By Jason Weiser
Thanks to James Boschma, Dan Hebditch, Byrn Monnery, David Gillion and so many others that I wish I could name here. THANKS ALL!
Also, thanks to my lovely wife for all the proofreading help! Thanks Ariella! Love ya honey!
Colonel Mike Harris grimaced; his 175th Armored had been decimated in a simulated engagement with the Brigada Rojo, aka, the 187th Light Mech. They usually won, to be sure, Harris admitted to himself, as he thought alone in the empty TOC track, but this time, dammit, they didn’t use Mex doctrine. He’d rehearsed against that with numerous CPXs and FTXs, including one that had the permanent party at Fort Pickett screaming about what they’d done to the maneuver area, and the adjutant generals of three states losing their minds over the amount Harris had sucked out of the training budget for a two-week deployment to Yakima during summer training.
Then the damn OPFOR had to go and not use Mexie doctrine! He had no idea what the hell the OPFOR was trying to simulate. At first, he’d romped into the OPFOR, they seemed to be making all kinds of mistakes, he’d wiped out their armor battalion in a matter of minutes, but then, they pulled off a masterful back handed counterattack out of nowhere that seemed to know exactly where the seam between two of his battalions was! They crushed both battalions in envelopment, and at the same time, had a LRP team raid and “destroy” his TOC. So, his brigade at a critical time was leaderless and had lost a third of it’s strength, it was a matter of time before the “BRs” rolled the rest up like a cheap carpet and ended the exercise. If Harris stepped out of his TOC track, he’d see the flashing yellow lights of “dead” vehicles as far as the horizon. Harris didn’t care to; the situation map on the repeater screen was enough to mock his failure.
A knock at the troop door startled him; it was Sergeant Plath with the eval team. Good god, what a hot wash up this is going to be! Harris strolled over to the controls for the door. May as well get this over with, his mind groaned. As the troop door came down, he noticed something in the weak light of the setting sun, one of the evaluators had in his hand a TM he’d never seen before “TM 40-1 Kafer Mechanized Operations (Draft)” the cover read.
Harris groaned inwardly again, it was going to be a long night.
The modern US Army is a product of two factors, One, an army that must be prepared for a war at any time with a hostile and seemingly expansionistic neighbor, and the crucible of the Twilight War and how it affected America in general. Factor number two, is an Army that is robust enough to project power on a hemispheric basis. (Some more jingoistic commentators say it’s time for America to get back into the global power projection business) The US Army, for most of its history, has always reflected its society, and as the United States comes out of its isolation in the wake of the Kafer invasion and begins to assume a leading role, the Army cannot help but to change with it.
The Army today is a different creature than the one seen in the Twilight War, with the National Guard subsuming the Army Reserve (due to a needed revision of the entire mobilization structure after a poor initial showing in the Mexican-American War of 2099, the Army Reserve was disbanded and the component units parceled out to various State National Guards.) and fewer constraints put on the use of the Guard by Federal Authorities, combined with the Revised War Powers Act of 2110, which allows for the President to call up any number of reservists when it is deemed by him and approved by the leaders of Congress that a “state of emergency” exists. It is a credit to American democracy that this hasn’t been abused, and in an unexpected surprise, has caused Congress to reassert it’s role in the process America plays in going to war. Congressional approval has been granted for just about every major military commitment since the Twilight War (War was actually declared on Mexico in 2099 and the Kafers in 2300).
The Army’s budget in recent years has become, to its chagrin, a bit soft as the Marines have stolen a lot of the Army’s potential thunder in the war against the Kafers thus far, but with EXSOLFOR’s recent participation in the retaking of Kimanjano and Beta Canum (the 173rd Airborne and 11th Armored Cavalry both won Presidential Unit Citations for their actions on Kimanjano), the Army is now getting some attention. Thus far, it is still very much perceived as a "Marine’s War", but the Army is assuming more of a role as things grind on in the French Arm. Also, there is some quiet thought to the formation of staff studies both at TRADOC and AEFORCESCOM to study just what American responses to a Kafer invasion of Earth might be, but such studies are being done quietly and out of the public eye. (Many citizens of Earth are still panicked over the idea of the Kafer hordes rampaging all over Earth).
Thus the modern US Army is large for 2300, concerning America’s perceived role in the world, but considering her past history with Mexico, the United States is determined to strike first, and with speed. In so doing, the US Army has some of the finest maneuver doctrine in the world, (Although, it sometimes falls flat when it confronts reality, such as in the Central Asian War, which is why the US is very heavily invested in the foreign exchange program in the first place). But with the coming of the Kafers, it is finding that a more attrition-based doctrine may become necessary .vs the Kafer threat.
The United States Army is organized into two components, the Active Forces and the National Guard (which is controlled by the states in peacetime and as such, can be called out for state missions, but many states are reluctant to do so, instead relying more and more on their State Militia and Guard forces, aka: “State Armies” This is another natural outgrowth of the Twilight War, as many states began to see the National Guard as being less “theirs” then the nascent State Guard and militias.). The Army is part of the Department of Defense, which also controls the Navy, Aerospace Force, Marines (A separate service after the 2nd Key West summit) and the Space Force. The current SECDEF is Alex Kirchner, an old friend of President Orsaluk and a long-service Marine veteran. Through the Department of Defense, civilian control of the military is asserted and maintained, and orders pass through the Joint Chiefs, the head of which is Army General Alex Weiss, the former commander of EXSOLFOR, to the Army Chief of Staff, who is currently General Mark Keene.
The Regular component of the Army is organized into 1 Army (2nd) on Earth, with 3 Corps (III, VII and XVIII Abn aka the ART). A similar organization exists for the National Guard, with First Army being the umbrella for five corps (X, MXXXX, IX, XII, and MXIII) and the unusual formation “Joint Task Force Cook”, This is all controlled out of AEFORSCOM at Ft. McPhereson, GA. A separate “admin” corps (VIII) exists for non-CONUS (Continental United States), and it reports directly to AEFORSCOM.
Off Terra, things fall under AMARCOM, who controls two Corps directly (XX and XV) XV is the “admin” corps for the various garrisons for America’s colonial holdings, while XX is also known as EXSOLFOR, whom is the Army’s off-world rapid reaction force, filling the role the ART filled on Terra.
Finally, there is Special Operations Command, which is one of the few “joint” commands that survived the Twilight War. It controls all of the specops capability available to all five services, but some services (especially the Marines) refuse to subordinate their entire SPECOPS community to the control of SOCCOM.
US Defense policy is focused, until recently, on the Mexican threat. Units in the frontline states would fight a delaying action until First Army became organized, and two counterattacks launched, one focused on Phoenix and the other on Los Angeles. The Army had realized that the final phase of the fighting, if it went as planned, would consist of a lot of MOUT and created Assault Brigades in the reserves to be ready to assume the mission, however, their doctrine has never been tested in combat, though there is some pressure to deploy an Assault Brigade to Beta Canum to help clean out the cities on the French Continent there.
However, there has been an unspoken understanding that the real war plan probably consists of something along the lines of a pre-emptive nature. Thus the Americans have a lot of intelligence assets along the border, and the Mexicans, aware of this, tend to advertise their exercises VERY well.
AMERICAN EARTH FORCES COMMAND (AEFORSCOM)- Ft. McPhereson, GA
(CG: LTG Leslie Whitehall)
This Command is responsible for all US forces on Earth and in the Solar System, it reports to the Department of Defense and one of three major commands in the US Army.
First US Army is the controlling headquarters for all Earth-based National Guard units and controls 5 corps and a “Joint Task Force”. There are some army=level assets that are usually parceled out to the various corps to assist them as required.
Directly Controlled by 1st Army:
218th Chemical Brigade (SC ARNG)
278th Air Cavalry Regiment (TN & AR ARNG)
196th Field Artillery Brigade (CO & NV ARNG)
108th Military Police Brigade (NC, SC & GA ARNG)
53rd Military Intelligence Brigade (FL ARNG)
X Corps controls a large portion of the National Guard Units in the Southeast, and has some formations in the southwestern “frontline” states as well. This corps wartime mission is to reinforce the frontline states in case of Mexican invasion and counterattack once it is (hopefully) defeated.
175th Armored Brigade (“Dollar-Seventy Five”) (MD, VA and WV ARNG)
155th Armored Brigade (“Dixie Thunder”) (MS ARNG)
48th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (GA ARNG)
256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (LA ARNG)
116th Infantry Brigade (Light Mechanized) (“Stonewall Brigade”) (VA ARNG)
163rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (MT, SD & ND ARNG)
197th Field Artillery Brigade (KS & MO ARNG)
111th Air Defense Artillery Brigade (NM & NV ARNG)
10th Military Police Brigade (CT and NY ARNG)
26th Air Cavalry Regiment (MA ARNG)
30th Engineer Brigade (Combat) (NC ARNG)
1-501st Infantry Battalion (Airborne LRSU) (NM, CA & NV ARNG)
90th Corps is nominally controlling the “frontline” states National Guard formations. But it is handing that role over to the recently formed 63rd Corps and is assuming control of the mission to see to the reduction of the Phoenix and Los Angeles urban zones in case of war after the maneuver forces bypass them. As such, the 90th has a lion’s share of the Army’s Assault brigades.
86th Armored Brigade (“Green Mountain Boys”)(ME, NH & VT ARNG)
108th Infantry Brigade (Assault) (GA & SC ARNG)
27th Infantry Brigade (Assault) (“Empire”) (NY & MA ARNG)
41st Infantry Brigade (Light) (“Jungleers”)(OR & WA ARNG)
46th Infantry Brigade (Light) (MI ARNG)
66th Infantry Brigade (Assault) (“Black Panther”) (IL ARNG)
29th Infantry Brigade (Assault) (“Blue & Grey”) (MD & VA ARNG)
157th Infantry Brigade (Assault) (CA ARNG)
38th Infantry Brigade (Light Mechanized) (“Cyclone”) (IN ARNG)
116th Armored Cavalry Regiment (“Snake River Regiment”) (MT & ID ARNG)
103rd Field Artillery Brigade (ME & MA ARNG)
164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade (FL & NV ARNG)
90th Military Police Brigade (CA and WY ARNG)
90th Engineer Brigade (Combat) (OR ARNG)
35th Air Cavalry Regiment (KY ARNG)
2-501st Infantry Battalion (Airborne LRSU) (CT & NJ ARNG)
IX Corps controls units in the West, Northwest, Northeast and Midwest, it is a large assignment that tends to tax the Corps staff, but the arrangement has worked so far in exercises. Its wartime role is to act as a strategic reserve and would probably feed its units to other Corps as reinforcements. It can, however and does train to act as a maneuver element.
28th Armored Brigade (“Keystone”) (PA ARNG)
50th Armored Brigade (“Jersey Blues”) (NJ ARNG)
107th Armored Brigade (OH, MS & IL ARNG)
104th Infantry Brigade (Light) (WA & OR ARNG)
40th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) (“Sunburst”) (CA ARNG)
98th Infantry Brigade (Light) (“Iroquois”) (NY & VT ARNG)
150th Armored Cavalry Regiment (WV & VA ARNG)
47th Air Cavalry Regiment (MN, MO & NM ARNG)
138th Field Artillery Brigade (KY, MO & IL ARNG)
631st Air Defense Artillery Brigade (AR, LA & MS ARNG)
9th Military Police Brigade (MA and VT ARNG)
35th Engineer Brigade (Combat) (MS ARNG)
3-501st Infantry Battalion (Airborne LRSU) (NM, OK & KS ARNG)
XII Corps controls many of the units in the Northwest, but with the recent reorganization of the National Guard to get away from the regional corps organization, this has broken down. The wartime mission of XII corps is to reinforce 63rd Corps and as such, all of the units in XII Corps are high-readiness units meant to mobilize in a 10-20 day standard as opposed to the usual 15-30 day standard for the rest of the National Guard.
78th Armored Brigade (NJ, PA & OH ARNG)
73rd Infantry Brigade (Mech) (OH ARNG)
45th Infantry Brigade (Mech) (OK ARNG)
32nd Infantry Brigade (Mech) (WI, IL & MN ARNG)
18th Armored Cavalry Regiment (CA ARNG)
149th Armored Cavalry Regiment (KY & AL ARNG)
57th Field Artillery Brigade (OK, NV & VT ARNG)
135th Field Artillery Brigade (MS ARNG)
169th Air Defense Artillery Brigade (CA & OR ARNG)
66th Air Cavalry Regiment (ND ARNG)
12th Military Police Brigade (NV, NM and UT ARNG)
16th Engineer Brigade (Combat) (FL & LA ARNG)
4-501st Infantry Battalion (Airborne LRSU) (ID, WA & MI ARNG)
63rd Corps mission is simple: assist the Regular Army in the frontline states. 63rd Corps, along with XII Corps will probably be called up before any shooting begins and as such, can be a powerful tool to deter the Mexicans in it’s own right. Like XII Corps, the 63rd Corps is also made up of exclusively high-readiness formations.
33rd Infantry Brigade (Light) (IL & WI ARNG)
47th Infantry Brigade (Light Mechanized) (MN ARNG)
67th Infantry Brigade (Light Mechanized) (NB ARNG)
101st Armored Cavalry Regiment (NY ARNG)
147th Field Artillery Brigade (SD & ND ARNG)
164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade (FL & GA ARNG)
131st Air Cavalry Regiment (AL ARNG)
63rd Military Police Brigade (OK and NB ARNG)
Engineer Brigade (Combat) (NM ARNG)
Joint Task Force Cook is a direct response to the robust Mexican Special Operations capability and especially it’s Amerind formations who can operate both sides of the Southwestern border and blend in easily to assist regular Mexican forces. TF Cook is designed to act as a controlling formation for various units tasked with the mission to suppress these units and as such, has many civilian assets as well, but due to the potential public outcry of letting such a formation exist in peacetime, the taskforce was relegated to the National Guard’s control. However, like XII and 63rd Corps, it too is a high-readiness formation and would probably be called up well prior to hostilities.
84th Military Police Brigade (WI ARNG)
287th Military Intelligence Brigade (CO ARNG)
11th Airborne Brigade (Air Assault) - Ft Lewis, WA
1 B-Team from 3rd Special Forces Group (attached upon
5037th Ranger Battalion (OR ARNG)
Joint Special Operations TF 1 (Attached assets from USCG,
Customs, FBI, DOJ, and US Marshals)
The Second US Army is the controlling formation for all Regular Army forces on Earth and its Solar System. Like First Army, it too controls some specialty formations meant to be parceled out to its component corps when the need arises. Much of 2nd Army’s combat power is focused towards Mexico, but it also controls the ART (American Response Team) who while it has a role in any war with Mexico, also has missions outside of that role in responding to other crises on Earth.
21st Chemical Brigade- Ft. McClellan, AL
325th Military Intelligence Brigade- Ft. Ramirez, NM
9th Air Cavalry Regiment- Ft. Chafee, AR
2nd MP Brigade- Ft. Stockton, CA
4th MP Brigade- Ft. Leonard Wood, MS
1st Field Artillery Brigade- Ft. Sill, OK
75th Field Artillery Brigade- Ft. Stockton, CA
III Corps is the primary frontline Corps facing Mexico, its mission is simple; deter war. Failing that, it is to delay the advancing Mexican Forces until the arrival of the VII Corps and the 1st Army. Its formations are heavy units; many are over strength and their soldiers are well trained and know their missions and the terrain quite well. Next to XVIII and XX Corps, III Corps is a choice assignment for many younger soldiers looking for “action”.
4th Armored Brigade- Ft. Carson, CO
194th Armored Brigade- Ft. Carson, CO
4th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized)- Ft. Lewis, WA
5th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized)- Ft. Chaffee, AR
24th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized)- Ft. Roberts, CA
2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment- Ft. Polk, LA
6th Air Cavalry Regiment- Ft. Chaffee, AR
17th Field Artillery Brigade- Ft. Carson, CO
11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade- Ft. Roberts, CA
3rd Engineer Brigade (Combat)- Ft. Sill, OK
3rd Military Police Brigade- Ft. Carson, CO
1-325th Infantry Battalion (Airborne LRSU)- Ft. Roberts, CA
VII Corps mission is to reinforce III Corps in case of war, and then attempt to hold the Mexican advance until 1st Army arrives and the US can counterattack. VII Corps rehearses this mission annually in the SANDLINE exercises with elements of 1st Atmy (XII and 63rd Corps, and some elements from the other NG Corps). These exercises are held in full view of the Mexican Army and often, Mexican liaison officers are invited to observe them.
1st Armored Brigade- Ft. Knox, KY
3rd Armored Brigade- Ft. McClellan, AL
1st Infantry Brigade (Mechanized)- Ft. Rilea, KS
2nd Infantry Brigade (Mechanized)- Ft. Benning, GA
3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment- Ft. Chafee, AR
21st Air Cavalry Regiment- Ft. Knox, KY
214th Field Artillery Brigade- Ft. Shelby, MS
31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade- Ft Shelby, MS
7th Engineer Brigade- Ft. Leonard Wood, MS
7th Military Police Brigade- Ft. Jackson, SC
2-325th Infantry Battalion (Airborne LRSU)- Ft. Benning, GA
XVIII Airborne Corps is the US Army’s “fire brigade”. Wherever there is any kind of problem the US wants solved and the State Department cannot handle it, it usually falls to the ART and the Marines. These units are often on higher states of readiness than the rest of the Army and each brigade in the corps has a “ready” battalion that can be deployed within 8 hours. In case of war with Mexico, the corps is to be held in reserve, with its assets being used as seen fit.
82nd Airborne Brigade (Transorbital)- Cape Canaveral AFSB, FL
101st Airborne Brigade (Air Assault)- Ft. Bragg, NC
8th Infantry Brigade (Light Mechanized)- Ft. Drum, NY
397th Armored Cavalry Regiment- Ft. Stewart, GA
18th Air Cavalry Regiment- Ft. Rucker, AL
229th Air Cavalry Regiment- Ft. Bragg, NC
230th Air Cavalry Regiment- Ft. Cambell, KY
18th Field Artillery Brigade (Airborne)- Ft. Stewart, GA
108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade (Airborne)- Ft. Gordon, GA
18th Military Police Brigade (Airborne)- Ft Stewart, GA
18th Engineer Brigade (Airborne) (Combat)- Ft. Bragg, NC
3-325th Infantry Battalion (Airborne LRSU)- Ft. Bragg, NC
The only maneuver formation attached to TRADOC, the 187th plays nine months out of the year as the “Brigada Rojo” of the (nominally) fictional “Ejercto de Republica de Azltan” which is really a veiled reference to the Mexican Army. It trains Regular and National Guard formations in a very realistic, tough environment and as such, the NTC has many foreign militaries coming to see just how the Americans train here. In case of a general mobilization, the unit would remain at Yakima to validate National Guard units as being ready for deployment.
The 1-509th performs a similar role to the 187th at Yakima, but trains units in the counter-special operations role, as well as counter insurgency missions, portraying the fictional “Bandera Verde” of the again, fictional “Ejercto de Republica de Azltan”. In its OPFOR role, the unit operates both at Carson and at Ramirez (during Specops selection). Again, in case of full mobilization, it would remain at Carson to train up NG units before deployment.
This Corps exists on paper, and really functions as an administrative command to process various requests by these far-flung commands. In time of war, these commands would, instead, report directly to AEFORCECOM and VIII Corps would disband, and its personnel would be made available elsewhere. Many in and outside of the Army have criticized this arrangement, arguing that the wartime arrangement should be the permanent state of affairs, but the powerful VA congressional delegation has blocked all attempts to do so (fearing closure of Ft. AP Hill wouldn’t be far behind).
US ARMY ALASKA: (CG: BG Louis Mayo)
10th Mountain Brigade (Light)- Ft. Wainright, AK
207th Infantry Brigade (Light) (AK ARNG)
US ARMY HAWAII: (CG: BG Susan Highsmith)
7th Infantry Brigade (Light)- Schofield Barracks, HI
442nd Infantry Brigade (Light) (HI ARNG)
US ARMY Puerto Rico: (CG: BG Richard Ortiz)
93rd Infantry Brigade (Light Mechanized) (PR ARNG)
228th Infantry Brigade (Light)- Ft. Roosevelt Roads, PR
184th Infantry Brigade (Light) (PR ARNG)
B-Team from 12th Btn/ 10th SFG (PR ARNG)
US ARMY MARS: (CO: COL Gary Miller)
3-29th Infantry Battalion (HECTC Cadre and OPFOR)
AMERICAN ARM COMMAND (AMARCOM): - Ft. Powell, TI
(CG: LTG Stuart Schaar)
The American Arm command controls all US forces outside of the Solar System, and is in charge of America’s recent efforts on the French Arm. As such, it is an independent command and has no Army level headquarters, the component corps report directly to the Command.
XX Corps is America’s Extra-Solar expeditionary force and as such, is a popular assignment with young soldiers looking to see the colonies. XX Corps, like XVIII Corps on Earth, maintains ready battalions and exercises constantly. In the French Arm, the training has paid off, though the Army’s maneuver doctrine vs the Kafer hasn’t done as well.
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment- Ft. Powell, TI
173rd Airborne Brigade (Transorbital)- Ft. Patton, EL
17th Air Assault Brigade (Transorbital)- Ft. Powell, TI
25th Infantry Brigade (Light Mechanized)- Ft. Powell, TI
220th Air Cavalry Group- Ft. Powell, TI
20th Field Artillery Brigade- Ft. Patton, EL
20th Military Police Brigade- Ft. Powell, TI
20th Engineer Brigade (Transorbital) (Combat)- Ft. Patton, EL
TF 2-35th Air Defense Artillery - Ft. Powell, TI
4-325th Infantry Battalion (Transorbital LRSU)- Ft. Patton, EL
XV Corps, like VIII Corps on Earth, is mostly an Admin command and has no real wartime role, but unlike VIII Corps, it is useful because it can focus on the minutiae of supporting the various colonial garrison commands and let AMARCOM worry about the larger picture.
US ARMY ELLIS: (CG: BG Mike Shenk)
196th Infantry Brigade (Light Mechanized)-Ft. Patton, EL
177th Armored Brigade (EL ARNG)
TF 3-35th Air Defense Artillery-Ft. Patton, EL
US ARMY HERMES: (CG: BG Dennis Burditz)
197th Infantry Brigade (Light Mechanized)- Camp
208th Infantry Brigade (Light) (“White Wings”) (HE ARNG)
US ARMY KING: (CO: COL Kim Roberts)
199th Infantry Brigade (Light Mechanized) (DNAM)
(KI ARNG)- Camp Cummings, KI
US ARMY TIRANE: (CG: BG Yoshi “Yosh” Kamukura)
81st Infantry Brigade (Mechanized)(“Wild Cats”) (TI ARNG)
193rd Infantry Brigade (Light)- Camp Tyler, TI
56th Infantry Brigade (Light Mechanized) (TI ARNG)
176th Infantry Brigade (Light) (TI ARNG) (Forming, to
be raised by 2305)
TF 1-35th Air Defense Artillery- Ft. Powell, TI
B-Team, 11th Battalion/10th SFG (TI ARNG)
US ARMY VOGELHEIM: (CO: Col Sam Harris)
3-505th Infantry Battalion (Airborne)
US ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND (USASOC)- Ft Bragg, NC
The Army Special Operations Command is responsible for supporting, training and maintaining all Special Operations forces in the US Army, and answers to the joint forces SOCCOM at the Pentagon, but when the units are in the field, they are given to operational control of a given Army or Corps. This can (and does) cause some measure of friction between Spec-Ops and non-Spec Ops officers as to the best use of their assets.
75th Ranger Regiment
1-75th-Ft. Powell, TI *
2-75th-Ft Bragg, NC
3-75th-Ft Cambell, KY
4-75th (Training)- Ft. Bragg, NC
1st Special Forces Group – Fort Patton, EL (“Officially”)
3rd Special Forces Group – Ft. Blanding, FL
5th Special Forces Group- Ft. Stockton, CA
10th Special Forces Group
11th Battalion- Ft Devens, MA (Less one B-Team on Tirane) (MA ARNG)
12th Battalion- Ft Benjamin Harrison, IN (Less one B-Team in PR) (IN ARNG)
7th Battalion- Ft. Riley, KS (CO, KS & NB ARNG)
20th Battalion- Ft McClellan, AL (AL, GA & MS ARNG)
19th Special Forces Group- Ft. Stockton, CA (CA, NV and NM ARNG)
160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment- Ft. Bragg, NC
* The 1-75th Rangers is known as the RRF (Ranger Reaction Force)
The US Army is still very much, a volunteer Army. In its 300+ year history, a sense that volunteers are better than draftees has pervaded the entire US military and registration for the draft is maintained only as a hedge in case of war (though there has been some rumblings about instituting the draft for the Kafer Conflict).
Army accepts inductees from ages 18-34 and they must be of good physical
health (no chronic aliments), a clean criminal record and possess a High
School Degree or equivalent. Recruits are tested for suitability and aptitude
at the recruit depot and then sent to basic training, and serve for a
term of four years, whereupon, they can reenlist for another four year
hitch, or get out and become part of the National Guard for another four
years. The National Guard works the same way, with a four-year enlistment
there, and a choice to either stay in for another 4 years, or get out
and be liable to the Individual Ready Reserve until age 35. (This reserve
is made up of individuals who are called up to fill critical MOSs in case
of war). One can join the National Guard directly, but upon graduating
basic and AIT, the soldier must do two years with the Active forces and
six years with a suitable National Guard unit. In the Colonies, the system
works the same, but basic training is usually done on planet and many
times, RA Drill Instructors do the training. AIT is usually done at Ft.
Powell. (Though this can cause trouble for residents of King).
Officers are chosen in one of three methods, the first being the traditional Officer Academy route through the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. Attendance here is a guarantee that one will be in the fast track of a career as an officer and will have the unofficial “WPPA” (West Point Protective Association) looking over ones shoulder their entire career. They make up 5-10% of the Army’s officer corps. The second route is the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) option, whereupon college students take military science courses over 4 or 5 years of school (depending on course of study) and train during their summers and are commissioned as Second Lieutenants upon graduation. They make up 90-95% of reserve officers and 60% of active duty officers. Next is the OCS (Officer Candidate School Graduates). Candidates from these schools are selected either before induction by a combination of examinations and education or from the ranks by a combination of quality of service, examination and education. OCS lasts 10 weeks and the selection process is ruthless. Perhaps 20% of those attending actually graduate. OCS can be found both on Earth and on Tirane and Ellis. Finally, the Army has a program of direct commission, usually for some Medical and Dental specialties that are usually in short supply.
are sent first to Basic training, which lasts 12 Weeks (though, in wartime,
it can be shortened to 6). After the 12 weeks, the recruit is then sent
to his AIT school, to which he tested for back at his recruit depot. Time
depends on the MOS being trained for, with some of the more technical
MOSs taking almost a year. About 75-85% pass these phases, but AIT is
often more difficult, with those being weeded out being sent to less demanding
specialties. Very few are put out of the Army outright.
graduation from AIT, the new soldier is asked for a choice of duty station,
the Army, within reason, will attempt to accommodate him, but often, assignments
are made to conform with the “needs of the service”, a phrase that will
become all too common to the solider throughout his career. Upon arrival
at his duty station, he will be assigned to a sub-unit and begin to train
with them in the required skill sets needed by the unit (this is especially
important in units assigned to III, XVIII or XX Corps). A soldier can
expect to be on at least one Brigade-level exercise in his first four
years and Battalion and lower exercises occur frequently.
schooling in both leadership development (for future NCOs) and specialty
training are available but usually, a soldier isn’t sent until at least
his second term of service.
officers, the track is similar, after commissioning, the officer is assigned
to a branch of the Army, usually, this is the officer’s choice, but again,
the “needs of the service” can often play a role. The young officer is
then sent to his Basic Course, where like AIT for the enlistee, he is
taught the vagaries of his particular branch. Upon graduation, he is then sent to a duty station,
officers, unlike enlistees, don’t get a choice as to where they are sent,
however, one finds that the better units tend to “poach” the Officer Basic
Courses so as to get the “pick of the litter”.
with enlistees, many officers will attend advanced schools in their careers,
and their Advanced Course for their branch. Often, the Army will order
an officer to go back to school at a civilian institution to gain a post-graduate
degree, often with the Army footing the bill. A French officer once observed
of American officers “Overeducated, under-experienced.” Many American
officers come out of their training a bit doctrinaire and ready to face
the “Mexican threat”, but when faced with the possibility of the Kafers,
find that again, the Army’s maneuver doctrine does not translate well
against the aliens.
The United States is one of Earth's oldest liberal democracies and has gone to war time and time again in the defense of its principles. Its efforts through two world wars made it a superpower until the carnage of the 3rd World War at the end of the 20th Century. There is a strong body of isolationist domestic opinion that America's involvement in overseas politics was responsible for its fall into the Twilight Era, the 2nd Civil War and the loss of much of the southwest to Mexico. This body of opinion remains strongly opposed to American engagement with foreign powers and is always a strong factor in domestic politics.
Today America's foreign policy is of two minds: One is the nationalist school which demands a return to America's "rightful place" in the world and to punish Mexico for the "theft of the Southwest" and the other is the internationalist school which wishes to fully engage America in the leading rank of the starfaring powers on and off Earth. However both schools of though are fully aware of the strong isolationist sentiment which can react strongly if it thinks America is over-reaching herself.
The recent success of the internationalists has coincided with the advent of the Kafer War on the frontiers of the French Arm. America became quickly engaged in the conflict dispatching small but potent forces to fight alongside France in the Eta Bootis system. The loss of a US warship in border skirmishes was overshadowed by the massive Kafer assault into the French Arm proper. Early blunders by the French leadership, and subsequent heavy losses in Marine forces, have caused disquiet across America reinforcing a burgeoning mistrust of France. In spite of the successful French-led Liberation counter-offensive this attitude has lingered and America is increasingly choosing to work more closely with Germany and Britain.
While American forces have acquitted themselves well the inevitable losses have played into the hands of the "nationalists" who wish America would simply stick to defending her own borders. Indeed isolationist pressure groups are calling for the return of American forces from the frontiers. Public support for and pride in US forces and the role they have played is still strong and the internationalists are still in the ascendance.Germany
Relations between America and Germany are good, especially in the wake of Overlord, Both nations have lost confidence in French leadership, but the Americans are more diplomatic in voicing such concerns than are the Germans. The initial shock on the reformation of Germany has passed and the only tensions that remain are about American commercial support of Freihafen and Heidelsheimat. The US has offered Ellis as a place to hold talks about the issue and Germany is mulling the proposal. In fact, relations have improved so much, that Germany has refused to upgrade Mexico’s tank fleet.
Relations between America and Britain have always been good and the “special relationship” is still very intact today, solidified by three world wars. The only strains are that Britain is somewhat closer diplomatically to France than America is, and continuing low-level tensions on Tirane. Intelligence sharing with the British concerning Argentinean ship movements through Clarkesstar is well known and occurs frequently.
America's relationship with France, her oldest ally, is a complicated one. There has been a longstanding friendship resulting from French aid at the time of the War of Independence and America's intervention in the 1st and 2nd World Wars. However French neutrality in the Twilight War, the subsequent emergence of the Paix Français and perceived French high-handedness has always proved something of an irritant both to the ordinary Joe on the street and to politicians in Reston.
In spite of this occasional irritation diplomatic relations with the French have been consistently good. American forces are frequently deployed alongside their French counterparts in time of war and other military exchanges are a matter of routine. In addition the French Union, now Empire, is an important economic and trading partner for America. However in recent years America's smooth relationship with France has become less assured.
The military coup that ousted the 12th Republic and replaced it with a military junta came as a huge shock to America, as did the imposition of monopolistic practices. Indeed Congress reacted by withdrawing from all but a few military links with France, no American troops would fight on the Rhine against Germany, and imposing its own trade restrictions. The election of Nicholas Ruffin eased these restrictions but the subsequent proclamation of an Empire caused even more American bafflement.
The Kafer War has put even more strain on the relationship as French leadership has been lambasted in the press, especially after the mauling of US Marines on Beta Canum and Kimanjano. Much of this opinion is unfair, French troops lost heavily too, but it has become common currency. In military and diplomatic terms the relationship has since improved since the French counter-offensive and with improved intelligence and logistic cooperation. American commanders have lost the instinctive trust of their French counterparts that they once possessed however, and cooperation with other nations has increased.
Despite this the relationship is still strong on a basic level. Trade
and cultural links continue unabated and Americans still glow with pride
when their hard-fighting troops are lionized in the French press.
Canada is still seen by many Americans a plucky little brother and relations between the two states, while good, do occasionally degenerate into name-calling. (The Canadians usually calling the Americans boorish and the Americans calling the Canadians holier-than-thou). The Canadians usually participate in exercises with the Americans and have offered on numerous occasions to negotiate some sort of solution to the Mexican-American question. There have been no takers, however.
America and Australia are among the best of friends and units of both Armed Forces exercise with each other constantly, especially in the colonies. Both have participated in joint operations together and there is very little to suggest that such relations will change.
American-Mexican enmity dates back some 400 years and it doesn’t look as if it will be improving anytime soon. 12’ high fences, topped with barbed wire and minefields and fighting positions on both sides, mark the current border, Shooting incidents, both on land, and in the air, occur at least monthly and both sides often send patrols into the other’s side of the border. In colonial space, things aren’t much better as warships from both nations hassle each other and/or the other side’s merchant shipping. Happily, neither space force seems to be willing to start a 4th war. Mexico, even with the Kafer war looming ever larger, is still seen as the #1 threat and as the Army’s primary mission.
Argentina is seen as a Mexican stooge and many commentators on the Right in America see a potential “Arg-Mex” alliance focused on destroying America and Britain. Scare mongering aside, the Argentinean-Mexican entante has done much to reinvigorate the “special relationship” and make Brazil an even closer ally. There is a real threat of hemispheric war if fighting breaks out along the Rio Plata or Grande. In the colonies, US ships treat Argentinean ships as Mexican with obvious results.
Brazil and the United States are terrified of the de-facto Arg-Mex alliance and are coming closer together on many matters, this close cooperation beginning in the 3rd Rio Plata war. It is such a close cooperation, that there has been quite the battle over the purchase of the AC-12 from France. (This came after a guarantee by France to stop French arms companies from selling to Argentina, but the great French tradition of “cash-and-carry” remains). Some would have preferred purchasing the American M-12 when it became available, but the M9 was dangerously obsolete versus the Argentinean tank fleet.
Texas is both an ally and an opportunity to America. She is close to Texas, seeing as they both have a common enemy in Mexico. But some corners of Texas’s political scene still aren’t nuts about rejoining America either, as dimly held memories of “meddling from the Potomac” are still held as gospel (and proved about every election year in Austin as tons of American money flows into the coffers of pro-American and anti-Mexican candidates). Texas and America have made it clear to Mexico, pick a fight with Texas, and you will drag in America. Seeing as how the last war was a bloody draw for both sides (and some say a loss with Texas leaving successfully), Mexico isn’t eager to repeat the experience, but many in Texas suspect, the next war will see America absorb Texas because the Texan Army might not be there as a force in being by the time its all said and done. (A secret fear of many Texan politicians). Thus, the Texan view is clear, America’s a great friend, but only ask for her help when you really need it, then get her out of the way before she gets too noticed.