During the later Unification Wars the two continental alliances set up the Military Coordination Bureau to ensure cooperation between their armies around the globe. The MCB proved its worth many times over, and officers returning to national service after a period in it were usually promoted. Thus, MCB service became a route to advancement, and positions became highly sought after. With the formation of CEGA, the continental alliances realized that no one state could afford the massive space fleet their ambitions would require. This meant they needed a joint fleet that no single state could control, and therefore, under the aegis of CEGA, the MCB was expanded into the Joint Military Service (often shortened to Joint Service).
The JMS is divided into three distinct forces, the Space Navy, Forward Defense Armies and Occupation Control Units. Many observers mistake the FDA and OCU for the same force, since they use the same ranks and uniforms, and collectively call them the CEGA Army. Above the three services is the JMS High Command, which reports directly to the CEGA Council and is located within Goliath Station in the L4 Orbital cluster. The Joint Service does not recruit untrained civilians; all troops come fully trained from member nations. The Navy is an exception in that many of its recruits, while they may have useful skills, almost always require training in zero-g operations, which the Navy carries out at its academy on Goliath Station.
Occupational Control Units (OCUs)
At the end of the Unification Wars, the continental alliances occupied vast tracts of territory. Rather than let these spoils of war become a divisive issue, the alliances handed administration of the occupied territories over to CEGA. CEGA then assigned member nations to administer specific areas and created special military units, called Occupation Control Units, to maintain peace and stability within the territories.
The OCUs' main duties include the suppression of guerilla warfare, terrorism and dissent. As a result, they have gained a reputation for extreme human-rights abuses. This is not helped by the fact that the OCUs tend to be assigned the least capable troops placed in Joint Service by CEGA member nations, and large numbers of poorly trained, ill-equipped and under-motivated soldiers are sent into its ranks.
The OCUs place great emphasis on infantry and possess few high-tech weapons, though they usually have access to large air transport units to assist in anti-guerilla operations. When faced with well-armed and better-trained opponents, the OCUs usually step back and allow the superior units of the nearest FDA take care of the heavy fighting. However, the OCU legionnaires are always at the forefront of CEGA's imperial ambitions. In hundreds of remote battlefields, they die in the ongoing struggle to subdue the Occupied Territories, resulting in an odd sense of martial conceit. It is perhaps this pride that allows the OCUs to remain functional and effective units; indeed, few deny that a tour in an OCU produces a superlative infantryman, capable of operating with little support and under constant pressure.
Forward Defense Armies (FDAs)
There are only three Forward Defense Armies, each one a dagger aimed at the heart of CEGA's Earthbound enemies. Each is a powerful, combined-arms force whose stated purpose is to defend CEGA's borders. In actuality, the FDAs are postured more for attack than defense and are somewhat less advanced than advertised. Not only does the Space Navy absorb the lion's share of CEGAfunding, but the FDAs are also considered low-priority shock troops by the individual member nations.
The largest of the FDAs is the Eurasian Army, whose responsibilities stretch from the Arctic to the Indian Ocean. The Eurasian Army faces the allied armies of the ATS along the most fortified border on Earth. The Pacific Army is based out of numerous island fortresses in the South Pacific Islands and its fleets maneuver against the forces of ANZAC and Japan. The smallest and least impressive FDA is the African Army, the only force that does not share a direct front line with its enemy, which in this case is the Azanian Compact. As a result, the African Army has more infantry than armor and tends to be assigned low-quality troops.
Despite having excellent training, low morale is causing some disquiet within the Joint Service. None of the FDAs see much action, except for some units engaged in occasional border disputes. Yet CEGA runs the FDAs on wartime footing, which makes for considerable stress and boredom as troopers train constantly for a war that never comes. Making matters worse, most FDA troopers are barracked in isolated bases along CEGA's long borders, far from sources of relief and entertainment. Senior Joint Service officers have refused to rotate troops in and out of frontline positions, arguing it would interrupt training and preparedness. The result is a continuing downward spiral in morale.
CEGA ARMY RANKS
- E1: Soldier
- E2: Lance Corporal
- E3: Corporal
- E4: Sergeant
- E5: Staff Sergeant
- E6: Gunnery Sergeant
- E7: Master Sergeant
- E8: Sergeant major
- W1: Warrant Officer
- W2: Warrant Officer 1st Class
- W3: Senior Warrant Officer
- W4: Chief Warrant Officer
- O1: Pilot
- O2: Lieutenant
- O1: Commander
- O4: Major
- O5: Lt. Colonel
- O6: Colonel
- O7: Brigadier General
- O8: Major General
- O9: Lt. General
The CEGA Space Navy is easily the most prestigious of the three branches of the Joint Service, with first choice of recruits and funding that the other services can only dream of. All Commanders-in-Chief of the Joint Service have been Naval officers the Navy maintains
immense public respect. Service with the Navy guarantees a well paying job upon retirement and morale among enlisted personnel is high.
The Navy has six fleets, at least three of which are in the Earth system at any given time. Each fleet is a separate entity, its commanding admiral reporting directly to JMS High Command. These units are individually the most powerful and expensive formations ever fielded by Earth and are solely dedicated to CEGA's solar ambitions, since no non-aligned nation possesses anything larger than orbital weapons platforms. The expense of maintaining these mighty fleets is straining even CEGA's massive resources and some Councilors are questioning their worth.
In the case of the Navy, however, the Loyalist and Imperialist factions are united in their support and more funds are being made available. Billions of francs and dollars are being diverted into new research projects meant to bring CEGA into military-technological parity with the Jovians within ten years. The increased funding has brought rumbles of discontent from FDA officers, who claim that a fraction of the new funding the Navy is receiving would allow them to finish the reunification of the Earth. However, given the political power and influence of the Navy, coupled with the immediate Jovian threat, diversion of funds is unlikely to happen.
The Navy does not ignore Earth; it has three Orbital Squadrons dedicated to the support of planetary operations. While of little interest to the Solar nations, these squadrons are of key concern to non-aligned Earth nations. Each of the Squadrons is tasked with providing orbital assistance to an FDA. Their low-earth-orbit
battle and reconnaissance satellites, aerospace fighters and armored space stations make the Squadrons powerful formations. Few weapons capable of planetary bombardment are assigned to the Orbital Squadrons; the political, ecological and social ramifications of using such weapons against Earth make it far more strategically practical to keep heavy railguns and other ortillery units permanently attached to the main fleets. Bombardment units can be temporarily detached to Orbital Squadron control, but the threat of massive retaliation from
the Nonaligned States has precluded any such assignments, even for saber-rattling purposes.
Beyond the obvious and immediate threat of Jupiter, the Space Navy is very worried by the Non-Aligned States' increasing focus on space assets. Many Solar observers feel that only by reducing CEGA's almost unchallenged control of higher orbit can the Nonaligned States hope to effectively challenge CEGA. In the last decade, the ATS and Azanians have been making an effort to improve their positions in orbit, and rumors about the possibility of either state seeking a formal alliance with Jupiter have caused the Navy a great deal of concern.
Unlike the FDAs and OCUs, which inherited a hodgepodge of existing military traditions from CEGA's member nations, the Navy, as a wholly new formation, quickly developed its own set of quirks that combined old wetnavy traditions with the new peculiarities of space travel. The CEGA Council, mindful of political sensitivities between the USE and Combine, placed a large number of British naval officers in the Navy, over the objections of both continental alliances. Although the CEGA Navy's culture has matured greatly over the years, it still retains a significant number of old seafaring attitudes and rituals from that initial personnel decision. Although the first generation of Naval officers (who proved to be mediocre spacers at best) are now retired, many of their successors are still drawn from the wet navies of the CEGA member nations.
The unspoken distrust of Orbital-born Naval crewmembers has been a matter of heated argument in the CEGA Council. Since the Navy's formation, Orbital engineers, marines and pilots have been invaluable to its operations and successes, but the vast majority of command positions are still assigned to Earth-born officers with little to no experience in space combat.
CEGA NAVAL FORCES
- E1: Recruit
- E2: Shipman Apprentice
- E3: Shipman
- E4: Petty Officer
- E5: Chief Petty Officer
- E6: Senior CPO
- E7: Master CPO
- E8: Adjudant
- W1: Warrant Officer
- W2: Warrant Officer 1st Class
- W3: Senior Warrant Officer
- W4: Chief Warrant Officer
- O1: Ensign
- O2: Junior Lt.
- O1: Lieutenant
- O4: Lt. Commander
- O5: Captain
- O6: Commodore
- O7: Fleet Admiral
- O8: Vice Admiral
- O9: Admiral
Joint Service Intelligence
The creation of an intelligence apparatus for the Joint Service was a delicate issue for CEGA's member nations. They were well aware of the power that secret intelligence organizations can wield; after all, most of the member nations used such bodies to cement their own dictatorial regimes. Yet the Unification Wars had revealed the problems of having multiple national intelligence organizations; on several occasions, information was not exchanged fast enough to prevent defeat on the battlefield.
Joint Service Intelligence was created reluctantly and with a special safeguard. Three departments, Solar Affairs (SA), Military Affairs (MA) and Territorial Affairs FA), would work with the Navy, FDAs and OCUs, respectively. A fourth department, Internal Affairs (IA), was created wholly and solely to watch the other three. In order to placate their own paranoia, the member nations decreed that personnel from their own domestic security and intelligence organizations would staff IA.
The rivalry between the IA and the three active departments was extensive, since there were no personal or operational ties to mitigate the hostility common between the watchers and the watched. Given their backgrounds in dictatorial and highly paranoid states, most IA officers were draconian in the execution of the letter of their duties. The rivalry eventually got out of hand andsenior commanders have taken to banning IA agents from their commands in order to allow the JSI to function effectively.
JMS High Command
Central control has always been of prime importance to CEGA's member nations, so the Joint Service is equipped with a powerful High Command to ensure political control down to the very lowest levels of the Joint Service. While the continental alliances may have lost control of the High Command, the officers who staff the various bureaus and commissions of the High Command maintain their unchallenged command of the Joint Service.
Central control is maintained through two separate establishments, Political Command and Strategic Command. Political Command controls the political officers who oversee the loyalty of Joint Service personnel down to the platoon level. PolCom also controls the investigation-tasked Inspectorate and all propaganda, training and personnel support services. The Strategic Command oversees all military operations; while tactical decisions are usually left in the hands of local commanders, StratCom missives, when given, always take precedence over field command.
Many of the initial crop of High Command officers had limited field experience, with political connections being more important than military skill. As the Joint Service escaped political control, the professional military officers who seized control introduced decreed that all staff officers must have served at least ten years in a field unit. As a result, the JMS High Command is one of the most combat-experienced and competent staff organizations in the solar system, and is central to CEGA's military successes.
Joint Service Culture
Though CEGA remains a strictly multinational organization, it is correct to talk of a CEGA culture. Many personnel now spend the greater part of their lives working for CEGA, a small proportion, perhaps, in comparison to CEGA's total population, but one that is highly educated and relatively wealthy. Especially among Naval officers, observers are noticing a tendency to place the Navy before nation of origin. It is also becoming common to find second- and third-generation CEGA families, a trend likely to continue because of the relatively small population of trusted families that most member nations recruit from.
Since recruits usually come from politically reliable classes (except in the case of CEGA's few democratic members), their lives are often comfortable and relatively luxurious. With much of the Earth still a poisoned wasteland, access to clean water and sufficient food is the best even the average loyal citizen can expect. Within CEGA, however, life can be as good as it gets anywhere in the solar system. Food is plentiful, the pay is good and medical care is first-rate. In the orbital-based Navy, these factors are even more noticeable, especially since naval service qualifies a person for permanent emigration off Earth.
Possessed as they are of influence, money and privilege, it is hardly surprising that CEGA personnel have come to regard themselves as a cut above the rest of Earth. Many have brought aristocratic attitudes from their home nations; these behaviors are often learned by other CEGA personnel, resulting in tyrannical command styles and insubordination toward superior officers from the lower classes. There is still hope for a new vision of unity and purpose to arise within CEGA, but given the repressive societies that the majority of CEGA personnel are recruited from, it is an unlikely outcome.
The Joint Service Today
For such a relatively new organization, the Joint Military Service has gone through many trials and tribulations; this is perhaps not surprising, given the chaotic history of CEGA itself. Yet the Joint Service has so far emerged stronger and more disciplined from all its problems and for as long at the soldiers of the Joint Service maintain a belief in their abilities and their equipment, the Joint Service will always be able to rebuild the damage done by internal discord.
How the Joint Service handles the fact that they are becoming the most powerful force within CEGA will deeply affect the future of the solar system. If the Joint Service chooses to follow the path of France or the NAS and imposes its will through repression and violence, it may lead to either self-destruction or increased externalized aggression. If, on the other hand, the more enlightened policies of CEGA's moderate members lead to the development of true democracy in CEGA, then civil strife and domestic matters will likely occupy the Joint Service's attention.
Though all factions within CEGA believe in the need to unify the solar system beneath Earth's banner, there have been many suggested paths toward this end. Some Joint Service officers have already been cashiered for statements regarding the positive aspects of peaceful coexistence with the former colonies, and discreet psychological evaluations are showing a distinct trend toward interplanetary tolerance in Joint Service troops who have seen service outside the Earth system.