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Old 07-04-2009, 03:48 PM
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Question Keeping or Changing Rank in T2K

Let's say a captain in the Air Force finds himself grounded and out of his element, c. 2000. With very few (if any) replacement planes available, there's little to no chance of this officer serving in his previous capacity. The army/marines needs riflemen. So, the captain is "transfered" to the infantry. What would his effective rank be?

This officer probably has very little experience in ground combat and/or leading an infantry company or platoon so it wouldn't be likely his AF rank would garner him the same responsibilities in the army. Would he still be called "Captain"? Would he have to start at the bottom of the rank totem pole? I can't imagine someone who'd worked his way up the ladder for years (and/or gone to one of the academies/officer schools) dealing very well with being addressed as "private" or "spicialist" or whatever. I know that certain ranks with the same name (for example lieutenant in the army and lieutenant in the navy) aren't really equivalent. Would he pick up the army equivalent of the rank he'd held in the AF?

I just wonder how this would be handled. I imagine it would be quite common for AF, army pilots, and navy personel to find themselves stuck in a rifle company and I'm trying to figure out how to handle it.
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Old 07-04-2009, 03:57 PM
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Warrant Officers? Above all enlisted but below all officers in the chain of command would seem appropriate.
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kato13
Warrant Officers? Above all enlisted but below all officers in the chain of command would seem appropriate.
Good call. But what about their responsibilities in the field, though? Would a former navy Lt.. commander, now army warrant officer, be given command of an infantry platoon when pretty much all of the platoon's NCOs would have way more applicable experience and could run it a whole lot better. Know what I mean?
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Old 07-04-2009, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus
Good call. But what about their responsibilities in the field, though? Would a former navy Lt.. commander, now army warrant officer, be given command of an infantry platoon when pretty much all of the platoon's NCOs would have way more applicable experience and could run it a whole lot better. Know what I mean?
I would hope that they would defer to their NCO's opinions but the "Officer trumps enlisted" rule, while illogical at times, is what the army is based on. As a kid I could never understand how a fresh lieutenant was superior to a 30 year NCO, but that is the system. I would also hope that direct commission and administrative officers would consider themselves at a lower rank during combat and defer to lower ranking officers from combat branches, but in the end it will depend on the personality of the officer as to whether or not they would do so.

Last edited by kato13; 07-04-2009 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 07-04-2009, 05:52 PM
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As Kato posted, you would hope the unexperienced officer would let the experienced NCO run the show and learn from it.

And if that failed in the world of TW2K a bad officer would be very deaded to friendly fire in no time.

But I do remember the Air force officer in 'Red Storm Rising' who was a weather man leading a squad of USMCs in Iceland after the Russians had taken the island.

He had the rank and the Marines followed his orders but he deffered to the Sgt's experience when needed.
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:02 PM
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The zoomie in "Red Storm Rising" seemed a textbook example of what to do as a butter-bar (2nd Lt.)-- lead, inspire, do what the sergeant said.

As for a more experienced officer from the AF or Navy joining the infantry-- one would hope that he/she would get some basic (re)training, and/or be posted to a staff position. Since most of T2k seems to have a lot of rank inflation (lots of NCOs, not many privates left), I think rank is less important than experience and training in a lot of units.

In the one PbP I've tried to play recently, I had a Navy officer PC who had lots of experience (33 months in 1st ed.), but rolled low on rank, so ended up a 1st Lt. I figured he spent a lot of time in the peacetime Navy, then some in the wartime Navy, and transferred to the Army in '99 for some re-training. I figured some personality clashes with his Navy chain of command led to his not being promoted faster, and urged him to give the Army a try.

Winter cantonment seems like a logical time for lots of grounded zoomies and squids to be trained as infantry, IMO. There's even a more modern name for it. I read in the last few years of the "Blue to Green" program, in which the US Department of Defense was offering financial incentives to Air Force and Navy personnel to transfer to the Army, as those two services were losing numbers, in favor of an increase in the Army's strength.

So, to answer the original question, I would say the former pilot is paid () as a Captain, but considered as a brand-new lieutenant, at least for a while. Were I his Battalion CO, I would make him a staffer, or at most the XO of a company. He's probably been a leader of at least a flight, and had lots of admin tasks already, so I would use him for that stuff. I wouldn't move him on to a platoon without training (probably run by Division?) as an infantry officer. Once he's shown some stuff, then move him on to a platoon before a company. This could easily mean he's going to be taking orders from a junior lieutenant or even an NCO company commander. If he can handle that, then he'll be OK with me.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:18 PM
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As Adm.Lee stated... The USAF/USN officers would retain their rank because the only way to reduce an officer's rank is court-martials if i remember right. But they would be considered 'staff' officers... sort of like a IG, JAG, Medical Corps or Chaplin Corps until they got the training to be line officers (ie infantry, armor, arty, ect.).

The Army has what i think is called a 'Warrior Course' for prior service USAF and USN enlisted personnel who are transfering over to the US Army. I think it's a four week training course.

I have a feeling that these Officers would go through a crash course on infantry tactics, such as given to support services enlisted personnel to fill out combat arms as seen in the reorganization of the 5ID article I found online. In that article it said that enlisted support personnel where given crash course on infantry operations, and officers where trained to take over their jobs in the support services (i guess you could say that USAF Lt. Colonel is now serving food).

But in my campaign setting, we had done something a little different. The USAF created "guntruck squadrons" for pilots and flight crew who no longer had aircraft to fly or maintain. these 'guntruck sqadrons' would be assigned to rear echelon convoy escort and security enforcement duties.

While the USN created Naval Infantry Battalions that trained both officers and enlisted to fight as a cohesive unit. The navy had thse battalions being trained by USN SEALs and USMC... I recently discovered that the USN is working at creating Naval Infantry Battalions in real life using those men who 'washed out' of the SEALs program... I dont know if it is true, if not it really should be.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:18 PM
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A pilot would have done the escape and evasion course and basic training so he'd at least have some basic skills useful to an infantryman. Also you don't get to be a pilot unless you are intelligent and have a relatively even temperament so you'd probably be a pretty fast learner.

Having said these things I think that unless circumstances dictated that infantryman was the only role for him, there would be better positions to put a grounded pilot in than infantryman. Intelligence maybe? Some kind of REMF role would make more sense.

In my campaign Major Po has an F-15E pilot in his unit, Lt John Johnson. Po's unit found Johnson working as a tinker waaay behind enemy lines in Poland and Po took Johnson back to Bremerhaven with him. Along the way Johnson proved to be very brave, determined and resourceful so Po decided to keep him around, as his personal gyrocopter pilot. Most of the time Po uses Johnson in a staff role but when he has had to Johnson has proved to be a capable warrior on the ground.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:33 AM
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I think that byrocratic diffrences will quickly disappear after the first nukes have hit their targets. For example in Finland you are required to fight as infantry even if you have served in the navy or in the air force. Basic training is same in all branches of FDF. And the same idea is followed in all training. For example naval officer student have to do much feared archipelago warfare course. Idea is quite simple. Enemy is near and little extra infantry training won`t kill you even if you are navy cook.

You have to train your men before you start sending men to naval infantry units or air force field combat units. Germans learned that fact after they send Luftwaffe Field Divisions to Russian Front.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luftwaffe_Field_Division
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:45 AM
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I think that, depending on the MOS/branch of the individual involved, there would be a variation of the "stupid LT" syndrome that all Sergeants, particularly Platoon Sergeants, have to go through, unless they get really lucky. The former USAF/USN officer may be more insufferable, however, unless they are smart enough to know that they don't know anything. The former USAF/USN officer would probably be best off as a staff officer, as would senior NCOs; lower ranks would probably help each other out to learn what's what.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:34 AM
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Rank is rank and a captain of any corp will always outrank a lieutenant of any other corp. A good captain will listen to the lieutenant (and NCOs) of the more relevant corp, and hopefully act accordingly.

The captain would remain a captain and likely remain in the USAF. They would however not be used in a combat role, at least not to begin with.
Chances are they'd be assigned to a supporting position, perhaps commanding a maintence unit and eventually be given some rudimentary infantry training.

As the war progressed, it's likely their entire squadron would be re-roled and undertake retraining in a similar way as some WWII infantry units were retrained as armour.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:11 PM
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To be contrarian, in most groups I've known, the rank would be irrelevant. If the captain has good ideas, the PCs would listen to him, otherwise they'd ignore him. Then again, most players I've known would consider any adherence to rank contrary to the spirit of the game (PCs with military skills, military training, but no effective command structure).
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:47 PM
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I'd say it would depend on how the group of soldiers adhere to the military doctrine and ideals, even with the breakdown of overall command. So I'd think a Captain would remain a Captain and be in charge if the group followed what they were trained to follow. If the group went more "independent", then it could default to anything. Time in service for command, regardless of rank. Ability to effectively command, regardless of time in service or rank...whatever the group decided. It wouldn't necessarily be the "military way".

Let me give you a case in point (not exactly like an AF Captain in an army outfit, but similar). During the battle of Rourke's Drift, the British force at the crossing found themselves with two officers of the same rank. One was a combat officer, the other an engineer. They knew they were going to get hit and hit hard by the Zulus, but they followed what they were taught and trained to follow, and the engineer had more time in rank, so he ended up with overall command. So even though they knew they were going to be in the middle of a very tough combat situation, they went by who got their commision first and that's what they stuck with, even though it put an engineer in charge of combat troops in a combat situation.

So it would really depend on the people in the group and how they viewed sticking with what they know and were trained.
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:07 PM
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Funny you should mention Rorke's Drift.

Even though it's suggested that the men there followed the orders of a officers from the Royal Engineers, it was in fact a Acting Assistant Commissary in the Commissariat and Transport Department who was later credited, rather than the relatively inexperienced Chard or Bromhead, for initiating the defence at Rorke's Drift.

Again the Commissary had 30 years experience in the army, 13 of them in the infantry.
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:54 PM
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I would think that with the decimation of units original numbers, the officer corps would have suffered greatly as well.

So all of the officers from the AF and Navy who are very heavy with officers would find themselves doing important tasks behind the lines as similiar as their old jobs or skills like degree and training would allow.

Further, I could see alot of them being placed in the assorted new admin type positions since alot of an officers work is adminstrative and training. Remember logistics would be a new headache in the T2K world. As well as the coordination of foot mobile troops, unit farms and gardens, Cutting material for ethanol and the production, storage, transportation and distribution of it. Animal management.

And then the ratio in the other ranks I can see being a smaller ratio of enlisted to officers in the Army and Marines to give more jobs to more officers.

I would also think they would give the non combat arms officers a shake and back course of say a month or so of training, giving them the basics like land navigation, tactics, call for fire and such.

And I would also suggest giving them an aprentive program where they work under the direct control of a seasoned officer and act as an observer watching the seasoned officer operate, then the next phase they are in control of a platoon with their seasoned officer mentor observing them and guiding them so they do not screw up.

After about 90 days of total training, 30 for classroom and what amounts to a field infantry leaders training course similiar to an OCS class, they are sent as observers for another 30 days, then after that they are put in charge and observed for 30 days. And if they pass then they are transfered somewhere else to take command of troops at a platoon level. Those who wash out are either rececycled, or they are sent somewhere where they can not do to much damage.

I can see other new fields:

Battlefeild reclamation; salavaging and repairing equipmement from the battledield.

Artillery: leadership and knowledge with the FO, logistical, meteorology and commanding a gun or working in the fire control center.

Mech, commanding a mechanized unit.

Logistics

Repair

Fuel Peroleum or Fuel Methanol production

So there are alot of positions that surplus officers can be sent to do.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:03 PM
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Policy probably would change from place to place and as time went on. The Department of Defense probably would have an official policy regarding transferring ranks of every type to the Army. Variables would include USAF/USN rank and MOS, new MOS, etc. By 1999, we should expect to find considerable latitude given the lower echelons of command. By 2000, division or even brigade commanders might be on their own to determine how to handle Air Force personnel entering the unit.

The idea that a commission is somehow sacrosanct is a pre-Exchange concept, I believe. Like everything else in the post-nuke world, rank is only what the others in the group and/or the chain of command are willing to give it. Officers are likely to try to support others in the brotherhood, but an infantry unit with good esprit de corps isn’t likely to embrace an Air Force captain from the supply services as a captain until he has paid his dues with a rifle.

I know I keep referring back to my own work, but I feel like specific instances are the best for outlining general philosophies as well as the specifics of circumstance. Fort Huachuca and the 111th MI Brigade is forced to deal with the problem of having too many officers and too few rifle platoon leaders from the Thanksgiving Day Massacre (TDM) forward. In the real world in 1997, 326th MI Battalion is the training unit for all MI company grade and warrant officers. A/326th handled captains, B/326th handled lieutenants, and C/326th handled warrants. At any time, there were three or four classes of thirty-five to forty lieutenants in B/326th. This is a minimum of 105 lieutenants on-post. In Twilight: 2000, this number might be much larger by the time the nukes hit CONUS. There might be 170 lieutenants at the MI Officer Basic Course. There aren’t 170 platoons needing platoon leaders, although the number of MI students available to be formed into rifle platoons will be much greater in November 1997 than in November 1996.

Compounding the problem is the presence of as many MI captains going through the MI Officer Advanced Course. Unlike the combat arms, MI has more slots for captains than for lieutenants. A large number of infantry, armor, artillery, and air defense lieutenants are switched to MI when they are promoted to captain. In some ways, this is a real blessing for Huachuca. There are captains with the requisite training and experience. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many company commands in the 111th MI Brigade when the brigade is turned into light infantry. The brigade starts with three battalions, which adds up to a maximum of fifteen company commands. Staff jobs need filling, but there is only so much additional room here—to say nothing of the fact that the staff jobs and the company commands already were filled. Throw in a seventy to one hundred warrant officers, and you have a lot of people looking for work. Then there is the little matter of the NCO Academy, which is full of MI NCOs going through their respective schools.

Huachuca solves this problem by a variety of means. Promising former combat arms candidates from MIOAC are placed into the XO slots of all of the new rifle companies of 305th, 309th, and 326th MI Battalions. The intent is to replace the MI captains in those positions once the new captains have become familiarized with the companies. Lieutenants go into the platoon leader positions that were previously occupied by drill sergeants. NCOs come out of the NCO Academy to fill team leader and squad leader slots. There are still leftover lieutenants, plus plenty of captains and warrant officers.

The staffs of the battalions in 111th MI Brigade are filled with fairly junior people. 111th MI isn’t a maneuver brigade, after all. The junior people are rotated out, while warrant officers and captains are rotated in.

Still, there are lots of company grade officers, warrant officers, and senior NCOs who find themselves without proper slots to fill. As the refugee problem builds, Huachuca organizes the refugees into company-sized groups that have a captain to oversee them. The captain gets a warrant officer and a senior NCO as a staff. This solution isn’t a favorite among the officers and NCOs assigned to them, but it’s a useful and necessary function. At this point, Huachuca isn’t ready to mess with rank.

At the end of the Summer 1998 campaign, Huachuca is face with rebuilding its forces. There is a hodge-podge of units that have to be re-aligned and reorganized into a single cohesive command. 355th Wing (USAF) at Davis-Monthan AFB is absorbed wholesale into the 111th Brigade and reflagged 355th Battalion. The Wing really is only the Air Force SPs and support personnel at the base who were not deployed overseas with the rest of the Wing. There are a lot of NCOs who are needed as riflemen. Huachuca makes the painful choice of temporary reduction in grade for many airmen who will be used as replacements in other battalions. Their files are earmarked; if the former USAF NCO in question shows promise, he is fast-tracked to team leadership and so on.

The EPW who volunteer for service also are uniformly reduced in rank. Huachuca simply isn’t about to turn a squad or a platoon over to a foreign national, regardless of that national’s prior rank. All of the EPW restart life as privates. The ones who know what they are doing and who serve well rise quickly. Obviously, the officers are going to have the biggest problem with this. Huachuca handles this by starting its own OCS program. Many of the lieutenants who are available for service are duds, to be frank. Huachuca wants combat leaders, not ROTC graduates who are paying off their college tuition with grudging service.

In short, combat troops keep their rank. Marines from the MarDet at Huachuca and Yuma Marine Corps Air Station join the brigade without a problem. Air Force Detachment personnel initially are sent to Davis-Monthan AFB, then integrated into the Huachuca structure as befits their skills. The Security Police become riflemen of the same rank. The junior NCOs are demoted until they can prove their worth on the battlefield. The same applies to the Navy. The officers are kept in reserve by managing refugee populations. The good ones are rotated into the system as needed; the bad ones are rotated off the line and into refugee management.

The USCG First District handles things slightly differently. Combat arms soldiers (Marines, airmen, etc.) are integrated into the tridents. Support personnel with the appropriate skills are integrated appropriately. People without needed skills are put into an apprenticeship program. Essentially, a captain who can’t do anything First District needs is assigned a berth as an acting ensign learning the ropes from someone who knows how to do things. Sorry about that rank, pal. Needs of the service.


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Old 07-05-2009, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copeab
To be contrarian, in most groups I've known, the rank would be irrelevant. If the captain has good ideas, the PCs would listen to him, otherwise they'd ignore him. Then again, most players I've known would consider any adherence to rank contrary to the spirit of the game (PCs with military skills, military training, but no effective command structure).
This is what I would calificate as the pragmatic point of view of a GM! And a great true, in my opinion. It’s a problem that always appears when the characters are tied to any kind of strong jerarchy and occupying different ranks inside it. And this is specially true if the game develops in a military background.. I suppose that in a “Play by Post” game this factor becomes softened, but in a “face to face” game it is very present. And is better for the GM no try to fight agains the natural dynamic of the group. It’s a sure ticket for an anticlimatic roleplaying situation.

One possible “solution” I use sometimes(depending of the group and the game) is to have pre-generated characters for the players and allow them to distribute the character sheets among themselves, clarifing that rank would be an important factor (if that is your intention in the game).
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:05 PM
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This is an enlightening discussion. A staff position would be better for a non-army officer but how many staff positions would there be to fill? There'd be attrition, of course, but it probably wouldn't be high enough to find staff jobs for all of the displaced AF and navy offivers there would be by 2000. There'd be much more attrition among line officers and some of those vacancies would undoubtedly need to be filled by displaced AF or navy officers.

As a side note, I would assume that navy officers would go to Marine/naval infantry units before they would go to regular army units.

I guess there would be time for retraining (winter cantonment) and that unit NCOs would run plenty of interference if/when necessary.

Here's another question. With attrition amongst combat troops and few (if any) properly trained replacements post-TDM, what percentage of an infantry company (leg, mechanized, or airborne) would be made up of proper combat soldiers and what percentage would be made up of "filler" (AF, navy personal, former technicians, service and support troops, etc.)?

75-25, 60-40, 50-50?
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:53 PM
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The percentage of “proper” combat troops probably would vary depending on circumstance and what one considers a proper combat arms soldier (or Marine). For instance, if pre-war infantry, armor, artillery, air defense, and combat engineers are the only proper combat arms people in the Army, then there will be very few of them left in Europe in 2000. If one expands that definition to include combat support people who may have taken part in rear area security or emergency action (including MPs and combat support types attached to brigades), the number rises. If one includes all replacements who have gone through a combat arms school sent since 1997, one could have a significant number. If one includes all replacements given any sort of combat arms training sent after the Thanksgiving Day Massacre, the number grows. If one includes pre-Exchange State Guardsmen drafted in 1998 or later, the number grows. If one includes USAF and USN military police-type troops pressed into duty as riflemen, the number grows.

By late 2000, the 111th Brigade has a small cadre of pre-war combat arms soldiers who saw action in Europe, Korea, or the Middle East before the nukes started flying. However, by this time at least a third of the brigade is made up of former MI soldiers who participated in security and disaster relief missions in early 1998, fought the Mexican Army in mid-1998, and have been involved in sporadic combat with the Mexican Army and marauders throughout southern Arizona since that time. While no one granted any of these people an 11B MOS, surely at some point battlefield experience and post-Exchange training must make them the equivalent of light infantry. Granted, they aren’t the kinds of riflemen conducting raids into enemy territory in 1999, but the former MI troops are reasonably skilled at patrolling and large unit action against dug-in bandits and light conventional forces like the Mexican Army units facing them.

3rd Brigade of the Arizona State Guard (AZSTAG) has a high proportion of experienced soldiers, some of whom have experience as riflemen in Vietnam. Many of the State Guardsmen in 3rd Brigade retired to southeastern Arizona after wrangling desk positions at Huachuca in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Many of them volunteered for service in AZSTAG in 1996 and 1997 and now find themselves reserve riflemen. Not all of them are combat arms, but by 2000 all of them have more than two decades of service and at least a few months of combat time. How does one figure these people into the equation?

At the end of the day, I’d guess that the percentage of infantry in an average US Army infantry battalion in 2000 who actually hold an 11-series MOS awarded by the Infantry School and Center at Fort Benning or one of the US Army Reserve training divisions is less than half. In some cases, the number would be much less than half. In some cases, the pre-Exchange trained infantry might be five percent or less.

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Old 07-05-2009, 06:01 PM
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Back in the early 90's, it was said that for every soldier in a combat role, there were 10 soldiers in supporting roles.
I think there'd be plenty of positions available for non combat officers what with the extra supply needs for a division in 2000 - food collection/production, fuel distilation, ammo reloading, vehicle (and resource) recovery and repair, training of new recruits, retraining of other non combat soldiers (or combat soldiers too wounded to continue in their previous carreer) etc, etc, etc.

With regard to how combat troops treat non combat officers, Rank is still Rank. Sure they might not be all that respectful when they're not around, but if military discipline is still in force, they're going to listen and obey (at least until the officers back is turned) or risk disciplinary action.

Now the officer in Rae's initial example is unlikely to be directly transfered into an Infantry unit BUT would serve quite well in a supporting role at Battalion level or in a supporting unit. This would free up a trained infantry officer to move into a combat role (and be a bit annoyed they'd been pushed out of their comfy rear eschelon desk job and back onto the pointy end).
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Legbreaker
With regard to how combat troops treat non combat officers, Rank is still Rank. Sure they might not be all that respectful when they're not around, but if military discipline is still in force, they're going to listen and obey (at least until the officers back is turned) or risk disciplinary action.
I see the average soldier in 2000 as grossly inferior to the soldier of 1996. With units in 2000 at around 90% the strength of 1996, I think it's reasonable to assume that most of the combat troops in uniform from 1996 are dead. The bulk of most armies in 2000 are made up of men who were non-combat troops or civilians in 1996. New soldiers in 2000 are, most likely, poorly trained and equipped and most would probably never be allowed in a peacetime army. I can't see how this wouldn't lead to poor morale and discipline.

On a more metagame level, I think one of the key selling points of the setting for civilian players is the weak or non-existent command structure. I somehow get the feeling that ex-military players are more bothered *without* the command structure.
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Last edited by copeab; 07-05-2009 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legbreaker
Back in the early 90's, it was said that for every soldier in a combat role, there were 10 soldiers in supporting roles.
I think there'd be plenty of positions available for non combat officers what with the extra supply needs for a division in 2000 - food collection/production, fuel distilation, ammo reloading, vehicle (and resource) recovery and repair, training of new recruits, retraining of other non combat soldiers (or combat soldiers too wounded to continue in their previous carreer) etc, etc, etc.
I think that, by 2000, the ratios would be reversed to closer to 10 combat soldiers for every one soldier in a purely supporting role. IMO, a lot of the non-combat roles that you mentioned would be handled, wherever and whenever possible, by local civilians or maybe even EPWs. The exceptions would be vehicle recovery and repair and troop training. Outside of "Campaign Season", combat soldiers would be helping with or responsible for most of those things themselves.

I wonder if divisions on the move during campaign would have civilian camp followers ([local] wives, children, laundresses, cooks- sometimes all of the above), much as armies right up until the 20th century had...
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copeab
I see the average soldier in 2000 as grossly inferior to the soldier of 1996. With units in 2000 at around 90% the strength of 1996, I think it's reasonable to assume that most of the combat troops in uniform from 1996 are dead. The bulk of most armies in 2000 are made up of men who were non-combat troops or civilians in 1996. New soldiers in 2000 are, most likely, poorly trained and equipped and most would probably never be allowed in a peacetime army. I can't see how this wouldn't lead to poor morale and discipline.
You're probably right about the average soldier in 2000. On the flip side, some of your veteran soldiers would have combat experience going way back to early '97. Kind of like how American divisions in 1945, although made up of mostly draftees, still had a sprinkling of soldiers, noncoms, and junior officers who'd fought in North Africa, Italy, France, the Low Countries, and across the Rhine (and maybe the Philippines, Guadalcanal, the Aleutians, or New Guinea).

As you noted, even folks who were clerk-typists, truck drivers, cooks, etc. would have real, crunchy combat experience by 2000. In that sense, at least, divisions in 2000 would be leaner and meaner than they were when the war first kicked off.

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Originally Posted by copeab
On a more metagame level, i think one of the key selling points of the setting ifor civilian players is the weak or non-existent command structure. I somehow get the feeling that ex-military players are more bothered *without* the command structure.
I agree. In my experience, this is very true. I prefer a looser rank structure (more democratic, you could say) but I've found players with RL military experience get very uncomfortable with this.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:47 PM
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You might want to take a look at how the U.S. Army on Bataan handled the Army Air Corps for some insight into this matter. Back then, it was assumed that the air corps enlisted men had gone through basic and knew the basics of infantry work, but the pilots and other officers? Nope-very few had been to West Point or ROTC, and had their officer training while learning to fly. They did find some infantry officers and NCOs who were "currently unattached" to be assigned to the Provisional Air Corps Regiment, so that some of the more experienced pilots could go over to the two airfields on Bataan and fly the remaining handful of P-40s and P-35s. But most of the pilots (2nd Lts) were used as grunts. One of them, who got fatally wounded and died on the OR table, said it best as they were taking him into surgery "A ten-thousand dollar pilot shot to hell in the infantry." They were mainly used for rear-area protection (there were several Japanese amphibious landings behind the main defense line on Bataan, and the air corps men were used to root them out)
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copeab
To be contrarian, in most groups I've known, the rank would be irrelevant. If the captain has good ideas, the PCs would listen to him, otherwise they'd ignore him. Then again, most players I've known would consider any adherence to rank contrary to the spirit of the game (PCs with military skills, military training, but no effective command structure).
I can't agree with that. I think it is a matter of taste. Nowhere in the original T2K rules does it say that rank should be ignored or that it should be obeyed. I think it comes down to individual campaigns and what the players are comfortable with. I have no problem with a campaign being based around a rank-free band of soldiers trying to stay alive, but suggesting that my campaign goes against the spirit of Twilight:2000 because the PCs in my campaign hold to a proper rank structure makes me raise my hackles.

I think the feeling would be among both the characters and the players in my campaign that if they ignored rank they would be no better than the maurauders they regularly destroy.
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
Nowhere in the original T2K rules does it say that rank should be ignored or that it should be obeyed.
Not quite true.
I'm sure most of us can remember the narrative during the breakout from Kalisz in which the "crazy artillery captain" wanted their LAV-25 to run shotgun for his ammo train, but "the major had the rank"...
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Originally Posted by Targan
I think the feeling would be among both the characters and the players in my campaign that if they ignored rank they would be no better than the maurauders they regularly destroy.
And I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. The vast majority of PCs are combat veterans who've been in the military for a VERY long time. Only a tiny proportion are draftees in my experience - almost all are volunteers and so are much more likely to accept military chain of command even after things begin to fall apart.

For non-draftee or militia PCs to ignore the chain of command is more a reflection on the player than the character in my opinion.
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legbreaker
Not quite true.
I'm sure most of us can remember the narrative during the breakout from Kalisz in which the "crazy artillery captain" wanted their LAV-25 to run shotgun for his ammo train, but "the major had the rank"...
Is that from the v2 rules? I don't remember that story but I haven't ever got around to reading all of the v2 rulebook.
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
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Is that from the v2 rules? I don't remember that story but I haven't ever got around to reading all of the v2 rulebook.
V1 page 6 of the players manual
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
I can't agree with that. I think it is a matter of taste. Nowhere in the original T2K rules does it say that rank should be ignored or that it should be obeyed.
I admittedly tend read the "You're on your own" line fairly broadly.

Quote:
I think it comes down to individual campaigns and what the players are comfortable with. I have no problem with a campaign being based around a rank-free band of soldiers trying to stay alive, but suggesting that my campaign goes against the spirit of Twilight:2000 because the PCs in my campaign hold to a proper rank structure makes me raise my hackles.
Sorry, didn't mean any insult.

Quote:
I think the feeling would be among both the characters and the players in my campaign that if they ignored rank they would be no better than the maurauders they regularly destroy.
Lack of command structure does not indicate a lack of morals. Nor does adherence to rank prevent atrocities.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copeab
Sorry, didn't mean any insult.
I apologise, upon re-reading my post I did come across as a little harsh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by copeab
Lack of command structure does not indicate a lack of morals. Nor does adherence to rank prevent atrocities.
Absolutely true. From the POV of the PCs in my campaign they use rank structure as much as possible for their own ends, using it sometimes as a blunt instrument to get their way and at other times deliberately staying out of contact with their higher command to allow them to do as they will. The morality of Major Po in particular is (at best) highly suspect.

I guess another way to look at it is that in my campaign without adhering to rank structure the PC party would tear itself to pieces within days if not hours. There would almost certainly be shooting and explosions involved.
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