The Imperial Marines
marinesbadge.png

“And if the Marines were killed, just what would my fleet have been able to do?” The admiral slammed both fists against the desk. “I'd have had no choices at all! … If you’d lost your command I’d have blasted this planet into the stone age, Blaine. Aristocrat or no, don't you ever put anyone in that position again!”

Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle The Mote in God’s Eye

Imperial Marines commandos

The Empire's sole military force is the Imperial Marines Corps, a department of the Imperial Navy. It consists of about 450,000 of all ranks, and is organised into about 245 regiments. A great deal of the administrative and logistical work of the Marines Corps is done by robots and AI computers; heavy fire support is provided by the Navy. All the actual marines are forward-echelon commandos, gunners, medics, and other skilled military tradesmen. So every marine is a commando first — in the sense of actually serving in a commando action team before progressing to specialist tasks. Every marines officer starts his or her career as a commando platoon commander in the field.

It is important to appreciate that the Imperial Marines Corps is a special operations unit, not a conventional army. Unlike the US Marine Corps or the Royal Marines, Imperial marines are not trained, equipped, or organised for sustained combat operations or frontal battle against regular troops. There are three reasons: interstellar shipping of military “heavy iron” (artillery and armour) would be prohibitively costly; the Senate would never allow the Empire to maintain a force capable of conquering one of the populous and advanced worlds; in any case the Empire shrinks from the slaughter of conventional war. Rather, the Imperial marines are like the SAS or US Navy SEALs: lightly-equipped but highly-trained special operators who undertake (1) brief, high-intensity operations involving the decisive use of limited force against critical targets, (2) stealthy operations for counterterrorism, special reconnaissance, and strategic sabotage, (3) security and inspection operations in space, and (4) ceremonial guard duties for Imperial diplomats. Imperial Marines usually seek to evade rather than confront enemy combat elements. The Empire sends marines where orbital laser bombardment and drone strikes would be impractical or too indiscriminate, and sometimes so that bombardment will not become necessary. Marines are the less lethal alternative to orbital bombardment; their purpose is to limit death and destruction; they are the Empire's arm of restraint.

Imperial marines’ purpose is to use violence surgically, in critical circumstances, and often in delicate environments fraught with innocent bystanders. A marine has to be able to make a good decision about whether to kill someone, and then if necessary kill him or her without hesitation or excitement, and not be damaged by doing that. The selection standards for Imperial marines recruits therefore emphasise even temperament, practical intelligence, adaptability, emotional stability, and resilience. The result is that Imperial marines are nothing like the stereotypical soldiers of mass-recruited, under-trained, under-paid, short-service militaries. There are no aggressive meatheads in the Imperial marines, no rigidly-disciplined aye-ayeing automatons hounded to their tasks by bullying sergeants. Typically intelligent, circumspect, decisive, and calm, Imperial marines are well-paid, highly-trained, often very experienced, unflappable, professional practitioners of the controlled use of violence.

Imperial Marines are mostly recruited from the colonies. Recruiting standards are super-exacting; the average world has nearly a billion population and supplies nineteen recruits per year. Initial training is intense and superbly designed; it lasts for two years before the young marines joins their regiments. Each marine serves eleven to fifteen years as a commando private: in marines detachments aboard Imperial Navy ships, in the garrisons of Imperial residences dirtside, and in the divisional reserve for intervention operations and peacekeeping. Only after that is the marine retrained or cross-trained as an artificer, gunner, medic, pilot, observer, sapper, or NCO. Like other Imperial servants, marines are provided advanced anti-aging treatments and first-rate medical care as part of their remuneration; this allows very long careers — retirement is not compulsory until the age of eighty. As a result marines expect only very slow promotion; marines who get stale in one military trade are re-trained in another rather than being promoted or discharged. Reaching compulsory retirement aged eighty — after perhaps 62 years of training and service — a marine is still in vigorous and healthy middle age, equivalent to a fit and well-cared-for fifty-year-old today. Taking into account losses, early retirements, and the continual expansion of the Corps, the average Imperial marine is a 21-year veteran with three years of training and thirteen years of service as a commando, plus specialist training and five years of experience as a medic, sapper, electrician, mechanic, military cop or some such; he or she is physiologically about thirty and at the peak of strength and prowess.

Organisation of the Imperial Marines Corps

General Headquarters

The general headquarters of the Imperial Marines Corps is located at the Capital, and includes the General Staff, the Academy, the Staff College, and the War College. Because of slow communications and the absence of any grand-strategic challenges it is involved almost entirely in procurement, resource management, development of doctrine, standards, and the training of officers. The only troops it actually manages are the regiment stationed at the Capital for ceremonial and security duties. Most of the administrative routine is handled by computers, and at a complement of about 3,000 the General Staff is remarkably small as such things go.

The head sarang of the Imperial Marines Corps is the Commandant, an O-11 marshal.

Divisions

The Marines Corps’ operational units are organised into twenty divisions. Each division corresponds to a sector of the Empire, and has its divisional headquarters at the Sector HQ. Divisions are responsible for recruitment, training, and promotion of enlisted marines as well as intelligence, plans, the supply and interstellar transport of deployed of units, and other operational matters. The divisional staff is largely made up of the field-grade officers and senior NCOs of the regiments that are serving as a number of small detachments in warships and the garrisons of Imperial enclaves. A division HQ includes the offices of the divisional staff (usually located in the SHQ, an Imperial orbital habitat), barracks for the divisional reserve (leased, on the planet that SHQ orbits), several training bases on at least three planets, and at least one orbiting training base. The general officer commanding each division is an O-8 vice-general, who answers both to the sector commander in chief (usually an O-9 admiral) and to the General Headquarters.

The strength of a division is made up of a number of regiments of marines. 1st Div. (Central Sector) usually consists of twenty regiments; the outer sectors’ divisions have various strengths, depending on the number, population, and conditions of the colonies in them. Average strength of an outer division is eleven regiments. Typically, about 27% of the division is deployed in small units as garrisons for Imperial residences; the senior officers and NCOs of these regiments serve on the divisional staff. Another 27% of strength is divided into small detachments aboard naval spaceships; the engineering and hospital companies of these regiments are often seconded for disaster relief work, their senior officers and NCOs serve on the divisional staff. Roughly 36% of strength is held in the divisional reserve or deployed on intervention actions — invasion and peace-keeping duties. About 10% of divisional strength is typically in transit or training, or on furlough.

Regiments

The Marine Corps is made up of 245 regiments, to which total about five new regiments are added each year. An Imperial Marines regiment is a self-sufficient formation including specialist support troops; each has its own engineering, hospital, reconnaissance, and recovery companies. Nominal strength is 84 officers and 1,636 other ranks (not that any actual regiment is ever at nominal strength and organised by the book). The commanding officer of a regiment is an O-6 colonel. The regiments are formally known by their numbers and identified by colour-coded tactical recognition flashes, but each has a distinctive nickname and its own battle honours, anniversaries, heroes, distinctive customs, marching tunes and so forth.

Regiments are regularly rotated between different sorts of deployment and transferred from division to division. Ideally, the pattern is for a regiment to arrive in a new sector, retrain for public duties and spend four to five years in colonial garrisons, retrain for orbital operations and spend four to five years in fleet detachments, retrain for infantry operations and spend four to five years in the divisional reserve (and taking part in interventions), then transfer to another division. Ideally (but seldom in practice) a regiment spends fifteen years in a sector of the Empire, replenishing its numbers with local recruits, then moves on to another sector. It therefore consists of four or five age-classes of marines who were recruited in different sectors. Individuals are occasionally transferred between regiments or seconded to other units, but as a rule a marine expects to be assigned to a particular regiment as a boot private or greenhorn ensign and to remain in that regiment until he or she dies, retires, or gets promoted out the top of the regimental structure. Regiments are the largest units to which a marine is permanently assigned, and after a while his or her particular regiment becomes in effect a marine's home-world and community.

Appendix: Structure of an Imperial Marines regiment

Detachments and deployments

Garrisons in Imperial residences

When a regiment is deployed to “public duties” it is broken up into detachments that serve as guards in the Imperial enclaves on the colonies of the sector. The marines’ role there is to secure the Imperial enclave against infiltration or riot, to provide bodyguards for Imperial officials, to perform ceremonial guard duty, if necessary to protect Imperial servants in outpost facilities, to rescue hostages from kidnappers and terrorists, and to give the Imperial resident an option for direct action short of requesting naval bombardment. Marines prepare for their first rotation to public duties in a divisional security operations school (“riot school”). Training for this type of deployment concentrates on crowd control, hostage rescue, human terrain scouting, and ceremonial drill.

Marines garrisons range in size from a platoon (1 officer and 31 other ranks) to a full regiment, depending on how dangerous the colony is and how many people the Empire has working on it. Garrisons often have a small detachment of each type of support troops (combat engineers, electrical & mechanical engineers, fire support, intelligence, medics) attached to them. When a regiment is broken up for garrisons its senior officers and NCOs serve on the staff of the division.

Detachments aboard Imperial Navy spacecraft

When a regiment is deployed to “fleet protection” it is broken up into detachments that serve aboard naval spaceships in the sector. The marines role there is to board spaceships and orbital habitats for inspections and so forth, to provide security for landing parties, and to give the ships’ captains options for a more delicate use of force than fusion bombs and orbital laser bombardment. Marines prepare for their first rotation to fleet protection in a divisional fleet operations school (“drop school”). Training for this type of deployment concentrates on the use of vacc suits and personal rockets, operations in free fall, and the dreaded meteoric drop, in which marines are dropped from orbit in personal re-entry capsules.

Ships’ marines detachments range in size from a commando section (8 marines) aboard a frigate to a commando company (5 officers and 105 other ranks) aboard a battleship. While its commandos are in ships, a regiment’s senior officers and NCOs and its supply and admin units are seconded to the divisional staff. The regiment's hospital company, engineering company, reconnaissance company (aviation), recovery company (electrical and mechanical engineers), provost platoon (military police), and signals platoon (IT and comms techs) may be used instead in humanitarian relief operations.

Divisional reserve and intervention forces

When a regiment is rotated to the divisional reserve it is supposed to be consolidated in a base at SHQ to regroup and reorganise, train and modernise, perform ceremonial guard for the sector C-in-C and the high commissioner. It is supposed to be sent, or to have its subunits sent, to scattered colonies for intervention operations (i.e. invasion or peace-keeping) only in emergencies. In practice the emergencies are frequent and the marines are overstretched. In a typical 4–5 year posting to the reserve a marine will be in an average of 1.6 interventions, consisting of an average of 45 days of offensive operations and 2 years of occupation each. Marines prepare for their first rotation to divisional reserve in a divisional infantry school (“battle school”). Training for this type of deployment concentrates on infantry tactics in combat and peacekeeping, the management of combat robots, and infantry specialities such as scouting, marksmanship, and the use of section heavy weapons.

Detachments for even minor interventions are usually at least a reinforced company (about 6 officers and 136 other ranks). It is not unknown for an intervention to require a several regiments, in which case an ad hoc brigade will be formed with a general officer in command. In some cases a large intervention or peace-keeping force will consist of myriads of troops supplied by a colony or colonies. In such cases an Imperial Marines general officer will be placed in command and supplied with a force of marines to act as role models and stiffeners.

Commissioned officers and other ranks

The Imperial Marines Corps draws a conventional distinction between commissioned officers and other ranks. From the platoon upwards there are parallel hierarchies of commissioned officers in command and senior non-commissioned officers — platoon sergeants, colours sergeants, and sergeants-major — advising and assisting them.

In the Imperial Marines the difference between commissioned and enlisted is this. The enlisted men — especially the NCOs — know how to carry out every type of commando operation: they can rescue hostages, capture terrorists, destroy terror weapons or communications centres, evacuate an Imperial field station, guard a refugee camp, seize a palace, or throw an army into disarray. Officers, on the other hand, are trained to work out when military action is justified and which operations are likely to achieve worthwhile objectives with acceptable consequences.

The NCOs know how. They need officers to tell them when, where, and who.

Other ranks

The Marines Corps recruits about 19,000 commando recruits per year, with an intake in each sector every four months. It trains them at the divisional training bases associated with each sector headquarters. Almost all the recruits are from the colonies, and colonies of middling economic development with modest population densities are over-represented. About one in five are women. The smallness of this proportion is not mainly because of physiological differences between men and women; it is mostly because of cognitive and psychological differences resulting from the colonial cultures in which marines recruits are brought up.

Basic training consists of 16 weeks “induction training” in an orbiting base or spaceship, 16 weeks of “basic military syllabus”, and 16 weeks of “commando school” after which the recruit is enlisted as a private. Then follows sixteen weeks of “integration exercises” and sixteen weeks of “extension exercises” before sixteen weeks of either Infantry Operations School, Fleet Operations School, or Security Operations School. Then the commando is assigned to his or her regiment for a year of probationary do-and-learn. Training occurs on at least three worlds with markedly different gravity besides the free-fall training in orbit, and includes eight weeks of furloughs.

At the end of each of his or her first two five-year deployments, a marine takes 16 weeks of training at the operations school suitable for his or her next deployment. At the end of each subsequent deployment he or she is either given leadership training or taught a new military trade. Promotion to E-3 private (proficient) is routine. Promotion to leadership positions depends on merit and experience; many commandos serve to the age of eighty without wanting or getting NCO rank.

Retirement is compulsory at eighty standard years, at which age a retired marine is physiologically equivalent to a well-nourished and well-doctored fifty-year-old, with forty years of healthy middle age ahead. Some retired marines take up civilian careers in the Imperial Service for up to another thirty years, often serving as police in [[Imperial Direct Jurisdiction]], or ships’ corporals and masters-at-arms on passenger vessels. Others retire to a middling-developed colony (where their pensions will keep them in comfort), and start families. Yet others split the difference by settling on [[new colonies]] as peace officers and emergency service workers.

Ranks, insignia, and billets — other ranks

Like ratings in the Imperial Navy, Marines other ranks do not wear stripes of braid around their cuffs to denote rank. Insignia (illustrated below) are worn on the upper sleeve of jackets and shirt-sleeves (gold on red coats, scarlet on blue coats, indigo on olive-grey, white, or beige jackets or shirts); in armour or camouflage uniform the insignia are worn on patches in the middle of the chest. The titles, insignia, and typical billets of Imperial marines other ranks are as follows:

rank
code
rank
title
insignia typical billet
E-0 recruit ME0-2.png in the first year of training
E-1 private
(trained)
ME0-2.png • in the second year of training
• probationary year as a commando
E-2 private
(qualified)
ME0-2.png commando
E-3 private
(proficient)
ME3P.png • artificer, gunner, medic, MP, pilot, or sapper
• cross-trained commando
E-3 lance-
corporal
ME3.png fireteam leader
E-4 corporal ME4.png section leader
E-5 sergeant ME5.png platoon sergeant
E-6 staff
sergeant
ME6.png • company quartermaster-sergeant
• sergeant in a staff platoon (admin, provost, signals, supply)
E-7 warrant
officer
ME7.png colour sergeant in a commando company
E-8 senior
warrant
officer
ME8.png sergeant-major in a commando battalion
E-9 chief
warrant
officer
ME9.png sergeant-major of a regiment, division, or the General Staff

Commissioned officers

The Marines Corps recruits about 1,100 officer candidates per year and trains them at the Imperial Military Academy, of which the main campus is on Luna (Earth's Moon). Most of the candidates are recruited from the colonies; 15% are “farmed fur” who have “the right stuff” but lack the mathematical ability to be naval officers. About 30–35% are women. The course is four years and includes a heavy academic load in addition to military training equivalent to the first year of commando training. Graduates are commissioned as ensigns then despatched to a sector headquarters for sixteen weeks of the appropriate operations school, then assigned to their regiments. Two years after commissioning, if they are satisfactory to their commanding officers, O-1 ensigns are promoted to O-2 sublieutenant. Further promotions are on the basis of merit and experience. As is usual given the long careers of the Imperial Service and the modest size and shallow hierarchy of the Marines Corps, promotions are usually slow and little thought about.

Junior officers undergo operations school training along with their units until they have completed the set of Fleet Operations, Security Operations, and Infantry Operations schools. After their next rotation they are routinely sent to Staff College for 24 weeks. Graduating Staff College is a prerequisite for promotion to O-4 lieutenant-major. Officers being groomed for general command take a year of War College at rank O-5 (major) or O-6 (colonel).

Pensions are available at age eighty years for officers with forty years' military service. Compulsory retirement from the marines is at age eighty for officers below the rank of O-4, at ninety for O-4 to O-6, at 100 years for O-7 and above. Further employment as an Imperial civil servant is possible to age 110.

Ranks, insignia, and billets — commissioned officers

In addition to the standard stripes of braid around the cuff denoting rank in the Imperial Service, Imperial Marines officers wear “military rank badges” as shown in the table below. Insignia are worn on the upper sleeve of service uniform and shirt-sleeves. Officers wear insignia on epaulettes of mess and dress uniform. In armour or camouflage uniform the insignia are worn on patches in the middle of the chest.

The titles, insignia, and typical billets of Imperial Marines officers are as follows.

rank
code
rank insignia typical billet
O-0 officer cadet MO0sub.png at the Academy
O-1 ensign MO1sub.png probationary commander of a commando platoon
O-2 sub-lieutenant MO2sub.png • commander of a commando platoon
• commander of a reconnaissance platoon
O-3 lieutenant MO3sub.png • commander of a commando platoon on detached duty
• deputy commander of a company
• battalion operations officer (HQ platoon commander)
• regimental paymaster (admin platoon commander)
• regimental provost (MP platoon commander)
• regimental quartermaster (supply platoon commander)
• regimental signals officer (communications platoon commander)
O-4 lieutenant-major MO4sub.png • commando company commander
• deputy commander of a battalion
• adjutant (HQ company commander) of a regiment or larger formation
• commander of regimental engineering company*
• commander of regimental recovery company*
• regimental intelligence officer (recon company commander)
• regimental medical officer (hospital company commander)*
O-5 major MO5sub.png • battalion commander
• deputy commander of a regiment
• chief of the regimental staff
O-6 colonel MO6sub.png • commanding officer of a regiment
• commandant of a school
• head of department on a divisional staff
• General Staff officer
O-7 major-general MO7sub.png • general officer commanding a divisional reserve
• GOC (Garrisons) for a division
• GOC (Fleet Detachments) for a division
• GOC for an ad hoc field brigade
• GOC for a joint intervention taskforce of brigade strength
• Divisional adjutant
• Divisional quartermaster
O-8 vice-general MO8sub.png • general officer commanding a division (sector)
• GOC for a joint intervention taskforce of division strength
• General Staff officer
O-9 general MO9sub.png • Chief of Intelligence for the General Staff
• Director-general of Electrical & Mechanical Engineers*
• Director-general of Engineers*
• Director-general of Procurement
• Director-general of Recruitment
• Director-general of Training
• Inspector-general
• Judge-advocate-general*
• Surgeon-general*
• general officer commanding a corps-sized joint intervention force
O-10 vice-marshal MO10sub.png • Deputy Commandant
• Adjutant-general
• Quartermaster-general
• Chief of General Operations
• general officer commanding an army-sized joint intervention force
O-11 marshal MO11sub.png Commandant of the Imperial Marines
O-12 chief marshal MO12sub.png statutory, but not in use

Special officers

Besides the commando officers mentioned above, the Imperial Marines Corps also commissions surgeons and civil, electrical, and mechanical engineers to be ”special officers” in its hospital, engineering, and recovery companies. About half are women. Some special officers are recruited out of high school and receive professional training alongside civilians in Imperial engineering and medical schools. Others are recruited as graduates or experienced professionals. Special officers go through Induction Training and a Basic Military Syllabus and then through the appropriate operations school to prepare them to join a regiment on its deployment. Lacking training in military science, these special officers are not in the military chain of command. They wear specialist insignia in place of a commando officer’s winged-dagger badges: a caduceus for medical officers, a flaming petard for engineering officers, a crescent wrench crossed with a pair of pliers for an E&M engineering officer, an open book in front of crossed plumes for a judge-advocate officer.

Marines regiments’ specialist companies are often deployed to development-aid and disaster-relief work while the commandos are dispersed in Fleet detachments. This gives specialist company commanders (O-4 surgeon-lieutenant-majors and engineer-lieuentant-majors) an opportunity for independent (but non-combat) command. There are no billets within regiments for special officers above the grade of company commander. Special officers are promoted above O-4 for divisional and general staff work, command of schools and base hospitals and so forth; this may require Staff College training. Some examples of senior postings for special officers are indicated with asterisks in the "Officer ranks and insignia" table.

Some special officers re-train as line officers after a period with a regiment. Some line officers re-train as medicos or engineers and take up billets in specialist companies: these do not technically become special officers; they are eligible to succeed to combat command. The Judge-advocate-general’s corps — including O-6 divisional judge-advocates and their staff — consists of officers and retired officers who have re-trained as lawyers.

Biomodifications

Marines have little need to hide equipment in their bodies, and on the whole the Corps prefers to supply kit that can easily be serviced, recharged, repaired and upgraded rather than implant it into the bodies of its people. Marines have cameras, visual computers, and Visors built into their helmets rather than their skulls; they find subdermal armour more costly and less effective that an equal weight of battlesuit or armoured fatigues. This is a lot cheaper, too. The only common exception is that all marines are fitted with Stage II (military & police) reinforcement between basic training and the commencement of integration and extension exercises. This gives them reinforced bones, sinews, and tendons, and protective enclosures for their vital organs and major blood vessels. Even without armour, a marine is about twice as hard to injure or kill as an unmodified human.

Marines have to be able to wear standard-issue kit, such as space suits and armoured exoskeletons. This precludes them from getting any gross anatomical modification that would give anything other than a standard human form. But there is no problem for that persistent minority of female marines who get a “field sanitation modification”, which is to say to get their clitorises replaced with penises through which they can take a piss in the field without lowering their armoured trousers.

Besides that, there are also regulations requiring that marines present a professional military appearance on ceremonial duty. These effectively forbid conspicuous cosmetic modifications above the neck or on the hands. To comply with grooming regulations most marines have their scalp follicles programmed to maintain a regulation hairstyle, and epilate their facial hair. Fur and scales and so forth are permitted “where covered by uniform”, but in practice, in compliance with Imperial grooming norms, and for convenience in wearing tight-fitting spacesuits, most marines semi-permanently suppress “all hair south of the ears”. Tattoos (which are semi-permanent) are fairly common. Some regiments have traditional patterns; in most platoons you find at least one marine who has had his insignia and decorations or other elements of his or her uniform tattooed on.

Marines’ standard issue mouth and gut flora provide robust protection against internal parasites and pathogenic bacteria, detoxify some poisons, and even produce useful nutrients from foods indigestible to a normal human. Marines are issued with an non-scenting skin flora in basic training, and it is customary to maintain this throughout service or for life.

Uniforms & protective outfit

Uniforms

Marines wear a number of different uniforms on different occasions and in different duties. Their uniforms are more varied than those of other branches of the Imperial Service, partly because of their need to wear protective kit in combat and other hazardous duties, and partly because their appearance in ceremonial duties has to be gorgeous and stereotypically military: an Imperial ambassador arriving with ceremonial guards has to present a grand appearance.

Service uniforms

The everyday uniform of marines for office work and the like is service uniform. Marines wear a number of different service uniforms depending on the climate they are operating in. The basic colour of Imperial marines’ service uniform is an olive-grey shade called “khaki”, with markings and insignia in indigo. Brown Sam Browne belts are worn when under arms

Dress uniforms

Marines’ dress uniforms, for formal wear, are basically dark blue (with gilt buttons, with markings and insignia in red, badges in gold), with a peaked cap having a red band and white top. Officers in some senior appointments wear distinguishing aiguillettes. The categories of NCOs, warrant officers, junior officers, field officers, general officers, and marshals are distinguished by red stripes on the trousers that get wider and more ornate for the higher categories, increasing amounts of gold braid and embroidery on the cap, etc.. White Sam Browne belts are worn when under arms.

On some deployments, for cultural or climatic reasons, white or red coats (with gold instead of red insignia) may be worn instead of blue. Red coats are worn with the ceremonial uniform when a regiment is stationed as garrison in the Capital.

Mess uniform

Mess uniforms are for formal and semi-formal evening wear, such as mess dinners. They have navy-blue trousers with red stripes; officers wear a scarlet mess jacket over a white turtle-neck; other ranks wear a short red single-breasted jacket with a mandarin collar. Distinction lace is blue (gold for generals and marshals), insignia are gold and worn on epaulettes, miniature decorations are worn.

Decorations

Armour and environment suits

Weapons & equipment

History of the Marines Corps

Some notable units

Customs of the Imperial Marines

Rugby

The Imperial Marines Corps uses Rugby for physical training and to build teamwork, tactical flexibility, and toughness. Most recruits and officer cadets learn it in boot camp or their first weeks at the Academy, struggle to learn the basics faster than their classmates, play scores or hundreds of games before they finish training, and are granted acceptance as their Rugby improves, praise if they excel at it. Rugby is the official and traditional game of the Imperial Marines, and many of them are inordinately keen on it. Fanatical even. Weekly Rugby is their religion, matches of the Regimental representative side its holiest sacrament.

Since marines are reinforced — almost immune to breaking bones and spraining joints in Rugby play — Marines’ Rugby is played hard, with solid tackles, but incapacitating injuries are rare. No substitutes are employed, and everyone plays a full 90 minutes in each game. A marines platoon is sometimes considered to consist of two Rugby teams, a sergeant, and an officer.



Copyright © 2013—2015 by Brett Evill