non commissioned officer

For those of you who write military fics

If you have never been in, or aren’t around people who’ve been in, I would dearly love to give you a few pointers.

Let me preface this: I love it when people write military fics (be they AU or canon-fic). I love the characterizations, the story arcs you create, and the love with which you create the stories.

But I’d like to help you make the actions of military personnel as accurate as possible, so someone who’s actually in doesn’t start to read your fic and roll their eyes at some of the things you unknowingly write.


-First off, you do not salute in civilian clothes. It’s actually unauthorized. There are only two exceptions to this rule: the President is allowed to salute in civvies, and if the national anthem is playing outdoors, combat veterans are now allowed to salute. (That came about in 2010, for accurate reference.)

-Do not salute indoors, unless during a formation (but I doubt people who don’t have intimate knowledge of drill and ceremony would bother writing about a formation, so that point is mostly just thrown in for shits and giggles). 

-The army and air force do not say, “sir, yes sir”. That’s a marine thing (I’m not sure about the navy, since I’m not in the navy, but I’m sure someone else could help out if there’s a question about it).

-Saying “black ops” isn’t really something we do. For the army, you’ve got SF (which is how we refer to special forces–the guys you’re probably thinking about (”green beret” is an old term for them that’s not really used anymore)) and Rangers for the two big special operations forces. SEALS are the navy force, and I apologize, but I don’t know the other branches’ special forces. Again, ask someone who’s served in that branch.

-People don’t usually refer to themselves (or others) by their ranks. Exceptions are usually made if hanging out with people from your unit speaking about a superior, such as “Yeah, LT and I were talking the other day and …”. 

-Sergeants are not referred to as “sarge”. You have no idea how many people got the shit smoked out of them in basic for that error.

-Army goes through Basic Training (or Basic Combat Training now; BCT for short), and marines go through Boot Camp. Yes, there is definitely a difference in terms. Army people tend to refer to their initial training as simply “basic”. I don’t know about marines or other branches.

-Calling someone “Soldier” is really something only done on TV/film. It’s usually mocked by people who are in.

-In the army, it is against regulation to just stick your hands in your pockets. We mockingly call them “Air Force gloves”, though I don’t know if they typically put their hands in their pockets. There is also a big stigma against wearing “snivel gear”: the poly pro cold-weather protection gear worn underneath your uniform.

-The everyday Army uniforms are called ACUs (Army Combat Uniform). They are never called anything else, but especially not fatigues. If you’re going back to 2003 or earlier, the uniform was BDUs, or the Battle Dress Uniform. The tan uniforms worn during the Gulf War and first few years of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF; Afghanistan) were called first chocolate chips (gulf war-era) and then DCUs (Desert Combat Uniform). 

-The dress uniform is called something different depending on what time period you’re going for. Saying “dress uniform” is usually a good bet, because you’ve also got Class A’s, Class B’s, ASUs, Dress Blues, Khakis, etc. 

-Typically when meeting someone else who’s in, the first things you ask are, “What’s your MOS (military occupational specialty–your job)? Where were you stationed?” Giving out rank and deployment backgrounds out of the blue don’t usually happen. 

-Time spent in the military is usually referred to as simply being “in”. “How long were you in for?” is heard way more often than “how long did you serve for?” That question is usually asked by civilians. 

-There are enlisted, and there are officers. Enlisted are those who start out as privates, work their way up through the NCO, or non-commissioned officer ranks: sergeant (called “buck sergeant” in a derogatory term for someone who has been freshly promoted), staff sergeant, sergeant first class, and eventually get to first sergeants and sergeants major after fifteen to thirty years in. Officers also usually start out as privates and specialists, then graduate from college and commission as second lieutenants (the derogatory term is “butter bar” and is usually used in reference to said officer’s lack of experience and knowledge) before working up to first lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant colonel (”light colonel”), and colonel (”full bird”). The general timeline is making captain (”getting your railroad tracks”) after about 5-8 years for competent officers, and spending 5-10 years as a captain. 

-We do not stand at parade rest unless forced. Ever.

-Or at attention.

-When talking to an NCO, a lower enlisted will stand at parade rest. When talking to an officer, an enlisted will stand at attention.

-The highest ranking NCO is lower ranking than the lowest ranking officer. 

-If you want to throw in some humor, if there is a lower enlisted (E-4 (specialist) or below) joking with an NCO, and the lower enlisted says something, the NCO can snark back with, “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you because you weren’t standing at the position of parade rest.” It’s a dick move usually to call people out for that, but it happens often enough that if you put that in a fic, someone who’s in will likely laugh at that for a few minutes.

-There is a term for a slacker in the army called POG (pronounced “pohg” with a long o). It stands for Personnel Other than Grunt, meaning everyone who’s not infantry. The term has transformed to mean anyone who shirks their duty or is kind of a shitbag and should be kicked out. 

 -There’s also a bit of a stereotype that infantry are made up of dumb guys, because you don’t need a high GT score to get that MOS. Their nomenclature for their MOS is 11B (eleven bravo), which is often referred to as an “eleven bang-bang” when trying to insult them. 

-If someone is making someone else do push-ups, they do not say “drop and give me x number”. They’ll tell them either to push, or tell them to get in the front-leaning rest. The front-leaning rest position is the starting position for the push-up. 

-Usually referring to basic training and AIT (advanced individual training, where you learn your military occupational specialty), you get “smoked” on a regular basis. This refers to PT (physical training), usually in the form of push-ups, flutter kicks, and sprints. It’s not fun. One of the least favorite phrases to hear in basic is, “Platoon, attention! Half-left face! Front leaning rest position, move. In cadence! Exercise!” Because that is the full command for getting people to do push-ups. There is literally no other reason for the half-left face movement. It honestly exists only for push-ups.

-It is awkward as fuck to be told “thank you for your service”. It’s wonderful that people want to show their support, but it is very difficult to respond to that without sounding like a douche.

I know I said a lot about basic training in there, but that’s because I tend to read a lot of fics that are either about basic or about deployments. I can give some pretty firm answers on basic, but everyone’s deployment is different, and I also could be violating a shit-ton of OPSEC (operation security) by telling you guys specific details about deployments. Everything I’ve told you is information you can look up on your own on the internet, but this is a bit more insider’s culture for you to help make your stuff more accurate.

And if you ever find yourself writing a military fic and have questions, by all means, inbox me. I’ve been in for almost nine years and I do have one deployment under my belt, so I can give you accurate army info. I’ve never served in any other branch, though, but I can probably give you a little bit more accurate info than what the movies do if you’ve got general questions.

Also, if you’ve got questions about PTSD, I can help with that. It’s not the cake walk that a good deal of fics portray it as, and it doesn’t always involve nightmares and aversion to touch. It can present as depression, intense anger issues, pulling away from loved ones, driving in the middle of the road, freaking out over pops, bangs, crashes and other unexpected noises, being easily startled by things other than noises, hypervigilance, the inability to sit with one’s back to the room, sudden bouts of anger, depression, tears, silence, or mood swings, among many others.

-Also, please, please, if you’re going to write about someone with a disability, or something that gave them a medical discharge, talk to me about the VA first, unless you’ve got a lot of knowledge about them. Not only am I in, but I’ve also worked professionally for the VA, some of that time in enrollment and eligibility, so I know a lot about disability pensions, who would qualify, what type of benefits they would qualify for, etc. I also know the ways that people can accidentally get screwed over from the VA. (It’s actually one of my long-term professional goals to change some of those things, so I am very passionate and very knowledgeable about it.)



TL;DR: I know shit about the military and the VA. Ask me if you have accuracy questions.

Enlisted Ranks: Army

There’s nothing I hate more than a story that didn’t even try to get its ranks right. Why is a major giving orders to a colonel? Why is a first sergeant working with a bunch of fuzzies? Why the hell did you just call the sergeant major ‘sir’? 

Military ranks are different across the branches, but if your story features the U.S. Army, here’s a breakdown of enlisted ranks and rank etiquette. (other branches coming soon!)

Basics
Ranks in the army follow a numerical pattern, so if you’re ever not quite sure what the name of the rank higher is, you can reference them by nomenclature.
E-series: E stands for enlisted. This refers to soldiers from private to sergeant major. 
O-series: O stands for officer. This refers to soldiers from second lieutenant to general. O-series post coming soon!
W-series: W stands for warrant officer. This refers to soldiers from warrant officer 1 to chief warrant officer 5. W-series post coming soon!

In ACUs, (army combat uniform) the rank is worn in the center of the chest via a velcro patch. In class-A uniforms, the rank is worn on the shoulder.

Each pay grade earns slightly more per month than the one before it. Officers make significantly more money per month than enlisted. Time in service also affects pay, meaning a sergeant who’s been in six years will make more than a staff sergeant who’s been in three years.

E-1: Private
Most people who enlist come in at E-1 unless they were in JROTC, have a college degree, or performed some other feat with their recruiters prior to enlisting i.e. volunteer work, good P.T. scores, etc. This is the lowest pay grade and has no rank. Soldiers who are E-1s do not wear a rank. 
also known as: PV1, fuzzy (because they wear no velcro rank, there’s a patch of bare fuzz in the middle of their uniform. You can buy a patch to cover it.)
Title: Private, PV1

E-2: Private
Yes, there are two ranks by the name of private. You reach E-2 automatically after six months of enlistment. If you enroll in the Delayed Entry Program or have an acceptable P.T. card with your recruiter, you can enlist as an E-2 instead of an E-1. At E-2, you more or less have no more power than an E-1. 
also known as : PV2
Title: Private, PV2


E-3: Private First Class
The final “private” class. You reach E-3 automatically after 12 months of enlistment, assuming you’ve been an E-2 for at least four months. If you were in JROTC for four years, you enter automatically at this rank. This rank still doesn’t have much power, but may be put in charge of other privates and may assist their team leader with tasks, and on occasion may be a team leader themselves.
also known as : PFC
Title: Private, PFC.

E-4: Specialist/Corporal
The last “junior enlisted” class. You reach specialist automatically after 24 months of enlistment, assuming you’ve been a PFC for at least six months. If you enlist with a completed four year college degree, you can start out as an E-4 instead of an E-1. Specialists tend to be team leaders and may be in charge of other specialists and privates. When no NCOs are present, the senior specialist is in charge. 

Corporal, while technically the same pay grade as specialist, is actually an essentially higher rank. It’s a special rank only bestowed on those who are in leadership positions and are awaiting the appropriate time in service/time in grade to be promoted to sergeant. Corporals are considered NCOs while specialists are considered junior enlisted.  Strictly speaking corporals and specialists are the same rank, but in most situations, corporals out rank specialists.
also known as: shamshields, (specialist only) SPC, CPL
Title: Specialist, Corporal

Intermission!

Man, all of that text is boring. Let’s break it up a bit with some rank etiquette, shall we?

• Lower enlisted (E-1 thru E-4) tend to call each other by their surname regardless of rank. Even an E-1 will probably be calling a specialist just by their name. The exception is Corporals, who are considered NCOs and are referred to by rank.

• E-5 and above are referred to as “NCOs,” or non-commissioned officers. 

• NCOs with similar ranks might call each other by their surnames and will call lower enlisted by their surnames. When discussing another NCO with a lower enlisted, they will use that NCO’s proper rank. So a sergeant speaking to a PFC will say “Sergeant Smith needs you,” not “Smith needs you.” Freshly promoted sergeants who still hang out with lower enlisted might not mind their friends calling them their surnames in private, but formally and professionally they’re expected to address their senior properly. 

• Lower enlisted ranks are often called “joes,” especially when an NCO is addressing another NCO about their squad or platoon. “Have your joes had chow yet?” = “Have the soldiers directly under your command eaten yet?” 

• It’s considered inappropriate for lower enlisted to hang out with NCOs and it’s discouraged, especially in the work place. 

Are you all rested up? Great! Let’s get back to the ranks. 




E-5: Sergeant

Finally: the NCO ranks! Unlike the previous ranks, you cannot automatically rank up to sergeant. You must attend special courses and be seen by a promotion board where you’ll be expected to recite the NCO creed and have knowledge appropriate for an non-commissioned officer. From this rank on, lower-ranked soldiers will refer to you as “sergeant” and you will likely be a squad leader or in another leadership position. 

• Lower enlisted do NOT refer to sergeants by their surname unless it is paired with their rank. “Sergeant Smith,” not just “Smith,” or your private will be doing a lot of push-ups. 

• No one calls them “Sarge.” Like… just don’t do it friends. 

• Some pronounce sergeant in such a way it sounds as though the g is dropped entirely. Ser-eant, or phonetically, “saarnt.” 

also known as: SGT

Title: Sergeant


E-6: Staff Sergeant

Sergeant Plus. You probably will have similar responsibilities to an E-5, meaning probably a squad leader unless you need to fill in for a platoon sergeant. Don’t misunderstand; in lower enlisted ranks, private and private first class aren’t that much of a difference. E-5 and E-6 are a definite difference though. It is acceptable to call an E-6 either “sergeant” or “sergeant (name)” instead of staff sergeant. 

also known as: SSG

Title: Sergeant


E-7: Sergeant First Class

At this point the ranks become known as “senior NCO.” E-7 and above cannot be demoted by normal means. It actually requires a court martial or congressional approval to demote an E-7. Like, it’s surprisingly hard to demote people after this point. I once knew an E-7 who got busted with a DUI and STILL didn’t lose his rank.

Anyway, it’s still appropriate to call an E-7 “sergeant” or “sergeant (name)” instead of sergeant first class. SFCs may be platoon sergeants or in some circumstances may hold a first sergeant position. While positioned as a first sergeant, they should be referred to as “first sergeant.” Unless you work at battalion level or higher, this is probably the highest NCO rank you’ll interact with regularly, and in some cases interacting with an E-7 can be as big a deal as interacting with an E-8. 

also known as: SFC

Title: Sergeant


E-8: First Sergeant/Master Sergeant

Another dual-rank. First sergeants are the NCO in charge of a company and are usually the highest ranking NCO soldiers will interact with regularly. They run the company alongside the company commander. All NCOs answer to them and most beginning of the day and end of the day formations will be initiated and ended with them. It is only appropriate to refer to a first sergeant as “first sergeant” or “first sergeant (name).” Do not just call them “sergeant.”

Master sergeants are E-8s who are not in a first sergeant position. Typically these people wind up working in offices in battalion or brigade. It’s only appropriate to refer to a master sergeant as “master sergeant” or “master sergeant (name).”

also known as: 1SG, FSG, (first sergeant only) MSG (master sergeant only)

Titles: First Sergeant, Master Sergeant.


E-9: Sergeant Major or Command Sergeant Major

We finally reach the end of the list: Sergeant Major, the highest ranking NCO. Sergeant Majors will be found at battalion level and higher. Command Sergeant Majors are those that hold a leadership position in a battalion, brigade, etc, like first sergeant vs master sergeant. It is appropriate to refer to E-9s as “sergeant major” or “sergeant major (name).” Typically, a command sergeant major will be referred to AS command sergeant major.

In the U.S., the plural form of sergeant major is “sergeants major.” Outside the U.S., “sergeant majors” can be correct. 

also known as: SGM, CSM

Title: Sergeant Major

Now, for the most important announcement:

Soldiers NEVER, and I mean NEVER, refer to an NCO as “sir” or “ma’am.” Forget what the movies tell you; if your first sergeant is chewing you out, you do not say “ma’am, yes ma’am!” You’ll earn yourself some push-ups and some cleaning duty and probably a counseling. Do you see how under every rank I’ve provided a “title” section? That’s how your soldiers address that rank. Period. The only people who get called “sir” and “ma’am” are civilians and officers. Cannot tell you how many movies I’ve rolled my eyes into my skull because some snot-nosed private is calling their squad leader “sir.” Please cease this immediately. Thank you.

That’s all for scriptsoldier’s rank breakdown of enlisted ranks! Stay tuned for our breakdown of officers, warrant officers, and how your rank affects your standing in your unit!

Sam Wilson was an NCO, not an officer

Have to get this off my chest, because I see Sam called Major a lot.

Pararescueman (Sometimes called Parajumpers or PJs) in the USAF, which we’re told Sam was, is an enlisted position. Sam Wilson was a non-commissioned officer - I’m gonna guess he was at least a Sergeant and given the level of specialised training, probably a Staff Sergeant.

Pararescuemen have officers - they are called Combat Rescue Officers. They have most of the same training (though not all in as much detail) plus officer/strategic training. The idea is that the PJs are the detail guys (concentrating on individual casualties) the CRO keeps a wider, coordinating view, so doesn’t (or at least tries not to) get tied down with his hands stuck in somebody’s guts. I don’t think it is very likely a CRO would be strapping on a wingsuit, but in any case if Sam says he was Pararescue that means by definition that he was an NCO.

(Why does this bother me? Because while I think for most writers it’s a well-meant ‘well he was brave and important, must have been an officer’ that’s ignoring the many highly trained and skilled people who can be found among the NCOs. Making Sam an officer may feel like valueing him up, but it’s also kind of valueing NCOs down)

Molly Pitcher in Turn: Washington’s Spies

I kinda consider myself an expert on Molly Pitcher. I did a report on her in third grade where I had to go on stage dressed as her, holding a pitcher and everything, and recite a speech about her life from memory. Since then, she’s always been my favorite woman from history and my role model. So, lemme tell you guys a little about what was going on in last night’s episode…

First some background! This is the real Molly Pitcher. Her actual name was Mary Ludwig Hays. During the winter of 1777, Mary Hays joined her husband at the Continental Army’s winter camp at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. She was one of a group of women, led by Martha Washington, known as camp followers, who would wash clothes and blankets, and care for sick and dying soldiers (x).

At the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778, Mary Hays attended to the Revolutionary soldiers by giving them water. Just before the battle started, she found a spring to serve as her water supply. Mary Hays spent much of the early day carrying water to soldiers and artillerymen, often under heavy fire from British troops.The weather was hot, over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometime during the battle, William Hays, her husband, collapsed, either wounded or suffering from heat exhaustion. As her husband was carried off the battlefield, Mary Hays took his place at the cannon.

After the battle, General Washington asked about the woman whom he had seen loading a cannon on the battlefield. In commemoration of her courage, he issued Mary Hays a warrant as a non commissioned officer. Afterwards, she was known as “Sergeant Molly,” a nickname that she used for the rest of her life.

Following the end of the war, Mary Hays and her husband William returned to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In late 1786, William Hays died. In 1793, Mary Hays married John McCauley, another Revolutionary War veteran. On February 21, 1822, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania awarded Mary McCauley an annual pension of $40 for her service. Mary died January 22, 1832, in Carlisle, at the approximate age of 78. She is buried in the Old Graveyard in Carlisle, under the name “Molly McCauley” and statue of “Molly Pitcher,” standing alongside a cannon, stands in the cemetery.

On a personal note, Molly has always been a role model to me, especially since I’ve wanted to join the Army. Besides the fact we have the same name, she also spent her life in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, which is where I was born. I’ve actually visited her grave before in my hometown. I’ve always felt a connection to her and admired her bravery. I hope I can make her proud one day when I’m an officer in the U.S. Army.

In Turn, you may have noticed that a soldier called Anna over to him by saying “Molly! Pitcher!” This is how the real Molly Pitcher got her nickname. The soldiers would call her over for water from her the pitcher she was carrying, and the nickname stuck. During every battle after Monmouth, the soldiers would call any woman to help by asking for Molly Pitcher, so that was every woman’s nickname on the battlefield from this point onward. I love that they added this to the show, because there were so many women, not just Molly, who risked their lives to help the Army, and I thought this was a nice homage to her. 

  • Me a year ago: Shit how do I tell these two characters apart
  • Me a year ago: Shit I don't know this characters actual name how do I find posts about them
  • Me a year ago: Wait that guy died I thought it was that other guy? turns out I had them confused the whole time oops
  • Me a year ago: Jesus how many characters even are there?
  • Me now: Technician Fourth Grade Eugene Gilbert Roe, Sr. (October 17, 1922 - December 30, 1998) was a non-commissioned officer with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, in the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during World War II....
4

Sergeant John Forge:

Sergeant John Forge (Service Number 63492-94758-JF) was a veteran non-commissioned officer and an infantryman in the UNSC Marine Corps. Although he excelled in tactics and combat, his repeated acts of insubordination caused him to receive three demotions, with infractions such as fighting with an officer, (which resulted in 2.4 years in jail time), and striking a superior officer. He sported an ace of spades playing card attached to his left shoulder pauldron, and also carried a combat knife he named “Lucy.”

Early Life:

Born on Earth on May 29, 2501, Forge’s life revolved around the military. His family lineage had been a part of the military for generations, dating as far back as World War II. He joined boot camp at the minimum age 16, where his superiors remarked there was “something special” about him. Forge and his wife fathered a daughter, Lucy Orion “Rion” Forge, around 2525. Although John’s marriage was strained even before the birth of his child, he and Rion would always remain on good terms.

Forge worked a stint as a military policeman on Mars and did some “grunt work” on Epsilon Eridani IV during the Insurrection. However, he hated policing and jumped at the chance to be assigned to Fort Marshall.

Forge was arrested twice during his service. His first arrest was for directly disobeying orders and disorderly conduct. Even though his actions saved four members of his squad, Forge spent a total of 2.4 years in prison, an infraction that removed any chance of moving through Officer Candidate School or even progressing beyond the rank of sergeant.

His second arrest occurred around August 17, 2530. Forge’s then-five-year-old daughter, Rion, and her aunt Jillian were waiting for John in a bar when Lieutenant Prosser started making sexual advances on Jillian. When the lieutenant made a suggestive comment toward Rion, Jillian struck Prosser, prompting him to shove her against a wall. At this point John arrived and confronted the lieutenant. They engaged in a fist fight, with charges brought upon the sergeant. However, Rion proclaimed her father as a hero and all charges were dropped, where he was later reassigned to the UNSC Spirit of Fire by Admiral Preston Cole himself. Spirit of Fire’s commanding officer, Captain James Cutter, came to trust Forge so thoroughly that he granted the sergeant a degree of authority significantly exceeding that afforded by his rank.

Reclamation of Harvest:

In February 2531, Spirit of Fire was sent to assist the crippled Marathon-class heavy cruiser UNSC Prophecy in the Epsilon Indi system. Captain Cutter ordered the Prophecy’s navigation database and survivors to be recovered, sending Forge and multiple Marine fireteams on board the vessel while Spirit of Fire engaged several Covenant ships. Forge’s Pelican dropship was hit by enemy fire and crash landed on the Prophecy’s hull. Forge and Team Lima breached and boarded the Prophecy, whereupon they were attacked by Kig-Yar Rangers. Forge’s ankle was broken during the engagement. With the guidance of Serina, Spirit of Fire’s AI, he was able to find the a terminal to recover the ship’s black box and wipe its navigation core while the rest of Team Lima rescued the ship’s survivors. Serina warned Forge that the Prophecy’s AI may “act peculiar” due to high radiation levels.

Upon scanning his retina to gain access to the terminal, Forge was halted by the ship’s AI, FitzGibbon, who explained he could not allow him to enter due to the latter’s poor service record. Forge reminded the AI of the Cole Protocol, stating that he was aboard the vessel to ensure the protocol would not to be violated. FitzGibbon then reluctantly allowed Forge into the terminal room and enabled radiation repair routines. Forge purged the navigation database and returned to the Pelicans as FitzGibbon activated Prophecy’s self-destruct sequence, which soon scuttled the ship. After the Marines and Forge escaped with the survivors, they were taken to Spirit of Fire’s medical bay. When Forge asked how the survivors were doing, Serina told him that they would all soon die due to all of them suffering extensive radiation poisoning. Forge was angered by the AI’s indifference towards the survivors and comforted them in their final moments, believing that even if they would soon be dead, they were still people and so deserved better.

Forge was sent to the surface of Harvest on his first mission to scout out Covenant activity in the northern polar region of the planet. He drove through Quadrant 4 to find a battalion of Sangheili that an AV-14 Hornet squadron had spotted earlier. Reporting the Covenant activity to his superiors, as to how the aliens had found a a Forerunner structure buried within the ice, he returned to the overrun UNSC Alpha Base, and helped organize scattered Marine units along the way. Forge and his rag-tag assault force were able to retake Alpha Base a short-time later. Before the Relic was demolished by the Covenant, the Forerunner site is captured by Forge and Marine forces. Professor Ellen Anders was then sent to the planet’s surface to personally investigate the relic, and Forge reluctantly escorted her inside.[14] He was present when Anders activated a Forerunner holographic projection of a star map, and protected her when they were ambushed by a team of Sangheili warriors. Spirit of Fire then evacuated most of her ground troops, including Forge, and set course for Arcadia, a UNSC colony planet to which the star map had pointed.[12]

Arcadia:

After arriving at Arcadia, Forge was among the first UNSC troops to set foot in the besieged capital of Pirth City, where he aided the evacuation of civilians aboard three cargo vessels. When the civilian transports took off, Forge and his men abandoned the besieged city and fell back to the outskirts. There, he took part in the destruction of a nearby Covenant base, assisted by Spartan teams Red and Omega. He also participated in the battle to destroy a Covenant energy dome which was protecting an unfinished Type-29 Scarab. After a short battle, the UNSC forces succeeded in destroying the Scarab. While he and Anders were surveying the area, Arbiter Ripa ‘Moramee ambushed them. Forge was swiftly defeated and was about to be killed, until Anders stopped the Arbiter by agreeing to go with him without incident. After Spartan Red Team’s unsuccessful attempt to stop the Arbiter from escaping, they immediately retreated back to the Spirit of Fire. Spirit of Fire then made a slipspace jump in pursuit of 'Moramee’s retreating vessel.

Shield world:

After Spartan Jerome-092 recommended destroying 'Moramee’s ship and killing Anders rather than let classified information fall into Covenant hands, Forge confronted the Spartan. The altercation resulted in a broken chair, a seal malfunction on a bulkhead and a stern interruption from Serina. From then on, Forge and Jerome always ate together in the mess hall.

Upon arriving at a mysterious planet, Forge was sent to the planet’s surface, where he and his forces encountered the Flood. It was soon discovered that the world was not a planet at all, but a Forerunner shield world. Immediately following this revelation, Forge was put in charge of the evacuation of the Spirit’s ground troops and the decontamination of Flood from the ship’s dorsal surface. By chance, he came upon the recently escaped Ellen Anders in the shield world’s interior and escorted her back to the Spirit of Fire.

Forge was then put in charge of the strike team that would deliver the Spirit’s Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine to the Apex Site; the SFTE had been rigged as a bomb to destroy the shield world and deny its armada of Forerunner dreadnoughts to the Covenant. Atop the Apex, he once again faced 'Moramee in battle, while the Spartans of Red Team eliminated the Arbiter’s comrades. Although Forge was nearly killed, he overcame his foe at the last minute by tricking the Arbiter to look him in the eye, and then stabbing him in the neck with his prized combat knife, “Lucy”. He then picked up the Arbiter’s energy sword and drove it through the Sangheili’s stomach, killing him. As Alice-130 rolled the Arbiter’s corpse off the platform, Jerome examined the engine, realizing that it had been damaged in the fight.

When it became clear that the damaged slipspace drive would have to be detonated manually, Forge realized that the Spartans would play a far greater role in the war than he ever could. He volunteered to take the FTL drive into the shield world’s artificial star. Forge gave the Spirit’s crew the time they needed to escape the hollow planet and then detonated the drive, sacrificing his own life, but dealing the Covenant a massive blow in the process.

Legacy:

Spirit of Fire was declared lost with all hands on February 10, 2534, though many bereaved family members refused to accept the official statement. On his deathbed, Forge’s father encouraged Rion to keep up the search for the truth regarding the ship’s disappearance. Rion spent the ensuing years seeking closure for her father’s disappearance, eventually becoming a scavenger. In January 2557, she followed a series of leads that pointed to the log buoy Spirit of Fire had dropped at Arcadia, which in turn took her to the remains of Shield World 0459. There she encountered what remained of the former caretaker of the facility, a fragmentary ancilla she later dubbed “Little Bit”, which provided her the trajectory Spirit of Fire had followed when escaping the shield world.

Clone Wars/American Civil War AU

                                                                                                               So, I drew those Anakin/Padme historical AUs a little while ago, right? I started with the American Civil War one, and as I was drawing, just for fun, I started coming up with 1860’s appropriate names for the two of them, and then for more characters, and then for more, and IT JUST GOT OUT OF HAND.

(family photo)

Below the cut are some notes and sketches for the Clone Wars Civil War AU that I’ll probably never write. Assume everyone lives/happiness AU, because why not.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

speaking of war, did Henry fight in the war? Or if he is old enough, did he fight in the great war?

Henry was a kid during the Great War, but he is a veteran of World War II! Specifically he was a sergeant in the airforce, on a bomber plane that sadly crashed behind enemy lines, and thus he ended up a German POW camp, even more specifically Stalag Luft III, in one of the later non-commissioned officer compounds. Not the worst thing, all things considered, but it still fucking sucked.

He managed to get a job at a new studio before Vietnam broke out and the studio made a deal to create propaganda in exchange for it’s men not being sent over to fight. Henry hated it, but it turned out to be a good thing since that meant he was around when his sister suddenly became a war widow with a three year old baby girl.

EDIT: Edited for proper ages. Writers can’t do math.

I considered cutting this down, but she’s just too fucking awesome. 

Milunka Savic. In 1912, at the age of 24, she got bored of her regular life, chopped off all her hair, dressed in men’s clothing, and volunteered for the Serbian Army to help fight the First Balkan War and drive the Ottoman Turkish Empire out of Europe forever on a tsunami of bullets and brain matter. Since nobody realized she wasn’t a dude (or at least they didn’t give a shit if she was or wasn’t) they handed Milunka a rifle and a helmet and a couple of hand grenades and sent her on her merry way to blast the entrails out of the enemies of the Serbian people with a chuckable sphere of explosives the size of a softball.

Savic face-shanked her way through the First Balkan War with a razor-sharp bayonet and a handful of 7.62xmmR ammunition, participating on the front lines of several key battles as the combined armies of Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and a couple other countries smashed the armies of the crumbling Ottoman Empire and drove their shattered remnants back across the Bosporus and out of the Balkans forever. Unfortunately, however, this was just the beginning of some pretty fucking dark days in Southeastern Europe. You see, apparently some expansionist assholes in Bulgaria got their panties in a wad about wanting to add Macedonia to their Empire, but since Serbia is the one that captured it from the Turks they of course said take a long hike up the slopes of Mount Doom and dump your balls in the lava when you get to the top. The Bulgarians took this out of context, got mad, and sent their entire army into Macedonia to wrench it from the cold dead hands of every Serbian they could find, two million soldiers mobilized on either side of the border, and mere months after the Balkans had miraculously united in a common cause (death-hate for the Turks) the Bulgarian and Serbs went right back to beating the shit out of each other with lead pipes and pitchforks.

Pvt. Savic barely had time to swap the dried blood from her rifle before the Second Balkan War was on like Donkey Kong, and once again this estrogenocidal kicker of other peoples’ nutsacks was back out on the front lines lobbing grenades with reckless abandon like the Ikari Warriors or a tennis ball machine juryrigged by the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. Positioned at the dead center of the Serbian lines during the Battle of Bregalnica, Milunka Savic and the now-famous Serbian “Iron Regiment” bore the brunt of the Bulgarian attack, withstanding the full might of their forces and then launching a desperate series of counter-attacks aimed at breaking their onslaught. On her tenth (!) combat charge leading a squad of men straight-on over barbed wire towards Bulgarian machine guns, artillery guns, and bayonets, Savic was hit by an enemy grenade and blown off her feet with shrapnel wounds throughout her body, and could only watch and bleed as her countrymen managed to carry this final attack, defeat the Bulgarians, and capture two divisions of enemy soldiers in the process. The badly-wounded Savic was carried to the field hospital, where the doc working on her was fairly surprised to learn that she had girl parts where her man-junk was supposed to be.

Oops.

Once she was healed of her wounds, Private Milunka Savic was brought before her commanding officer to try and explain what the hell was the deal with the whole not having a dong thing. She stood at attention and said, yeah, sure, I’m a girl, but I also just fucking charged face-first into artillery fire while spewing large-caliber rifle fire in every direction and dishing out hand grenades like parking tickets, so deal with it. Her commander offered her a transfer to the nursing corps, where she could hang back from the front lines and patch up wounded soldiers and let the real men handle all the messy bayonet-to-the-crotch work.

She told him she would not accept any position that did not allow her to carry a gun, charge into combat wherever it presented herself, and fight the enemies of her people.

He told her he’d think about it, and that she should come back tomorrow for his decision.

She stayed at full attention and told him, “I will wait”.

He made her stand there for about an hour before he agreed to let her stay in the infantry. He also promoted her to Junior Sergeant, because, fuck it, she probably had bigger balls than any man in her unit anyways.

The Second Balkan War ended in 1913, but even more nasty shit went down in Sarajevo Town on June 28, 1914, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand – a man famous solely for his ability to be shot to death – was assassinated by a Serbian Anarchist named Gavrilo Princep. Certainly you’ve heard this story before, particularly if you’re a big fan of hipster music, but basically the Austro-Hungarians were good buddies with the Bulgarians, and Princep was like “fuck that” because his people had just been to war with Bulgaria, etc. Long story short, Austria-Hungary was pissed, and they invaded Serbia. Serbia was allies with the United States, England, France, and Russia, and Austria-Hungary was friends with the Turks and the German Empire, and the next thing you know you’ve got World War I on your hands and the Austro-Hungarian Empire is marching half a million jackbooted Teutonic goons with stupid hats and large rifles across the Serbian border to turn their entire country into a flaming inferno.

The Austo-Hungarian Empire sent out 450,000 men from a hardcore, battle-tested, professional army that was equipped with top-of-the-line German and Austrian artillery and machine guns and drilled to lock-step precision in every aspect of military combat. The Serbian Army consisted of 250,000 citizen-soldiers, mostly volunteers, carrying cast-off weaponry handed down to them from the Imperial Russian Army (you know, the guys who had just lost a humiliating war to Japan and who were about to get massacred by the Germans). So, as you can expect, some crazy shit was about to go down.

That crazy shit was that the entire Serbian Armed Forces formed up in one place and full-on balls-out charged a force that was nearly twice the size of their own.

Sergeant Milunka Savic, commander of the Iron Regiment’s Assault Bomber Squad, charged into the Battle of the Kolubara River armed with her Mosin-Nagant rifle and three bandoliers of hand grenades – one across each shoulder and one worn across her waist like a belt. She single-handedly assaulted an Austrian trench, rushing across No Man’s Land (I feel like there’s an Eowyn / Return of the King joke to be made here) hurling grenades out like Mardi Gras beads and blasting the fuck out of everything around her, then diving feet-first into an Austrian bunker with her bayonet at the ready. Inside, she found 20 men, all of whom threw their weapons down and surrendered to her. Once those POWs were secured, she continued on, dropping bombs like a Predator Drone and smoking enemy machine gun nests from distances so impressive that from this day forth her nickname was “The Bomber of Kolubara”, stopping only when an enemy artillery shell landed next to her and planted a couple pieces of shrapnel in her head. For her exploits on the battlefield, Savic received the Karadjordje Star with Swords, the highest award for bravery offered by the Kingdom of Serbia, and the battle was such a success that the Serbs pushed the Austrians out of Serbia completely. They didn’t return for 10 months.

Well, shrapnel in the head or not, there was still a war to fight, and Sergeant Savic went right back into action just a few months later. At this point, Serbia was in deep shit – they were alone, without any support, badly outnumbered, and being attacked from all sides by armies from Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire. Savic fought like a demon as the Serbian Army scrapped for their lives, earning a second Karadjordje Star at the Battle of Crna Reka in 1916 when she attacked a Bulgarian trench, cleared it out with grenades, rifle fire, and a bayonet, and single-handedly took 23 Bulgarian soldiers prisoner.

But the war was going badly for Serbia, and with the vengeful Bulgarians and Austrians burning Serb cities the Serbian Army evacuated as many civilians as they could and began a long, brutal fighting withdrawal through the knee-deep snow drifts and snow-covered mountains of Montenegro, Albania, and Kosovo as they withdrew to the coast. Milunka Savic was wounded seven more times during this fighting retreat (bringing her total wounds to nine!) as she and her people desperately attempted to evacuate tens of thousands of civilians and save the core of her army.

When she reached the coast and was evacuated by French and British warships, she was one of just 125,000 soldiers left in the Serbian Army.

The Serbian Army withdrew to Corfu, then Greece, where they joined up with the French Army and continued the war against the Turks and Krauts and other assorted villainy. Serving in the Serbian Brigade of the French Army, Sergeant Savic continued commanding the Assault Bomber Squad, fought through the rest of the war, ended up on the front page of some European Newspapers, and ended up winning enough awards from her service that her ribbon board weighed roughly the same as a suit of medieval plate armor. She received the French Legion d'Honneur twice, the Russian Cross of St. George (awarded for “undaunted courage by a non-commissioned officer), the British Medal of the Order of St. Michael, the Serbian Milos Obilic Medal, and was the only woman from World War I to receive the French Croix de Guerre (the highest bravery award they have).

The best story from this time period, however, is this. While stationed on a base in Thessalonica, some French officer got word that she was fucking brutal with hand grenades. He laughed at the idea that a woman could be that badass, so he took a bottle out of a case of ultra-expensive 1880 Cognac, set it on a post 40 meters (131 feet) away, and dared her the rest of the case that she couldn’t hit it.

She drilled it on her first try. That night her unit blew through 19 bottles of the finest Cognac on Earth.

After the war ended and Serbia was liberated, Milunka Savic declined an offer from the French government to move her to Paris and put her up with a nice pension, instead opting to return to her homeland. She got married, had a kid, got a job at a bank, and adopted three children who had been orphaned by the war. When the Germans came through Belgrade during the Second World War in 1940, Savic refused an invitation to attend a banquet held in honor of the city’s New German Overlords – a feat that got her a ten-month stint in Banjica Concentration Camp. She survived that as well, however, and after the war she was offered a state pension for being such a ridiculousy-hardcore war hero.

Milunka Savic, the world’s most decorated female war hero, died in Belgrade on October 5, 1973, at the age of 84. She was buried in a famous cemetery there with full military honors.

Source: http://www.badassoftheweek.com/savic.html

Die Bundeswehr (“Federal Defence”) is the unified armed forces of Germany, divided into military (Streitkräfte) and civil/admin (Wehrverwaltung). The military part consists of the Heer (Army), Marine (Navy), Luftwaffe (Air Force), Streitkräftebasis (Joint Support Service), and the Zentraler Sanitätsdienst (Joint Medical Service). With military expenditures amounting only to 1.35% of the German GDP, it’s amongst the lowest-budgeted armies in the world in terms of GDP share. In 2014, the Bundeswehr had 182,000 active troops, making it the 30th-largest military force in the world and the 4th-largest in the EU behind France, Italy, and the UK. There are about 144,000 reserve personnel. Women have served in its medical service since 1975. From 1993-2000, they could serve as enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers in the medical service and in army bands. In 2000, a lawsuit brought up by Tanja Kreil, the European Court of Justice issued a ruling allowing women to serve in additional roles. Since 2001 they can serve in all functions of service without restriction, but they were not subject to conscription. There are presently around 19,064 women on active duty and a number of female reservists who take part in all duties including peacekeeping missions and other operations. In 1994, Verena von Weymarn became Generalarzt der Luftwaffe (“Surgeon General of the Air Force”), the first woman ever to reach the rank of general in the armed forces of Germany. 

coming from a military family, military films are always like hilariously inaccurate with getting military structure. like the hierarchy of how enlisted soldiers, non commissioned officers and commissioned officers interact. like there is a huge classist attitude that films really ignore for creating lazy conflict and drama but like in real life, you’d be thrown in military jail, confined to base, given the shitiest jobs or be the reason your whole squad gets extra pt or chores for disrespecting an outranking officer 

even on base, the class structure exists in the pmqs (military housing with s/o) where the living quarters are by rank and the significant others also interact in the same way 

base disturbances are dealt with by the mps (military police) and it has a direct impact on your job and career path within the military `

8

“What are you talking about? Her boyfriend is in the army. Their love story is really famous among her colleagues. Her boyfriend is a non-commissioned officer.. But she is a company officer, a graduate from the Korea Military Academy. Plus she’s an army surgeon and her father is a three star general. The two must be going through a lot.”

Kurt Knispel (1921 – 1945) was a Sudeten German Heer Panzer loader, gunner and later commander, and was the highest scoring tank ace of World War II with a total of 168 confirmed tank kills,the actual number, although unconfirmed is as high as 195.He is counted with Johannes Bolter, Ernst Barkmann, Otto Carius and Michael Wittmann as being one of, if not, the greatest tank aces of all time.

Knispel was born in Salisfeld of Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia.After completing his apprenticeship in a automobile factory in 1940, Knispel applied to join the armoured branch of the German Army.
For his basic training, Knispel went to the Panzer Replacement Training Battalion at Sagan in Lower Silesia. There he received basic infantry training before tank training on the Panzer I, Panzer II, and Panzer IV. On October 1940, he was transferred to the 3rd Company of the 29th Panzer Regiment, 12th Panzer Division where he finished his training as a loader and gunner on a Panzer IV.Training lasted until June 1941 and consisted of courses at Sagan and Putlos.
Knispel first saw action in August 1941 in a Panzer IV tank,during Operation Barbarossa. By January 1943 had returned to Putlos to undergo his training in the new Tiger I tank.Next he was transferred to the 1st Company of the 503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion (Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 503) where he took part in the Battle of Kursk and saw further action in other battles.
From there he went on to commanding of a Tiger II (King Tiger), when his unit was re-equipped, and fought around Caen and in the retreat from Normandy. From there the unit was transferred back to the Eastern Front and continue to fought in many battles.His final battle was in Wostitz where he was fatally wounded on April 1945, ten days before the end of war.

He was awarded the Iron Cross, First and Second Class, after destroying his fiftieth enemy tank and the Tank Assault Badge in Gold after more than 100 tank battles. When Knispel had destroyed 126 enemy tanks, he was awarded the German Cross in Gold,(May 1944). He became the only non-commissioned officer (Unteroffizier) of the German army to be named in a Wehrmacht communique,(April 1944).
Although he was recommended four times, he was never awarded the Knight’s Cross (a standard award for most other World War II German tank aces).
Unlike some other commanders,Knispel was never pursuit decorations. When there were conflicting claims for a destroyed enemy tank,always stepped back,willing to credit success to someone else.
Knispel was an excellent gunner (he is credited with knocking out a T-34 at 3,000 metres) and as a tank commander was also in his own element.At times he faced superior enemies he gave the units he was supporting the best chance to advance or the safest passage of retreat. Alfred Rubbel, one of Knispel’s first commanders, stated that when he was on the field of battle he never abandoned anyone,even in the worst of situations and conditions.

The fragments of a gas cylinder after bursting and releasing the gas at Mont de Merris. Projected into the enemy lines at favourable intervals, they formed a deadly prelude to many of the harassing attacks made by the Australians of the 1st Division in this sector during June and July 1918. The officer shown is Lieutenant L. G. Riches MC of the 11th Battalion. Note by Sergeant A. Brooksbank, Gas Non-commissioned Officer, 10th Infantry Brigade: Projector drum, the missile from Livens projectors. Note the drum is merely split open giving little fragmentation; it would have been filled with gas in liquid form and provided with a small bursting charge to open it as shown.