The Colonial Rangers are a Peace Making / Peace Keeping / Peace Monitoring force financed and under the operational control of the Hengeyokai. Made up of citizens and colonists from the far reaches of the ‘verse, the Rangers operate in small groups away from the Hengeyokai colonies giving the Hengeyokai a ‘surgical military option’. The force is an elite, highly professional military force used to operating in small units and away from a central command.
Rangers. What are they? Who are they? What is their ranking and organizational Structure?
In this report we will attempt to define and make the organizational structure of the rangers as a fighting force, what they mean to House Hengeyokai as a fighting force, and break down their ranking system to terms easy to understand for one not part of their system.
Colonial Rangers Fighting force organizational numbers:Edit
To begin with, they are not organized along the typical military number charts. There is no squad, platoon, or company, or even regiment among them. To understand how they function, we must discard those old military terms and adopt new ones that the rangers have organized themselves into. Here below, listed from smallest size to largest size unit in how they operate.
- Point. The closest thing to a squad, a point consists of a group of infantry of five men. If however the Point is re-fenced in terms of fighting vehicles the number differs slightly. for jet fighters of any type, a Point is two fighters. In terms of tanks, this is usually one heavily armored and armed tank to a point.
- So to summarize, a point is 5 infantry, or two fighters, or one tank. The point is lead by a SaComm unless an officer is present in the point, the only non-commissioned style of rank the rangers employ.
- Star. A star of units is the first true unit that requires an officer to lead, and consists of five points. Regardless of the makeup of those points, there is always five points to a Star, though in the authors humble experience a star is seldom more then one type of unit, usually it is purely infantry or purely fighting vehicles. It has been observed rarely however, for a mixed star of fighting vehicles and infantry to be deployed. This is lead by a Star Commander, or the senior SaCommander (SaCom), sub commander, if the commander is incapacitated or otherwise unavailable.
- Nova. Consisting of 3 stars, a nova is usually an integrated unit mix of stars of different types. Notably, this usually consists of one star of fighting ground vehicles, one star of infantry, and one star of flying vehicles. But again is not the case one hundred percent of the time. A nova unit is usually lead by a Nova Commander of the rangers, but failing that the senior Commander will take the lead.
- SuperNova. SuperNova units are rare unit types consisting of 5 stars of units. These reinforced units are rarely deployed except in cases of emergency where excessive force is needed. Their leaders, a senior Commander as well, are the same rank as the leader of a Nova unit.
- Cluster. The next unit type up the chain is referred to as a Cluster, and consists of anywhere from 3 to 5 novas or supernovas. This is mostly based on the prestige and skill of the officer leading them, more skilled leaders will have smaller number of units, while the more public leaders will have larger number of units for shows of public force. It is excessively rare for an entire cluster of rangers to be deployed to a single planet, often times there are no more then a Nova or SuperNova on one planet at any given time. Clusters are lead by the most experienced commanders who carry the additional title of Cluster Commander.
- Galaxy. The galaxy unit structure is hard to define, as it currently encompasses the entire ranger structure of deployable forces. On paper they claim to only have 3 total clusters deployable, but truth of the matter may be more as current estimates from in the field have counted far more units then should be within 3 clusters as their current math unit structure would suggest. The Galaxy level unit is lead by a Hengeyokai Khan or, in the rare case of incapacity, a SaKhan of the Hengeyokai.
Chain of Command and Ranks within the Rangers:Edit
The command chain is fairly easy to follow, and will be explained in detail below. The following is a list of ranks starting from the highest rank to the lowest, and then we will endeavor to detail the duties of each rank.
Khan SaKhan Commander (Cluster Commander) (Nova/SuperNova Commander) SaCommander Ranger
Khan and SaKhan The Khan of the Hengeyokai, and to a lesser degree the SaKhan, oversee all strategic level commands and deployment of the Rangers to nessecary objectives as determined by the Hengeyokai Elders and the Khan and SaKhan. Notably, the SaKhan is the lesser rank and only leads in the event of the Khan being unable to for any reason. Each Clan of he Hengeyokai has a Khan and SaKhan or equivalent ranks.
Cluster Commander Usually dealing with a mix of tactical and strategical command level devisions, it is rare for more than one Commander to be on a world at a time. Even rarer still for more than one Cluster Commanders to be on a world. Cluster Commander’s often don’t even have their full command on the same world as them, but are the liasons between governments when such is nessecary and make most the strategic level decisions rangers might face. Cluster Commanders are duty positions with in the Rangers and not a separate rank. Commanders compete in trials or are awarded a Cluster command based on merit and skill.
Commander This is the most common type of officer to be found within the Ranger’s ranks, leading a star, nova or supernova. They make the most pertinent tactical decisions and lead from the front with gun in hand or piloting a vehicle themselves. Every commander endeavors to know his Star inside and out, their strengths and weaknesses of every point and every soldier that dares to call themselves a ranger under their command.
SaCommander The only junior officer / non-commissioned style of rank the Rangers employ, these rangers are veterans of countless campaigns and often have the scars to prove it. They lead when the Star when the commander cannot, survive where other soldiers die, and charge where the morale of lesser men has long since broken. SaCommanders are also known as SaCom’s.
Ranger The most basic and forefront warrior rank among the Rangers, they fight and they live or die based on the skill of their SaCommander, Commander, and their own hand. The process to call oneself a ranger is long and grueling, often times the recruits die before they can claim the title of ranger, but they are proud, strong, and disciplined warriors when they do, willing to die in the name of the Hengeyokai to maintain the ‘peace’.
The Role of the Rangers with the HengeyokaiEdit
The rangers are the military arm and caste of Hengeyokai, proud and disciplined they go where the House determines is the best place to maintain the peace. The exact defination of this however is largely up to the House and its Khan, and sometimes doesn’t match up with the rest of the ‘verse’s defination.
Never deployed at home for longer then it takes to rearm and resupply, the Ranger’s are constantly out and about in the universe, usually deployed in Star level units to an entire world. Often times though, it is rare to encounter more then one point of these elite soldiers at a time. Nevertheless, one shouldn’t underestimate the ferocity, skill, and ability of these soldiers as seldom is more then star needed to pacify a whole planet.
Ranger Recruitment and TrainingEdit
Ranger Recruiters are sent throughout the ‘verse recover orphans and orphaned slaves and bring them back to the Hengeyokai world of Fenris. Once there, the orphans were given a home, educated, and eventually in most cases, join Hengeyokai society as colonist on various Hengeyokai worlds and members of one of the working Castes.
Hengeyokai often refer to the adopted members of the Clans as ‘Kinfolk’ or “kin’. Kin are Recruited from worlds and races throughout the ‘verse. What exactly recruiters are looking for in a recruit remains a mystery to outsiders, when asked most recruiters will answer “ I’ll know it, when I see it.” Recruiters come from all clans of theHengeyokai, though Clan Gurahl and Garou are the most prolific.
The Fenris Training facility, is Known as the Agoge divides the recruited orphans into groups called sibling companies or “Sibko” of 20 recruits . Sibko’s will live together and train together from the age of recruitment, often 4 to 6 years of age, thru their wylding and final trial of position at 18 standard years. Occasionally an older sibko of 8 to 12 year olds will be formed as the recruiting needs arise.
The Clan of the Hengeyokai use a five caste system of laborer, technician, scientist, merchant, and warrior castes, with warrior cast, of which the rangers belong to usually being the leaders. There is a very strong sense of personal competitiveness among Rangers for top scores in training and combat prowess, as well as personal ethics such as truthfulness. A Ranger who commits a crime will often immediately report to a commanding officer for disciplinary action without the need for an investigation, and few Rangers attempt political decisions by back channel dealings, instead relying only on overt and public honor duels. Combat training is often done with live ammunition, injuries are frequent.
Sibkos in the Agoge underwent vigorous training that included not only combat but, stealth, cultivating loyalty to one's group, military training (e.g., pain tolerance), hunting, dancing, singing, and social preparation. Recruits would undergo testing at various milestones, those not passing ‘washed out’ to training for another Caste. Only those who successfully passed all tests and trials would be eligible to take the Trial of Position, and acceptance into the Colonial Rangers. On average, less than 20% of recruits make it to a Trial of Position.
To an outsider, life in a the Agoge may seem harsh, however Sibko Instructors (SI) take their duties very seriously, often taking the role of surrgate parents for the Recruits. Members of a sibko bond quickly into these new family units and reffer to each other as Sibkin. All Clans detail SIs to the Agoge, each brining their own specialized talents to the training program. Rangers too injured or old to continue to field service round out the Agoge’s staff.
Provisonal Ranger Companies Edit
While the Ranger Corps small size and high quality is often an asset, there are times when the Protectorate’s commitments out strip their ability to supply individual Khanate’s with a large number of uniformed personnel. During the current period of expansion and exploration, to meet the demand for a less skilled, but still competent military component, many Khanate’s are raising Provisional Ranger Companies to augment the duties of True Born Rangers.
The use of PRCs is not new. While the Ranger Corps has proven a reliable and capable force for the Protectorate, joining Hengeyokai War Sentai’s on the battlefield, the Ranger Corps has never been large enough to meet the full spectrum of force commitments for the Protectorate. Khans though out the Protectorate are expected to raise local forces, to augment Ranger forces and provide for local defense and police duties. In the current age, local forces typically fall into two categories: A police force to serve and protect the local populace from crime, and a local military force to protect from outside armed threats, and project force outside the Khanate. When these forces are expected to operate in conjunction with the Ranger Corps, they are usually organized as Provisional Ranger Companies.
PRCs are organized on a more traditional Table of Organization than the Rangers they work with. A typical PRC is a twelve man company, organized into three four man Lances. Larger Provisional Battalions of three companies are occasionally raised for short campaigns. PRCs are organized under a Khan’s order, and are often designated to serve for one of the Khanate’s Gain’nan. In order to ensure operability with the Ranger Corps, PRCs are assigned a Ranger Cadre, often a convalescencing Ranger, or a Ranger who’s Awakened and is a member of one of the Khanate’s Sentai.
PRC members are recruited locally from colonists and visitors with prior military training. Often a PRC commander, or ‘Captain’ is enlisted who is given authority to form and command the company under the supervision of the Ranger Cadre. PRC members are signed to a two year firm contract, usually with options for extensions for exceptional service. Once accepted into enlistment, PRC members undergo local training and trials, to ensure they fully meet the requirements of the Corps. Occasionally Bondsman or Wards with a military background are ‘assigned’ to a PRC by their Warden. While not as competent as True Born Ranger formations, PRCs have proven their worth in many engagements across the ‘Verse and have proven to be a useful and formidable addition to the Hengeyokai’s military.
The actual composition of PRCs vary greatly from Khanate to Kahante and even within the Touman of a Khanate. PRCs are often equipped from local sources, or more often, individual warriors bring their own equipment, which they are familiar and proficient with. Occasionally the Corps provides limited surplus equipment to PRCs. As PRC personnel come from a variety of worlds and cultures, PRCs often have a wider range of skill sets than the Agoge trained Corps.
PRCs fulfill a variety of traditional military roles and perform a full spectrum of missions. Missions range from garrison and colonial defense, to exploration , raids and assaults. While PRCs are valued and capable force, they lack the exceptional proficiency and training of Ranger Corps, thus on truly sensitive or important missions PRCs usually operate in conjunction with a Ranger unit. This ability to interoperate with the Ranger Corps, is what makes PRCs a valuable asset to the Protectorate.
Some outside observers see the Provisionals as a sign of weakness or over extension of the Protectorate. The reality is, the use of PRCs allows the Protectorate more flexibility in armed response, allowing the size of the Military to grow or contract in a way that meets local needs, while maintaining a permanent loyal force, in the Ranger Corps. The successful use of the Provisional Ranger Corps, during the current age of expansion and exploration has been a great boon to the Hengeyokai.