Military Ranks in the Celegian Empire
There are nine ranks in the Legions, in keeping with Celegian philosophy. Each rank has several grades and distinctions within it as well. These distinctions are called 'Stations' or 'States'. Thus you would see a Sarna State 1, a Sarna State 2, all the way up to a Sarna Station 9. The higher the station, the more formally it is referred to, and a high-station Legionnaire, regardless of Rank, is informally accorded a great deal of respect. All Stations only count 'officially' inside their respective Rank for command precedence. A Trooper Station 9 is under the command of even the greenest Talna One, and will obey whatever they are commanded to do, but unofficially, high Station legionnaires usually or often have many contacts with which to enforce their seniority. Wise low-State legionnaires accord respect based upon both Rank and Station, in a complex sliding scale, but obedience only moves according to Rank designations between ranks. Within Ranks, the higher Station troopers command their lower station troopers.
Plus, just to make things even MORE baffling, there is the concept of 'brevet' and 'provost' designations. A Legionairres 'normal' rank is called their 'full' rank, and any brevet or provost rank is always called as such. It is also possible to have differing Station designations for full, provost, and brevet ranks.
A 'Brevet' rank is a 'brief' or temporary, increase in rank. Brevet ranks are assigned when there is a shortage of command staff, and are used to temporarily 'up-rank' talented persons. This is often used to create positions outside the 'organic' Legion staffing structure, and is where many or most of the administrative, quartermaster, and supply professionals wind up in a more-or-less permanent posting. Thus a talented Trooper may be pulled out of their normal Squad and made a Brevet Talna and assigned as an aide to the Loga commanding their group. This flexible structure ensures that talent is recognized, and hordes of Brevet troops form vast supporting structures to the Legions. Many or most Imperial Stalwarts hold a Brevet rank, to allow them the flexibility to develop their martial talents. Brevet ranks are also used to make battlefield promotions 'on the spot', and a commanding officer can do it, as a Peremptory Action, or, any two or more soldiers under battlefield conditions may elevate one of their member by Field Acclaim. Using this mechanism of Peremptory or Acclaimed Brevet promotion, an Imperial unit of any size can reconstitute a chain of command in the field nearly instantly.
A 'Provost' rank is a 'provisional', also temporary, reduction in rank. This may seem a punishment, and it can be used as a way of stripping a Legionnaire of command so they may be held for a disciplinary action, but surprisingly, it is much more commonly used to give higher ranking members of the Legions a little 'break' from their duties. In this way, highly experienced and personally mighty Coulats, Ologas, and Logas can be moved down to a Provost Trooper or Provost Sarna status, and formed into a Provost Squad to act as a "special forces" unit. Sometimes, even Coulatto's or Generals will be seen with a Provost ranking, although such instances are considerably rarer. Such Provost units are incredibly potent force multipliers, and are essentially Legion-sponsored adventuring parties that are used to probe outward, seeking threats and opportunities. When a large unit makes camp for more than a few days, it is traditional for one or several Provost units to self-organize and begin prowling around restlessly, which serves to burn off the nervous energy of such high-potential staff and also works very well to prevent unpleasant surprises finding the main camp without challenge. Such provost units are expected to have a solid staff of Brevet personnel on-hand and taking care of matters before they are allowed to 'de-rank' and gain their freedom.
There are also nine unit sizes in the Legions, unsurprisingly, and in general each unit size will be commanded by an officer of the corresponding rank. The military ranks and units of organization are as follow.
The lowest rank is that of Trooper. These are the rank and file, and are in command of themselves only. A Trooper is expected to obey orders well and to fight in concert with his fellows, and are constantly being drilled on the various battlefield maneuvers and march codes. They are also expected to think on their feet however, and if enemy battle magics break through the defenses they are expected to save themselves by orderly avoidance and then repair and redress their ranks on their own initiative.
Talna and Squads
The next rank is that of Talna. A Talna is normally in command of a Squad (also called a Hand), the basic Legion unit. A Squad is six troopers, plus the Talna in command. Their duties are all those of a Trooper, plus they are expected to be sure their troops are properly arrayed in the ranks when they are drawn up for battle. Talna have better pay and may get more advancement, but many Troopers consider a promotion to Talna to be a way to get in trouble seven different ways, rather than just one.
Sarna and Platoons
The next rank is that of Sarna. A Sarna is normally in command of a Platoon, which consists of five Squads, so that a Platoon is made up of 36 men including the Sarna in command. Platoons are usually the unit assigned to light garrison duties. Sarna are often highly experienced but have no aptitude or desire to learn the varying skills needed for higher rank. Many Sarna eventually are moved into stalwart leagues as their physical prowess increases. The rank of Sarna has no less than three paths of specialty and up to fifteen grades. Many extremely competent Sarna are assigned as escorts for higher ranking officers.
Loga and Groups
The next rank is that of Loga. A Loga is in command of a unit known as a Group, which consists of six Platoons. A Group thus has 216 men, plus the Loga in charge. In set battles, the Group is the smallest unit used in maneuver, so Loga have to be better trained in theory and battlefield maneuver than those of lower rank. Loga are also in charge of Groups used for garrisons in moderate sized towns and thus are expected to have considerable initiative.
Ologa and Companies
The next rank is that of Ologa. An Ologa is normally in command of a unit known as a Company, which consists of six Groups. A Company is thus composed of 1303 men, counting the Ologa. Ologa have considerably more freedom of decision and are expected to make decisions of considerable importance. A Company is the smallest unit normally assigned to long distance maneuver on its own within the Empire, and Ologa are expected to comport themselves with distinction. A company is also the largest unit considered capable of rapid response, and Ologa are responsible for quick and decisive actions. A Company is also the smallest unit considered capable of major military action and so gets specialized support units assigned to it, such as cavalry units, magicians, and priests.
Coulats and Regiments
The next rank is that of Coulat. A Coulat is normally in command of a unit known as a Regiment. A Regiment is composed of six Companies and thus has a nominal strength of 7,819 men, including the Coulat in command. Regiments are one of the most important unit types in the Legions, as they are large enough to be a significant threat even in very large battles, but are small enough to maneuver quickly and decisively when required. A Regiment is the smallest unit normally assigned to long distance maneuver on its own while outside the Empire. Coulats must be flexible, experienced, and decisive. They are often Stalwarts, nobles, or both. A Coulat has a considerable personal staff, and is the lowest rank in which the Empire has a specific interest. All Coulats will have very good personal equipment, with considerable magical assets. Coulats are almost always Stalwarts, and are expected to seek out and destroy opposing leaders and stalwarts. This is hazardous duty, to be sure, but as a result many Coulats are frightfully strong warriors. Additionally, even if a Coulat falls in battle the Empire will expend considerable effort to resurrect that worthy, if for no other reason than to debrief him or her on what killed them. Many Coulats are quite distinctive and flamboyant characters, and the creation of the Legion's distinctive officer corps begins here.
Coulatto and Complements
The next rank is that of Coulatto. This rank was originally a subset of Coulat, but it has since been made separate. A Coulatto is a senior officer, and is normally in charge of a unit known as a Complement. A Complement is so named because it is the normal garrison unit for an Imperial Fortress. A Complement is comprised of six Regiments, and so has a strength 46,915 men, including the Coulatto. A Complement is a formidable military force, and the Coulatto are expected to comport themselves as representatives of the Empire in all of their actions. Commanding a Complement is an introduction into the realm of politics, and this new set of skills is often the most difficult to learn for the hardened warriors who are promoted to this level. Oddly enough, commanding a Complement in battle is different and easier than commanding a smaller unit, but commanding a Complement before a battle is much more difficult. A Complement is too large for quick maneuver, so a Coulatto must trust his Coulats to handle that part of the battle. Instead, a Coulatto must be expert at picking his field of conflict and must have the temperament to engage in the brutal slugfests of heavy combat. They must also be expert at directing the huge mystic resources available to them, leading stalwarts, and must excel at personal combat. Coulatto receive even better equipment than do Coulats, and since they usually advance from the rank of Coulat they are always ferocious in combat and are expected to deal with enemy Stalwarts. The might of the Empire is arrayed behind a Coulatto, and to say they are eccentric and mighty would be an understatement.
Generals and Legions
The next rank are the Generals. There are nine divisions of General (as in all Ranks), and they are usually placed in command of either a Battalion (as a Station 1 General), or, as they reach higher stations, or levels of seniority, a full Legion (station 2, 3, and 4 Generals). Extremely high Station Generals (5 or higher) may even command more than one Legion! A Battalion is composed of six Complements and so has a strength on paper of 281,490 men. Battalions are the largest units which the Empire attempts to field and control in their entirety. A Legion is composed of six Battalions, and so has a strength on paper of 1,689,000 men. A unit this large is powerful enough to threaten even the Empire if it is mishandled or rebels, so only the most competent and loyal leaders are elevated to this exalted level. The Emperor has been accused of choosing his Generals only for their combative skills and neglecting their loyalty, and rumors abound of the disciplinary actions He has inflicted upon his more recalcitrant leaders.
Marshalls and Expeditions
For those of you who have been keeping count, eight ranks have been described and so have eight units. The ranks are Trooper, Talna, Sarna, Loga, Ologa, Coulat, Coulatto, and General. The units are Squad, Platoon, Group, Company, Regiment, Complement, Battalion, and Legion. But the Empire has both nine ranks and nine units. What then is the last? It is not the Emperor, as most people believe. The highest ranking military officer is known as a Marshall, and is empowered to command more than one Legion as parts of his unit. Celegian military doctrine calls for the ninth and largest unit to be an Expedition. it should be noted that nearly always, a Marshall promotion is considered to be a Brevet promotion, or, a temporary elevation in rank. A Brevet Marshall is the highest rank even rarely seen, and in the history of the Legions, only a handful of Full Marshalls have ever existed, most notably the nigh-legendary Full-Marshal Station 7, Sir Tierly Ting, widely revered as the most senior Legionnaire to have ever lived.