead a segment of a large squad, or more commonly designated as a skilled specialist.
Sergeant (of a squad): Leads a small squad of four to fifteen Troopers.
Lieutenant: Leads a specialized squad or leads a segment of a platoon. Also can be given to highly skilled specialists.
Captain/Strike Leader: Leads a strike-team, which can contain up to three squads.
Commander: Leads a platoon of up to three strike teams.
Colonel: Leads a force of up to three platoons or acts as an extremely skilled specialist within a task force.
General (of a force): Leads an army of up to fifty platoons.
Council-General: Member of the Martian High Command. Engages in galactic wide command of the Order.
High Protector: Leader of the High Command and de jure leader of the Trooper Order. Elected by the Council-Generals.
Recruitment (Core Worlds)
Core worlds are highly developed planets with generally well-educated and wealthy populations. Troopers recruit volunteers from core worlds. Many Trooper funded settlements around the Great Terra system and its neighbours are used to encourage generations of Trooper recruits. Conscription is not used in the core worlds, as the high life expectancy of a core world Trooper and the use of syns (drones) has made the practice obsolete.
Training (Core Worlds)
Training involves a strict and advanced curriculum of military science, weapons usage and other specialty courses. The Military Academy of Mars and the Trooper University of Military Science are breeding grounds for Trooper officers. Troopers with lower ambitions and means are trained in virtual reality combat trainers, among basic training provided by the Order.
After completing training, recruits can choose their assignment. They can either join the planetary guard or choose to be sent to a combat operation. The Martian turnover of over a million recruits a year has been more than sufficient to man these initiatives, not including recruitment across the other core worlds.
Equipment is the finest that humanity has to offer. A typical infantryman will be equipped with full-kinetic and energy-proof body armour, Aegis smart-rifles, a wide array of combat gadgets and medical equipment. They are typically deployed from orbit as shock troops, following orbital bombardment by the Trooper fleet (which, while being under the High Command, has its own structure).
Conscription and militias are more common than professional soldiers on the frontier. Generals and commanders on the frontier are often desperate for soldiers, and will press locals (primarily convicts) into service. Volunteer militias are also common. Often, the Troopers are the only employer on many frontier planets, so life as a Trainee or Private is the best option.
Recruits on frontier worlds are lucky to be allowed practice at a range. Sometimes, instructors can provide some semblance of training, but more often, dangers and constant conflict do not allow for such trivialities. Frontier Troopers are forged in fire and often do not live long enough to see themselves promoted higher than sergeant.
When a frontier Trooper does survive long enough to be promoted, they become legendary. One such example is Marshal Rekkie of Zona Nox, who has since become known as the Slayer of Ganymede. Marshal started out as a militiaman for the Troopers on Zona Nox, finally achieving the rank of strike leader. He helped found the Red Sand Rangers, an outfit of Trooper snipers who have since become a formal body in the Order specialising in frontier operations. While life is hard for a frontier Trooper, there are opportunities for the skilled and lucky.
The Trooper Order has an ambitious function and in its service to mankind, it has to sacrifice scruples on many occasions. While the core world army is sufficient to fight humanity’s major wars against alien empires and the ever-increasing threat of the Imperial Council, it cannot be everywhere at once. In addition, the formal training and advanced technology has proven to be a crutch for many core-world Troopers in many hostile environments. For that reason, frontier Troopers, no matter their lack of training, equipment or etiquette, will always be an integral part of humanities’ finest.