British Army: 2300AD
The British Army is currently heavily engaged in the Kafer War, however it is frequently misunderstood by observers. This article aims to clarify some of the ways in which it operates in 2300AD.
Guardsman Stephenson stood at ease in the sweltering sun as the crowds surged around in front of him. The towering Bearskin on his head took his height to well over two metres, and the light glinted off the pairs of gleaming buttons that closed his restrictive scarlet tunic. The Enfield gauss rifle was a dull ache on his arm. The uniform was impressive, ancient - essentially unchanged for nearly 500 years but it was fearfully hot in the summer sun.
Behind the Guardsman was the residence of the Queen in London, surrounded, as usual at this time of year by an never ending stream of tourists. Stephenson, chest heavy with a single row of medals, remained unmoving as many stared at him, took photos alongside him and not a few tried to make him laugh or talk to him. He kept his mind as empty as possible, waiting for his relief which was nearly due, ignoring the ache in his leg and listening to the occasional snatch of conversation.
"They're just toy soldiers." He heard from the crowd. Anger surged briefly but he smothered the reaction before it could show on his face. His mind drifted back to last year and the burning Grasslands of New Africa and the swirling, snarling dogfight of armoured units. The shattered remnants of his company's positions after a Kafer assault. The stink of a close combat fight in the tight confines of a bunker system, a crapaud's obscene face spitting in his as he pinned it to the ground with a bayonet. The shattered, brutalised cities and never-ending lines of refugee colonists. Flame billowing from an evicerated Templer, pulsing in time to the blood pumping from the severed artery of a badly burned Guardsman blown from it. The deep melancholy of returning to Earth in a near-empty troop ship with half a fine battalion dead and buried in New Africa's rich soil. Another little corner of land that would remain forever England.
"All they do is stand there and look pretty. A waste of money." Stephenson ignored him, silently mocking the ignorance of the man. After all the Guardsman was a Coldstreamer, a regiment that had an unbroken record back to its formation as a regiment of Cromwell's New Model Army. Nilli Secundus: Second to None.
The British Army comes under the control of the Ministry of Defence alongside its sister services. It is divided into two main elements, the regular army and the Territorial Army and Volunteer Reserves. The regular army is the backbone of the Army in peacetime and war, composed of long service, full time volunteers it is this force that has forged the reputation of the British Army. The TAVR is composed of part-time volunteers and former regular soldiers and provides the army with a reserve of skilled manpower in times of war. The TAVR provides the army with close links to the civilian community and whilst sometimes dismissed as 'weekend warriors' have their own proud battle honours from many major wars.
These two elements provide manpower for an array of units committed to a variety of roles. The British Army is tasked with force projection on and off-Earth, the defence of the British Isles alongside units from Ireland, the defence of British or allied territory outside the British Isles and in aiding the defence of British colony worlds outside the solar system.
One of the most noticeable elements of the British Army is its regimental system, whereby soldiers will serve with an individual Corps or Regiment throughout their career. Most British soldiers are loyal to their regiments and comrades first, and the wider army second. The regimental system is frequently described as out-of-date and tribal by some observers, but it is a system proved time and again in combat.
British combat units are fairly conventional however, regimental peculiarities notwithstanding. The standard force capable of deployment is the Brigade which is composed of a number of combat units. Although even individual battalion sized units can be deployed, especially on peacekeeping duties, these still require almost a brigade's worth of support assets to keep in the field. Divisions are the major combat formation and can be composed of any number of Brigades. The British Army has a number of Corps HQ which can control Divisions and attached air assets, but these are quad-service organisations designed as theatre commands rather than tactical HQ.
'We have in the service the scum of the earth as common soldiers'
Lord Wellington, 1813
The British Army is one of the largest employers of manpower in the UK and is reliant on a fairly advanced recruiting system to bring in the required number of volunteers.
Recruitment is pursued through three main routes. Firstly is the presence of Recruiting Offices in virtually every town in the UK, these are manned and maintained by all four services and provides a walk-in service. Secondly is a fairly heavy media campaign pursued through both advertising and easy access for journalists to units, especially those on deployment. Special emphasis is placed on maintaining links between the local media and units that are raised in that area. The last route is in frequent visits to educational establishments by recruiting teams.
Volunteers for regular service will be taken through their options and receive advice on terms of service and types of career available. It is also possible for them to visit units on Familiarisation trips to get a taste of army life. If they decide to commit to a career in the forces they will be sent to a Regional Testing Centre where they will be assessed and undergo a range of medical and other tests. The results of this will then be revealed to the candidate who will be told if they will be allowed to try for their particular choice. A 'Fail' at RTC may result in the candidate choosing a different Corps or Regiment, deciding not to join, or deciding to return to RTC at a later date (for example after improving physical fitness.) A pass at RTC will result in the candidate being given a date to go to Phase 1 training and finally officially join the military. Volunteers for TAVR also attend a truncated RTC aimed at ensuring the candidate is medically fit.
The requirements for enlistment depend both on prior education and results at RTC and are dependent on the particular career path. A candidate for a tilt-wing pilot in the Army Air Corps will require both a higher education degree and a successful aircrew test result at RTC for example. Candidates for other units need to be less qualified in general.
The British Army is the only large employer in the UK to recruit non-graduates. It does this in two ways. The first is that it can recruit school-leavers at 18 providing they have a Tertiary Education Deferment certificate, this allows them to serve three years before needing to go onto some form of further education, possibly within the army's ranks. This form of entry is relatively popular amongst young people from the Metroplexes of the British Isles. TED entrants are by and large only qualified for a limited number of roles and most fetch up in infantry battalions. Retention of these soldiers is relatively poor as most leave the army on expiration of their TED.
Controversially the army also recruits even younger Britons. It has a program known as the Army Junior Leadership Scheme which recruits 16 year olds. These then finish their schooling at one of three military-run Colleges around the British Isles, before either joining the army proper at 18 and entering a graduate level education scheme or going to a civilian university whilst on secondment to a TAVR unit. The AJLS is popular with all three colleges over-subscribed, whilst the army finds the AJLS graduates go on to provide nearly 50% of senior NCOs. Some elements within British society despise the scheme claiming it militarises young people.
Aside from these cases the average regular army recruit is around 22 years of age and has finished a first further education degree. Recruitment is strongly effected by employment levels and many join to escape from areas effected by long term unemployment or have been on government training schemes for too long. TAVR recruitment is less seasonal and more effected by local factors. In general military service is well regarded in the country, although this varies with those living near garrison towns distinctly less impressed with the military.
Regular officer recruitment is reliant both on results at RTC, or during service for those commissioning 'from the ranks' and passing the General Commissions Board. Many potential officers have served with the TAVR during their time at university and these make up nearly 40% of serving regular officers. Others come direct to the forces desiring to serve as officers. Some 30% of regular officers have been commissioned from the ranks, an act that is more common in some regiments than others. All British Army officers have spent time training at a Royal Military Academy, usually at Sandhurst but sometimes at New Camelot on Wellon or Heorot on Alicia.
The British Army is allowed by law and tradition to recruit soldiers from a large number of nations across Earth and the colonies. Any citizen of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Commonwealth of Nations (including Australia, Azania, Canada, New Zealand and many others) and the British Commonwealth (Wellon, Alicia and the other British colonial territories) can volunteer to serve with the British forces, subject only to the physical/mental suitability testing which every volunteer undergoes.
Citizens of nations other than these can serve, but only if they obtain a residency qualification in the UK. However this is relatively easy for those who do intend to serve in the forces. A result of this policy is that the British Army is marked by both its regional character and its cosmopolitanism. Non-Britons who which to serve can volunteer at any British Embassy or High Commission and after their paperwork is processed they will be sent to the UK to finish the recruiting process and begin training.
Two special cases exist. These are the Brigade of Gurkhas and the Royal German Legion. Gurkhas from Nepal have served with distinction in British ranks for nearly five centuries. A recruitment and selection process is established within Nepal. The RGL has more recent precedents but has its own recruitment system which feeds volunteers, many of whom are not Germans, into its ranks.
The British Army has a fairly aggressive system of bilateral secondments with other nations. These are most common with the Commonwealth nations; France, America, the Netherlands and increasingly with Germany. However many other nations are also included. Virtually 50% of long service Officers and Senior NCOs will serve a two year tour in the ranks of another nation's armed forces at some time. In return their foreign counterparts are a common sight at British barracks and most units of battalion size will have at least two seconded personnel.
Training in the British Army is run to three phases no matter which Corps the soldier belongs to. Phase One consists of ten weeks of basic training, which for all but infantry soldiers is run in common depots around the country. Infantry soldiers have Phase One run at Divisional Infantry Training Centres. Phase One consists of all the basic elements that every soldier needs to know; from foot drill to simple hygiene, weapon handling to NBC warfare, basic fieldcraft and physical training to name but a few.
Phase Two is run by the soldier's particular Corps and consists of centralised training in the specific skill set required by the soldier to do their jobs. The length of time varies between 6 and 18 months depending on the unit. At the end of this time the soldier will be able to function as a low ranking soldier within their particular speciality. Infantry soldiers train at one of two Combat Infantry Training Centres.
Phase Three training is continuation training undertaken whilst the soldier is assigned to their first active duty unit. During this time they are initially supernumerary, but becoming part of the particular regimental family whilst being trained up. They will be trained both by Cadres within the unit as well as on courses run at Brigade, Division or national level. For example an infantry soldier undertaking Phase 3 training could be trained on platoon level weapons at battalion, be sent off to a hover vehicle driving course, followed by battalion vehicle gunnery and maintenance cadres before being sent away for further AFV gunnery instruction. This period of probation would normally last another 6 to 18 months before the soldier is considered fully trained, if not effective.
Training continues throughout a soldier's career however, and frequent courses are a facet of every soldier's life.
TED entrants aside the standard initial contract is of five years length and can then be renewed for a variety of lengths of time. Enlisted soldiers under the rank of Sergeant can serve for 22 years. There are large numbers of soldiers in most battalions who remain Privates throughout their service and these long service privates are the backbone of most units. Those at Sergeant and above can serve for 30 years before being required to retire.
Officers serve on slightly different terms with length of service being related to rank achieved. This is a somewhat complicated subject but a rule of thumb is that an officer can serve for eight years at a certain rank after which if he doesn't gain promotion he will no longer be required by the forces. However most promotions come much more quickly and those who don't gain them often leave of their own volition. The eight year clause allows the army to retain effective officers who can't or don't want to be promoted.
Those wishing to leave the forces can do so at certain points in their career, usually once every two or three years. If they want to leave at other times they must have a good reason or buy themselves out of the army, at a cost of roughly 6 months wages.
One special clause of note is that for battalions due to serve off-Earth the personnel must have at least 3 years remaining on their contracts or sign an extension. Personnel serving off-world can't buy themselves out, but can elect to remain on-world with another unit until their contract expires. This method has been used by thousands of servicemen over the years to emigrate to the colonies 'on the cheap'. Prior to the introduction of this method the number of servicemen going AWOL on colony worlds was at epidemic proportions, especially at the turn of the last century.
"In my army you'd be working for me."
British NCO to Soviet Colonel, East Germany, 1981.
The British Army is defined in the minds of outsiders by two images; the Guards on parade in red tunics and bearskins and effete public school educated officers. Neither of these are particularly accurate in 2300.
One of the key things to realise is that the British Army is in fact dominated by its NCO corps. Officers have an important part to play in planning and leadership, but NCOs run the Army from day to day and shoulder much of the burden. This devolution of leadership developed towards the end of the 19th century and was entrenched during the Twilight Era when sufficient officers were hard to come by. It is NCOs who set the standards and enforce them, peer pressure keeping each other in line and no good officer interferes with his NCOs. By and large British NCOs are very self-confident and comfortable in taking decisions without reference to an officer and know when to ignore an order.
The British Army of 2300 still has some echoes of the time when purchase of commission was the only way to become an officer. The division between commissioned and enlisted personnel is still relatively marked, although it is one enforced primarily by tradition rather than social class. This division manifests itself in the lack of social interaction between the two groups. However this varies between units, with the Guards being particularly tradition bound whilst units like the Scottish Rifles are as egalitarian as any Australian battalion.
The regimental system is a key part of the way the army works. The vast majority of officers and men will remain with the same regiment or battalion throughout their career, only serving away from it on secondment. This results in a family atmosphere within each unit with virtually everyone knowing everyone else within the battalion. Usually they are recruited from the same geographical areas and have know each other before enlisting. Many have followed other family members into the regiments and on average around 15 sets of siblings serve with each battalion. This closeness does have its downside however and many battalions become insular and disdainful of other units.
British units similarly are convinced of their superiority to units of other nations. They might concead that the Germans have some good units, that French paratroopers have particular merits or that Argentine marines have a fine reputation but they will never admit they are inferior to them. (Although they might, if pushed, agree that a neighbouring battalion from another British regiment might be.) In particular British units serving in the colonies work very hard in trying to maintain their professional standards over locally raised units.
However the benefits of this seemingly archaic system outweigh the deficits. Soldiers fight not for 'Queen and Country', but for their close mates and their battalion. The desire not to let down your friends in your platoon or cause the name of the battalion family to be sullied are strong. Fear of failure is a much stronger motivation than nebulous concepts of nationality or politics in this army. Battalions that have failed on occasions can carry the stigma for decades or even centuries. Soldiers actively desire active operational deployments both to test their mettle and to get away from the grind of the training regime.
The soldiers of the British Army are noted for working hard and playing hard. Exercises and military courses are physically demanding and high standards are expected and enforced. However when off duty it is expected that physically fit young soldiers keyed up for military violence need to blow off steam. Drinking remains as rife in the army as it has for centuries, and is indulged as long as the troops can do their next day's work. It is not uncommon for forced route marches to be punctuated by troops falling out to be ill, then sprinting back to regain their positions. Drinking however often leads to violence and garrison towns are especially marred by this phenomenon at the weekends. Violence between soldiers from different units can be especially ferocious and several have long running feuds.
Due to the regimental and regional nature of the army, slang is very common down even to the battalion level. It is easy to spot a British soldier in civilian clothing by the way he speaks. The most commonly used slang for a soldier is 'Tom', short for 'Tommy' or 'Tommy Atkins' and has been in use ever since the 1st Duke of Wellington came up with the name for a typical soldier. Non-English Regiments from use Jock (Scots), Taff (Welsh), Paddy (Irish) or Johnny (Gurkha). Although these can be considered insults in civilian circles they are common currency amongst the military.
The army is renowned for its ceremonial displays. However these are relatively uncommon as they are usually conducted by active units who have more pressing demands on their time. The exception are the units of the 32nd (Guards) Brigade, normally drawn from the Household Division who do ceremonial duties in the south of England. However these units continue military training and are usually rotated to front-line formations after 12 months in post.
Awards for service in the British forces are very rare, especially when compared to their American or French contemporaries. A British soldier with a single row of medals is a soldier of no little bravery. Even the award of a single medal for gallantry will substantially boost a soldiers reputation and virtually ensure his future career.
The British Army retains a classical rank structure. This is tabulated below for infantry with some differences for other Corps noted:
One thing to note is that British Army ranks are often not equivalent to those in other armies, especially the US Army. For example there is only one sergeant in a British platoon, with corporals doing the job of sergeants in the American equivalent. In the British Army all rank carries responsibility and command of other soldiers.
There are numerous Corps within the British Army, all of these are divided into regiments or battalions. Within the Infantry and Royal Armoured Corps identification is usually to these regiments rather than to the Corps.
The Combat Arms are the teeth services of the British Army and provide its direct combat power.
Royal Armoured Corps
The Royal Armoured Corps controls all the army's armoured units whether reconnaissance or heavy or medium tank. These units are some of the most robust and have exceptional combat power. The RAC includes some very old and famous cavalry regiment as well as the descendants of the original WW1 tank units.
Corps of Infantry
The infantry is the backbone of any army and the British Army is especially heavily slanted towards the infantry. The Corps of Infantry includes all of the famous infantry regiments of the British Army. In spite of all modern technology the well trained, motivated and flexible infantry soldier remains the most versatile combat system on the battlefield.
Army Air Corps
The AAC was liberated after the Twilight War by the removal of the support helicopter role from the Royal Air Force. As a result all rotary wing tactical aviation in support of the army became the responsibility of the AAC. Today they provide scout, gunship and transport assets and are a vital part of the teeth arms with their ability to rapidly influence the battle.
Combat Support Arms
The CS units are those in direct support to the combat arms enabling them to effectively conduct their battle.
The Corps of Royal Artillery
The Royal Artillery contains two separate groupings, the Royal Regiment of Artillery and the Royal Horse Artillery, who differ only in tradition rather than function. They are responsible for the provision of indirect fire support and anti-aircraft defence for army units. The man a range of systems including EM howitzers, long range tactical missiles, hypervelocity surface-to-air missiles and have responsibility for short range tactical nuclear weaponry.
The Corps of Royal Engineers
The Royal Engineers provide the army (and other services) with tactical military engineering support. This ranges from bridging, to obstacle building, to the creation of temporary buildings and water supplies. The RE, like the RA have proved equally capable of fighting as infantry across the centuries.
The Corps of Royal Electronic Warfare and Security
The REWS was formed when the EW remit was taken away from the Royal Signals. REWS is responsible for offensive EW and ESM support at the level of brigade and above. At the tactical level they typically operate alongside recce assets on the front-line and provide a small but vital asset for commanders especially within the Deception Plan. At higher levels these units are involved with the infiltration of enemy Battle Nets, and other communications assets.
Combat Service Support Arms
CSS units provide administrative and logistic support to the Combat and Combat Support arms.
The Corps of Royal Signals
The R Sigs are responsible for the provision of communications support for all army formations at brigade level upwards. Without the Signals it is very difficult for any commander to command his troops. They can provide a whole range of services up to and including orbital communications and mostly in secure formats.
The Royal Logistics Corps
The RLC is the second largest corps in the Army, behind the infantry, and provides all logistical support at the level of brigade and above. Main duties include transport, supply depots and catering support but this extends to rail and port units and includes the army's integral courier service. The RLC also includes Pioneers and local employment cells to provide working parties for rear area working parties.
The Adjutant General's Corps
The AGC has responsibility for administrative (including pay) and legal support for the rest of the forces. The Royal Military Police also come under the auspices of the AGC.
The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
REME are tasked with the maintenance and recovery of the army's equipment. This can range from keeping the RE's stock of generators in working condition, to recovering a broken down Montgomery from Salisbury Plain, to isolating a glitch in the latest TISS software interfaces.
The Intelligence Corps
The Int Corps provides intelligence support to the Army and is focused on human and technical intelligence. This is usually aimed at providing tactical and strategic data to troops and commanders on the ground. They also collate information gathered by soldiers on the ground and act as an interface for intelligence gathered by national means. In peacetime the Int Corps also has a remit to provide security for units in barracks, giving advanced warning of a variety of threats. Int Corps also includes some specialist intelligence gathering units.
The Corps of Royal Medical Services
The RMS was formed from an amalgamation of the Royal Army Medical Corps, QARANC, Royal Army Dental Corps, Field Ambulances and the RAF's medical units. It provides the army and RAF with all their medical services, although the Royal Navy still provides its own. RMS provides a range of services from combat medics on attachment to field units, to armoured Automed units through to large defence hospitals in the United Kingdom in barracks towns.
These are CSS related units that although small, heavily influence training and morale throughout the army.
The Infantry Weapons Corps
The IWC was formed from the Small Arms School Corps, and has much the same tasks as its predecessor. The corps is recruited from volunteers from other units of the army, all of whom are selected for their weapons handling and training skills. The IWC is tasked to maintain the highest possible level of marksmanship, fire control and skill-at-arms with all infantry weapons throughout the army.
The Royal Army Veterinary Corps
The British Army still has a large number of animals in its ranks, from horses for ceremonial duties to dogs for guarding barracks. The RAVC is responsible for the health and training, but not deploying, these animals.
The Royal Army Chaplain's Corps
The RAChC looks after the moral health of the army. It includes officers of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu faiths, one of whom is present with every battalion. Their job is to provide religious services and counselling for those who need it, and to keep the Commanding Officer appraised of the state of morale in his unit. By and large though the British Army is a relative un-religious organisation and in many units Chaplains try to be somewhat ecumenical, and many have become fairly eccentric.
The Royal Army Education Corps
In 2300 the RAEC has a vital role to play. It provides access to all sorts of non-military education courses for the soldiers and monitors their progress. Without this help many of the army's key recruiting and retention policies would begin to fall apart, with devastating effects on the manpower strength of the army. This doesn't prevent the RAEC's job being an often thankless one.
The Corps of Army Musicians
The British Army has a large number of musicians within its ranks. These are either combat soldiers trained to be musicians (such as the Drums Platoons found in most infantry units) or specialist musicians who are also trained to act as medical orderlies in time of war. The corps provides centralised training for musicians.
The Army Physical Training Corps
The APTC is responsible for maintaining the army's standards of physical fitness. With a very sedentary population they often have their work cut out bringing recruits up to basic fitness levels. APTC also trains volunteers from other units to become Physical Training Instructors as well as training its own dedicated personnel. The APTC is also involved in organising sporting competition throughout the army and is the centre of excellence for unarmed combat.
The British Army is a combined arms organisation down almost to the sub-unit level.
The British have two Corps headquarters, I and II Corps, drawn entirely from British resources. There are a further three, III, IV and V Corps based respectively on Wellon, Alicia and New Africa which have British and Commonwealth personnel. Corps HQ are combined arms units that have RAF and RN elements within them. They are theatre commands rather than tactical headquarters units. Currently II Corps is deployed to the French Arm to command Commonwealth Expeditionary Force mobile units in the Beta Canum Cluster.
There are currently 8 mainly regular divisions and 12 mainly TAVR divisions in the British order of battle. Of the regular divisions two, 1st and 2nd Armoured Divisions are heavy formations equipped and tasked for operations in heavily urbanised Europe. There are four hover armoured divisions; 5th Armoured Division is the reaction unit for Earth and 4th Armoured its counterpart on Wellon, 3rd and the newly formed 7th Armoured Divisions are deployed to the French Arm against the Kafers. The 1st Light Division is an infantry heavy unit dedicated to colonial soldiering, intervention and peacekeeping duties. It has been heavily engaged in fighting with the Kafers. The 6th Division is a composite force tasked with the defence of British interests in the South Atlantic against Argentine aggression and is based on the Falkland Islands.
Of the TAVR divisions, the 19th and 20th Mechanised Divisions are kept at relatively high readiness levels and are equipped with last generation AFV. These units have been called upon to take up extra duties since the deployment of the 3rd Armoured Division to the French Arm. The remaining ten divisions are regionally based light infantry formations on the French model and are little more than reinforced brigades. However they have been used as a source of volunteer replacements for their linked regular battalions fighting the Kafers.
Currently there are 6 independent regular brigades (although this number changes frequently as brigades and divisions are re-grouped) and 5 TAVR independent brigades. In general these units are kept at higher readiness than other units and have specialised taskings such as rapid reaction and peacekeeping. All of the divisions and brigades are composed of units drawn from across the whole range of the Corps and Regiments.
There are a number of forces based around the world and in the colonies that are closely associated with the British Army but are not a formal part of it. The relationship between the British Army and the Irish Army is a close one with the Irish making much use of the economies of scale available with using British facilities. As a result units on the British and Irish establishments serve in each others ranks virtually interchangeably.
On Earth the Falklands Islands Defence Force, the Hong Kong Defence Force, the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and other smaller forces depend on UK forces for training and other support to varying degrees. The Royal Gibraltar is for all intents and purposes a British regiment, whereas the HKDF only uses seconded British personnel in key areas such as artillery and air defence.
Lastly the defence forces of British colonies, known as the British Commonwealth, are closely tied to the British Army and resemble it in many ways. However they are separate establishments. The advanced Wellon Army exchanges battalions with the British Army to maintain standards and exchange ideas between the two forces.
The United Kingdom is an especially crowded place with over 100 million people living cheek by jowl. Consequently space for training is at a premium and new barrack construction is rare, which has resulted in the British Army being based in the same locations for many hundreds of years. Some key locations include:
The 'Home of the British Army' since the 19th century, Aldershot was destroyed by a nuclear warhead at the end of the 20th. It was rebuilt in the 21st and remains an important site, totally dominated by the military. Today 'Aldershot' actually refers both to Aldershot and several towns in the area like Camberly, Sandhurst, Pirbright and Farnborough that are also home to the military. Aldershot is a depressing place, rebuilt in strictly functional style it is decaying badly whilst the large number of soldiers leads to frequent violence during off-duty times.
The area is home to the 1st Armoured Division, 17 (SE) Mechanised Brigade and 56 (Home Counties) Division and a host of minor units. Key training establishments in the area include the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (in a more picturesque part of the area), the Parachute Regiment Training Depot (which is not) and the Guards Division Training Centre.
The area of Sennybridge and Brecon in the mountains of South Wales is one of the key training areas for the British Army. The area is renowned for its tough terrain and appalling weather. The only unit based here is the HQ of 53rd (Welsh) Division but is also home to the School of Infantry which runs several key promotion courses. All infantry NCOs and officers have passed through Brecon and been held to its standards as a centre of excellence. Courses at Brecon are more akin to the US Army's Ranger School than promotion courses in other armies. The SAS also run frequent training in the area of Brecon.
Catterick Garrison is located in the North Riding of Yorkshire in the foothills of the Pennines. It is at the centre of one of the larger training areas in the country and an impressive range complex. The area is home to the 2nd Armoured Division, whilst the 16th Air Assault Brigade is based just down the road at Dishforth. Catterick is home to one of the Infantry Training Centres and many infantry soldiers do their basic training there.
Salisbury Plain in the west country county of Wiltshire is the largest training area in the UK and has been used for centuries. Surrounding the Plain are garrison towns like Warminster, Tidworth and Larkhill. The Plain is used especially for training in artillery and other long range weapons. The area is home to the 1st Light Brigade, 20th (SW) Mechanised Brigade and 43rd (Wessex) Division whilst other units like the 3rd Armoured Division and 1st RGL Brigade have been deployed to the French Arm. Training units include the School of Royal Artillery and the School of Infantry's Support Weapons Wing.
Otterburn is a large training area on the England-Scotland border. It is has harsh terrain, and poor weather, even by the standards of British Army training areas. It is not home to any major units but it is frequently in use with units based in the north of the British Isles.
British Army characters born on Earth can choose from the normal list of Core skills but with the addition of Swim and Melee. Those joining from AJLS (16) or TED (18) schemes must spend 3 points on an academic skill (for these purposes a primary skill) in the first term. All other entrants (21+) will have 3 extra background points which must be spent on academic skills to reflect their university education.
This is a real life example of the prejudices held within the army about other parts of the forces today. However I don't doubt it would hold entirely true for the British Army of 2300AD.
British Army 'Actions On' when encountering a Snake.
Infantry: Tracks snake through undergrowth
with blowpipe (which doesn't work). Snake smells them and
leaves the area.
Copyright 2009, D Hebditch