THE IMPERIAL STATE ARMY
“In the end, there were two reasons behind the collapse of the Cascadians. They had no generals, and they had no soldiers.” - Adrian de Sarkozy
With the collapse of the Legion of the Seventh Empire, so too did a period of immediate martial decline begin. From the Haeseni Declarations of 1719 to the infamous Podophile Affair, it had long become obvious to the Lord Protector that the status quo was no longer tenable. It was with this motive that he began collecting the great military minds that still remained in Imperial borders; from Rhenyari commanders to Kaedreni strategists, the military complex of the Empire under his Protectorate soon expanded tenfold. His untimely death, however, would mean his new model army would not be completed during his tenure, and indeed the martial prowess of the Crown soon stagnated once more.
With the completion of various civic engagements, and with the creation of a modern, capable fighting force from which both the current Empire and all successors may derive the projection of military might and peacekeeping ability now urgently required, the governing bodies of the Holy Orenian Empire have seen fit to implement and expand the Imperial State Army which is formed to be more cohesive and reliable than feudal levies, but avoiding the tyranny and weakness of central Imperial legions of old.
The seven core principles of the ISA as detailed by the late Lord Protector Adrian de Sarkozy are as follows;
FOR CROWN AND COUNTRY
Within an Empire dedicated to the uplifting of Man, there can be no greater cause for its citizenry than the salience of said Empire; it is therefore the highest duty of the soldiery to ensure a lasting peace through their loyalty to the Crown and, by extension, the State which it governs. As an Empire of Oren rightly governs the affairs of men, so too must men defend that governance against the heathen hordes of upstart realms, and prove through action the stalwart nature of the peoples of the Empire.
The uplifting of the culture of the career soldier is, in many ways, long overdue. The tragedies of the War of the Two Emperors, from peasant massacres to the slaughter of noble children, need not be repeated by regimes present and future. Commanders of men must garner respect both with the blade and the quill, in the field and at home; as such, it must be so that the officer is also a gentleman, a hobbyist, and, most importantly, a faithful Canonist.
ESPRIT DE CORPS
The chief separating measure of civilized nations and pagan hordes is the existence of tradition and chivalrous conduct; men of Oren are hardened just as those of wasteland tribes, but so too are they able to best their foes in diplomacy and court. A strong man needn’t be unkempt; a learned man needn’t be weak. The Orenian soldier is able to wield the weapons of his homeland, understand the reasons behind just conflict, and sustain through his existence a modern and continuously progressing society, whilst still remembering that which makes the Empire most unique; its long and varied histories.
There is no greater importance to the Crown and Its dominion than the maintenance of a strict, cohesive and clear chain of command which he shall rule over within the Imperial State Army.
The Crown reserves for Itself the role of Commander-in-Chief of the Army, retaining such a role entirely of Its own purview. Additionally, the Crown commissions all officers, through the delegated role of the Secretary of War.
In peace-time, Colonels act as the autonomous heads of their regiments, answering only to the Crown and Its respective delegates. Colonels in turn request the commission of their lesser officers, namely Captains of brigades.
Captains lead brigades, the primary organization of troops within the Imperial State Army. They elect Lieutenants to service as their deputies, also commissioned officers. The least of all commissioned officers is the Ensign, who is assigned to particular brigades, and thus regiments as a whole.
Below the commissioned officers are the Regulars of the ISA. The Regulars form the bulk of the fighting force, and are the day-to-day soldiers that serve with valor. Within the ranks of the Regulars, Sergeants serve as the highest rank of the enlisted, officers without commission. Below these officers are Corporals and Privates, and below them all, the fresh, green Recruits.
In the event of war, the Ministry of War, known shorthand as the War Office, may elect to appoint Imperial Generals. When a general is raised during wartime, they are assigned a number which dictates their hierarchy in the chain of command - the 1st General supersedes the 2nd, and so forth. The War Office can also instruct Imperial generals to maintain authority within certain regions, ensuring like-minded cultures and peoples are kept in cohort for maximum efficiency.
All Imperial generals, upon their ascent, are granted a baton of service along with standard-issue colonel attire and begin as one-star generals. With notable triumphs, innovations, and victories, the Crown may elect to raise them two-stars, three-stars, and so forth; however, billet always comes before rank, and thus a two-star 3rd General will be lower in the chain of command than a one-star 1st.
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE AND MISSIONS
The Secretary of War has for himself a number of staff, among these the Chief of Operations and the Chief of Intelligence.
The Chief of Operations ensures the Imperial State Army has an ample directive of missions and operations to maintain productivity and opportunities for advancement, along with coordinating brigades to execute military strategy. In addition to this, the Chief of Operations maintains a mission board, a collection of tasks and operations which commissioned officers are expected to finish using their troops.
The Chief of Intelligence ensures that the Imperial State Army maintains effective communications internally and to the Empire at large by declassifying biannual action reports, along with collecting military intelligence.
Soldiers are expected to serve in peace as well as war. Collectively, the Army is allocated to the various provinces of the Empire where necessary to service in administration and public works projects when requested by local authorities. The first of these projects, Camp St. Michael, has been completed for several years; another, the Ault Highway Towers, serves as another reminder of the quick-minded efficiency of ISA engineers.
Additionally, commissioned officers are expected to be the highest of civil servants. The sprawl of the Empire and its influence requires men to implement its machinations, and these officers are called for that purpose. Commissioned officers are expected to find work in the Imperial Departments to add to their everyday duties within the Army; ranging from diplomatic work in the Foreign Office, writing for the Office of Civil Affairs, and property management for the Home Office.
It is said that swords alone do not win wars. There are labourers required for every facet of a blade; ironworkers to fashion the steel, leatherworkers for the grip, woodworkers for the hilt. Thus all soldiers of the Imperial State Army are expected to learn a trade when serving, for both their enrichment after service and during.
Additionally, officers may assign soldiers billets, a specific duty station which transcends the regular chain of command. Billets assign particular roles that soldiers are expected to maintain; such as siegemaster, cook, or paymaster-general.
A colonel serves as the sole chief of a regiment, a sizable collective comprised of several brigades. A regiment is usually organized according to geography, and serves as the largest division of troops within the Imperial State Army. As such, the rank of colonel is the highest command in peace-time. Regiments officially bear the nomenclature of numbers, such as the 1st Regiment or the 2nd Regiment (and so on) yet are frequently appelated with nicknames in order to better identify them.
There shall be one Colonel per regiment; however, in the event that a Colonel is promoted to the position of Imperial General during war-time, he may elect a Lieutenant Colonel as his second-in-command, to aid in the command of his home regiment while he sees to the entirety of the front
With the total command of a regiment in their hands, the duty of a Colonel is immense in nature, and therefore the widest in scope. Colonels lay out the grand strategy that their men shall follow. They are charged with the creation of plans for both present and future, such as the fortification of entire provinces, or the movement of armies in war.
In the absence of war-time Generals, Colonels are the highest-ranking members of the Imperial State Army. All officers long to one day bear this rank, with the prestige and wealth it entails.
Darius Sabari, Colonel of the 1st Regiment, Helena Regulars
Godwin de Reden, Colonel of the 2nd Regiment, Kaedrin Grenadiers
A Captain serves as the sole chief of a brigade, the immediate sub-division of a regiment. These entities are more specialized and smaller, with several brigades coming together under the authority of the higher colonel. These brigades, commanded by Captains, typically have formalized names, such as the Nauzica Brigade.
Captains maintain the Imperial State Army beret of command, along with a gold pin of office. If a Colonel or Lieutenant-Colonel also leads a brigade, he is styled commander of said brigade, to avoid discrepancy of rank, and for all brigades that he would oversee, he is also styled commander.
There shall be one captain per brigade.
Captains are in the primary administrative role of a brigade. They are charged with the total upkeep of their respective brigades, from upkeep of supplies, housing of soldiers, and recruitment of fresh men. A Captain is expected to be a model for his men to follow, and his morals are to ever-scrutinized.
A Captain is also charged with maintaining the discipline of his men. They supply all the necessary training they see fit, and mobilize brigades in times of war.
Lieutenants are the primary assistants for a captain in the management of his particular brigade. He is often entrusted with matters of administrative significance as well as assisting in command. A lieutenant is the lowest rank that may bear the Imperial State Army beret of command. Within a brigade, lieutenants are often ranked in seniority to dictate their chain of command - in that way, there is often an informal title of 1st lieutenant that serves as the Captain’s right-hand man and holds seniority over his peers.
Lieutenants are often given particular billets in addition to their commanding rank. These billets lend the Lieutenants towards particular roles, and are organic in nature, being given out and taken away by Captains at their discretion.. There are numerous examples of Lieutenant billets. These include quartermaster, drillmaster, and taskmaster. Quartermasters are charged with the upkeep of resources to a brigade. Drillmasters are assigned to lead sessions of training, and in disciplining of soldiers when the necessity arrives. Taskmasters are charged with the assignation of particular missions to soldiers when on duty.
An ensign is a junior officer, often a noble cadet, who has been freshly awarded his first commission from the Crown. He is not expressly in command of any particular force, though is allocated to a brigade (and hence a greater regiment by extension) and is expected to advance his career by showing his superiors his nascent prowess in military command. Accordingly, ensigns are often tasked with jobs that require a low level of commanding authority, including the control of small groups of regular soldiers for special assignments or miscellaneous administrative or logistical tasks. To be commissioned as an ensign is representative of an entry into officership, and the beginning of one’s rise through the ranks. There is no limit on the amount of ensigns that may operate within a brigade or regiment.
Ensigns are tasked with leading a small group of soldiers in non-stressful situations, handling paperwork, bureaucracy, and managing rabble in the absence of other commissioned officers. Additionally, Ensigns are expected to be the face of the Officer Corps’ in its micromanagement of the enlisted men as their numbers allow them to carry out many of the orders delivered from upper command.
A sergeant is the highest rank of enlisted in the Imperial State Army and often begets years of grizzled service. While an ensign may have command over them, a Sergeant often possess the wisdom and experience to serve as a non-commissioned officer and aid them in their charge. Sergeants often serve as the disciplinarians, quartermasters, or in rare-cases, even stand-bearers of their troop, keeping order and executing for the brigade as officers plan directive. For large enough brigades and regiments, it is not uncommon for a First Sergeant or Sergeant Major to be appointed, to be named as the chief enlisted among the troop. Sergeants are afforded a ribbon to distinguish themselves during active duty.
Sergeants are the best of the best from the pool of enlisted men. Often representing those who cannot qualify for the Officer Corps, they make up the pool of non-commissioned officers. Many of their duties are similar to those of an Ensign, but their experience and combat prowess mean they function in a much more forward role, and are delegated to command in combat or stressful situations far more often.
Corporals are regarded as veterans of service, having been bloodied or tested in multiple times and proven their worth as leal professional soldiers. They are entrusted with more duties and responsibilities than their Private counterparts and hold some degree of command over them, often guiding them through their duties and training. A Corporal has usually begun to specialize their talents in a few key civilian and military skills, often proving as indispensable pieces towards a brigade’s overall success. They are first rank that are permitted to their awards of service upon their uniform during active duty.
Corporals are the far more veteran enlisted men. Almost certainly with combat experience under their belt, they’re expected to be the basis of morale when Officers cannot provide. Though not leaders per se, they provide leadership to the enlisted men by means of example, and are expected to take the lead in situations where less experienced men may slip up.
Upon the completion of basic training, an oathed regular can now be named an official member of the Imperial State Army as its lowest rank of Private. Privates are entrusted basic duties of service and begin to explore the various facets of imperial service to see where they may best hone their talents. As a result, most privates are expected to specialize in a myriad of talents or skills to better serve the military as well as fulfilling their basic duties and directives by their office corps. Some of these duties range from smithing, tanning, drumming, estate management, guardwork, specialized melee and weapons training, sapping, siegework, ranging, medicinal arts, riding, athletics, tactics, training, path-finding, spotting, engineering, construction, trade, prisoner management, tracking, hunting, sapping, signalling, trumpetering, voyaging, sailing, chemistry, and so forth - any talent that the corps would need, it is expected a Private to begin that task of fulfilling it.
Privates are the bulk of the enlisted, as well as the bulk of the Army. They carry out daily tasks such as gate duty, foot patrols, armed security, and law enforcement. Though their tasks often seem menial, these men are the backbone of the Empire.
Fresh recruits undergo a two year training process before being oathed and raised to private. During this time, they are exposed to the rigor and discipline of state military tradition, along with a nascent education in Orenian society and culture. They have not yet formally enlisted into the military, and thus as a result, do not have the right to wear the landsknecht regulars uniform or for that matter any military regalia.
Recruits are freshly conscripted soldiers, still learning, proving their allegiance. Recruits are expected to shadow Privates and other Regular superiors, as well as receive training from their commissioned officers.
THE FIRST REGIMENT
“Nothing Above the Empire.”
“If the cities of Oren were women personified, by all accounts Felsen would be the lovely barmaid, gregarious, earthy, and kind, easy to laugh with and love. Her tantrums and fits of anarchy, all said and done, lacked the gravitas of anything more than a tavern brawl.
Johannesburg, in stark contrast, would the magnanimous queen in her regalia, dignified and proud. She would bear a long neck adorned with jewels from every province of the known world and act so vain as to turn to ice before letting a man beneath her station lay a hand upon her.
But neither would be as fierce as our dear Helena. For the blood of two-hundred thousand suitors crashed against her walls, and she only beamed prouder than ever, laughing at their fancy...”
An excerpt by Simon Basrid in ‘An Ode to Bedlam’, 1733
Colonel Darius Sabari of the 1st Regiment, Helena Regulars
THE SECOND REGIMENT
“Evil be to him who evil thinks.”
Find the Second Regiment's gazette here.
Colonel Godwin de Reden of the 2nd Regiment, Kaedrin Grenadiers
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