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Military Structure Common to All Forces, Past and Present

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Military Structure Common to All Forces, Past and Present

Post Number:#1  Postby The Keeper » 19 Sep 2010, 11:35

Military Structure Common to All Forces, Past and Present

In the past I have based the structure of Kell’s militaries on the Roman Legion. There was an article in Dragon Magazine from which I directly based it. Unfortunately the text that I had laid out for it was lost at some point so this document is a recreation of it. Further, research on the internet over time has revealed that the Dragon article was either in error about the size of each listed component of a Legion or it had been simplified. In any case, this document supercedes all previous material even if I manage to find my old writeup.

Note that this is a basic set up common to all the units past and present that I have used or will use for this world of Kell. Every country will of course have their own modifications and these modifications will be spelled out in other documents.

Organization:
Contubernium: (tent group) consists of 8 men.
Centuria: (century) made up of 10 contubernium with a total of 80 men commanded by a centurion.
Cohorts: (cohort) includes 6 centuriae or a total of 480 fighting men, not including officers. In addition the first cohort is double strength but with only 5 centuriae instead of the normal 6. My previous document had a cohort as 50 men and a century as 100. So this is VASTLY different.
Legio: (Legion) consisted of 10 cohorts.
Additionally each Legion had a 120 man Alae (cavalry unit) called the Eques Legionis permanently attached to it possibly to be used as scouts and messengers.


Therefore the total fighting strength of a Legion:

The First Cohort totaling 800 men (5 double-strength centuries with 160 men each) 9 Cohorts (with 6 centuries at 80 men each) for a total 4,320, and an additional 120 man cavalry for a grand total of 5,240 men not including all the officers.

The basic designation of the 10 cohorts was the same throughout all the Legions. They were arranged in battle so that the strongest and weakest units would be mixed throughout the formation maximizing moral and effectiveness.

Cohort I: Was made up of the elite troops. Its direct commander was the Primus Pilus, the highest ranking and most respected of all the Centurions.
Cohort II: Consisted of some of the weaker or newest troops.
Cohort III: No special designation for this unit.
Cohort IV: Another of the four weak cohorts.
Cohort V: Again, no special designation.
Cohort VI: Made up of "The Finest of the Young Men".
Cohort VII: One of the four weak cohorts and a likely place to find trainees and raw recruits.
Cohort VIII: Contained "The Selected Troops".
Cohort IX: One of the four weak cohorts and a likely place to find trainees and raw recruits.
Cohort X: Made up of "The Good Troops".

Officer Ranks
This is by necessity general in nature. However I am providing it here as a structure to hang my specifics on later. It is necessary to provide a rank structure so that I know generally what rank to assign various NPCs.

General of the Army: Commander of all the Legions. Usually the most senior or experienced officer. In general this position is appointed by a high politician or noble. Therefore it is revocable. Rarely, it is hereditary. It is common in smaller countries for the monarch to also hold this position. Many larger countries also bestow this title upon their monarchs, except that in time of war, the actual responsibilities fall to someone else.

General: Commands the Legion and reports to the General of the Army. Is ultimately responsible for the day to day command of the legion.

Lieutenant General (Adjutant): Second in command of the Legion. This is an experienced command officer. Generally the position is at the pleasure of the General, who may appoint whom he wishes (as long as the experience of that person is appropriate). Thus, the Adjutant generally serves only as long as his General. Some militaries however, make this position permanent with an eye to stability. The Adjutant deals with daily operations of the Legion and performs functions and duties that are similar to a modern naval executive officer.

Prefect (Colonel in Chief): Generally a long serving veteran who has been promoted through the ranks of the centurions and is 3rd in overall command. The Prefect is the senior Legate.

Legate (Colonel): Each Cohort has a colonel commanding it. Of course this is not the name of the title in each military, but I use it here in a general purpose. Each colonel answers directly to the Adjutant. They are commonly called Legate.

Commander (Lt. Colonel): Each legion has 5 commanders of noble class citizens. They are in many cases career officers and serve many of the important administrative tasks of the Legion, but still serve in a full tactical command function during engagements. This rank is effectively a second in command for each Legate.

Major: Senior Centurion (which does not imply that all other centurions answer to this officer as they report to the Legate of their cohort. Achieving this rank is difficult and lengthy. However, it allows noble title upon retirement.

Centurion (Captain): Each Legion has 59 or 60 centurions, one to command each centuria of the 10 cohorts. They are the backbone of the professional army and are the career soldiers who run the day to day life of the soldiers as well as issuing commands in the field. They are generally moved up from the ranks, but in some cases can be direct appointments from the monarch or other higher ranking officials. The cohorts are ranked from the First to the Tenth and the Centuria within each cohort ranked from 1 to 6, with only 5 Centuria in the First Cohort (For a total of 59 Centuria and the Major). The Centuria that each Centurion commands is a direct reflection of his rank. (Command of the First Centuria of the First Cohort is the highest and the 6th Centuria of the 10th Cohort is the lowest). The 5 Centurions of the First Cohort are called the Prime Command, and include the Major. For the common soldier, the Centurion is God.

Lieutenant: Lowest rank. This person commands one contubernium and is often the one officer the common soldier most interacts with.

Non-Commissioned Officer Ranks (Principales)
These are the NCOs. They are generally referred to as a Principale and are responsible for organizing and maintaining order in the ranks. As a general soldier an appointment to NCO is about the best you can aspire to (officer rank is usually reserved for the nobility). Being appointed an NCO by an officer is generally considered an honor and is often given in recognition of valued service.

Aquilifer: A single position within the Legion. The Aquilifer is the Legion's Standard or Eagle bearer and is an enormously important and prestigious position.

Signifer: Each Centuria has a Signifer (59). He is responsible for the men's pay and savings, and the standard bearer for the Centurial Signum, a spear shaft decorated with medallions and often topped with an open hand to signify the oath of loyalty taken by the soldiers. It is this banner that the men from each individual Centuria will rally around. A soldier can also gain the position of Discentes signiferorum, or standard bearer in training.

Optio (Sergeant): One for each Centurion (59), they are appointed by the Centurion from within the ranks to act as his second in command.

Tesserarius (Guard Commander): Again there are 59 of these, or one for each Centuria. They act in similar roles to the Optios.

Cornicen (Horn blower): They work hand in hand with the Signifer drawing the attention of the men to the Centurial Signum and issuing the audible commands of the officers.

Imaginifer: Carries the Standard bearing the image of the monarch as a constant reminder of the troop's loyalty to him (or her) This is different from the Aquilifier in that the Aquilifier bears the standard (and honor) of the legion while the Imaginifier bears the standard of the monarch.

Enlisted (or levy)
Immunes: These were trained specialists, such as surgeons, engineers, surveyors, and architects, as well as craftsmen. They were exempt from camp and hard labor duties due to the nature of their work, and would generally earn slightly more pay than the Milites.

Discens: Milites in training for an immunes position.

Munifex (or Miles Gregarius, Millites): The basic private level foot soldier.

Tirones: The basic new recruit. A Tirones could take up to 6 months before becoming a full Milites. A sub class of this is conscript.

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#2) 

Re: Military Structure Common to All Forces, Past and Presen

Post Number:#2  Postby The Keeper » 19 Sep 2010, 11:57

This is pretty much finished. I went through and edited a lot of the Latin terms for some of this stuff as it just doesn't fit. The ones I left I intended to be used as is as I think those names (titles) do fit. The list of the cohorts imply a full Roman legion. Of course, by country a "full" legion might differ and many countries (such as Ehlovar and the Lorn Imperium) can field more than one Legion. So scale will go up and down depending on size. I did neglect to correct the past tense in the first part. I will fix that on the next revision.

The intent on posting this up is so that I have a standard to draw from when I write about the various armies of Kell's nations. This was necessary for me so that I may figure out the size and organization of the invading Koros Troops in the campaign I am currently running as well as the size and organization of the Thanetian and Cyr troops.

As to the commonality of this I argue that warfare having been a constant from the Fall of Man and all throughout the God War, things ultimately began to standardize. As the Romans pretty much had this down I base this on the Roman organization. The various Kell nations will then modify from it.

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