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The Royal Army of the Golden Empire was comprised of the Empire's surface-based warfare capabilities, as well as the Royal Marines, a subdivision of the Royal Army's Infantry Division. Using the capital ships of the Royal Navy for intersystem transit, the Army coordinated heavily with Navy orbital bombardment units when executing campaigns.

Formed, like the Glorious Armada as a whole, from the primarily-Massassi-crewed Ta'asyak Za`vek, the Royal Army was one of the first to diversify and include species from the Golden Empire's newly added member systems. This arose mostly because even species which had not developed spaceflight could usually adapt quickly to the principles of high-technology infantry (unlike the substantially greater complexity of the Navy or the Royal Starfighter Corps), but also in part because, even early on, Queen Rin Sakaros and her brother Tariun could see that their Massassi forces, while devastating in combat, had no sense of finesse and could never be expected to handle more delicate Army missions well.


The Royal Army was tasked with conducting all combat on behalf of the Empire that took place on (or, for aquatic planets, under) the surface of hostile systems. The Army was also responsible for defense of the Empire's existing systems, and garrisons existed on nearly every system. These garrisons could be charged with disaster relief and pacifying civil unrest, but, unlike the Stormtrooper Corps of the Galactic Empire, the Army was not normally empowered with law enforcement authority. This was left to local system law enforcement and the Order of Keltrayu.

A subset of the Royal Army's Infantry Division, the Royal Marines, handled the rare occasions of offensive starship-to-starship boarding during battles. If an Armada ship was boarded mid-battle, its entire Army contingent was required to participate in the counteroffensive.


Operating forces and establishments

Including local garrisons and those attached to starships, the entire strength of the Royal Army was in the tens of millions, though it lagged behind the total strength of the Royal Navy, which accounted for more than half the Glorious Armada by itself. Nevertheless, the Army was the second largest division of the Armada, far eclipsing the next largest, the Royal Starfighter Corps.

The Army maintained garrisons on most member systems, providing defense against unanticipated invasion as well as peacekeeping when needed. Garrisons were usually deliberately not kept at sufficient strength to occupy an entire world, so as not to create an impression of the Empire ruling by force. However, on actively or recently rebellious or seditious worlds, larger garrisons were sometimes maintained.

Relationships with other branches of service

The forward-projection elements of the Army (those used for invasion and surface war, as opposed to standing garrisons) worked closely with the Royal Navy, which provided transport to systems as well as from ships to surface. The Army itself had command of any vessels used for space-to-ground transit, but the two branches had to jointly coordinate orbital bombardment.

Relations between the Army and the Royal Starfighter Corps tended to be more incidental; while the RSC sometimes maintained sector or even system garrisons to assist in defending the Empire's worlds against attack, their clearly different spheres of action kept the two services from coordinating often. The RSC could be called in for heavy fire support during a ground battle, but such a battle which was clearly entered without previous orbital naval bombardment was uncommon, usually only a facet of open war.

Subdivision of forces

Unlike the Royal Navy and Starfighter Corps, the Royal Army was arranged according to the decimal system (at least in theory; this accounted for only basic personnel, not NCOs and officers; including NCOs and officers, total strength was much higher). In ascending order of size, troops were organized into the following units:

  • Fire Team: 5 soldiers (4 junior enlisted and one Corporal). Not an organizing element, but an administrative division of responsibility during combat.
  • Squad: 10 soldiers (plus 1 NCO = 11 beings total). Commanded by a Sergeant.
    • Platoon: 2 squads (22 beings + 1 senior NCO + 1 officer = 24 beings total). A platoon was not used as an organizing element, but to relieve some of the command burden on the company commander. Commanded by a Cornet or junior Lieutenant, with a Staff Sergeant as Platoon NCO.
  • Company: 10 squads / 5 platoons (120 beings + 1 company NCO + 1 company executive officer + 1 company commanding officer = 123 beings total). Commanded by a Captain, with a Lieutenant as executive officer and a Field Sergeant as Company NCO.
  • Regiment: 10 companies (1230 beings + 1 regiment NCO + 1 regiment executive officer + 1 regiment commanding officer = 1233 beings total). Commanded by a senior Major or Commander, with a Major as executive officer and a Command Sergeant as Regiment NCO.
  • Cohort: 10 regiments (12,330 beings + 1 cohort NCO + 1 cohort executive officer + 1 cohort commanding officer = 12,333 beings total). Commanded by a Colonel with a Commander as executive officer and a Sergeant Major as Cohort NCO.
  • Brigade: 10 cohorts (123,330 beings + 1 brigade NCO + 1 brigade executive officer + 1 brigade commanding officer plus a supplementary headquarters section of approximately 200 beings = 123,533 beings total). Commanded by a Brigadier with a Colonel or a more junior Brigadier as executive officer and a Sergeant Major as Brigade NCO.

Service branches

The Royal Army had eight Service Branches of its forces; three incorporated sub-divisions. Three were Combat branches, five Combat Support branches.

Combat Branches:

  • Armor: Heavy ground assault vehicles, especially tanks.
    • Repulsorlift Armor: Aerial assault vehicles not borrowed from the Royal Navy and airborne transportation for the Infantry.
  • Artillery: Heavy weapons and weapons platforms, both surface-to-surface and surface-to-air.
  • Infantry: Responsible for direct ground assault with personal arms, both melee and ranged.
    • Reconnaissance: Considered an Infantry specialty, Recon units were usually assigned to Military Intelligence, but were basically trained as Infantry soldiers and administratively part of the Infantry Branch.
    • Royal Marines: Consisting of volunteers from the Infantry, specially assigned for ship-to-ship boarding, though they could also serve as regular Infantry (and did when the Empire as a whole was not actively at war).

Combat Support Branches:

  • Communications: Maintained holo- and other forms of communication among units and between theater and local commanders. Also maintained the Royal HoloNet to communicate with the Prime Fleet.
  • Corps of Engineers: Responsible for siegeworks and constructing bridges and fortifications.
  • Logistics: Carried the massive responsibility of providing for the material and personal needs of the Army. The second largest branch, after the Infantry.
    • Quartermaster: Provided food for the Army.
    • Paymaster: Ensured timely pay.
    • Munitions: Procured and ensured the quality of ammunition, power packs, and other weapon supplies.
    • Transportation: Provided transportation for the Quartermaster and Munitions sub-divisions.
  • Military Intelligence: Responsible for analysis of enemy movements and signals, interrogation of prisoners of war, and counterintelligence. Worked very closely with Royal Intelligence.

A Military Police branch existed until 151 ABY, when its duties were folded into those of the Royal Corps of Gendarmes.

Special Operations units

While remaining administratively in their own Service Branches, Royal Army Special Operations units were generally answerable to the Prime Legate directly, unless attached to a Legate's command.

Easily the most famous SpecOps unit in the Army was the 11th Massassi Cohort, nicknamed "The Wrath of Rin". The 11th were the elite of the already-physically imposing Massassi warriors and served as shock troops and frontline, heavy assault fighters for the most ferocious battles.

The Combat Saboteurs were an infiltration and demolition regiment, tasked with penetrating behind enemy lines and destroying vital structures.

The Assault Commandos were trained in a variety of special operations units behind enemy lines, including rescue, assassination, and site securing. There were two sub-units of the Commandos. The Nikina Commandos were specially trained in fostering, training, and guiding insurgency movements on enemy-held worlds. The Special Environment Division performed the same missions as the Assault Commandos on worlds with non-Type I atmospheres, or underwater.

During the First Stratos Contention, the Chiss Legate Vos'elk'eetash was authorized a battle guard of Garjo warriors, which became the first garrison of Ord Vos.


High Command

The High Command of the Royal Army consisted of officers in the three "General" grades, as well as enlisted personnel ranked Service Sergeant. As with the High Command of the Royal Starfleet, these officers had only administrative and procurement responsibilities, and did not exercise theater command.

Competition for these appointments tended to be much greater than in the Royal Navy, whose captains were sometimes reluctant to give up field command of capital ships. Many Royal Army colonels and senior enlisted personnel often relished the diminished field responsibility, and looked on High Command as a sort of early retirement. However, many other colonels, flag officers, and senior Sergeants, especially those who had served in wartime, not only did not seek but even refused appointment to High Command, to remain with their troops.

Commissioned officers

RA Service Officer

Officer's service uniform

Officers were both administrators and wartime leaders of their enlisted subordinates; junior officers were usually greatly assisted and mentored by their NCOs.

From the early days of the Empire until 151 ABY, the highest normally awarded rank was Colonel. Officers holding the rank of Brigadier or any of the General ranks were strictly High Command officers, without command responsibility. As the Armada swelled in size, this became increasingly inefficient for combat leadership. Along with the 65 Reforms which organized the military at the sector levels, Queen Rin Sakaros authorized the Army and Navy to reclassify flag ranks as potential command ranks.

Royal Army Officer Grade Insignia
OF-7 OF-8 OF-9 OF-10
RA Brigadier RA Division General RA Lieutenant General RA General
Brigadier Division General Lieutenant General General
OT OF-1 OF-2 OF-3 OF-4 OF-5 OF-6
No insignia RA Cornet RA Lieutenant RA Captain RA Major RA Commander RA Colonel
Cadet Cornet Lieutenant Captain Major Commander Colonel

Enlisted soldiers

RA Service JE

Junior enlisted soldier's service uniform

RA Service NCO

Non-commissioned officer's service uniform

All enlisted ranks were addressed by full title (e.g. "Staff Sergeant", not just "Sergeant"). The ranks of Field Sergeant and above provided enlisted advice and aid to commanders of larger organizing elements, while junior enlisted were frontline warfighters and Sergeants and Staff Sergeants were firstline managers. The rank of Service Sergeant could be an enlisted advisor to very senior commanders (Sector Magisters, Legates, or even the Prime Legate and the Sovereign), but were also eligible to join High Command.

Royal Army Enlisted Rank Insignia
EN-7 EN-8 EN-9 EN-10
RA Field Sergeant RA Command Sergeant RA Sergeant Major RA Service Sergeant
Field Sergeant Command Sergeant Sergeant Major Service Sergeant
EN-T EN-1 EN-2 EN-3 EN-4 EN-5 EN-6
No insignia No insignia PFC Lance Corporal Corporal RA Sergeant RA Staff Sergeant
Recruit Private Private First Class Lance Corporal Corporal Sergeant Staff Sergeant


RA Dress Officer

Officer's dress uniform

RA Dress NCO

Non-commissioned officer's dress uniform

The service uniform for junior enlisted soldiers was a khaki shirt and khaki boots with black pants. Non-commissioned officers additionally had a black "shield" across the upper chest. Officers reversed the color scheme, with khaki pants and shield and black shirt and boots. Enlisted personnel wore rank insignia on their arms, while officers wore them on shoulder pieces.

The enlisted dress uniform was black with red accents and silver metalwork. NCOs additionally wore red-accented black kamas. Officers wore the same uniform as NCOs, but with gold metalwork instead of silver, and red-accented black shoulder pads. Officers wore rank insignia on their shoulder pads, while enlisted personnel continued to wear them on their sleeves.

Army culture and symbols

The seventeen Massassi Cohorts of the Royal Army (all infantry) were the only non-integrated, normal use Infantry cohorts. After long and serious consideration, Rin and Tariun Sakaros agreed that incorporating other species into these units would only compromise their efficiency, both because most species would not be able to keep up with the Massassi, and because, in Tariun Sakaros's words, "They don't play well with others".

The correct general noun for a member of the Army was "soldier", pluralized "soldiers".

The Royal Army's motto was "Strength from Valor".

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