Land Force Command, more commonly known as LFC and to foreign power as the Terran Army is the largest military branch of the Greater Terran Union when compared to Air Command and Fleet Command, with several billion personnel active at any time, even during peace, its generals and marshals responsible for a far greater percentage of the national defense budget and human lives than the more prestigious Terran Navy. It is the largest formation of armed soldiers in the Galaxy, outstripping the size of every other FTL capable civilization by several degrees. When Deployed the LFC uses a combined arms doctrine in which the enemy's forward defenses are broken by overwhelming force, at which point fresh, uncommitted mobile operational reserves are sent to exploit the strategic depth of an enemy front.
A major defining feature of the Terran Army is its stubborn refusal to adopt genetic engineering or cybernetic enhancements in their soldiers, instead relying purely on the natural capabilities of the human species and later alien species allowed to enter its ranks. They are responsible for all the victories the GTU has obtained, their ranks are respected and is the occupation many poor people choose after there conscripted service ends, as it gives them a chance to rise in the social ranks and see the galaxy. The Army itself has two primary missions. Capturing planets, and maintaining population control of planets. Considering just how vast any planet is, this has led to a military service of unprecedented scale, both in size and capability.
Training, Organization and Structure[edit | edit source]
Prior to the Terran-Compact war terms of service ran for around 4 years and followed the 20th century model. Unlike those pre-Tyrum armies however, it was soon discovered that the vast distances involved combined with the need for more comprehensive (and longer) training made it impossible to honor such a limited time commitment. One division of troops that had been raised in the outer rim spent almost a year and half traveling to the front lines, another 6 months in orbit and then forced into another 4 years of peacekeeping duties before spending another year and a half going home. The loss of moral caused by extending the accepted term over 3 times what was initially agreed on came to be viewed as counter productive. Because of this the Terran Army moved away from functioning under principles of individual personnel assignment or short term volunteer contracts, adopting instead a structure and training regime more akin to that of the Roman Empire. This is a necessity as the GTU found itself having to control territory over vast distances using massive numbers of soldiers, and ended up facing dilemmas very similar to those of Rome. Pre-tyrum military structure was not just unfeasible, it was quite literally impossible as the vast distances involved made moving around units smaller then divisions a logistical and bureaucratic nightmare. . As such, a term of enlistment in the Army lasted for 12 years, with the first two years serving for basic training, either as an officer or enlisted. All recruits enlist as basic entrants to the service and are then directed onto an officer or enlisted track following evaluation of their skills. The initial 2 years are spent to ruthlessly weed out those incapable of being Terran Soldiers, while simultaneously exposing the recruits to a myriad of different combat conditions from close quarters combat on space stations, arctic warfare, combat in an entirely toxic atmosphere, and the training regimes capstone exercise, a full combat drop from orbit. Fatalities were expected and frequently occurred during this training period, with as much as 10% of the class dying or being injured beyond repair (either physically or psychologically). A recruit may at any time be permitted to leave training during their first 2 years, as the service has no desire for those who themselves think they are incapable, though "washouts" carry with them severe social stigma, inability to achieve high citizenship tiers and also are barred from reentry. During times of national emergency, a Draft may also be instituted and citizens forced into the training program. Even then however standards are not relaxed and a recruit may still opt to abandon the program, though in this case they will be relegated into forced labor positions to support the war effort and markedly lower tiers of citizenship.
Those recruits who make it through training will graduate as a unit at the Company level (approximately 1,000 soldiers) Each of the Companies in turn will be combined to form a battalion (10,000 soldiers), which in turn form brigades (100,000 soldiers) and finally a full division, made up of 10 brigades for around 1 million soldiers. Each company of the Terran Army is specialized, so there may be an entire company of Armored soldiers, another light infantry, another of Atmospheric Aircraft pilots and so on. The companies are then organized into various battalions to serve that battalions over all purpose (be it support, armored, artillery, atmospheric etc) and then slotted into Brigades. While a Brigade is nominally intended to be able to deploy on its own initiative and fight under any condition, it is the Division that is the principle unit organization of the Terran Army, and Fleet Command designs its massive troop transports with this in mind.
The Divisions are formed brand new from the massive pools of recruits who graduate, with most recruits rising in authority based on ability. The Division will then spend anywhere from 2 to 5 years training as a cohesive unit before it is approved for combat operations. It rare, but not unheard of for a division to never be approved for combat at all, though in the few instances where this happens results in the general and his staff being thrown in prison for squandering resources, and punishments of varying severity for the entire division ranging from prison to tier reduction. For even the lowliest of privates. During time of war companies that sustain too many casualties are disbanded and slotted into a replacement company drawn from a graduating recruit class. Something considered non ideal but necessary to keep the division combat ready during war.The most skilled of the new recruits will be either Company commanders at the Captain rank or the companies Squad NCO, a Staff Sergeant. Higher ranking soldiers, Major for the officers and Platoon/Company Senior NCO's Sergeant First Class and above, are granted to soldiers who sign another 10 year term of service at the end of their previous term of enlistment. In the case of the NCO's this is done to insure the newly minted Captains and Lieutenants have a steadying experienced hand to teach things that cannot be taught in training. Promotion for officers during their first 10 years is rare and only comes upon their approval of a second term, which can be denied if the service decides it has no use for such soldiers in higher ranks. The 10 year term is by no means a solid one, as all soldiers ultimately serve at the needs of the Union, and in time of war a term of enlistment can be extended, especially if a unit needs to be transported from one end of the Union to the other. Without jump drives such a journey can take over a year. As such ground command frequently refuses to count time spent in Stasis pods as counting towards a term of service, and during longer wars some soldiers have seen their terms extended for an additional decade or even longer.
Promotion is based on need and ability with far more turnover in the enlisted ranks then the officers. The Ranks of Staff Sergeant, Sergeant and Corporal often frequently being given and lost based on need, or happenstance. The Army also has a special rank of Warrant Officer. Warrant Officers are members of the Army who are given broad authority within the service but are not considered part of the regular combat formations and may not have even gone through basic recruit training. A Warrant officer may, for example, be the captain of a massive divisional troop transport, a scientist in an Army run research lab, or an intelligence operative attached to the Army. All ranks are ultimately granted at the needs of the Army and there is no solid rules governing promotion, with commanders given broad authority to pick the ranks of their subordinates, with the caveat that should their picks fail to handle the responsibility the failure will fall in equal measure both on the officer who failed, and the officer who confirmed them for that position.
The Divisions themselves are often frequently organized into Army groups that can range in size from a 3 divisions to in the case of the invasion of the Xani homeworld of Core during the War in Heaven, 900 divisions. The size of an Army Group itself is based solely on the needs of the moment and not any set standard. Regardless of size however they are all commanded by a 4 star general, with General Ranks below that being given to a division commander as a reflection of that particular commanders ability. The Terran Army has no sub organization between Division and Army group such as Corps or Regiments. Such ad hoc formations are created on the fly as combat dictates, where multiple divisions within an Army group are required to coordinate with each other. In which case the senior ranking division commander would command the overall operation.
At the end of a Divisions 10 years of service the unit flags and standards are retired and presented to a new graduating class of recruits to carry on the legacy should Land Force Command determine a units legacy is worth continuing. It again rare for such a dishonor be given to a unit, but over the centuries many divisions have been permanently retired, their failures deemed too great to overlook and thus be foisted onto a new graduating class. Those soldiers in the retiring division deemed suitable for higher rank are permitted to serve another term of service, this time as the divisions senior cadre of officers and NCO's, thus allowing a continuity of tradition between the soldiers of the prior term and the new. It is very rare for any soldier to be permitted a third term of enlistment, and was usually a privilege granted to those at the General Officer rank, or its equivalent NCO Rank of Sergeant Major.
Equipment[edit | edit source]
Terran combat equipment has changed over the centuries to reflect new technology, but remains largely the same throughout its history in form and function, if not necessarily the same configuration. All soldiers are issued a Hand Held rifle, Combat Armor, and a Blade for close quarters melee. Early in its history the equipment would not have seemed out of place in a movie on 20th century combat, with the rifle being little different from the M and AK Variants used by the United States and Russia that fired projectile bullets. Even by the 27th century the Terran Army had not abandoned kinetic rifles for energy based ones, though the SI-2513 assault rifle which entered service during Operation Starhammer was not some crude chemical projectile weapon but rather a hand held Gauss gun that fired microscopic slugs at relativistic speeds. The small size of the projectile allowed for a single cartridge to be fired over 50,000 times before needing a reload, and had a variable power intensity where the soldier could select the speed at which it was fired based on circumstances, be it to rip into defenseless flesh or punch through a wall of ceramacrete. The Combat Armor and Blade likewise saw improvement, going from crude carbon nano-fiber weave to powered nanite supported plasteel capable of increasing the strength of the user and self repair both of the armor itself and the soldier within it. The most modern variants even allowed for unsupported orbital reentry of the soldier in question.
The blade, which started out as a variant of the K-Bar to its modern configuration of a short sword with a mono-filament edge which is again supported by Nanites to keep it perpetually repaired and sharp. It came as a surprise even to Terran Combat planners for the ancient sword as a weapon to make a come back, but it was rapidly discovered through accident and practice that firing off weapons, even less powerful energy based ones within the confines of orbital habitats and space stations led to "very bad things" happening...like sudden atmospheric depressurization. As such hand held melee weapons made a surprising comeback, and when combined with powered combat armor that improved the strength and speed of the wielder became just as deadly as the rifle in certain situations. Some of the more fanciful weapons designers have even experimented with energy shields resembling medieval era kite shields.
Beyond that the Army maintains a host of atmospheric aircraft from fighter aircraft, rotary blade helicopters, landing craft, tanks, mobile artillery, and trucks. Many of which, while highly sophisticated in their armor, weapons, propulsion and onboard targeting systems are largely indistinguishable from their 21st century counterparts. This is largely due to the concept of "not reinventing the wheel". Things like inflated tires, tank treads and overall design have a largely eternal appeal in both functionality and use, and the introduction of things like anti-grav plates to cause the tank to float was viewed as largely unnecessary and created another failure point on the vehicle. As well as massively increasing its expense production and complexity of repair.
Ranks[edit | edit source]
|LIST OF RANKS||DESCRIPTION|
|Recruit||Basic entry for anyone joining the Army. All higher ranks are conferred on the title during training such as "Recruit Private" or "Recruit Lieutenant". They will be given formal Rank they hold a the end of the training as far to the Captain upon graduating Land Force training.|
|Private||Lowest grade of soldier available. Often gain unfair reputation as a "punishment rank" despite repeatedly told by the Land Force the contrary, on account of being given worst peacetime jobs or most dangerous wartime mission on regular basis.|
|Private (Second Rate)||Also known as Seccie, is considered the standard rank for the masses of soldiers. those who held this rank are often seen as exceptional in many way and often trusted to at least do the task they are told to despite holding no formal responsibility|
|Private (First Rate)||Also known as Firstie, is considered an expert in whatever his task is and will often tasked with supervising other lower ranked privates. as well as given better privileges and accommodation|
|Corporal||Lowest level of NCO. A Corporal is usually the second in command of a squad, the smallest Land Force formation ranging from 10-20 soldiers|
|Staff Sergeant||Squad commander, but considered more competent/senior to a Sergeant. First Rank where an enlisted soldier may appear in Battalion, Brigade or Division staff.|
|Sargeant First Class||Senior NCO in a Platoon, advisor to the Platoon Commander, or member of a unit staff. May also a senior NCO of a Company|
|Master Sergeant||Senior NCO in a Company or Battalion. May also appear in Army Group staff|
|Sergeant Major||Senior NCO in a Brigade, Division or Army Group formation|
|Major||Assistant Battalion Commander|
|Lieutenant Colonel||Battalion Commander|
|Brigadier General||Junior Division Commander|
|Major General||Senior Division Commander. Those held rank above Major General are part of General Staff|
|Lieutenant General||Either a senior Division or junior Army Group Commander|
|General||Commander of an Army Group or strategic support unit commander, such as recruit training, R&D, logistic etc.|
|Marshall of the Land Force Command||Overall Commander of the Land Force Command that doubles as the member of National Council|
History [edit | edit source]
Strategic Ground Command can trace its earliest existence back in the Tyrum-Invasion of Earth - when it was made up of various loose-tied paramilitary organisations called the Joint-Defense-Committee. It was when the Battle of Titan was over, that Strategic Ground Command was officially formed by the provisional government at the time (Although it has no real power as former nations retained their armed forces. SCG was simply a symbolic entity). Once Humanity was able to reach the stars - Strategic Ground Command was fully funded and was given the authority to maintain and control a fully fledged army to represent Humanity.
The traditions and structure of the Army would be drawn from those of "The Big 6", which represented the Armies of the 6 major global powers to maintain combat cohesion for the duration of the war, even, as in the case of the United States of America and India, with their official governments total collapse. They were India, Brazil, The North American Commonwealth, the Russian Federation, Indonesian Republic and the United Kingdom. The Armies of China, Japan, Korea, Australia and the European Federation were largely destroyed along with much of their respective populations in the opening months of the war. In the Case of the USA, Canada and Russia, they were largely saved by heroic actions attributed to two respective units that maintain division formations in the GTU to this day. The Canadian 2nd Armored, that decisively defeated a Tyrum Swarm at the Battle of Boise, preventing the capture of the provisional North American Headquarters in Edmonton (as well as the grateful American population of Boise itself); And the Russian "Tomoskya Division" which halted the Tyrum advance at the Battle of the Dnieper.
The modern Terran Army is considered formed during the Wessari Annexation, which marked the first orbital drop under combat conditions by Terran Soldiers. To this day, an orbital drop remains the capstone of Terran Army training. A common misconception is that the Terran Navies "Space Marines" are the landing forces on planets by the Terran military. The Naval Infantry attached to Fleet Command does not in fact conduct orbital invasions of other planets, but is instead used for intership boarding actions, counter boarding, and base security.
The seizure of the Wessari home world, as well as ever increasing colonial expansion led to the realization within the National Council that capturing territory would not be enough. Holding territory would also be required, as well as determining just where the administrative boundaries between the Army and the Navy actually lay. Prior to the outbreak of the First Terran Compact war, Fleet Command made a strong push in the National Assembly to take control of all space mobile soldiers, arguing that orbital operations and invasions should naturally fall under its own purview, and that the Army should function more as a Garrison force to hold the ground after the Navy had moved on to its next target. The lobbying effort succeeded in getting the Assembly to approve such a structure, but the National Council rejected the proposal, fearing that this would give the Navy far too much power and present a potential risk for insurrection. It is bad enough that a rogue admiral could bombard a planet. Worse if he had troops that could capture it outright. Instead the National Council went with a solomons solution. The Army would handle both ground garrison duties and orbital invasions, but Fleet Command could keep its Naval Infantry for its own uses, and be responsible for the construction and design of the troop transports. The crews of the transports however, would be drawn entirely from the Army.
Today the duties of a Terran Soldier can by myriad, and anything from being assigned to a defensive division on a colony world and functioning largely like a well armed police officer, to being dropped from Orbit by Fleet Command onto some Xenos infested hell world that lacked an atmosphere even breathable by a human.
|Armed Forces of the Greater Terran Union|
|High Command||Union High Command|
|Main Services||Land Force Command | Air Command | Fleet Command|
|Component Services||Fleet Command Naval Infantry | Union Fleet Aviation|
|Independent Servics||Strategic Command|