- "Why must we have Marines? Because though we aspire to live in peace, to aspire is not enough. Even if we can avoid being drawn into the civil war that rages in the Republic's passing, the galaxy will not be kind or forgiving. Even in the absence of declared war, we will need a sword. For there can be no peace unless we keep peace in our corner of the galaxy, and that means being able to go out to the stars to feed the starving, stand between the squabbling, and to shed the blood of those who would prey upon our aspirations to build a great society. And should war come to us, we will need the means to fight beyond our borders, to stand on enemy soil, and break their means to fight. For all of these jobs, these brave souls are the best we have."
- — Dergan Roj, Admiral of the Republic Navy, Founder of the Union
The Union Marines are part of the Caspian Democratic Union's fighting forces, and closely tied to the CDU Navy – technically, they are the Navy's infantry arm, but yet maintain a highly distinct culture from their Navy bretheren. Not all Marines are infantry, but all must meet the standards and code of conduct. The Marines stand guard on Navy ships and bases, and carry out boarding and landing operations. The Navy meanwhile transports the Marines to areas of operation, and supplies the vast bulk of administrative and support functions.
They trace their lineage through Admiral Roj's fleet to the military of the Old Republic, and are fiercely proud of their traditions, and their role as the Union's shock troopers. They also tend to be the least Caspar/Sarian-centric of all branches of the CDU military.
Though one of the smaller branches of the Union's fighting forces, the Marines are very much an elite entity. Training is among the toughest in the galaxy, and they receive the best equipment available. They are equipped with a variety of weapons to execute a variety of roles, including (but not reserved to) ship assault, ship defense, installation assault, installation defense, and guard duty over internees or interests. A typical rifleman, for example, fights in powered combat armor to improve strength, mobility, situational awareness, and survivability, and may be equipped with a variety of heavy weapons. And it is a point of honour that every Marine, regardless of role or rank, must meet the basic standards of a rifleman.
Marine recruits can be of any species that meets physical and mental requirements.
Sarians are somewhat under-represented in the Marines, leading to some occasional accusations of discrimination against Sarian enlistees. In practice, the Marines are essentially indifferent to Sarian culture and sensibilities — as they are to those of any other species. Unlike other branches of the CDU military, such as the Navy or Provincial Army, the Marines have no ancestral line to trace within Sarian history. A typical Sarian would experience a severe degree of culture shock should they join. They will be commanded by, and serve alongside, aliens that some would even consider unapproachable or barbaric. They will be shipped off to far-flung locales, many with inconceiveable environments. Lastly, they will be trained to be masters of a startling level of violence. All in all, the new Sarian recruit is disabused of the notion that their idyllic homeworlds are the center of their moral, ethical, and psychological universe. This makes Marine life a daunting prospect for the average Sarian, and many wash out when faced with it.
Conversely, the Marines attract a lot of recruits from more far-flung locales. Among the Caspian worlds, Kichnar contributes proportionally more than Caspar or Mergansar, despite a smaller population. Rauther and Krittain, which have the most martial cultures of the CDU, contribute quite heavily. The Marines also recruit many sentients found normally outside the CDU, including ex-Imperial and ex-New Republic personnel. In practice, most anymosity is completely dissolved, largely because their comrades won't tolerate it. Whatever a recruit was before, a Marine is a Marine.
As much as the Marines are willing to induct any sentient that meets their standards, Wookiees are almost entirely unknown. Though the martial prowess of the Wookiee would theoretically be valued, the Wookiee way and the Marine way of fighting have proven quite contradictory. Philosophically, it is a matter of fury versus discipline. Physically, it is a matter of the Wookiee aversion to wearing clothes, versus the wide variety of Marine missions which require some manner of armor, if not a full vacc suit.
The Marines are first and foremost an arm of power projection. They are trained not with combat on the Caspian Homeworlds in mind, but for expeditionary warfare, and structured around the delivery of combined arms task forces to distant targets. In practice, only a small portion of the force is actually stationed on the Homewolds (Caspar itself is typically afforded two or three Regiments, despite its strategic importance), with the bulk deployed to the frontiers, the Fleet, or pre-positioned in deep space.
Postings aboard warships of the Fleet entail three primary roles: ship-to-ship assault & defense, ship-to-structure (on-planet or space installation) assault, and assistance with naval gunnery. Upon far-roving frigates, such as the Shearwater class, the entire Marine detachment aboard has been trained in the operation of the turbolaser batteries and laser cannons and will be frequently found staffing, assisting, or readily adjacent to these vital positions. On the larger vessels — expressly the carriers, battleships, and battlecruisers — a few Marines are still placed with the turret and HOWL crews, but most are assembled into action teams and stationed at key points throughout the ship as well as near the hangar bays housing the lifter craft.
- Lieutenant General — Spoken as "Leftenant General".
- Lieutenant Colonel — Spoken as "Leftenant Colonel".
- Lieutenant — Spoken as "Leftenant", or among peers, "El-tee".
- Second Lieutenant — As above.
- Fleet Sergeant
- Gunnery Sergeant — Informally referred to as "Gunny", or far more rarely "Guns".
- Section/Technical Sergeant — Serves as assistant leader in a platoon.
- Sergeant — Leads a squad.
- Corporal — Leads a fire team.
- Lance Corporal — Serves as assistant leader in a fire team.
- Private First Class — Alternately "Marine". Grade given to a fully trained enlisted man.
- Private — Alternately "Marine". Grade given on completion of Basic Training.
- Recruit — Grade applied to basic trainee. Never referred to as "Marine."
Uniforms & Equipment Edit
Affiliated Units Edit
- Marine Aerospace Division — the flight operations arm of the Marines.
Additional Notes Edit
- One Krittish contribution to Marine culture has been the Krittish Warpipes. The instrument has oft been derided as producing a sound resembling that of various small animals in extreme pain or distress. Nevertheless, it has leant a distinct sound to many Marine marches.
- Marines may be called upon to escort or safeguard Crest interests or dignitaries, upon which they may be directed by a PRISM Agent. This is the only time wherein a Marine is under the command of someone not in the Navy or Marine ranks.
- Bases are maintained in a variety of locales, to give recruits opportunities to train in diverse environs, and to be exposed to other cultures of the Union. While some locations are located close to major cities, many are located far from the public eye. In the Caspian system, the former is manifested by the citadels at Trinumvira and Groton on Caspar, while the latter can be found in the sprawling network of bases and camps on Kichnar's moon of Sahkjalin. Despite taking up 34% of Sahkjalin's surface, and serving as base for the bulk of Marine units in-system, the reservation consists mostly of empty space where not many people are around to object if something blows up at odd hours of the night. Camp Virta is one of several bases in the Sahkjalin Military Reservation, notable for being the point of where basic training for all Marine recruits enlisting in the Caspian system. New recruits are told that if they wish to desert, they need only walk away... and that's it's only 600km to the closest transit stop. Other major bases are located at Spittsbury and Braemar on Krittain Major, Antrim on Krittain Minor, and Camp Berglund on Rauther, among others.